Books by David Catrow

WHEN GOD MADE LIGHT by Matthew Paul Turner
CHILDREN'S
Released: Feb. 13, 2018

"A life-affirming exploration of the common grace of creation and appreciation of the miraculous in every day. (Picture book. 3-7)"
Turner and illustrator Catrow team up again for a fresh follow-up to When God Made You (2017). Read full book review >
WHEN GOD MADE YOU by Matthew Paul Turner
CHILDREN'S
Released: Feb. 28, 2017

"Still, books that connect individuality, being beloved of God, and using one's God-given talents are few and far between, and with some adult support, this can help fill that gap. (Picture book. 3-7)"
Turner and Catrow celebrate the divine in each person. Read full book review >
ARE PIRATES POLITE? by Corinne Demas
CHILDREN'S
Released: Nov. 29, 2016

"As a manners book, hide your doubloons. But as a pirate book, it's yo-ho-ho and away you go! (Picture book. 3-6)"
Mutinous manners and piratical politeness are the name of the game in this swashbuckling story. Read full book review >
FUN IN THE SUN by David  Catrow
CHILDREN'S
Released: May 1, 2015

"So enjoyable the real thing may pale in comparison. (Picture book. 3-7)"
A self-sufficient pup takes his beloved pet to the beach. High jinks ensue. Read full book review >
I WANNA GO HOME by Karen Kaufman Orloff
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 25, 2014

"A clever conceit ably rendered; this is bound to prove popular with loving grandparents and caustic kids alike. (Picture book. 4-7)"
A child's skepticism takes a header when a vacation with Grandma and Grandpa proves more wild than mild. Read full book review >
DREAM DOG by Lou Berger
Kirkus Star
by Lou Berger, illustrated by David Catrow
CHILDREN'S
Released: Feb. 24, 2014

"This delightful story waffles irresistibly between reality and fantasy, and young readers will find Waffle the dream dog a tasty treat. (Picture book. 4-7)"
The common developmental stage of imaginary friendship is creatively and charmingly addressed in this bittersweet tale of a boy and his dogs—one real and one pretend (or maybe not). Read full book review >
DOZENS OF COUSINS by Shutta Crum
CHILDREN'S
Released: July 2, 2013

"An ebullient celebration of family. (Picture book. 3-6)"
Reminiscent of Cynthia Rylant and Stephen Gammell's Caldecott Honor book, The Relatives Came (1993), Crum and Catrow's collaboration delivers a spirited, loving depiction of extended familial bonds. Read full book review >
THE FLY FLEW IN by David  Catrow
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 2012

"Have fun with this fly. (Early reader. 2-6)"
A frolicsome fly disrupts a fancy concert. Read full book review >
MONSTER MASH by Bobby Pickett
CHILDREN'S
Released: July 1, 2012

"Reserve this for older preschoolers and primary-grade children who may need a fun outlet for candy-fueled Halloween craziness. Clever and odd—but ultimately not essential. (Picture book. 4-7)"
Luring readers with a golden, holographic display type for the title and a grooving green monster on the cover, Catrow pairs his freakishly imaginative artwork with the lyrics to the perennial favorite. Read full book review >
JACKHAMMER SAM by Peter Mandel
CHILDREN'S
Released: Nov. 8, 2011

"An endearing ode to an oft-grumbled-about profession. (Picture book. 4-8)"
"ATTA-RATTA-BATTA-BLAM." Read full book review >
WHERE'S MY T-R-U-C-K? by Karen Beaumont
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 2011

"Don't read this at bedtime; the boisterous energy here is aptly summed up in the final rhyme: 'HOORAY! I FOUND MY T-R-U-C-K! / Come on, Bowser! Let's go play!' (Picture book. 3-6)"
Anyone who's ever interacted with a young child who's lost a favorite toy will immediately recognize this little boy and his single-mindedness in searching for his t-r-u-c-k. Read full book review >
I WANNA NEW ROOM by Karen Kaufman Orloff
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 2010

"A sneaky lesson wrapped up in a flaky bundle of fun. (Picture book. 5-8)"
Alex has his iguana (I Wanna Iguana, 2004), but now, thanks to Baby Annie, he has to share his room with his little brother Ethan. Read full book review >
THE MIDDLE-CHILD BLUES by Kristyn Crow
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 1, 2009

"This ode to all the 'mid-kids' demands to be read aloud accompanied by plenty of foot tapping and grooving. (Picture book. 5-8)"
Being stuck in between a big brother and a younger sister has put Lee in touch with the spirit of the blues. Read full book review >
DOGGONE DOGS! by Karen Beaumont
ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 1, 2008

