Books by David McPhail

David McPhail has illustrated more than 100 books for children, and has received numerous state awards and honors. Some of his best-selling titles are I Love You Because You’re You and If You Were My Bunny. He lives in Rye, New Hampshire.


BAD DOG by David McPhail
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: March 15, 2014

"Tom is full of curiosity, like a lot of young'uns. Not bad at all. (Early reader. 2-7)"
A preschool-age boy narrates this short early reader, a straightforward story about a mischievous dog and the boy who loves him. Read full book review >
BELLA LOVES BUNNY by David McPhail
Released: March 12, 2013

"A lovely depiction of a first friendship. (Board book. 18 mos.-3)"
A young girl enjoys the company of her stuffed rabbit from sunup to sundown. Read full book review >
BEN LOVES BEAR by David McPhail
Released: Jan. 1, 2013

"Already a gifted artist, McPhail proves here that he intrinsically understands what the youngest readers want and need. (Board book. 18 mos.-3)"
A lovely, toddler-friendly tale of a little boy's relationship with his teddy bear. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 9, 2012

"A sweet depiction of sleepy animals that will especially please McPhail fans. (Picture book. 2-4)"
Alliteration and animals add up to a child asleep in this latest offering from picture-book veterans Dragonwagon and McPhail. Read full book review >
SICK DAY by David McPhail
Released: Sept. 1, 2012

"Just doesn't compare to Shelley Moore Thomas and Jennifer Plecas' similarly themed Get Well, Good Knight (2002) or even to the trio's prior adventure. (Early reader. 4-7)"
A sick boy's devoted friends try to help him feel better. Read full book review >
THE FAMILY TREE by David McPhail
Released: March 27, 2012

"Good intentions; confusing execution. (Picture book. 5-8)"
The love of an ancient tree leads a boy to unlikely activism. Read full book review >
PIG PIG MEETS THE LION by David McPhail
Released: Feb. 1, 2012

"Kids will giggle at the striped-pajama-clad Pig Pig's silly antics in this latest escapade. (Picture book. 2-5)"
MacPhail's penchant for pigs hasn't ebbed, as he proves in adding another Pig Pig tale to his series; this one incorporates a grammar device. Read full book review >
BOY, BIRD, AND DOG by David McPhail
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 15, 2011

"This one could work as a read-aloud, child to adult, with lots of pictorial details to notice and talk about. A sweet, gentle charmer. (Early reader. 4-7)"
Boy has a small adventure in a tree house with Bird and Dog. Read full book review >
PIG PIG RETURNS by David McPhail
ANIMALS
Released: July 1, 2011

"Many kids, like Pig Pig, thrive on routine; reading this over and over is likely to become part of many young readers' routines. (Picture book. 3-7)"
The clever title reveals two meanings: First, that a classic character stars in a new book for the first time in decades; second, that this story is likely to end in a satisfying return home. Read full book review >
THE ABANDONED LIGHTHOUSE by Albert Lamb
ANIMALS
Released: June 7, 2011

Poorly paced text delivers a choppy story unlikely to engage readers despite McPhail's familiar, endearing art.

An abandoned rowboat, not the titular lighthouse, is the link between an amiable bear, a little boy and his dog. Read full book review >

TELL ME THE DAY BACKWARDS by Albert Lamb
ANIMALS
Released: March 1, 2011

Gentle storytelling and a clever concept set this bedtime book apart from the pack. Read full book review >

WADDLES by David McPhail
ANIMALS
Released: March 1, 2011

McPhail's latest follows a year in the life of Waddles, a rotund raccoon, and his best friend, Emily, a duck who lives in the pond near Waddles' tree home. Read full book review >

EMILY STEW by Thomas Rockwell
POETRY
Released: March 1, 2010

From the deliciously twisted mind that first advised a former generation of elementary readers How to Eat Fried Worms comes a wildly inventive poetic portrait of a riveting character who's made up—rather literally—of a stew of contradictions. Read full book review >

