Books by Christian Slade

WHERE DO SPEEDBOATS SLEEP AT NIGHT? by Brianna Caplan Sayres
CHILDREN'S
Released: June 4, 2019

"Seaworthy, sleepworthy, bedtimeworthy fare. (Picture book. 3-6)"
This author-illustrator team add nautical nighttime bliss to their ever growing roster of transportation-related beddy-bye books (Where Do Jet Planes Sleep at Night?, 2017, etc.). Read full book review >
WHERE DO DIGGERS CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS? by Brianna Caplan Sayres
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 18, 2018

"For young truck enthusiasts. (Picture book. 2-5)"
Trucks of all kinds get ready for Christmas with the help of an elflike little mouse. Read full book review >
WHERE DO JET PLANES SLEEP AT NIGHT? by Brianna Caplan Sayres
CHILDREN'S
Released: May 16, 2017

"Combining a quiet, nocturnal story with the ever popular subject of flying machines, this is a nifty bedtime book for budding aviators. (Picture book. 4-6)"
Jet planes, helicopters, hot air balloons, blimps—these are just some of the anthropomorphized flying machines that need to bed down at night. Read full book review >
WHERE DO STEAM TRAINS SLEEP AT NIGHT? by Brianna Caplan Sayres
CHILDREN'S
Released: May 24, 2016

"Thanks to the popularity of Thomas the Tank Engine, hopeful engineers will want to be able to identify the many different types of trains, and their out-of-the-know adults will appreciate this inclusive primer. (Picture book. 3-6)"
Sayres and Slade move naturally from their truck lullaby, Where Do Diggers Sleep at Night? (2012), to this nighttime serenade to all things train. Read full book review >
WHERE DO DIGGERS SLEEP AT NIGHT? by Brianna Caplan Sayres
CHILDREN'S
Released: May 22, 2012

Another good old truck book; they never come amiss. Read full book review >
ALIENS ON VACATION by Clete Barrett Smith
CHILDREN'S
Released: May 3, 2011

Summer with grandma: boring, right? David, aka Scrub, is dreading it. His too-busy parents have sent him to stay with his hippie-dippy grandma in a small town in Washington. Grandma runs the Intergalactic Bed & Breakfast, which caters to weirdoes who pretend they're from outer space. The obvious becomes unavoidable when Scrub witnesses one guest devouring aluminum foil while guzzling bleach and Scrub's closet door turns out to be a portal for all manner of tentacled, many-eyed, rubbery-skinned creatures. Grandma enlists Scrub to outfit the vacationing guests in earthly disguises, and he discovers he likes this new feeling of being trusted. But his head and tongue go wonky when curious neighbor Amy, daughter of the town sheriff (who wants to close the inn), starts poking around. Though the momentum takes a while to rev, the hi-jinks hit full gear when Scrub takes three puckish alien youngsters on a camping trip and they cross paths with the sheriff's scouting troop. The jig is up, and Scrub feels the weight of grandma's disappointment. What can he do to set things right? With goofy alien illustrations to kick start each chapter, this tale explores the confusion of impending teen-hood and the importance of a sense of purpose, plus how cool it would be to have friendly aliens living among us. Ideal for upper-elementary readers dabbling in sci-fi. (Science fiction. 9-13)Read full book review >
RASCAL by Ken Wells
ADVENTURE
Released: Sept. 28, 2010

In this new novel geared toward younger readers, Wells brings back Meely LaBauve, the hero of his young adult trilogy set in the South Louisiana bayous. Taking center stage this time and telling his own story is Rascal, a mischievous dog who likes to chase the chickens on Nonc Noon's farm. When Nonc Noon gives Rascal to Meely, Rascal couldn't be happier. He and Meely traipse all around the swamps until the day Meely is severely injured. Rascal has to fetch Nonc Noon to get Meely some help, and he has to get past an enormous snake to do it. A full cast of spunky animal characters, including several dogs, a feisty Mama cat and two snakes, keeps this one interesting. Because animals and humans alike speak in Cajun dialect and phrasing, the going may be a bit slow at first, but once readers become accustomed to it, they will find themselves fully immersed in this South Louisiana swamp adventure and likely feeling quite the envy—hankering—for another one just like it. (glossary) (Animal fantasy. 8-12)Read full book review >
SUNSHINE PICKLELIME by Pamela Ellen Ferguson
ANIMALS
Released: June 22, 2010