"In the crowded arena of dog stories, this one stands out from the pack. (Picture book. 3-6)"
A man with an ultra-thin face and a pointed tuft of red hair is the harried owner of ten exuberant dogs, and "exuberant" is the definitive description of both the pack of pooches and this frenetically funny story. Read full book review >
SMELLY LOCKER by Alan Katz
CHILDREN'S
Released: July 1, 2008

"Although the scansion requires some occasional wedging to fit properly, it's a solid companion to the duo's other Silly Dilly offerings and guaranteed to elicit a lockerful of giggles. (Picture book/poetry. 3-8)"
"Smelly locker! / Smelly locker! / Poor hygiene! / Foul and mean!" Read full book review >
THE BOY WHO WOULDN’T SHARE by Mike Reiss
CHILDREN'S
Released: June 1, 2008

"Kids will relish the illustrations and get a guffaw or two, though, and that can't be all bad. (Picture book. 6-8)"
Even Catrow's flamboyantly over-the-top art can't completely rescue this superficial cautionary tale from the heap of mediocre, heavy-handed takes on the theme. Read full book review >
ON TOP OF THE POTTY by Alan Katz
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 25, 2008

"Several verses within songs also shine, but parents will want to carefully preview all songs before putting on a show for their little toileteers. (Picture book/songs. 2-8)"
Katz and Catrow's fifth song collection has all the punch and visual impact of the previous works, but the duo may finally have crossed the line in terms of content. Read full book review >
DON’T SAY THAT WORD! by Alan Katz
CHILDREN'S
Released: June 26, 2007

"EWSLUGp2003 and such—or maybe with etiquette books. (Picture book. 6-8)"
In a set of rhymes that should have second graders of all ages rolling on the floor, young Michael's report on a school-day's events runs afoul of severe restrictions on the vocabulary he's allowed to use. Read full book review >
ARE YOU QUITE POLITE? by Alan Katz
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 1, 2006

"Like Jane Yolen's How Do Dinosaurs series, illustrated by Mark Teague, think of this as required reading for Goops—young or otherwise. (Picture book/poetry. 6-9)"
Supplying new lyrics for 14 familiar tunes, Katz presents examples of behavior both good and bad, paired with Catrow's characteristic, garishly colored scenes of bulbous headed figures quizzically or gleefully regarding spectacular messes. Read full book review >
MERRY UN-CHRISTMAS by Mike Reiss
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 1, 2006

"He incorporates witty asides into store signs and newspapers ads ('Only three more shopping days till Un-Christmas') for some additional chuckles. (Picture book. 4-9)"
Christmas celebrations? Read full book review >
PLANTZILLA GOES TO CAMP by Jerdine Nolen
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 1, 2006

"Fans of Allan Sherman's classic ditty 'Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah,' recently recast into print (2004, illustrated by Jack E. Davis), will camp out around this cousin. (Picture book. 6-8)"
This epistolary follow-up to Plantzilla (2002) sends nerdy young Mortimer to Camp Wannaleaveee, where the customary encounters with bugs and a bully occasion the expected plea for parental rescue. Read full book review >
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 1, 2005

"Brave music teachers might want to try some of these new versions to liven up the annual holiday concert, and some parents might even introduce this as a unique diversion on the long drive over the river and through the woods to Grandmother's house. (Picture book. 5-9)"
Katz and Catrow continue their successful Silly Dilly Songs series with this collection of 15 parodies of familiar Christmas songs. Read full book review >
WET DOG! by Elise Broach
ANIMALS
Released: May 1, 2005

"Here's can't-sit-still reading, in summer's heat—or any other time. (Picture book. 6-8)"
"He was a good old dog and a hot old dog, as he lay in the noonday sun." Read full book review >
OUR TREE NAMED STEVE by Alan Zweibel
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 1, 2005

"Steve's almost-face shines in each illustration of this sentimental tribute. (Picture book. 4-7)"
In a letter to his three children who are visiting their grandparents, a father recalls all the wonderful things Steve the tree has been to their family. Read full book review >
I AIN’T GONNA PAINT NO MORE! by Karen Beaumont
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 1, 2005

"Here's one that kids will beg for again and again and again. (Picture book. 3-7)"
A madcap painting romp finds a little boy covered head-to-toe in paint—and then he finds himself in the tub. Read full book review >
I WANNA IGUANA by Karen Kaufman Orloff
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 2004

