Books by Don Wood

Released: Sept. 1, 2015

"Fans will doubtless be happy to revisit old friends, but they will probably still reach for the original more than this once the novelty wears off. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Thirty-one years after a wakeful flea roused the heaped-up sleepers in The Napping House, a full moon finds the household struggling to get back to sleep.Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 2013

"A sly, though problematic, nod of appreciation to mothers, hidden behind streamers, confetti and a mouthful of cake. (Picture book. 3-6)"
The Birthday Queen does everything possible to make sure birthday celebrations are perfect. Read full book review >
IT'S DUFFY TIME! by Audrey Wood
Released: Oct. 1, 2012

"When it comes to books about napping, the Wood team cannot beat their own The Napping House, and while their love for their pug is obvious, in terms of fun (or even interesting) dog books, almost anything can beat this. (Picture book. 3-7)"
A dog's life is a tough one, as evidenced by Duffy's busy day, which consists mostly of naps punctuated by meals. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 2008

From Caldecott Honoree Wood comes an inventive and imaginative graphic adventure. Brothers Duffy and Sumo Pugg are mysteriously pulled out of class one day and sent to the island nation of Kokalaha to stay with unfamiliar family members. The boys meet Auntie, the shady matriarch of the household (who resembles Ursula from Disney's Little Mermaid), who sends the boys and their newfound cousins on an expedition into a volcano. Danger ensues, and the boys must fight for their survival, and, ultimately, discover the truth propelling their quest. For the first time, the boys must work together and make their own choices outside of adult supervision. Wood's illustrations of the fictional Kokalaha are particularly clever and lush, though his world-building is somewhat lacking in its development and could leave its readers with questions. The narrative moves along swiftly and incorporates elements of fantasy, demanding that the audience suspend disbelief and roll with the punches. Those who do will find a rollicking, fast-paced story that resolves itself nicely—an overall creative yarn of greed, family and survival. (Graphic fiction. 9-12)Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 2002

The little mouse who didn't want to share in The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear (1984) returns to celebrate Christmas in this delightful sequel from Audrey Wood and Don Wood. They again use the same inventive format of the first-person narrative voice speaking directly to the mouse character, who gazes out boldly at the reader and adjusts his expressions and behavior in an interactive way that draws the reader into the story. At first, Mouse doesn't want to share any of his stacks of Christmas gifts when reminded of big, hungry Bear who also loves Christmas presents. Several double-paged spreads on the oversized pages show Mouse barring the door, setting tacks around the tree, and chaining the presents together. Comments from the narrative voice cause Mouse to feel empathy for Bear, who is never seen but is presented as terrifying but sad because he never receives any presents of his own. Mouse bravely takes a load of presents to leave for Bear, decorates the Bear's tree to the strains of "Quick little Mouse. Someone big is waking up. . . ." and in return, receives a huge, wrapped box, leaving it to the reader to speculate what might be inside. Mouse exemplifies the lightning-fast mood changes of a young child, looking straight out at his audience and showing pride, fear, greed, obstinacy, empathy, and awe in turn on his amazingly expressive face. Sharing with others, even when it's hard, is truly an important lesson, and Mouse's small heart grows three sizes in this touching tale. (Picture book. 2-7)Read full book review >
JUBAL’S WISH by Audrey Wood
Released: Oct. 1, 2000

The Woods really crank up the wattage for this joy-filled tale of a frog who finds a way to share his bliss. So filled with joie de vivre that his feet barely touch the ground, Jubal invites harried Gerdy Toad, her seven hyperactive toadlets, and Dalbert Lizard, captain of the shabby old Molly Bee, to share a picnic—but Gerdy snaps at him, and Dalbert's too consumed with melancholy for the good old days. No sooner does Jubal wish that his friends could be as happy as he than, lo and behold, along comes a wizard to grant that wish, though warning that wishes sometimes have surprising ways of working out. The high-intensity illustrations trumpet visual cues to the story's changing moods; luxuriant banks of flowers along the path darken with the skies when Jubal's friends still show no signs of change, and as he himself sinks into gloom the rain begins falling—so much rain that Jubal suddenly finds himself in danger of being swept away. To the rescue comes Molly Bee, steered by a reinvigorated Dalbert and sailed by smiling Gerdy and her energetic crew. Off they all sail on a grand adventure, beneath clearing skies and a glowing rainbow. Like their classic Napping House (1984) and King Bidgood's in the Bathtub (1985), this is a mesmerizing combination of clever, broadly tongue-in-cheek storytelling and elaborate, stylish art. (Picture book. 6-9)Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 1996

The Woods (The Tickleoctopus, 1994, etc.) are at it again with their zany humor that will tickle some and offend others. ``Although I'm a liar my story is true—There's an end in every beginning. So if you believe a word that I've said, Begin again, please, at the ending.'' The strong rhyming text tells how the protagonist, an adult woman, wakes up to find herself dead, dresses for her funeral, which turns into a wedding with an Idaho potato, which she eats. Then things get really bizarre. The digitally manipulated illustrations are appropriately surrealistic, combining photorealism and cartoons in configurations as startling as the dream they present. The title page says this was ``dreamed by'' Audrey and ``imagined by'' Don. Readers will have to decide for themselves, but as for this review, `` `I didn't do it!' I laughed in remorse. `And I'll never do it again.' '' (Picture book. 6+) Read full book review >
Released: April 1, 1994

Life is grim for Bup; hoping to save him from the dire fates of his three sibs, his parents trap him in the cave when they go hunting. There a pink octopus emerges to tickle him, provoking history's first smile. Bup locates his father Ughpaw, whose anger at his escape is transformed by the tickling pink tentacles into the world's first laughter; then they find Ughmaw and the three jump in the mud: ``For the first time in the history of people...someone played.'' The contagious good cheer is passed on to another ``cranky tribe''; they also discover the lost sibs, who haven't been devoured after all. The ever-inventive Woods have a package here that's guaranteed to grab kids: From the craggy die-cut cover, the brash, freely rendered art is both garish and gorgeous; the crude cave people are portrayed without mercy, but the exquisitely vibrant colors are applied to the lively compositions with a master hand. The kicker is ``a million years later'': A similar family sits in a dark room, bored but mesmerized by a flickering screen. Point made, with raucous good humor. (Picture book. 3-8) a dark room, bored but mermerized by a flickering screen. Point made, with raucous good humor. (Picture book. 3-8) Read full book review >
PIGGIES by Don Wood
by Don Wood, Audrey Wood, illustrated by Don Wood
Released: April 1, 1991

``I've got two/fat little piggies''—thumb-sized porkers perched, on opposing pages, on the thumbs of a pair of chubby hands, ``two smart/little piggies''—the index fingers are now extended and two more tiny pigs are added, one orating and one with his nose in a book. The long little piggies on the middle fingers are a basketball player and a ballerina; the ring fingers get ``silly'' piggies, the little ones, ``wee'' babies—and, meanwhile, the other pigs continue to cavort. Once the whole crew is established, new circumstances are explored: it's hot or cold, clean or delightfully dirty. Each pig has a character and exploits to follow; the two hands, in the meantime, do childlike things but never meet until the last bedtime page—where fingers and pigs kiss goodnight. Not since King Bidgood's in the Bathtub (1986, Caldecott Honor) has this talented duo produced such a delightfully ebullient extravaganza. These exuberant, plumb little pigs are real charmers. (Picture book. 3-7) Read full book review >