Books by Doug Cushman

Released: July 1, 2012

"Likely to inspire more giggles than gasps; these hammy horrors are sure to please. (Poetry. 8-12)"
Mummy Pigs, Frankenswine and Werehogs…oh my! Read full book review >
CHRISTMAS EVE GOOD NIGHT by Doug Cushman
ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 25, 2011

"This one has it all: engaging illustrations, a simple but satisfying plot and a text that adults won't mind reading over and over. (Picture book. 3-6)"
This deliciously clever bedtime story offers bouncy rhymes with rich vocabulary, a cast of appealing parent-child pairs and a satisfying ending as Santa takes off with his sleigh and his traditional "to all a good night!" Read full book review >
THE SNOW BLEW INN by Dian Curtis Regan
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 2011

"This family's hospitality is just what is needed on a cold wintry day—heartwarming. (Picture book. 5-8)"
A joyous look at generosity and hospitality as a snowstorm packs the Snow Blew Inn. Read full book review >
DOUBLE PLAY by Betsy Franco
ANIMALS
Released: July 12, 2011

"The frolicsome verse and efficacious design combine to highlight a precise exercise, making this concept picture book a twofold success. (Picture book. 6-8)"
This jaunty rhyme set in a school playground serves as a playful introduction to the mathematical concept of doubling. Read full book review >
HALLOWEEN GOOD NIGHT by Doug Cushman
BEDTIME BOOK
Released: July 20, 2010

"Still, this mild cleverness does not compensate for often-labored rhymes and a stale concept. (Picture book. 3-6)"
A lackluster rhymed iteration of the many ways different monster children might tell their parents good night. Read full book review >
TYRANNOSAURUS MATH by Michelle Markell
DINOSAURS
Released: Aug. 1, 2009

"The ultimate melding of a topic kids love with knowledge they need. (Picture book. 5-8)"
T-Math's enthusiasm for numbers and solutions to real-world problems makes this a title that math teachers can sink their teeth into. Read full book review >
MONSTER BABY by Diane Curtis  Regan
FANTASY
Released: June 15, 2009

"While there is little conflict in this slight story, lively images provide a sizable read-aloud, starring one huggable critter, extra-large. (Picture book. 4-7)"
Bundled in a blue blanket on the Olivers' doorstep, orphaned baby Olly resembles any other newborn, "except for the fur, the tail, the pointy teeth, and the purple horns." Read full book review >
DIRK BONES AND THE MYSTERY OF THE MISSING BONES by Doug Cushman
FICTION
Released: June 1, 2009

"Although informed by horror movies, the illustrations play down potential scariness in favor of humor, making this monster mystery a satisfying, accessible title for new readers. (Early reader. 5-7)"
In this follow-up to Dirk Bones and the Mystery of the Haunted House (2006), the skeleton reporter/detective is on the trail of a missing book by Frankenstein monster-esque writer Edgar Bleek. Read full book review >
THE AMAZING TRAIL OF SEYMOUR SNAIL by Lynn E. Hazen
ANIMALS
Released: May 1, 2009

"Engaging characters and winning art create a solid addition to the field of transitional literature. (Fantasy. 5-8)"
Budding artist Seymour the Snail gains experience by working at a local gallery. Read full book review >
BIRTHDAY AT THE PANDA PALACE by Stephanie Calmenson
ANIMALS
Released: July 1, 2007

"Still, clues are evident enough and the combination of a popular theme and winning ending emphasizing a friendship's reunion in a jovial zoo-like setting will encourage repeated readings with gleeful shouts at the appropriate time. (Picture book. 3-5)"
Mouse's birthday party is at The Panda Palace, and all her friends are attending, each bringing a special gift. Read full book review >
ELLA, OF COURSE! by Sarah Weeks
FICTION
Released: April 1, 2007

"A talented new porcine character from a practiced author and artist must take a bow. (Picture book. 3-5)"
Clever problem-solver Ella, the piglet, "love-love-loved" the new umbrella given by grammy for her fourth birthday. Read full book review >
¡MARIMBA! by Pat Mora
ANIMALS
Released: Nov. 13, 2006

"An inviting introduction to both Spanish and the animal kingdom. (Picture book. 4-7)"
Animals frolic through the whole alphabet in Spanish as well as English. Read full book review >
DIRK BONES AND THE MYSTERY OF THE HAUNTED HOUSE by Doug Cushman
FICTION
Released: Aug. 1, 2006