"A familiar domestic interchange, played out with broad comedy—and mutual respect, too. (Picture book. 7-9)"
In epistolary dialogue with his mom, a lad yearning for an iguana tries various approaches, from logic and sweet talk to emotional blackmail. Read full book review >
LU AND THE SWAMP GHOST by James Carville
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 2004

"Here's hoping Carville's momma told him some more stories for Catrow to illustrate. (author's note) (Picture book. 6-8)"
Carville—yes, that one—retells a tale learned from his Louisiana mother, about her own Depression-era childhood. Read full book review >
MY SCHOOL’S A ZOO! by Stu Smith
CHILDREN'S
Released: July 1, 2004

"Uh-oh. (Picture book. 7-9)"
A lad's world is transformed the morning after a zoo visit: his parents "snort and drool" at the breakfast table, the substitute teacher is literally a bear, the computers in the lab are swarming with giant "bugs" of the creepy-crawly kind, and so on. Read full book review >
THE BOY WHO LOOKED LIKE LINCOLN by Mike Reiss
CHILDREN'S
Released: Dec. 1, 2003

"Ludicrous fun. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Benjy looks like Abraham Lincoln as only Catrow can evoke. Read full book review >
LITTLE PIERRE by Robert D. San Souci
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 2003

"A hoot, fuh shore, for true. (long source note, glossary) (Picture book/folktale. 7-9)"
In this Cajun-inflected Tom Thumb tale, pint-sized Little Pierre saves his dimwitted brothers Big Pierre, Fat Pierre, Wise Pierre, and Foolish Pierre from a Swamp Ogre, and rescues Marie Louise, a rich man's daughter, in the bargain. Read full book review >
DON’T TAKE YOUR SNAKE FOR A STROLL by Karin Ireland
ANIMALS
Released: May 1, 2003

"It's a zoo full of fun for anyone. (Picture book. 4-8)"
In the tradition of Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothing (1989) and Hints from Heloise (1984), here is a collection of things readers might not want to do and places they might not want to go with several types of outrageous, exotic pets. Read full book review >
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 1, 2003

"What a boon to the catalogue of rude children's songs and rhymes, but best if taken in moderation. (Picture book/poetry. 5-9)"
Opening with clever additional verses for the title poem of Take Me Out of the Bathtub and Other Silly Dilly Rhymes (2001), Katz again sets new lyrics to such musical chestnuts as Itsy Bitsy Spider ("Tiny Baby Brother"), Bingo ("I-T-C-H-Y") and Wheels On The Bus: "The lunches at my camp / Prepared by Joan / Didn't know / Cheese had bones . . ." Read full book review >
PLANTZILLA by Jerdine Nolen
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 2002

"Readers, plant-lovers or otherwise, will find this vegetative visitor taking root in their affections too. (Picture book. 6-8)"
"Little Shop of Horrors" for the teddy bear set? Read full book review >
SANTA CLAUSTROPHOBIA by Mike Reiss
Released: Sept. 1, 2002

"This will work well as a read-aloud for older kids, and of course, as an ideal Christmas gift for any therapist who doesn't shrink from irreverent humor. (Picture book. 6+)"
American holidays are the characters in this witty seasonal tale, the second Christmas story collaboration by Reiss and Catrow (How Murray Saved Christmas, not reviewed). Read full book review >
STAND TALL, MOLLY LOU MELON by Patty Lovell
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 2001

"Even if Molly Lou Melon's tale is a little too good to be true, she leaves readers with the feeling that anything can be accomplished if you are the best person you can be and make the most of your gifts. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Spunky Molly Lou Melon isn't going to let anything get in her way, including the fact that she is short, clutzy, buck-toothed, and has a voice like a frog. Read full book review >
CHILDREN'S
Released: May 1, 2001

"As well as being an engaging way of removing barriers to understanding raised by the Constitution's stylized language, this makes a first-class discussion starter for many of the ideas and issues it addresses. (Picture book. 7-12)"
Serving an earnest purpose with characteristic zaniness, Catrow (Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon, 2001, etc.) twice interprets the Constitution's first sentence. Read full book review >
CHILDREN'S
Released: May 1, 2001

"Catrow's illustrations are manic in a bug-eyed way, and it has to be handed to him that he hasn't stooped to the graphic to get chuckles, but keeps things at the suggestive level. (Picture book. 3-6)"
It's not that the new lyrics set to old-favorite tunes aren't humorous in Katz's book, it's that they are predictable. Read full book review >
THAT’S GOOD! THAT’S BAD! IN THE GRAND CANYON by Margery Cuyler
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 1, 2001