WHO LOVES THE LITTLE LAMB? by Lezlie Evans
ANIMALS
Released: Jan. 5, 2010

Little ones who are messy, fussy, noisy and not particularly perfect in every way seek assurances that Mama will love them in spite of their faults. Read full book review >

WEEZER CHANGES THE WORLD by David McPhail
Released: Dec. 1, 2009

Man's best friend makes a bid to become mankind's best friend in this tale of wagging tails and world peace. Read full book review >

WHEN PAPA COMES HOME TONIGHT by Eileen Spinelli
BEDTIME BOOK
Released: April 28, 2009

Spinelli's When Mama Comes Home Tonight, illustrated by Jane Dyer (1998), celebrated the nightly reunion of working mother with child. Read full book review >

BUDGIE & BOO by David McPhail
ANIMALS
Released: April 1, 2009

Jewel-toned watercolors and three simple tales of friendship distinguish McPhail's latest outing. Read full book review >

NO! by David McPhail
by David McPhail, illustrated by David McPhail
FICTION
Released: March 1, 2009

An oddly didactic fable from a benign source. Read full book review >

WHEN I WAS KING by Linda Ashman
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Oct. 1, 2008

An older brother bemoans the fact that everything is different with a baby in the house. Read full book review >

THE SEARCHER AND OLD TREE by David McPhail
ANIMALS
Released: Feb. 1, 2008

A little raccoon sleeps through a fierce storm in his favorite tree. Read full book review >

SYLVIE & TRUE by David McPhail
ANIMALS
Released: Nov. 20, 2007

In the tradition of Frog and Toad come Sylvie, a rabbit, and True, a snake, best friends who share a city apartment. Read full book review >

BIG BROWN BEAR’S BIRTHDAY SURPRISE by David McPhail
ANIMALS
Released: June 1, 2007

McPhail's two good souls, Big Brown Bear and Rat, are down by the riverside, picnicking on cucumber sandwiches. Read full book review >

WATER BOY by David McPhail
FANTASY
Released: April 1, 2007

In a dreamlike tale that drifts gently into magical realism, a young boy acquires unusual powers over water as he loses his fear of it. Read full book review >

WHEN SHEEP SLEEP by Laura Numeroff
ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 1, 2006

Numeroff, master of cause-and-effect, knows what happens if you give a sheep a naptime: You have to count something else! Read full book review >

SAM’S WINTER HAT by Albert Lamb
ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 1, 2006

A young bear cub who can't keep track of his belongings is determined not to lose his new hat. Read full book review >

BOY ON THE BRINK by David McPhail
ADVENTURE
Released: May 1, 2006

A young boy is having a great day fishing, going to the beach and to a carnival, but the elders of the family are quick to issue warnings: "Not too close," "Stay out of the caves," "Hold on tight." Read full book review >

BIG BROWN BEAR GOES TO TOWN by David McPhail
ANIMALS
Released: May 1, 2006

McPhail can take the slenderest storyline and turn it into a wonderfully rich experience, and this is a fine example. Read full book review >

EMMA IN CHARGE by David McPhail
FICTION
Released: June 1, 2005

Emma, McPhail's delightful little bear, assumes teaching responsibilities for her three dolls, taking them through their day: breakfast, school, a doctor's appointment. Read full book review >

ANIMAL STACKERS by Jennifer Belle
ABC BOOKS
Released: April 1, 2005

Belle essays a crossover from her adult novels with 26 haiku-like verses in which the first letter of each line spells out an animal's name: "Can't wait to be / Alone in the house. / The sofa looks comfortable." Read full book review >

LITTLE HORSE ON HIS OWN by Betsy Byars
ADVENTURE
Released: Sept. 1, 2004

In this fast-paced sequel to Little Horse (2002), perilous events transport the diminutive Little Horse back to his beloved Valley of Little Horses. Read full book review >

RICK IS SICK by David McPhail
ANIMALS
Released: April 1, 2004

Rick the bear and his pal, Jack the rabbit, star in their second emergent reader, featuring just one or two short and simple sentences per page. Read full book review >

