Books by Dave Saunders

DOWN BY THE POND by Margrit Cruickshank
Released: Nov. 1, 1995

A fox after chickens is foiled by the other barnyard animals in this cheerful tale, set among the vivid greens and rolling hills of the English countryside. The rhyming text tells how ``A red fox crept across the yard,/His black-tipped tail was twitching hard,/In the farmyard, down by the pond.'' One by one the other animals take note of the intruder's presence until the collie dog bolts after the fox and everyone else follows. They ``meow!'' ``yowl!'' ``oink!'' ``woof!'' ``moo!'' and ``cluck!'' until the cow butts the interloper into the pond. Those on land congratulate themselves on their bravery. The elements of repetition and animal noises in the chant will appeal to children and make them ready participants in the hullaballoo, while the bright gouache paintings and the dramatically cropped paper of the center pages add interest. Children may have a little trouble discerning the action in one or two scenes that at first appear to be double-page spreads, but need to be distinguished as separate pictures. Barring that quibble, the illustrations project well for story hours or bedtime sharing. (Picture book. 1-5) Read full book review >
STORM'S COMING by Dave Saunders
Released: Oct. 1, 1994

As a thunderstorm looms on the horizon, several woodland creatures—two squirrels, a fox, a badger, several rabbits, a mouse, and an owl—scamper for shelter. One wordless two-page spread shows the storm-lashed forest and meadow; then the rain abates, and the animals poke their noses outside again. The squirrels, who hide out in a convenient hollow log, are overjoyed to find a cache of nuts inside. Although the Saunderses (Brave Jack, 1993, etc.) story is clichÇd, the details of nature give it charm: Each animal names its own particular shelter, and the storm's progress is minutely described, from the first heavy drops to the sun breaking through again. And the drawings are a joy, vivid and simple, with Van Goghlike brushstrokes giving them kinetic energy and texture. On most spreads, there's one small horizontal scene below the text, faced by a full-page illustration, which sets up a pleasing rhythm. Like Bambi in miniature; it should enchant any kid who's ever been caught in the rain. (Fiction/Picture book. 1-6) Read full book review >
BRAVE JACK by Dave Saunders
Released: March 31, 1993

Jack, the lithe brown wild rabbit who hops alertly through Dave Saunders's handsome paintings, has big plans for a feast in the cabbage patch. One by one, his farm friends warn him of ``a wicked old man,'' ``a fierce farmer,'' or ``a great flapping monster'' guarding the cabbages, but Jack is undeterred: ``Follow, if you dare!'' There is something looming in the field, looking especially terrible in the oncoming night that has gradually deepened Saunders's gorgeous palette as the story has progressed—but it's only a scarecrow. The simple plot, with language nicely varied in the repeated warnings, makes for a novel and suspenseful way to review some barnyard friends—who are especially welcome as depicted in the splendidly evocative, beautifully crafted art. (Picture book. 2-6) Read full book review >
SNOWTIME by Dave Saunders
Released: Aug. 30, 1991

Dibble and Dabble, introduced in an eponymously titled book (1990), return in a second simple story. It's starting to snow, and while other animals retreat to their homes, nests, and burrows, the two ducks explore the woods and fields, eventually snuggling into a basket that carries them onstage for an unexpected starring role in a neighborhood pantomime of Red Riding Hood. The slight story lacks structure, but the energetically composed paintings of the ducks in the snow are vibrant and amusing. (Picture book. 2-6) Read full book review >