"Stay tuned for sequels. (Easy reader. 6-8)"
The creator of Aunt Eater and Inspector Hopper opens a new easy-reader series featuring an even less conventional sleuth. Read full book review >
WHAT A DAY IT WAS AT SCHOOL! by Jack Prelutsky
POETRY
Released: July 1, 2006

"Reluctant readers and poetry lovers alike will find plenty to laugh at and identify with here, and there is never an awkward line or a sour note—although in one poem, there is a rather unfortunate smell. (Picture book. 6-10)"
One would expect that Prelutsky's poems about school would be rambunctious, warm, silly and laugh-out-loud funny, and this new collection does not disappoint. Read full book review >
THE BEAR UPSTAIRS by Shirley Mozelle
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 2005

"Common decency finds common ground, and when the two start to tango, there's no one downstairs to hear it. (Picture book. 3-7)"
Like the members of your family, you don't get to choose the upstairs neighbor in your apartment house. Read full book review >
MYSTERY AT THE CLUB SANDWICH by Doug Cushman
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 20, 2004

With illustrations in a noir-ish gray and a merciless hand with the double entendres, Cushman sets elephant-in-a-trench-coat Nick Trunk, Private Eye ("I work for peanuts") on the track of diva Lola Gale's missing marbles—her lucky marbles, that is. Read full book review >
WHAT TIME IS IT, MR. CROCODILE? by Judy Sierra
ANIMALS
Released: Aug. 1, 2004

A zingy original tale for children needing a brush-up on clock-reading, schedule-keeping—or the perils of hanging out with five frisky monkeys. Read full book review >
SPACE CAT by Doug Cushman
ANIMALS
Released: June 1, 2004

"Fans of Commander Toad will sign on happily to this promising start, which features lots of aliens in oogy shapes and colors, a Fritz Lang-ish robot who really needs to be kept out of the kitchen, and an intrepid tiger-striped Lead clad in a nifty spacesuit. (Easy reader. 6-8)"
Working up an idea he claims he had when he was ten, Cushman introduces a resourceful feline space explorer, with a feckless sidekick robot named Earl. Read full book review >
NEVER, EVER SHOUT IN A ZOO by Karma Wilson
ANIMALS
Released: April 1, 2004

"Young viewers might enjoy seeing zoo animals running about and laughing in triumph, but the art and text are too insecurely connected to make any sort of whole. (Picture book. 5-7)"
Oddly misguided work from a usually reliable illustrator sinks this cautionary monologue, written in animated rhymed prose, about the perils of startling wild animals. Read full book review >
LET’S TRY IT OUT WITH TOWERS AND BRIDGES by Seymour Simon
MUSIC AND THE ARTS
Released: May 1, 2003

"A wonderful resource for encouraging imaginative and educational play in children. (Picture book. 5-8)"
For the future engineer, architect, or construction work, this latest in the Let's Try It Out series may fuel her interest, or spark a new one. Read full book review >
INSPECTOR HOPPER’S MYSTERY YEAR by Doug Cushman
FICTION
Released: April 1, 2003

"Cushman also makes the bug world a pretty appealing place, with its fine colors, merry gesticulations, everyday happenings, and doubtless the only mealy bug in existence that sports luxurious mustachios and a dapper bowler hat. (Easy reader. 4-8)"
Cushman offers a second helping of good, just-this-side-of-goofy stories for beginning readers, featuring Inspector Hopper and McBugg, introduced in Inspector Hopper (2000). Read full book review >
BIRTHDAY MICE! by Bethany Roberts
ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 21, 2002

"Occasional rhymes and a musical cadence to the text—with its oompah repetition of words—make this a lively performance piece, and the illustrations keep the visual stimulation on par with the words. (Picture book. 3-5)"
Roberts and Cushman's (Christmas Mice, not reviewed, etc.) holiday mice return with a bauble for young listeners in celebration of little mouse's birthday. Read full book review >
BUT MOM, EVERYBODY ELSE DOES by Kay Winters
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Sept. 1, 2002

"814, etc.) illustrations never push too hard for effect and so give credence to the girl's outrageous conjectures, which serve as bright hailings to a vivid imagination. (Picture book. 4-8)"
In order to convince her mother that her acts and desires are not only legitimate but also universal, a young girl paints humorous and exaggerated pictures to prove her point. Read full book review >
WHAT TEACHERS CAN’T DO by Douglas Wood
FICTION
Released: July 1, 2002

