Books by Emma Dodd

I SAW ANACONDA by Jane Clarke
CHILDREN'S
Released: Aug. 1, 2017

"A less-gothic alternative to classic versions. (Pop-up picture book. 4-6)"
An Amazonian variation on "I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly," with flaps and pop-ups. Read full book review >
MY FAMILY IS A ZOO by K.A. Gerrard
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 15, 2016

"A very odd book indeed. (Picture book. 3-5)"
A young boy describes all the animal pals his family members have. Read full book review >
WISH by Emma Dodd
by Emma Dodd, illustrated by Emma Dodd
CHILDREN'S
Released: Dec. 8, 2015

"The sentiments are certainly sweet, but this vein may be just about played out. (Picture book. 4-6)"
Another in Dodd's series of diminutive picture books that celebrate the loving bond between an adult and a child. Read full book review >
I LOVE YOU, BABY by Giles Andreae
CHILDREN'S
Released: Dec. 1, 2015

"For new siblings who are pretty solid in knowing their body parts. (Picture book. 2-4)"
Andreae and Dodd continue to explore family relationships (I Love My Mommy, 2011; I Love My Daddy, 2012) with this look at the towheaded toddler's love for his new sibling. Read full book review >
THE ENTERTAINER by Emma Dodd
CHILDREN'S
Released: June 2, 2015

"A pleasant party bonbon. (Picture book. 3-6)"
When the family hires the man in the big, brown bear suit to entertain at Billy's birthday party, many surprises follow. Read full book review >
MORE AND MORE by Emma Dodd
by Emma Dodd, illustrated by Emma Dodd
CHILDREN'S
Released: Aug. 26, 2014

"High on message and low on content. (Picture book. 2-5)"
A monkey parent expresses love for all the bits and pieces of a monkey child. Read full book review >
BABY AND ME by Emma Dodd
by Emma Dodd, illustrated by Emma Dodd
CHILDREN'S
Released: Aug. 1, 2014

"Pushing actual child care duties off on preschoolers is a nonstarter, but this may help prepare younger prospective sibs for family changes. (Pop-up/picture book. 3-4)"
A child with a doll demonstrates baby care in this sweet, decidedly purposeful outing. Read full book review >
FOXY IN LOVE by Emma Dodd
by Emma Dodd, illustrated by Emma Dodd
CHILDREN'S
Released: Nov. 26, 2013

"The happy ending, though predictable, sweetly satisfies. (Picture book. 3-6)"
Foxy scampers onto the scene just in time to help Emily complete her special valentines in this holiday sequel (Foxy, 2012). Read full book review >
FOREVER by Emma Dodd
by Emma Dodd, illustrated by Emma Dodd
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 22, 2013

"The message is universal, and the words can't be said enough. The bears are certainly stand-ins for any adoring mother-child pair. (Final, foil-embellished art not seen.) (Picture book. 2-5)"
Though expressed by a mother polar bear in the snowy Arctic, this is a very warm message of love to a small child. Read full book review >
CINDERELEPHANT by Emma Dodd
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 1, 2013

"Other fractured versions are funnier, while many straightforward versions are far more beautiful; opt for them. (Fractured fairy tale. 4-7)"
An extra-large take on the classic fairy tale. Read full book review >
FOXY by Emma Dodd
by Emma Dodd, illustrated by Emma Dodd
CHILDREN'S
Released: July 1, 2012

"Kids nervous about their own first day may just fall asleep wishing for their own Foxy visitor. (Picture book. 3-7)"
A very young girl's first-day-of-school jitters prompt a nighttime visit from Foxy, whose magical tail causes "school supplies" to appear, fairy-godmother style. Read full book review >
I LOVE MY DADDY by Giles Andreae
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 17, 2012

"While odes on the wonderfulness of dads are plentiful, this stands out for its spot-on execution and colorful charm. (Picture book. 1-4)"
Andreae and Dodd team up again (I Love My Mommy, 2011) to create a sweet look at all the fun a round-faced toddler and daddy experience together. Read full book review >
I AM SMALL by Emma Dodd
by Emma Dodd, illustrated by Emma Dodd
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 2011

"A lovely, reassuring bedtime story with a simple message of parental affection that littlest listeners and readers will take to heart. (Picture book. 1-5)"
It's a big, scary world out there, but love can keep you safe. Read full book review >
BIG BROTHERS DON'T TAKE NAPS by Louise Borden
CHILDREN'S
Released: June 14, 2011

