Books by Dorothy Donohue

SHERLOCK BONES AND THE MISSING CHEESE by Susan Stevens Crummel
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 9, 2012

"An additional purchase even after Sherlock explains his clues. (Picture book. 4-8) "
"What's that smell in the Dell? / Do tell! / W—e—l—l…it comes from a cheese. / A great big cheese. A smelly, scrumptious cheese, / if you please." Read full book review >
TEN-GALLON BART BEATS THE HEAT by Susan Stevens Crummel
ANIMALS
Released: March 1, 2010

Blistering heat drives a California canine to the Alaska gold rush. Dog City is sweltering, and Ten-Gallon Bart feels miserable. A story in Barker's Weekly gets him drooling for a colder climate. It looks like Paradise: "No more HOT DOG—I'm fixin' to be a CHILLY DOG!" North he travels; verdant Alaska surely is beautiful, but when Bart starts fishing he runs afoul of angry bears who consider the lake exclusively theirs. Bart's sledding adventure is interrupted by a moose with a shotgun, and his prospecting for gold hampered by snowfall. A picture of Bart covered in snow ends up in the latest edition of Barker's Weekly, and, back in Dog City, Bart's friends raid their piggy bank and put together a rescue party. Finding him in the nick of time, they bring him back to Dog City, which, he realizes, is truly Paradise. Crummel's cheeky narrative (with several clever turns of phrase and lots of onomatopoeia) and Donohue's quirky, textured layered-paper illustrations complement one another to a T in this substantial frontier yarn. (Picture book. 4-7)Read full book review >
TEN-GALLON BART by Susan Stevens Crummel
ANIMALS
Released: March 1, 2006

Meet Ten-Gallon Bart, sheriff of Dog City, the most peaceful town in the West, because he's done a bang-up job. But Bart's tired of being brave and bold, he's ready to hang up his star and retire. Then the headline shrieks, "Billy the Kid on the Loose! Headed for Dog City on the Noon Train." Bart rounds up Miss Kitty, Wyatt Burp, Wild Bill Hiccup and Buffalo Gal, who stand behind him (literally) when he meets the train. But the minute Billy the Kid licks his lips and yells, "I'm BAA-AA-AA-D," everyone in town runs for cover except Bart. He faces the big bad goat head-on, but Billy head-butts him out cold and chomps his hat and star. The town comes to Bart's rescue and together they alter Billy's personality. The textured collages corral every bit of Wild West punnery in this laugh-out-loud romp. The large format gives full rein to Donohue's artwork to detail the wild and woolly action and close-ups, personify the animal characters and exaggerate the ten-gallon hatful of humor overall. A quick-draw of quick-witted guffaws, guaranteed to get your goat and make readers grin. (Picture book. 5-8)Read full book review >
IF FROGS MADE WEATHER by Marion Dane Bauer
ANIMALS
Released: April 1, 2005

Using an array of patterned, textured papers, Donohue creates colorfully dappled collage scenes for this child's rumination on what the weather would be like if different animals controlled it. Bauer's associations are sometimes rather free: Yes, frogs would have it wet; for robins, it would be perpetual, worm-rich spring; and "If flies made weather, / every day would be hot, hot, hot. / All the food would rot, rot, rot"—but would turtles really prefer to "snap their / doors shut and smile / in the dry dark" while lightning flashed outside? Or geese to see frosty lawns and hear the sky "sigh / with the lonely cry of / ‘Going. Going. Gone' "? Dancing off to bed, surrounded by animal toys, the child closes by claiming all weathers for his own. Bauer turns the rhyming on and off like a switch, but she introduces a thought-provoking theme for young poetry readers or listeners to consider. (Picture book/poetry. 5-7)Read full book review >
ALL IN ONE HOUR by Susan Stevens Crummel
BEDTIME BOOK
Released: March 1, 2003

A mouse leads a series of pursuers in a merry chase that lasts exactly one hour. At precisely 6:00 a.m., an orange cat spies "the mouse that started it all" enjoying cookie crumbs while its master sleeps. It leaps out the window after the mouse, only to be itself followed by a dog, then the dogcatcher, a bank robber, and a police officer—to be finally thwarted when the whole parade runs afoul of a grocer's bananas. Crummel (And the Dish Ran Away with the Spoon, 2001, etc.) employs the tried-and-true rhythms of "The House that Jack Built"; while the rhythm occasionally falters, it does move the story along. The double-paged spreads are framed in a deep blue; the text (preceded by a digital read-out of the time) snakes its way around this border, occasionally moving aside when a picture element breaks the frame. Donohue (Sweet Hearts, 2002, etc.) provides the concept for this offering, according to the title page, and her cut-paper collages offer a bright and cheery setting for the mayhem. While the layering of the papers creates an immediate three-dimensional effect, the figures are arranged against the background with a flat and childlike sense of perspective, making the illustrations as a whole pleasingly in tune with their audience. This flatness of perspective, however, is out of tune with the readouts of the time: the characters simply don't seem to go very far, despite the generous one-hour allowance. Young children are unlikely to notice this disjuncture, however, and this offering does serve to help them develop a sense of elapsed time; that the story ends at 7:00 with everyone back in place except for a new mouse nibbling the crumbs will give those readers a happy frisson that the romp will begin all over again. (Picture book. 4-7)Read full book review >
SWEET HEARTS by Jan Carr
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 15, 2002