"Somewhat saccharine, but worthy praise for an under-appreciated profession. (Picture book. 4-7)"
Following in the tradition of What Fathers Can't Do (2001) and What Mothers Can't Do (2000), Wood moves on to present a tongue-in-cheek look at the shortcomings of teachers. Read full book review >
CROCODILE AND HEN by Joan M. Lexau
ANIMALS
Released: April 30, 2001

"Thoughtful teachers and parents might use this book to spark a discussion of tolerance and harmony among diverse groups or even to introduce the principles of nonviolent resistance and worldwide brother- and sisterhood. (author's note) (Easy reader/folktale. 5-8)"
Crocodile thinks Hen would make a mighty tasty chicken dinner, until Hen stops him with his jaws agape with a simple, powerful statement: "My brother, don't eat me." Read full book review >
WHAT MOMS CAN’T DO by Douglas Wood
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: March 1, 2001

"The dynamic interaction between prose and pictures makes this sweetly funny and winsome tale a delight for adults to read and children to hear. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Wood's companion title to What Dads Can't Do (p. 725) is a droll salute to motherhood. Read full book review >
WHAT DADS CAN’T DO by Douglas Wood
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: May 1, 2000

Cushman (The Mystery of the Monkey's Maze, 1999, etc.) gives this sugary recitation of paternal imperatives an unusual slant by portraying child and dad as a single-parent family, but that's about all it has going for it. Read full book review >
INSPECTOR HOPPER by Doug Cushman
ANIMALS
Released: April 30, 2000

"What does charm in these pages is the artwork, with its warm colors, landscapes as seen from insect level, and its atmosphere of adventure, even if it materializes only in the slightest of measures. (Easy reader. 6-8)"
The accent in Cushman's beginning reader is decidedly on the act of reading, as the story itself, broken into three fleeting chapters, has little momentum or interest of its own, let alone the brio or dash any detective story should. Read full book review >
Released: May 31, 1999

"It's very lightweight, doesn't take itself too seriously, and gives readers a funny first taste of some of the well-loved elements of mysteries. (Picture book. 4-8)"
PLB 0-06-027720-3 A broadly comic, slapstick mystery. Read full book review >
VALENTINE MICE! by Bethany Roberts
ANIMALS
Released: Jan. 2, 1998

"Simple rhythmic text and action-packed line and watercolor illustrations will draw young readers in; Cushman includes welcome details—such as a tag-along chickadee- -that enhance the story, and mixes full-bleed and framed illustrations to emphasize high points in the text. (Picture book. 3-6)"
The stars of Halloween Mice! are back, but this time they're celebrating a different holiday. Read full book review >
TRASH AND TREASURE by Patricia Lakin
FICTION
Released: Dec. 15, 1994

"Although custodians deserve a book in their honor, this saccharine PC effort is far from the ideal tribute. (Fiction/Picture book. 4-8)"
The new My School series introduces young readers to the people in their school neighborhood: the principal, the nurse, the busdriver, etc. In this story, children get to see what the custodian, Mr. Mason, is up to. Read full book review >
MOUSE & MOLE AND THE CHRISTMAS WALK by Doug Cushman
ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 17, 1994

"301, etc.) tale is cheerful and enlightening. (Fiction/Picture book. 4-8)"
Mouse and Mole's walk is an environmentally safe hunt for a Christmas tree. Read full book review >
MOUSE AND MOLE AND THE YEAR-ROUND GARDEN by Doug Cushman
ANIMALS
Released: March 1, 1994

"A book that promises more than it delivers; still, the sprightly tone and cheery illustrations may arouse interest, and a knowledgeable adult could build on what's outlined here. (Picture book. 4-7)"
The Scientific American imprimatur on this Children's BOMC selection is misleading: the two animal friends' gardening between one spring and the next—planting vegetables, watching them grow, putting things by, enjoying the beach or making a snow mouse as they await the next garden task—makes an effective overview of seasonal activities, but it's marred by inattention to detail. E.g., Mole shows Mouse ``how to plant pea seeds,'' but no specifics are offered; four corn seedlings (in a single row under an apple tree) simply don't resemble corn in the cartoon- style illustrations; and while a substantial number of related facts are offered in boxes at page bottoms (e.g., ``under the garden'' are worms, ants, grubs, and aphids) they tend to be superficial (what is the significance of these underground creatures?). Read full book review >