WYNKEN, BLYNKEN, AND NOD by Eugene W. Field
POETRY
Released: March 1, 2004

In a fresh visual interpretation of this classic, McPhail infuses the text with a vitality extending and enriching the familiar lullaby. Read full book review >

A POT O’ GOLD by Kathleen Krull
FICTION
Released: Feb. 1, 2004

This handsome edition includes over a dozen Irish stories; poetry by the likes of Allingham, Tynan, and Yeats; riddles, oaths, and curses; battle cries and blessings; ancient folk cures and recipes for Irish soda bread, stew, and marshmallow crackers. Read full book review >

HENRY BEAR’S CHRISTMAS by David McPhail
ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 1, 2003

The characters from Henry Bear's Park (1976) return for a Christmas adventure that centers on a raffle to win a perfectly shaped Christmas tree. Read full book review >

BIG BROWN BEAR’S UP AND DOWN DAY by David McPhail
ANIMALS
Released: Aug. 1, 2003

McPhail's worlds are so heartening and nourishing they might have just popped out of the kitchen stove. Read full book review >

THIRSTY BABY by Catherine Ann Cullen
FICTION
Released: April 1, 2003

Burnished watercolors transform a so-so story. Read full book review >

I LOVE YOU BECAUSE YOU’RE YOU by Liza Baker
ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 1, 2001

A mother pledges her unwavering love for her child in a simple, yet wonderfully affirming poem that covers the gamut of emotions expressed by young children. Read full book review >

PIGGY’S PANCAKE PARLOR by David McPhail
ANIMALS
Released: June 1, 2001

Even when McPhail (The Teddy Bear, p. 496, etc.) is somewhat predictable, he can't seem to help but turn out a winning story; his never-failing artwork doesn't hurt either, with its fine lines, robust color, and deep narrative content. Read full book review >

THE TEDDY BEAR by David McPhail
FICTION
Released: May 1, 2001

Lost and found and lost and returned—this teddy brings a lot of happiness and leaves sadness in its wake, but McPhail's (Mud Is Cake, p. 425, etc.) tale turns on the perceptiveness and sensitivity of a young boy. Read full book review >

EDWARD IN THE JUNGLE by David McPhail
ANIMALS
Released: April 1, 2001

Using underlighting and close shadows to give the art an air of fire-lit mystery, McPhail strands the bookish protagonist of, most recently, Edward and the Pirates (1997) in Tarzan territory, where he's rescued from a crocodile by the Lord of the Jungle himself. Read full book review >

LITTLE HORSE by Betsy Byars
ANIMALS
Released: April 1, 2001

A satisfying horse story with a new twist. Read full book review >

MUD IS CAKE by Pam Muñoz Ryan
FICTION
Released: April 1, 2001

Richly colored, fanciful illustrations imbue Ryan's (Mice and Beans, 2001, etc.) simple yet imaginative verse with all of the humor, wonder, and faith necessary for a phenomenal daydream in which anything is possible. Read full book review >

JACK AND RICK by David McPhail
FICTION
Released: March 1, 2001

No one can beat McPhail (I Love You Because You're You, 2001, etc.) at illustrations of bears, and Rick the bear joins a long list of the artist's ursine charmers who can't fail to win over young readers. Read full book review >

TWILIGHT by Holly Huth
BEDTIME BOOK
Released: Oct. 1, 2000

In a charming fantasy that burnishes the New York cityscape with an affectionate glow, a little girl and her mom walk along the avenue. Read full book review >

DRAWING LESSONS FROM A BEAR by David McPhail
ANIMALS
Released: April 1, 2000

McPhail, master of bear stories, tells what could be his own in this gentle urging to be true to one's calling. Read full book review >

BIG BROWN BEAR by David McPhail
Released: March 1, 1999

Big Brown Bear, with a natty bowler hat, is all set to paint the house in this cheerful Level 1 reader. Read full book review >

MOLE MUSIC by David McPhail
Released: March 1, 1999

Music has the capacity to make friends of enemies, in this quiet study of one introverted fellow: Mole. Read full book review >

TINKER AND TOM AND THE STAR BABY by David McPhail
ANIMALS
Released: April 1, 1998

