Books by Colin McNaughton

NOT LAST NIGHT BUT THE NIGHT BEFORE by Colin McNaughton
BEDTIME BOOK
Released: Oct. 1, 2009

"The little boy may be repeatedly knocked down by the guests, but that doesn't get in the way of his fun. (Picture book. 3-6)"
The old jump-rope rhyme about 24 robbers knocking on the door is revised using fairy-tale characters instead of robbers as the visitors. Read full book review >
THE ALIENS ARE COMING! by Colin McNaughton
ADVENTURE
Released: Sept. 1, 2008

"But with almost no plot, it seems more like the prologue for an upcoming adventure than a stand-alone story. (Picture book. 3-6)"
A ragtag army of creatures from outer space is headed this way, bent on conquering the Earth! Read full book review >
WE’RE OFF TO LOOK FOR ALIENS by Colin McNaughton
ADVENTURE
Released: June 1, 2008

"Inspired metafictive read-aloud fun for an elementary audience. (Picture book. 5-9)"
In a true testament to the old chestnut that truth is stranger than fiction, Dad shares his latest loopy children's book with his own kids. Mr. Mailman delivers a copy of We're Off to Look for Aliens, fresh from the printer. Read full book review >
CAPTAIN ABDUL’S LITTLE TREASURE by Colin McNaughton
ADVENTURE
Released: May 1, 2006

"A cautionary tale if ever there was one. (CD) (Picture book. 7-9)"
CUSHIE BUTTERFIELD by Colin McNaughton
ANIMALS
Released: Aug. 15, 2005

"ISBN: 0-00-715467-4). (Picture book. 5-7)"
McNaughton borrows a name from an old comic ballad (a reference likely to escape most readers on this side of the pond, though Sting has recorded it for a children's album) for a tricky calf who schemes to stay home from school for a week and a day. Read full book review >
POTTY POO-POO WEE-WEE! by Colin McNaughton
CHILDREN'S
Released: July 1, 2005

"Certainly not for all tastes, especially since the rationale is somewhat distorted. (Picture book. 2-4)"
An all-dinosaur cast, dressed in scattered items of clothing and suspended in pastel colored space, gathers ‘round to tut-tut as Littlesaurus repeatedly "does a poo" where he pleases, then walks away, bellowing out the title announcement. Read full book review >
WHEN I GROW UP by Colin McNaughton
CHILDREN'S
Released: May 1, 2005

"Children, and no few parents, may benefit from the reminder. (Picture book. 6-8)"
Children, including a leopard-skin-clad young "Colin," parade onto a curtain-lined stage in colorful costume to proclaim—in verse—bright visions of their futures: "When I grow up, / well, bless my soul. / I'll be the king / of rock ‘n' roll!" Read full book review >
ONCE UPON AN ORDINARY SCHOOL DAY by Colin McNaughton
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 10, 2005

"Young readers (or teachers, for that matter) wondering what school is really for may get a clue here. (Picture book. 6-8)"
This import pays tribute to inspirational teachers everywhere with a tale of an "ordinary" child whose dormant imagination blooms in the classroom. Read full book review >
OOMPH! by Colin McNaughton
ANIMALS
Released: May 1, 2001

"A jolly cartoon atmosphere swathes the proceedings, thanks to McNaughton's comic artwork, and readers can take a few cues from Preston, who is a real gentleman, brimming with good manners. (Picture book. 3-6)"
A whole lot of smooching distinguishes this latest Preston Pig adventure in which he (and Mr. Wolf) go for a vacation at the beach. Read full book review >
DON’T STEP ON THE CRACK! by Colin McNaughton
CHILDREN'S
Released: May 1, 2001

"The broadly comic cartoons may draw some giggles, but on the whole this uninspired flight of fancy never gets off the ground. (Picture book. 6-8)"
McNaughton (Oomph, p. 416, etc) takes the old warning about stepping on a crack and turns it into a series of less-threatening mishaps: one wrong step, and you might suddenly turn into a pig, or a girl ("your worst nightmare"), or your father might become a "hippy," your dog might wee on a massive punk, you might forget to put your trousers on before going off to school, and so forth. Read full book review >
SHH! (DON'T TELL MR. WOLF!) by Colin McNaughton
ANIMALS
Released: April 1, 2000

