Books by J. Patrick Lewis

Released: Jan. 7, 2014

Limitless possibilities for future car designs are imagined in a collection of free-wheeling verses.

Everything from food items to animals to bathtubs and more are the inspirations for these strange vehicles. Read full book review >

Released: March 12, 2013

"Though it's bumpy, it's still a novel way to add some zany celebrations to the family or classroom calendar. (Poetry. 5-8)"
The Children's Poet Laureate takes a tongue-in-cheek look at some of the weird and wacky holidays that never quite make it onto commercially printed calendars. Read full book review >
FACE BUG by J. Patrick Lewis
by J. Patrick Lewis, illustrated by Kelly Murphy, photographed by Frederick B. Siskind
Released: March 1, 2013

"The attempt to present science in a humorous way is a well-meaning one, but the effect seems rather lame for today's visually sophisticated kids and might work better as an app than a book. (Picture book/poetry. 6-10)"
For kids who love bugs! Gruesome but fascinating photomicrographs of 14 different bugs are the focus of this unusual science book that combines poetry, line drawings and scientific facts to bring bugs alive for curious children. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 1, 2013

"Somber and inspirational. (thumbnail sketches) (Poetry. 10-16)"
The Children's Poet Laureate salutes 15 men and women, including one child, who spoke out and acted for equality and liberty, several at the cost of their lives. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 2012

"Verse seekers could do worser than to swallow down this course of funky, funny forms of wordy wit. (Poetry. 6-12)"
Prolific versifier, author, riddlizer (etc.) Lewis offers this mostly new (a few appeared in magazines or anthologies) collection of laughs and linguistic lampoons. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 11, 2012

"A spectacular collection—"And," the editor notes with remarkable understatement, "the pictures are pretty nice too!" (Poetry. 7-12)"
Gathered by the United States children's poet laureate, 200 (mostly) lighthearted poems from the likes of Basho and Ben Franklin, Leadbelly, Jack Prelutsky and Joyce Sidman share space with eye-popping animal photographs. Read full book review >
Released: July 1, 2012

"Some spry and inspired grave humor here, but weighed equally with some unimaginative efforts. (Picture book. 7-10)"
Cracked epitaphs from Lewis and Yolen. Read full book review >
Released: April 3, 2012

"Humor, math and poetry—who knew they were such a good combination? (Poetry/math. 8-12)"
Going a step beyond his Arithme-Tickle (illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz, 2001), Lewis cleverly combines math and language arts with this collection of humorous poetry parodies that present readers with math word problems to solve. Read full book review >
Released: March 1, 2012

"T-winsome. (Poetry. 4-8)"
Veteran poets tap into the never-ending interest in twins with a collection of poetry dedicated to twosomes. Read full book review >
AND THE SOLDIERS SANG by J. Patrick Lewis
FICTION
Released: Dec. 15, 2011

"Grim, upsetting and utterly beautiful, this is both a strong anti-war statement and a fascinating glimpse of a little-known historical event. (Picture book. 8 & up)"
Definitely for older children (and most likely to be appreciated by adults), this version of the true story of the Christmas Truce of 1914 is told through the eyes of a fictional young Welshman, with a terse yet lyrical text and stark, dramatic illustrations. Read full book review >
POETRY
Released: Dec. 15, 2011

"This inspired collaboration adds a heightened poetic dimension to readers' understanding of Chagall's life and art. (Picture book/poetry/biography. 11 & up)"
U.S. Children's Poet Laureate Lewis and the prolific Yolen team up for a celebratory picture-book biography in verse of the 20th century painter and designer Marc Chagall (1887-1985) that may quickly become a favorite of art-loving families and museum docents. Read full book review >
TUGG AND TEENY by J. Patrick Lewis
ANIMALS
Released: March 2, 2011

"Emergent readers will identify with Teeny as someone learning new skills, and her can-do attitude, emboldened by a supportive community, is a great model for attaining success. (Early reader. 6-8)"
Another odd couple makes its foray into beginning-reader territory with three stories about Teeny the monkey's efforts to realize her artistic potential while best friend Tugg the gorilla cheers her on. Read full book review >
FICTION
Released: Sept. 14, 2010

When sun, rain and snowflakes collide, a strange store suddenly rises up at the end of Pumpkin Street. Read full book review >