Whimsical, fantastical—and even a little silly—this nighttime story from McPhail (The Puddle, p. 58, etc.) has plenty of child appeal. Read full book review >

THE PUDDLE by David McPhail
ANIMALS
Released: March 20, 1998

From McPhail (Edward and the Pirates, 1997, etc.), a tale that demonstrates that rainy days provide lots of interesting possibilities, at least for the boy who lives in a world where alligators visit puddles, and elephants drain them dry. ``It was a rainy day. Read full book review >

EDWARD AND THE PIRATES by David McPhail
ADVENTURE
Released: April 1, 1997

Edward, who learned to read under emergency circumstances in Santa's Book of Names (1993), reads everything now: cereal boxes, mail-order catalogs, and every book he can get his hands on, especially adventure stories. Read full book review >

THOSE CAN-DO PIGS by David McPhail
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 1996

There's not much Can-Do Pigs can't do. Read full book review >

IF YOU WERE MY BUNNY by Kate McMullan
ANIMALS
Released: Feb. 1, 1996

Familiar lullabies are given a twist by McMullan (Hey, Pipsqueak!, 1995, etc.) in a work that serves as a missing link between board books and more lavish picture books. Read full book review >

PIGS AHOY! by David McPhail
ADVENTURE
Released: Oct. 1, 1995

Compact couplets about pigs who wreak havoc, Ö la the Marx Brothers, aboard a ship. Read full book review >

NIGHT SOUNDS, MORNING COLORS by Rosemary Wells
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 1994

Wells (Lucy Comes to Stay, p. 853, etc.) and McPhail combine on four evocations—waking, night, in the kitchen, a winter walk- -each of which is sometimes startlingly bang-on and, at other times, reaches way too far. Read full book review >

SANTA'S BOOK OF NAMES by David McPhail
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 1993

When Edward has trouble learning to read, his teacher urges tests but his mother counsels ``Patience.'' Then, in Edward's house on Christmas Eve, Santa accidentally drops the all- important book listing the gifts children will receive—and when Edward catches up with him to give it back, Santa invites him to come along to help. Read full book review >

PIGS APLENTY, PIGS GALORE by David McPhail
ANIMALS
Released: May 1, 1993

The narrator—rendered in McPhail's trademark style as an appealing, vulnerable man—is peacefully reading when his home is invaded by pigs: ``Pigs in tutus,/Pigs in kilts,/Pigs on skateboards,/Pigs on stilts./Pigs from England,/Pigs from France,/Pigs in just/Their underpants.'' Coming by a fantastical variety of transport (e.g., a parachute, and the mammoth ship ``S. S. Swine''), the motley crowd gets right down to the business of gorging on a giant stack of pizzas, which they chomp, play with, and fling about but don't share with the narrator (``I get nothing,/Just the bill''). Read full book review >

THE ICE CREAM STORE by Dennis Lee
POETRY
Released: Sept. 1, 1992

A gifted Canadian presents a charming collection of accessible, lighthearted verse, heralding its multicultural spirit in his cheerful title poem (``Oh, the kids around the block are like an/Ice cream store,/'Cause there's chocolate, and vanilla,/And there's maple and there's more...''). Read full book review >

FARM BOY'S YEAR by David McPhail
HISTORY
Released: March 31, 1992

A diary-style text plus a drawing and a luminous painting for each month a century ago in coastal Newburyport, Massachusetts. Read full book review >

ANNIE & CO. by David McPhail
FICTION
Released: April 30, 1991

"Once all the many details are neatly woven together, Annie lets the pony take her home. Whimsical but sweet; the quiet mood is nicely supported by the illustrations' aura of tender concern. (Fiction/Young reader. 6-9)

"

Annie (6) is so good at fixing things that her father gives her a tool chest; with her pony cart as a fix-it shop, she goes out into the world, where she finds plenty to do: removing a mouse from a cello so that it plays sweetly again; bandaging a goose's broken wing; even, as ``captain'' of her cart, marrying a couple. Read full book review >