Books by Henry Cole

Released: Feb. 6, 2018

"Earnest animal fantasy with exceptionally designed illustrations but uncomfortably set in a time and place undeserving of a rosy glow. (author's note) (Animal fantasy. 6-10)"
A timid mouse goes on an inadvertent journey. Read full book review >
BOGART AND VINNIE by Audrey Vernick
Released: June 18, 2013

"Diverting and comical. (Picture book. 4-7)"
This story of an unlikely animal friendship is an unnecessary send-up of the plethora of videotaped accounts of interspecies pals but still has its charms. Read full book review >
NELLY MAY HAS HER SAY by Cynthia DeFelice
Released: March 19, 2013

"Jocular and sparking with energy, an old tale gets a new turn. (Picture book. 4-8)"
A playful remake of the English folktale "Master of All Masters." Read full book review >
Released: March 1, 2013

"Nevertheless, good fun to share in a lap or with a group. (Picture book. 3-7)"
Mary McBlicken is one panicky prairie chicken. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 1, 2012

"While this sweet adventure story with feline protagonists won't be everyone's cup of tea, it will resonate with just the right reader. (Fantasy. 8-12)"
The fourth volume in a gentle series chronicling the adventures of a tiny gray Persian cat called Bonnie Boadicea, or Little Bo for short. Read full book review >
UNSPOKEN by Henry Cole
Released: Nov. 1, 2012

"Moving and emotionally charged, the book is capped with a powerful close-up of the child's face on the rear cover with the legend 'What would you do if you had the chance to help a person find freedom?' (Picture book. 7-10)"
A farm child and a fugitive make an unspoken connection in this suspenseful, wordless Civil War episode. Read full book review >
WHO'S WHO? by Ken Geist
by Ken Geist, illustrated by Henry Cole
Released: Aug. 7, 2012

"This serviceable bedtime story will find the most appeal with families of multiples and brother/sister pairs. [Note: An earlier version of this review was published in the July 1, 2012, issue and cited a concern based on a preliminary copy of the book. We publish herewith this revised review, as the problematic text was removed in the final, edited version.] (Picture book. 1-5)"
A classic counting rhyme is subjected to a lackluster treatment in this retelling that focuses on twins. Read full book review >
I KNOW A WEE PIGGY by Kimberly Norman
Released: June 14, 2012

"This gleefully messy pig will prompt endless re-readings. (Picture book. 2-6) "
How can one small pig get into so much trouble? Read full book review >
SURFER CHICK by Kristy Dempsey
Released: May 1, 2012

"A guaranteed 'Cowabunga!' (Picture book. 3-6)"
A most expressive chicken makes a splash in this winning title about learning to surf. Read full book review >
THE KISS BOX by Bonnie Verburg
Released: Dec. 1, 2011

"Similar in subject matter to Audrey Penn's The Kissing Hand, illustrated by Ruth E. Harper and Nancy M. Leak (1993), but a whole lot more artful, this fresh take will motivate younger children to create boxes of their own. (storyteller's note) (Picture book. 3-7)"
In this sweet story about separation anxiety, Mama Bear and Little Bear find a way to send kisses to each other when they are apart. Read full book review >
Released: April 1, 2011

"But still, the denouement is so merrily explosive that just to imagine the shrieking voices of a read-aloud is mightily cheering. (Picture book. 3-8)"
Perl's young champion of all things gluteus returns in an evermore zany salute to the nether regions. Read full book review >
THREE HENS AND A PEACOCK by Lester L. Laminack
Released: March 1, 2011

"Good farm fun. (Picture book. 4-8)"
All is calm on the Tuckers' farm. Read full book review >
ONE PUP’S UP by Marsha Chall
Released: June 15, 2010

"Almost as much fun as a real puppy, with none of the mess. (Picture book. 2-6)"
When one pup wakes up, the rest are sure to follow. Read full book review >
Released: March 1, 2010

"A rare gift: a novel with artwork as whole and vital as a picture book's. (afterword) (Animal fantasy. 6-10)"
Starting outside a house, the reader's viewpoint moves indoors page by page until there "sat Celeste, hunched over her work table" under the floorboards. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 1, 2010