"A fine addition to the extended family of new-baby books, with a welcome nod to the middle child. (Picture book. 3-5)"
Little brother Nicholas adores big brother James, who serves as a great role model in this story about a loving, and expanding, family. Read full book review >
MEOW SAID THE COW by Emma Dodd
ANIMALS
Released: May 1, 2011

"Even Old MacDonald will applaud this edgy addition to the canon of books about mixed-up animal sounds. (Picture book. 4-8)"
A trickster cat causes mayhem in the barnyard. Read full book review >
I LOVE MY MOMMY by Giles Andreae
CHILDREN'S
Released: Feb. 22, 2011

Andreae and Dodd team up to create a winning read-aloud for the very young. As it is for most babies and toddlers, mommy is the center of this towheaded tot's universe. Andreae uses lilting verse as the young narrator takes readers through a typical day with mommy. The title begins with pure adoration: "I love my mommy very much, / She's great to cuddle, soft to touch." Soon mother and child are engaged in wiping a nose and tickling toes, singing songs in the car, holding hands, learning to pee, splashing in the tub, reading stories and ending the day with hugs and kisses. Dodd employs her signature style, using thick black lines and saturated bright colors. Her characters and objects fill the page, giving the reader a sense of intimacy. A judicious use of what appears to be red sponge paint adds playful texture in the scene showing the child eating "yummy" but messy spaghetti. In addition, readers can enjoy some interactive fun spotting the child's purple toy, which is cleverly included on every spread. The large format and warm tone make this truly perfect for little ones. (Picture book. 0-3)Read full book review >
I DON'T WANT A COOL CAT! by Emma Dodd
ANIMALS
Released: Aug. 9, 2010

It's definitely been done before—by the author herself (I Don't Want a Posh Dog, 2009) as well as by myriad others who've created their own takes on "why my pet's the best." Still, this rhyming litany of all the characteristics the unnamed narrator is not looking for in a cat seems likely to find an enthusiastic audience. The attractive, inventive illustrations have a cartoon-style simplicity but include enough detail and variety to make repeat readings enjoyable. The depiction of the narrator, a young girl with a button nose, bowl haircut and red dress and shoes, remains constant throughout, providing continuity and connection. From the low-key humor of the double-page spread that features a large, chops-licking tiger ("I don't want a big cat") to the engaging internal rhyme of, "I don't want a prowly cat. / A howly, yowly, scowly cat," to the "purry" happy ending, there's plenty for young listeners and adult readers to enjoy. For those who don't want a dull book, never fear—Dodd's latest is picture- (and pitch-) perfect. (Picture book. 2-5)Read full book review >
I LOVE BUGS! by Emma Dodd
by Emma Dodd, illustrated by Emma Dodd
ANIMALS
Released: March 15, 2010

This young narrator loves bugs of all sorts, including several creepy-crawlies that are not bugs or even insects. The child's passion comes across in the punchy adjectives used to describe the plethora of up-close critters that festoon the pages. "I love springy jumpy leapy bugs / and slimy crawly creepy bugs." And which are the best? Why, the ones that send you screaming, of course. While scientists may decry the grouping of spiders and insects under the "bug" heading, they cannot deny the infectiousness of the child's enthusiasm. The large font and easy vocabulary make this a great choice for beginning readers. Even children who don't love bugs (or insects or spiders) should enjoy identifying the many creepy critters between the covers. Dodd once again emplys large colorful ilustrations that fill the pages and give readers a sense of being enclosed in the book right alongside the narrator. Paired with Bob Barner's classic Bugs! Bugs! Bugs! (1999) or Denise Fleming's taxonomically correct Beetle Bop (2007) as a springboard for an adjective lesson or on its own, this is just plain fun. (Picture book. 3-7)Read full book review >
I DON’T WANT A POSH DOG by Emma Dodd
ANIMALS
Released: June 1, 2009

The little girl in the red dress and red shoes knows exactly what kind of pooch she wants and exactly what she does not want. A few rhyming and rhythmic words describe each choice, and lively mixed-media pictures expand on them. "[A] snappy dog" has a mean face while "A growly, never-happy dog" snarls and wears a chain around his neck. The little girl in red "just want[s] a silly dog. / A sweet willy-nilly dog" to play with and hug, and it's plain that that fuzzy, square-faced dog is so exactly right that they will be happy—together. "I want a dog / I can call / MY DOG!" Full openings on different-colored papers carry textured illustrations that add humor and personality as the little girl reacts to the pups. Large images with broad, black outlines against generous negative space really draw readers' eyes to the almost-tactile surfaces and make this a terrific choice for sharing with groups. Endpapers show dog biscuits, and this book certainly deserves many. It should be a treat to children and older dog lovers alike. (Picture book. 4-7)Read full book review >
BEST BEAR by Emma Dodd
by Emma Dodd, illustrated by Emma Dodd
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 1, 2008