"Silly and funny, even the youngest readers will enjoy this peekaboo chase as well as being in on the secret. (Picture book. 13)"
The nefarious Mr. Wolf is up to his nasty tricks again. Read full book review >
YUM! by Colin McNaughton
Released: Sept. 1, 1999

"Adding up to little more than a conversation between old foes, this book has one strength—presenting again the innocence of Preston in the face of all that malice. (Picture book. 4-8)"
In the further adventures of Preston Pig (Preston's Goal, 1998, etc.), Wolf is after the amiable pig, who suggests gainful employment for the carnivore so that he can buy—rather than scheme over and trap—all the food he wants. Read full book review >
WHO'S BEEN SLEEPING IN MY PORRIDGE? by Colin McNaughton
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 1998

"Rock-and-roller's quiff!' (index) (Poetry. 5-10)"
This collection of sophomoric verse from McNaughton (Preston's Goal, p. 897, etc.) isn't so much wicked as mean—"He's such a sweet pup,/I could eat him right up—/We'll have him tonight in the stew!"—and not so much playground-subversive as just plain dumb: "If I was a bird,/My wings I would spread,/I'd swoop over you/And plop on your head!" Read full book review >
CAPTAIN ABDUL'S PIRATE SCHOOL by Colin McNaughton
ADVENTURE
Released: Sept. 1, 1994

"Altogether, an annoying, not-very-funny book that may even frighten some children while aggravating their parents. (Picture book. 4+)"
With more than 60 books under his belt, author/illustrator Colin McNaughton obviously enjoys great popularity with the kindergarten set, although his latest is not about to endear him to parents any time soon. Read full book review >
CHILDREN'S
Released: May 1, 1994

"Page layouts, as varied as the poetry, add visual interest to a robust collection whose humor, while occasionally gross, is sure to appeal to the target audience. (Poetry. 11-13)"
McNaughton's grimacing, pop-eyed cartoon figures are the perfect accompaniment for his uninhibited rhymes and free verse. Read full book review >
WALK RABBIT WALK by Colin McNaughton
ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 21, 1992

"(Picture book. 4-8)"
Invited to tea with Eagle, Rabbit prefers to walk: ``It's a lovely day.'' The five other guests, each with different transportation, would gladly give him a lift, but he cheerfully turns them down: ``I like to look at the flowers and the butterflies as I walk along,'' he explains when Fox urges that ``It's perfect weather for ballooning.'' In the end, after the others' vehicles fortuitously fail, Rabbit gets to Eagle's house first: ``Sometimes it's quicker to walk.'' Reviews of modes of transportation are always popular, and McNaughton's fantastical illustrations of auto and helicopter are especially amusing; the wholesome theme and its ecological subtext add an aura of good sense to this cheery tale. Read full book review >
WHO'S THAT BANGING ON THE CEILING? by Colin McNaughton
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 1, 1992

"It's all topped off when imagination meets reality in King Kong himself—who's tap-dancing on the roof in a spectacular foldout. ``Now that really [is] silly.'' (Picture book. 3-7)"
A vertically-opening, one-idea book with sure child appeal: working from the ground up, each high-rise tenant imagines what could be making the racket immediately above (``It sounds like elephants on pogo sticks!'' ``It sound like a dinosaur dancing the fandango!''); both imagined and real activities (revealed with a page turn—in this case, kids bouncing on the bed) are depicted in lively cartoon style. Read full book review >
GUESS WHO'S JUST MOVED IN NEXT DOOR? by Colin McNaughton
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 1991

"(Picture book. 4-8)*justify no*"
A one-idea story with a predictable conclusion but lots of intriguing details: As the reader progresses along a street of oddly shaped row houses inhabited by figures from folklore, storyland, and popular culture, sprightly verse enumerates the present neighbors and reiterates a refrain: ``Have they seen who's just moved in/Next door to us?'' A concluding foldout reveals the not-so-extraordinary new neighbors, a stereotypical nuclear family startled to find themselves surrounded by pirates, three pigs, King Kong, monsters, etc. Good pore-over fun. Read full book review >