"More like Dinorella (1997) than Four Famished Foxes and Fosdyke (1995) in its alliterative abundance, the device often takes over the story, making this an extra purchase. (Picture book/fairy tale. 5-8)"
Edwards presents another alliterative version of a classic fairy tale. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 6, 2009

"Krensky's text shines in its use of dialogue, if not in its observance of natural history, and kids who can overlook its logical gaps will probably get a chuckle or two out of it. (Picture book. 3-6)"
Chaucer, a little bear cub, decides not to hibernate so he can keep playing with his friends, a fox and a squirrel, all winter. Read full book review >
MOUSE WAS MAD by Linda Urban
Released: May 1, 2009

"Well-pitched for preschoolers just learning social skills, this would be equally excellent for family reading, classrooms and storytimes. (Picture book. 3-7)"
While never communicating quite what Mouse is mad about at the outset, this charmingly illustrated title takes readers through several possible methods of expressing said anger. Read full book review >
CHICKEN BUTT! by Erica S. Perl
Released: April 1, 2009

"Then again, if an adult reader's mood is already fine, this über-farce may send that adult, like this book's dad, round the bend, where a drink should be waiting. (Picture book. 3-6)"
On one hand, this is an utter goofball of a book, an unhinged piece of slap-happy rhyming. Read full book review >
TRUDY by Henry Cole
by Henry Cole, illustrated by Henry Cole
Released: Jan. 1, 2009

"The deceptively simple story gently nudges children to look at and appreciate animals as more than just barnyard fixtures. (Picture book. 4-8)"
At the country auction, Esme and Grandfather find just the right animal for them: "Not too big, not too small. Read full book review >
KATY DUCK, CENTER STAGE by Alyssa Satin Capucilli
Released: May 6, 2008

"There's absolutely nothing about this book or the other Katy Duck titles that cries out for the board format; it does a disservice to the board-book audience who will not understand it and to the preschoolers who deserve a fuller tale."
Capucilli works on developing her Katy Duck franchise to Biscuit proportions. Read full book review >
JACK AND JILL’S TREEHOUSE by Pamela Duncan Edwards
Released: May 1, 2008

"Cole's artwork, however, should keep readers' eyes dancing, from the scene-setting, page-and-a-half, pastel-fresh spreads, with their diverting incidental activities, to the natty, pen-and-ink rebus-like images that follow upon each cumulative line. (Picture book. 4-7)"
The Jack and Jill of Edwards's cumulative tale fetch not a pail of water but lumber; they are building a tree house. Read full book review >
Released: April 1, 2008

"All in all, this is closer in spirit and audience appeal to Jane Simmons's Daisy tales than the classic 'Ugly Duckling.' (Picture book. 5-7)"
Thanks to his mother's accidental ingestion of a rubber band, the duckling dubbed "Five" hatches out with one stretchable leg and a "Bing-boing" rather than a "Quack." Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 1, 2008

"Pairing Margie Palatini-like wordplay to comical cartoon illustrations of plump, bug-eyed fowl egging each other on, this crowd-pleaser begs to be read aloud and will certainly set off gales of giggles. (Picture book. 5-8)"
The feathered flibbertigibbets introduced in Big Chickens (2006) waddle out of the henhouse once again—this time with a hankering to find the farmhouse. Read full book review >
THE OLD HOUSE by Pamela Duncan Edwards
Released: Oct. 1, 2007

"Offbeat and appealing. (Picture book. 4-7)"
Will it be new residents or demolition for the lonely old house? Read full book review >
Released: May 1, 2007

"Gentle persuasion for the naturalist in everyone. (Picture book. 4-6)"
While her father mows the lawn at her new house, Caroline wonders how it could actually reflect the street's name. Read full book review >
TUBBY THE TUBA by Paul Tripp
Released: Oct. 1, 2006

In this schmaltzy but satisfying 1940s tale, a tuba that wants to play melodies rather than just oompah-ing along in the background finds unlikely inspiration. Read full book review >
BAD BOYS GET COOKIE! by Margie Palatini
Released: Sept. 1, 2006