Sunshine Picklelime, age unspecified, lives "in a village very close to you," populated by affluent, high-tech professional families from across the globe. After Sunshine invites a songbird to live in her hair, she is saddened when it flies off to help clean up an offshore oil spill and see the world. Soon Sunshine will endure more losses, but not to worry: Her neighbors—blessed with the wisdom of their respective cultures and abundant free time—offer Sunshine plenty of support and ethnic cuisine. Earnest lessons on multiculturalism—characters are less individuals than extensions of their culture of origin, each with its unique religion, customs, food and attire—are interspersed with lessons highlighting the value of counseling, composting and not trashing the planet. What's missing throughout is genuine storytelling, and lacking vivid characters or a plot that makes sense, the author's gentle but incessant didacticism quickly grates. In this setting that's more evocative of a luxury spa for the superrich than a real town, only Sunshine's dad, unhappy and out of step, seems truly alive. (Fiction. 8-12)Read full book review >
THE CURSE OF THE ROMANY WOLVES by S. Jones Rogan
ADVENTURE
Released: Aug. 11, 2009

All is not well with the multispecies residents of Porthleven village. Donald, the adopted Romany wolf cub of apothecaries Penhaligon (half-wolf, half-fox) and Rowan (all vixen), has been stricken with febra lupi, a disease deadly to Romany wolves; only Donald and his sister Dora survived the last outbreak. Now the disease is spreading to other species. This sequel to The Daring Adventures of Penhaligon Brush (2007) starts slowly as the characters are introduced, but once Penhaligon sets sail with the unsavory Elgato to seek a cure, a rare herb growing on Howling Island, the story picks up speed and energy, building to an exciting finish. While Penhaligon deals with sea serpents, pirates and the mysterious island's denizens, Rowan struggles to keep the disease in check at home. Throughout, gentle messages about tolerance of difference and valuing diversity are inserted; even villains prove capable of reform. The characters behave more like humans than animals, but Slade's charming illustrations help to supply much of what is missing in the text. (Fantasy. 8-12)Read full book review >
WHAT DOES MRS. CLAUS DO? by Kate Wharton
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 1, 2008

Some might think that Mrs. Claus stays home quietly reading on Christmas Eve, with retired reindeer curled up at her feet. That's just the case in the first spread of this clever, rhymed story, but after that, Wharton presents other ideas of what Mrs. C. might be up to—lots of ideas. Santa's spouse might be hosting the Jingle Bell Ball, outfitted in a maroon evening gown and pearls. Or she might be in a business suit running Claus Enterprises and getting all those toys ready at the factory with the elf engineers. After these well-developed ideas, the narrative revs up and starts spitting out several dozen occupations for Mrs. Claus in rollicking succession, with the illustrations showing her in appropriate garb for each sort of career. The choices are wide-ranging and humorous, ranging from the unusual to the fantastic. The flawlessly rhyming text zips along, ending sweetly with Mr. and Mrs. Claus reunited for Christmas day on the final page. It's great to see a senior citizen so breezily handling any job that might come her way. (Picture book. 4-7)Read full book review >
THE DARING ADVENTURE OF PENHALIGON BRUSH by S. Jones Rogan
ADVENTURE
Released: Sept. 25, 2007

Penhaligon Brush is a young fox with sparkling wit, extra-long ears and unusual, dark-tipped fur. He's happy enough working in the pharmacy he inherited from his foster family of badgers—Penhaligon's parents disappeared long ago—but he secretly longs for adventure. When he gets an inexplicable summons from his foster brother, Bancroft, Penhaligon is ready to go and expects a warm reunion. Instead, he finds that the town has fallen under control of an evil feline, who is set to wreck the ship of a traveling princess and steal her dowry. With help from Bancroft and an eccentric band of furred friends, Penhaligon sets out to save the princess. But can he stop arguing with Rowan, a very smart vixen, long enough to get the job done? If he does, there's a chance he'll be able to unwrap the secret of his mysterious ancestry. Dashes of Brian Jacques and Arthurian legend combine to make this original tale humorous and suspenseful. Appealing, detailed drawings add a touch of warmth, adventure and fun. (Fiction. 8-12)Read full book review >
REALITY LEAK by Joni Sensel
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 1, 2007

This truly eccentric take on the power of imagination requires a big suspension of disbelief on the part of the reader. Sensel's first novel features 11-year-old Bryan Zilcher, who becomes involved with the terribly mysterious president of ACME Inc., Archibald Keen. Bryan's realistic feelings about his divorced dad's girlfriend seem incongruous when mixed in with the wildly fantastic plot. ACME is an acronym for Astro-Chrono-Magical-Enterprises, and weird things do happen there. Bryan is hired after answering a series of incredibly nonsensical questions. Fellow school nerd Rebecca is hired as guard dog, acting and living life as a dog named Spot. Bryan's first job is to plant popped corn in a vast field. Eventually his dad and his dad's girlfriend get involved in what becomes a seriously warped and possibly dangerous experience with ACME. Some of the bizarre occurrences are truly imaginative. Slade's illustrations add greatly to the tale, but the strange juxtaposition of reality and fantasy doesn't quite gel. (Fiction. 9-12)Read full book review >