It's bedtime, and a little boy in red pajamas climbs the stairs with his best friend, a scruffy stuffed bear. With the lights out, he's safe from scary shadows because none would dare come near the two of them. They go from comfy to restless, however, and begin jumping around and dancing until that makes them sleepy. And so, to bed. Dodd's simple rhyming text avoids daunting words ("Old bear, / many mends. / We are still / best friends"); even early readers should be able to tackle it, although the clipped rhythms may result in a read-aloud that will sound more like a marching band and less like a lullaby. Similarly, the full-bleed, illustrations have simple compositions, with large figures, a soft-focus feeling and a muted palette. The use of a broad, smudgy gray line instead of black visually harmonizes with the subdued, reassuring tone. Nice enough bedtime reading for the very young. (Picture book. 3-6)Read full book review >
BEST BEAR by Emma Dodd
by Emma Dodd, illustrated by Emma Dodd
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 1, 2008

It's bedtime, and a little boy in red pajamas climbs the stairs with his best friend, a scruffy stuffed bear. With the lights out, he's safe from scary shadows because none would dare come near the two of them. They go from comfy to restless, however, and begin jumping around and dancing until that makes them sleepy. And so, to bed. Dodd's simple rhyming text avoids daunting words ("Old bear, / many mends. / We are still / best friends"); even early readers should be able to tackle it, although the clipped rhythms may result in a read-aloud that will sound more like a marching band and less like a lullaby. Similarly, the full-bleed, illustrations have simple compositions, with large figures, a soft-focus feeling and a muted palette. The use of a broad, smudgy gray line instead of black visually harmonizes with the subdued, reassuring tone. Nice enough bedtime reading for the very young. (Picture book. 3-6)Read full book review >
RAINBOW FUN! by Emily Hawkins
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 1, 2008

Concentric die-cuts give this color book a tactile element. Undistinguished rhyming text ("it's time to have some rainbow fun! / let's meet the colors, one by one…") arranged around a rainbow-banded circular hole takes readers color by color with each page turn. Red flowers on a red background, green fish, purple butterflies all disport at the appropriate point, varying only in hue and saturation for contrast. One significant misstep is the "yellow sun"—against a sharply yellow background slightly less saturated rays surround the left-hand die-cut circle; the lack of contrast will likely leave readers puzzling, "What sun?" A companion volume, Five Little Ducks! (ISBN: 978-1-59223-904-7), presents the familiar song with die-cuts concealing each progressive duckling and fuzz on the mother on the last page. Fingers and voice work as well or better, for free. (6-18 mos.)Read full book review >
WHAT PET TO GET? by Emma Dodd
ANIMALS
Released: March 1, 2008

Surprising fact: There still aren't as many children's books about wanting pets as there are children who desperately want a pet. What distinguishes Dodd's "What pet can I get?" story, a previously published British import, are her comical, cartoonish double-page spreads whose borders simply can't contain the colossal elephant, lion, Tyrannosaurus rex, giraffe, bison, rhino, crocodile and shark that inhabit young Jack's wildest pet dreams. Funny foreshadowing and clever visual details abound, such as in the first spread where the boy's shark and elephant drawings are taped to the refrigerator. Jack and his patient mother work through the pet options rationally: " ‘A polar bear would be lovely, dear,' replied his mother. ‘But I don't think it would like the central heating.' / ‘Hmm, I suppose not,' agreed Jack." When Jack wakes up wanting a regular dog, the punch line unfolds in a gateway spread; Mom is imagining "a lovely little puppy" while Jack envisions the proud ownership of an enormous spiky beast named Fang. Familiar but fun. (Picture book. 3-5)Read full book review >
JUST LIKE YOU by Emma Dodd
by Emma Dodd, illustrated by Emma Dodd
ANIMALS
Released: March 1, 2008

While frolicking with one of his parents, a bear cub shares all his dreams. The phrase, "when I grow up, I want to be . . . " receives several answers: "clever and funny" and "big and strong," for starters. Through it all, the duo catches fish in a rushing stream, pads through the snow, swims in a pond, etc. In the end, nestled against the chest of the parent bear, the cub declares, "When I grow up, I want to be all the things that make me . . . me." The bold simplicity and simple shapes of the author's watercolor illustrations, the economy of the text and even the sturdiness and compact size of the physical book all increase access and appeal to very young pre-readers. A warm and simple starter story. A companion, No Matter What (ISBN: 978-0-525-47932-1), while not as original, offers reassurance that Momma Elephant will love her baby no matter what. (Picture book. 2-5)Read full book review >
HETTY’S 100 HATS by Janet Slingsby
CHILDREN'S
Released: July 1, 2005