"Really, really bad' in all senses of the word. (Picture book. 4-7)"
Palatini riffs on the Gingerbread Man and Hansel and Gretel stories in this return of her two bad boy wolves. Read full book review >
Released: May 1, 2006

"Chicka Chicka Boom Boom (1989, illus by Lois Ehlert), this will have young tars and lubbers alike happily signing on for the voyage. (Picture book. 5-7)"
Joining the flotilla of volumes sailing along beneath the Jolly Roger, this alphabet takes a pirate crew with literary ambitions (of a sort) on a quest. Read full book review >
OINK? by Margie Palatini
by Margie Palatini, illustrated by Henry Cole
Released: April 1, 2006

"Palatini's pigs are a couple of cunning free-thinkers, and Cole paints them just right—nothing cute here, only a pair of big Tom Sawyers quite comfortable in their own skins. (Picture book. 4-8)"
To be a pig in pig heaven—there's a goal to set one's sights upon. Read full book review >
BIG CHICKENS by Leslie Helakoski
Released: Feb. 1, 2006

"8216;Me four' '—brings this tribute to chicken power to a rousing close. (Picture book. 6-8)"
With wordplay reminiscent of Margie Palatini at her best, Helakoski takes four timorous chickens into, then out of, the literal and figurative woods. Read full book review >
MS. BITSY BAT’S KINDERGARTEN by Pamela Duncan Edwards
Released: Sept. 1, 2005

"Most collections would best be served by sticking with Miss Bindergarten for now. (Picture book. 4-6)"
Prolific collaborators Cole and Edwards return for this story of new-teacher anxiety. Read full book review >
AND TANGO MAKES THREE by Justin Richardson
Released: June 1, 2005

In this true, straightforwardly (so to speak) delivered tale, two male chinstrap penguins at New York City's Central Park Zoo bond, build a nest and—thanks to a helping hand from an observant zookeeper—hatch and raise a penguin chick. Read full book review >
GIGI AND LULU’S GIANT FIGHT by Pamela Duncan Edwards
Released: Sept. 1, 2004

"Inserts with cutout puppet figures for Gigi Pig and Lulu Mouse come with a suggestion card on ways to help children cope with and resolve conflicts. (Picture book. 3-5)"
A new pair of characters portrays a realistic preschool concern with a certain amount of charm and subtle wisdom. Read full book review >
MOOSEKITOS by Margie Palatini
Released: June 1, 2004

"Relentless wordplay, not to mention the fundamentally screwy premise, will keep young readers heartily amoosed. (Picture book. 6-8)"
For a third time, Moose's mammoth and magnificent moostache comes in handy when disaster impends. Read full book review >
Released: March 1, 2004

"The repetitive and rhythmic song lyrics serve as predictable text, but the words really need to be sung to enjoy the work to its fullest flavor. (The music is included.) (Picture book. 4-8)"
A food-themed children's song recorded by Berkner is served up as the story's text in this saga of two traveling polar bears, Victor and Freddie. Read full book review >
THE LEPRECHAUN’S GOLD by Pamela Duncan Edwards
Released: Feb. 1, 2004

"Stick with Teresa Bateman's similarly themed (and titled) Leprechaun Gold (1998). (Picture book. 7-9)"
Substandard work from a usually reliable picture-book duo. Read full book review >
BAD BOYS by Margie Palatini
Released: Sept. 1, 2003

It's a close shave—literally—for two big bad wolves in Palatini's latest hilariously re-spun folktale that's full of punishly good humor. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 1, 2003

"Not to fear, they simply go off to the zoo in the morning, just as young readers go to school. (Picture book. 4-6)"
Exuberantly naughty monkeys abound in this energetic alphabet book. Read full book review >
THE WRIGHT BROTHERS by Pamela Duncan Edwards
Released: June 1, 2003