"Stick with Remy Charlip's Fortunately (1984). (Picture book. 5-7)"
Cuyler flogs a one-trick pony in this uninspired sequel to 1991's That's Good! Read full book review >
CINDERELLA SKELETON by Robert D. San Souci
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 2000

"474, etc.) artwork is reminiscent of The Nightmare Before Christmas—perhaps that can't be helped when skeletons are the principals—but very much its own thing, with abundant cartoony comic licks and ghoulish creatures galore. (Picture book. 3-7)"
This fancy little piece of septet versifying works nicely as a vehicle to tell the story of the graveyard Cinderella. Read full book review >
THE FUNGUS THAT ATE MY SCHOOL by Arthur Dorros
FICTION
Released: April 1, 2000

A science project literally mushrooms out of control in this wildly funny twist on a building problem common to more than a few schools. Read full book review >
ROTTEN TEETH by Laura Simms
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 1998

"Catrow's humorous illustrations detail the odd events and unusual inhabitants at Melissa's house and capture the chaos her project unleashes in the classroom. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Pint-sized and shy, Melissa Herman can't think of anything unusual or special about herself or her family. Read full book review >
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 1997

Why Lapin's Ears Are Long (64 pp.; $18.95; PLB $19.99; Sept. 1997; 0-531-30041-2; PLB 0-531-33041-9): Compäre Lapin (a.k.a., Bre'r Rabbit) is the trickster rabbit of West Africa whose exploits, translated to Louisiana in the holds of slave ships, became the stuff of Creole and Cajun folktales. Read full book review >
OVER THE RIVER AND THROUGH THE WOOD by Lydia Maria Child
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 1996

"Preschoolers will find the pictures hard to read—the baby is difficult to find—and her misadventures will alarm more literal-minded toddlers. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Catrow (illustrator of Kathryn Lasky's She's Wearing a Dead Bird on Her Head!, 1995) provides a pictorially updated interpretation of the journey to the grandparents' house made famous by Child's song. Read full book review >
THE LONG, LONG LETTER by Elizabeth Spurr
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 8, 1996

"A jolly tall tale. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Aunt Hetta is lonely. Read full book review >
RIDICULOUS RHYMES FROM A TO Z by John Walker
ABC BOOKS
Released: Nov. 1, 1995

"Once the ABCs are mastered, the book will inspire vocabulary-building; it may be debatable just how often Xerxes, mukluks, and katydids will be deployed by toddlers, but there's no arguing that the book is sheer good fun. (Picture book. 4-8)"
The alphabet gets a good going-over, with each letter showcased in eight illustrated panels; the flurry of words set to rhyme are heavily weighted toward nonsense: ``Beginning with B/is a bookful of words/like bald-headed barbers/and blue barking birds.'' The emphasis in Walker's first book is on having grand old time: ``A meeting of mumbling men,/they meet each month of May./Their members murmur messages,/but who knows what they say.'' The nutty poems really fly when paired with Catrow's witty illustrations. Read full book review >
SHE'S WEARING A DEAD BIRD ON HER HEAD! by Kathryn Lasky
ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 1, 1995

"The truth behind this story is so fertile that the inventions used here just don't do it justice. (Picture book. 5-9)"
More well-meaning than well-crafted, this lighthearted look at the origins of the Audubon Society, augmented by Catrow's jaunty caricatures, is overwhelmed by an essentially serious message. Read full book review >
BACKSTAGE WITH CLAWDIO by Harriet Berg Schwartz
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 1, 1993

"Glossary. (Picture book. 4-9)"
Schwartz debuts with a character created to dramatize the theatrical world in which she grew up. ``Clawdio,'' a cat who lives in a theater, confides theatrical practice and lore while describing his own activities—helping the doorman fend off autograph hunters, comforting the young lead in Peter Pan when she gets stage fright on opening night, raising ire when he gets underfoot. Read full book review >
THE CATARACT OF LODORE by Robert Southey
POETRY
Released: May 1, 1992

"Both books are worthy of purchase; if a choice must be made, Gerstein's art is more imaginative and more skillful and coherent as illustration. (Poetry/Picture book. 5+)"
Oddly enough, Mordecai Gerstein's lovely, comical edition of this onomatopoeic poem—in which a poet laureate describes one of Britain's waterfalls to his children—came out just last fall. Read full book review >