Books by Hilda Offen

AS QUIET AS A MOUSE by Hilda Offen
Released: Sept. 1, 1994

A companion to A Fox Got My Socks (1993) and The Sheep Made a Leap (p. 148). Again, a toddler announces and imitates the actions of animal friends, as described in rhymed couplets (``A worm gave a wiggle/and started to giggle,'' or, ``The chimp said, `I'm champ,'/and started to stamp''). The instructions for small listeners' participation (``Stamp your feet'') are almost superfluous, but they do add another language-building feature to a fine list that also includes the animals' names and the words for the pantomimed actions and mimicked sounds. A full-ensemble finale makes a satisfying wrap-up, and endpaper reenactments by the toddler provide a chance to recall the various verbs. Again, Offen's characters—both the costumed animals and the winsome toddler—are particularly bright and ingenuous. (Picture book. 1-6) Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 1, 1994

The author-illustrator of Nice Work, Little Wolf! (1993) presents a pantomime, with a toddler announcing the actions of his animal friends and—in an irresistible invitation to young audiences to join in—imitating them on facing pages. The animals' movements are described in catchy verse (``First two little crows/pointed their toes...The monkey stretched his arms out wide./The hippo swayed from side to side./When everyone stamped and yelled for more,/the big gray elephant rolled on the floor''); simple directions for audience/participants are added in smaller type (``Grown-ups clap. [Children] Bow''). Offen's brightly colored pictures are robust and full of smiles. A charming introduction to theater, just right to share with a parent/toddler group. (Picture book. 2-4) Read full book review >
ELEPHANT PIE by Hilda Offen
Released: Oct. 1, 1993

When toothy Mrs. Snipper-Snapper asks for cherry pie—with ``lots of custard''—for her birthday, her crocodile husband orders it from Mrs. Elephant. The good pachyderm never notices that little Jojo has crawled under the crust of the completed pie—but she's so flustered to find Jojo missing that she uses mustard for the custard. It all works out: when Jojo's brother Edward delivers the pie (much diminished by other animals' nibbling along the way), Mrs. Snipper-Snapper's crocodile tears of disappointment are quickly allayed by the sight of the tender little elephant; fortunately, a quick application of mustard sauce spoils the crocodiles' appetites, and Edward and Jojo make their escape. Like Offen's Nice Work, Little Wolf! (1992), an attractive original offering with bright, action-filled illustrations and enough humor and suspense to delight the picture book group. (Picture book. 4-8) Read full book review >
A FOX GOT MY SOX by Hilda Offen
Released: Jan. 1, 1993

The author of Nice Work, Little Wolf (p. 723) comes up with an appealing book for the youngest. A cheery tot, clad in just a diaper and a short red shirt, explains what happened after the wind blew his clothes off the line: ``A cat got my hat...Two baby llamas were in my pajamas,'' and so on. Not only are the different animals and articles introduced in text and illustrations, but the toddler demonstrates actions to accompany the rhymes; there's also a joke to top it off when the animals gather at the end: ``But the sun was so hot, I said, `Keep what you've got...I'm happy enough without all that stuff!' '' Simple, easily read pictures in soft bright colors make the perfect accompaniment. Just the thing for the toddlers' group. (Picture book. 1-5) Read full book review >
Released: May 1, 1992

Little Wolf's mother is on the way for nails to mend their tumbledown house when he hops over a fence and lands in the lazy pigs' family; he's promptly entrapped by their demands, passed from Pop through Mom to two fat piglets, who give Little Wolf his orders. As the tasks grow, so does he: From fetching the paper, he goes on to building a pool and a new house before (now fully grown) his patience breaks and he chases out his tormenters and wails for his mother—who turns up to share the fine new digs. Offen illustrates her delightful turnabout tale in cheery, deftly limned pen and watercolor, her complacent pigs and amusing details echoing Leslie Brooke. Good story, good fun. (Picture book. 4-8) Read full book review >