"Among the plethora of books on the subject this year, most of them straightforward, none has taken a humorous approach, which makes this more accessible to young readers. (Picture book/biography. 5-9)"
This author/illustrator duo turns its whimsy to the Wright brothers as they remodel the device of "The House That Jack Built" to explain the steps that led to the historic first flight. Read full book review >
Released: April 1, 2003

"Perfect for introducing youngsters to the world around them, and especially appropriate for anyone who visits or lives near the seashore. (answer key) (Picture book. 4-12)"
The mid-Atlantic coast with its myriad plants and animals comes to life in this marvelous search-and-find book. Read full book review >
ROSIE’S ROSES by Pamela Duncan Edwards
Released: April 1, 2003

"Really rewarding. (Picture book. 3-6)"
Having done with the letters C, F, and S, Edwards and Cole offer an alliterative run of R to cheer a story of graceful, if unintentional, gift-giving. Read full book review >
WHY DO KITTENS PURR? by Marion Dane Bauer
Released: March 1, 2003

"Full of fun, Bauer's tale is just right to share with fledgling naturalists. (Picture book. 3-7)"
Playful verses explore the mysteries of the animal kingdom with the wide-eyed wonder of a child. Read full book review >
CITY CHICKEN by Arthur Dorros
Released: Feb. 1, 2003

"But Dorros shines, the wordplay at just the right pitch of sophistication, slyly winking at the readers as it invites them in on all the jokes. (Picture book. 4-8)"
A storm of double-entendres and figures of speech turned into literalisms, plus a fine little twist on commonly held notions of city vs. country, make Dorros's story of a chicken that flew the coop a winner. Read full book review >
FRIGHT NIGHT FLIGHT by Laura Krauss Melmed
Released: Sept. 1, 2002

"Kids will readily hop on board for this fun, frightful flight. (Picture book. 5-8)"
A witch goes Halloween trick-or-treating and makes room on her super jet-fueled broomstick for a group of fiendish friends. Read full book review >
THE SISSY DUCKLING by Harvey Fierstein
Released: May 1, 2002

"This heartwarming tale, based on Fierstein's HBO animated special, is just ducky. (Picture book. 5-8)"
No, Elmer isn't like the other boy ducklings; they box and play baseball, he bakes cakes and puts on puppet shows. Read full book review >
WAKE-UP KISSES by Pamela Duncan Edwards
Released: Dec. 1, 2001

"The night does not seem that exciting—just dark. (Picture book. 3-6)"
As the sun dips below the horizon, some animals are just beginning to stir and wake to face the busy night ahead. Read full book review >
SLOP GOES THE SOUP by Pamela D. Edwards
Released: Sept. 1, 2001

"An author's note on the last page cleverly explains the concept of onomatopoeia. (Picture book. 2-7)"
Edwards and Cole (Warthogs Paint, p. 739, etc.) collaborate on their third story about a pair of wacky warthogs who explored counting and colors in the previous stories in the series. Read full book review >
WARTHOGS PAINT by Pamela Duncan Edwards
Released: July 1, 2001

This popular team's warthogs return, fresh from their sloppy kitchen counting experience (Warthogs in the Kitchen, 1998), to make a fun mess with buckets of paint. Read full book review >
BOSTON TEA PARTY by Pamela Duncan Edwards
Released: July 1, 2001

"A good idea, only partially successful. (Picture book/nonfiction. 8-10)"
Here is the Boston Tea Party in a format that uses the cumulative repetition of "This is the House that Jack Built" to unfold events. Read full book review >
CLARA CATERPILLAR by Pamela Duncan Edwards
Released: May 31, 2001

"It's an alliterative adventure that may be set in a garden, but is anything but garden-variety. (Picture book. 6-8)"
Fans of Four Famished Foxes and Fosdyke (1995) and Some Swell Slug (1996) will have fun with this freshly minted fable. Read full book review >
Released: May 1, 2001

"Even if the 'piggy won't giggle,' most everyone else will. (Picture book. 2-5)"
A stubborn pig refuses to crack a smile even as all the other farm animals are laughing at the mayhem. Read full book review >
BRAVO, LIVINGSTON MOUSE! by Pamela Duncan Edwards
Released: Sept. 1, 2000