Hetty has a hankering for hats and she's determined to expand her collection to a grand total of 100. As her collection grows, Hetty receives hats of all sorts from family, neighbors, friends (and their friends) and classmates, and she keeps a running tally of how many hats she has and how many she still needs to acquire to get to the magic number. At her birthday party, Hetty receives her final group of hats, including the pattern to make her 100th hat from newspaper herself. Two concluding spreads show all the hats in numbered order, and the newspaper hat pattern is also included. The various combinations of hats acquired and hats still needed offer some embedded math concepts, and the story will fit well into hat themes or 100th day of school celebrations, for of course, if the hat fits, why not wear it? (Picture book. 4-7)Read full book review >
DOG’S NOISY DAY by Emma Dodd
CHILDREN'S
Released: Feb. 1, 2003

Read aloud, yes, but Dodd's tour of the farmyard, conducted by her friendly mutt who first taught colors and the alphabet (Dog's Colorful Day, 2001; Dog's ABC, 2002), is more a woof-quack-oink-baaa-moo-cock-a-doodle-doo aloud. Pegged for preschoolers, the book becomes a merry cacophony that welcomes young listeners to become active participants. "Dog is just waking up. Hello, Dog! He makes his morning noise. YAWN!" Meantime, birds are twittering outside the window, the cat wants to play chase, and Dog is off on his adventure. "WOOF! WOOF!" He sashays about the grounds, mucking with the pigs, swimming with the ducks, catching a dognap in the wildflowers, and when he gets buzzed by an owl—no simple hoot here, but a tweet-a-woo—Dog knows it's time to head home, chow down, and grab another, longer snooze. A story as gentle as a lamb, with loopy good-time characters—the type that have both eyes on one side of their head—but tricked out in high-saturation, energetic colors that light a fire under all the hee-haws and honks. (Picture book. 2-5)Read full book review >
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 1, 2001

A pooch's pure white coat becomes a magnet for spills of all sorts in this foray into counting and colors. Dog begins his day in pristine condition, his sole adornment a lone black spot on his ear. However, a dollop of red jam at breakfast, a drip of blue paint, and he's soon on his way to becoming a Technicolor canine. Readers follow the carefree pup as each new adventure garners another colored spot on his once spotless coat. "Dog follows a little boy eating chocolate. Squish! The boy gives Dog a chocolaty pat—but no chocolate. Now Dog has five spots." Every additional stain is duly tallied until Dog returns home, decorated in ten bright spots, where a quick soak in the tub restores him to his former glory. Dodd cleverly incorporates the introduction of colors and numbers into a rambunctious, fun-to-read tale. A wrap-up at the end, reinforces the color recognition just before the bath. Youngest listeners, notorious themselves for acquiring sundry spots and stains during the course of a day, will find a kindred spirit in Dog and commiserate. The intensely colored illustrations form a vibrant canvas for the text, with a digital application of the colors creating a uniformity of hue that saturates the pages. The simply rendered, large-size figures in the illustrations are just right for preschool audiences. Messy or not, the amiable Dog is one pooch any child would want to take home. Easy and effective. (Picture book. 2-5)Read full book review >
DOG’S ABC by Emma Dodd
ABC BOOKS
Released: Jan. 1, 2001

This color-shot ABC stars a rambunctious dog that resembles a meatloaf, though he is infinitely more appealing. Dodd's pooch from Dog's Colorful Day (2001) is back, this time on a romp through the alphabet. She frames this excursion through the letters as a story, with Dog noodling from one minor adventure to another. An apple falls out of a tree and bonks Dog on the head. At the same time a bird flies out of the tree and a cat stalks after it. Dog chases away the cat and the bird returns to her eggs, and so on. The story is written in bold black letters, with one specific word spelled out on the bottom of the page next to the upper and lower case of each letter. The narrative often has more than one word starting with the letter under scrutiny, so young listeners can identify appropriate words other than just the one that is singled out. Great fields of color and energetic scenes keep eyes highly entertained as the lesson goes down. Just before he goes to sleep, Dog thinks of all the things he's learned and they are spread across two pages along with their letters. Finally, curled up in his basket, his zzzzz's finish his day. In Dog, children will find a kindred soul, one who gets hungry and tired and stung by a bee but mostly keeps an eye skinned for fun. (Picture book. 2-5)Read full book review >