A mischievous panda stealthily spreads some Valentine's Day cheer around his home. Peppy rhymes perfectly capture the young bear's glee as he scatters his homemade hearts throughout the house for his beloved family to discover. Young readers will relish the young cub's ingenuity as he dreams up secret spots for his love tokens: the dog dish, the baby's crib, mom's robe, etc. After distributing his heartfelt bounty, his loving parents reward the would-be cupid with loving hugs. Carr's (Dappled Apples, 2001, etc.) simple verses are just right for little ones: "One heart on the bathroom mirror, / One heart in a shoe, / One heart by my mommy's mug / To tell her ‘I love you!' " The inclusion of Valentine lore in the preface and instructions on how to create handcrafted valentines at the end serves to pique the interest of older tots. Donohue's intricate collages offer a wealth of textures and colors to stimulate the eye. From the shaggy "fur" of the panda family's coats—comprised of rows of layered triangles—to the gaily decorated valentines, each spread offers an abundance of details for curious readers. A sweetheart of a tale to foster the holiday spirit. (Picture book. 2-6) Read full book review >
DAPPLED APPLES by Jan Carr
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 15, 2001

The sweet-sour bite of the first fall apple; the crunching sound of the red and orange leaves; and the spooky ghosts of Halloween all come alive in this frisky celebration of autumn. As the children carve pumpkins: "Teeth are zigzag / Tail goes wigwag / Seeds are slimy / Scoop the goop." These lyrical verses with simple rhymes make this a perfect choice for a quick read-aloud. The cut-paper collage illustrations make the crisp leaves seem like they could be scooped up by the handful. The rope tie on the scarecrow and the fluffy tissue paper clouds seem to pop right off the page. Reading it during the summer might make children yearn for the first signs of falling leaves. (Picture book. 2-5)Read full book review >
SPLISH, SPLASH, SPRING by Jan Carr
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 15, 2001

Carr and Donohue revisit the three friends and gray puppy from Frozen Noses (1999), this time to celebrate the highs and lows of spring—although pouring rain doesn't seem like a real low to these children. Cut-paper collage pictures that are reminiscent of bulletin-board art in both color selection and subject matter decorate Carr's singsong verse, although here there is more texture to the choices of paper. Occasionally, layering creates the illusion of three dimensions and the use of string or yarn adds to the depth. The rhymes are somewhat forced ("Spring is sloppy / So raindroppy!" and "Hocus-pocus! / There's a crocus!") though often interesting in the choice of language for such a young audience. The story tells of digging for earthworms and slugs, watching baby birds cheeping for food, splashing in puddles, and picking posies. Playful and cheery, this has a basic appeal, but other titles bring spring activities to life in a more definitive and charming manner. (Picture book 2-5)Read full book review >
BELIEVING SOPHIE by Hazel Hutchins
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 1, 1995

Sophie's on the wrong end of a bad rap. A busybody has accused her of lifting a pack of cough drops from the local grocery store. Guiltless, she has to endure the chastening looks of the clerks and clientele and a confrontation with the store owner. Exonerated of all wrongdoing, she is rocked by the experience, even though the ending is upbeat. There isn't a child on earth who hasn't been unjustly accused of wrongdoing; Hutchins (The Three and Many Wishes of Jason Reid, 1988, etc.) pens a fine cautionary tale that can easily be the segue to discussions of two-bit nosiness, jumping to conclusions, and big-time misunderstandings. Donohue's watercolors have a corny edge that suits the absurdity of Sophie's situation—readers will feel her vulnerability and, when she's absolved, lingering discomfort. This book gets all the nuances right and serves forth a story that readers will mine for gold. (Picture book. 5-9) Read full book review >
THE LEMONADE BABYSITTER by Karen Waggoner
CHILDREN'S
Released: Nov. 1, 1992

The author of Dad Gummit and Ma Foot (1990) makes a stronger second showing with a story about a classic situation: getting used to a new sitter. Molly is a handful. Her last babysitter quit; now, after a day visiting Mom's office, ``old Mr. Herbert from down the street'' is taking charge. His strategy— psychologically adroit as well as believable in a man his age—is simply to wait, reading while Molly tests his patience; he does finally let on that he, too, can dance, and then meets Molly's challenge of a trip to the zoo, where he proves to be agreeably indulgent and Molly begins to mention some of her mom's rules- -``My mother doesn't let me eat hot dogs.'' By the homeward journey, they're sharing more important confidences (her dad's in Oregon, his daughter's in Arizona); and though Molly has achieved her objective of wearing him out, they've become such good friends that, once home, she fixes lemonade for him. Waggoner's dialogue is amusing and believable; Donohue makes a fine debut with lively, sympathetically drawn illustrations enhanced with a soft wash of color. Insightful and entertaining. (Picture book. 4-8) Read full book review >