"And a-one, and a-two, keep that rhythm Livingstone. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Livingstone Mouse (1996) returns to the scene in a musically themed adventure. Read full book review >
MOOSELTOE by Margie Palatini
Released: Sept. 1, 2000

"They dim and flicker and it is only Cole's images, especially the last—of a coal-black room lit only by a string of colored lights, the whites of two pair of eyes, and a ho, ho, ho—that are abiding. (Picture book. 4-8)"
This sequel to Palatini and Cole's Moosetache (1998) continues the mildly amusing antics of Moose, the ruminant whose billowing mustache would make a walrus proud. Read full book review >
Released: June 1, 2000

Walton (Bullfrog Pops!, 1999, etc.) works a series of rhymed changes on the idea that animal sounds are a kind of shorthand: "Little cows say, / 'Moo-oon! Read full book review >
ROAR! by Pamela Duncan Edwards
Released: May 31, 2000

"Young children may enjoy the safari, but it's a routine trip over well-traveled territory. (Picture book. 4-5)"
A lonely little lion looks for a playmate, but his friendly roaring drives all the animals away in this bland counting/color book. Read full book review >
HONK! by Pamela Duncan Edwards
Released: Sept. 1, 1998

"Particularly funny are the disapproving expressions on the faces of birds and balletomanes alike, and scenes of Mimi with her short skinny legs, large feathered chest, and haughty demeanor. (Picture book. 4-9)"
After peering in the window at the Paris Opera House, Mimi the swan is smitten with ballet. Read full book review >
Released: May 1, 1998

"Cole's great toothy warthogs and manic action make for an ideal mix of comedy and energy, all the way to the end, when there are no cupcakes left (it's nice to see zero make an appearance in a counting book, as do two recipes) and the warthogs collapse from their efforts. (Picture book. 4-9)"
A slap-happy counting book in which first one warthog then gradually more whip up a batch of singular cupcakes. Read full book review >
I TOOK A WALK by Henry Cole
Released: March 1, 1998

"Still, the book conveys the notion of community and coexistence, in artwork that is delightfully fresh. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Cole's book is like a quick visit to the natural-history museum; each of four triple-page spreads resembles a diorama of old—a snapshot of a particular environment and the creatures it hosts. Read full book review >
DINORELLA by Pamela Duncan Edwards
Released: Sept. 1, 1997

"Cole dazzles in this dumbed-down classic, which goes from hilarious to tedious in very short order. (Picture book. 4-7)"
A one-note Cinderella—composed in the key of D—from Edwards, a devotee of alliteration (Some Smug Slug, also illustrated by Cole, 1996, etc.) who spins a dervish of D-words featuring dinosaurs in this fractured fairy tale and starring Dinorella and her stepsisters, Doris and Dora. Read full book review >
MOOSETACHE by Margie Palatini
Released: March 1, 1997

"A riot. (Picture book. 2-5)"
There's hair everywhere in this book because Moose just doesn't know how to control his gigantic mustache. Read full book review >
BAREFOOT by Pamela Duncan Edwards
Released: Jan. 30, 1997

"528, etc.) create a moving story that conveys the terror that drove slaves to flee plantations, risking their lives for freedom. (Picture book. 5-9)"
The story of one slave's escape to freedom via the Underground Railroad, as seen from the perspective of the watchful creatures of the night who speed him on his way. Read full book review >
SOME SMUG SLUG by Pamela Duncan Edwards
Released: April 30, 1996

This duo collaborated on the alliterative Four Famished Foxes and Fosdyke (1995, not reviewed); here, a supercilious little slug struggles up a bumpy slope blocking the path through its woodland domain. Read full book review >
JACK'S GARDEN by Henry Cole
Released: April 1, 1995

"Capped by a lively and elegant design, the book should supplement to an elementary science lesson; what Jack's Garden lacks in personality, it more than makes up for in attention to detail. (Picture book. 3+)"
Cole mimics the cumulative technique of ``The House That Jack Built'' to describe the garden the eponymous hero might tend in his backyard. Read full book review >