SKYWRITING by J. Patrick Lewis
POETRY
Released: Sept. 1, 2010

Thirteen buoyant poems highlight famous and infamous attempts to fly, starting with Icarus's misguided efforts to rise "on wings of wax" in 800 BCE and ending in 2002 with that "behemoth of adventure" and "front-row ticket to celestial theater in the round," Space Shuttle Columbia. Read full book review >

FIRST DOG'S WHITE HOUSE CHRISTMAS by J. Patrick Lewis
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 2010

The team that created First Dog (2009) offers this Christmas-themed sequel narrated by the same bright-eyed, black dog that now lives in the White House. Read full book review >

KINDERGARTEN CAT by J. Patrick Lewis
ANIMALS
Released: July 27, 2010

An unusual new student enlivens a kindergarten classroom. Read full book review >

FIRST DOG by J. Patrick Lewis
ANIMALS
Released: April 15, 2009

Riding the wave of presidential-pooch enthusiasm comes the season's second picture book on the subject. Read full book review >

POETRY
Released: March 10, 2009

The goofy cover and subtitle alone will raise giggles as they set the stage for Lewis to play poetic pundit for 47 jobs—odd jobs. Read full book review >

POETRY
Released: Sept. 1, 2008

Nostalgic images and low-key observations characterize this collaboration. Read full book review >

THE WORLD’S GREATEST by J. Patrick Lewis
POETRY
Released: April 1, 2008

This is not, as a quick glance at the title might suggest, an attempt to anthologize the best poems ever written, thank goodness. Read full book review >

UNDER THE KISSLETOE by J. Patrick Lewis
POETRY
Released: Sept. 1, 2007

Sixteen rhyming poems of widely varying subjects all have some sort of connection to the Christmas season in this latest thematic collection from the prolific poet. Read full book review >

BIG IS BIG (AND LITTLE, LITTLE) by J. Patrick Lewis
SIZE, SHAPES & PATTERNS
Released: May 1, 2007

Bright, bold collages of torn paper, pastels and tempera fairly jump off the pages as Barner and Lewis team up with this concept book in rhyme for lap listeners. Read full book review >

TULIP AT THE BAT by J. Patrick Lewis
POETRY
Released: April 1, 2007

The New York Pets square off against the Boston Beasts, with the usual result, in this very distant cousin to "Casey at the Bat." Read full book review >

CASTLES by J. Patrick Lewis
POETRY
Released: Oct. 1, 2006

Adopting similar tones and voices, two poets exchange generally somber observations in verse about 15 stone castles and palaces, plus a "Castle in the Air" from Viking legend. Read full book review >

POETRY
Released: Sept. 1, 2006

Lewis offers an unconventional biography of the Mississippi blues legend. Read full book review >

ONCE UPON A TOMB by J. Patrick Lewis
POETRY
Released: Aug. 1, 2006

Lewis is "dead-on" with this collection of "gravely humorous verses." Read full book review >

BLACKBEARD by J. Patrick Lewis
POETRY
Released: May 9, 2006

In variously rhymed verses as swashbuckling as the figure they celebrate, Lewis tries to flesh out the little that is actually known about the character and career of the most renowned pirate ever. Read full book review >

WING NUTS by Paul B. Janeczko
POETRY
Released: April 1, 2006

In their first collaboration, two of the big kahunas of children's poetry deliver 23 senryu poems. Read full book review >

PLEASE BURY ME IN THE LIBRARY by J. Patrick Lewis
POETRY
Released: April 1, 2005

In 16 poems, all but two appearing here for the first time, the Midwest's cleverest living comic poet enjoins readers, "Please bury me in the library / With a dozen long-stemmed proses." Read full book review >

POETRY
Released: March 1, 2005

The best-described hero in Lewis's book is actually in the author's note, where he writes about his school janitor at St. Read full book review >

SCIEN-TRICKERY by J. Patrick Lewis
POETRY
Released: April 1, 2004

Lewis follows up Arithme-tickle (2002) with a more broadly themed collection of rhymed riddles, encompassing topics as diverse as astronomy, electricity, maps, and the Zero. Read full book review >

THE SNOWFLAKE SISTERS by J. Patrick Lewis
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 2003

Two snowflakes—along with "seven billion four / Hundred million, maybe more"—twirl a dance down night skies, hitch a ride on Santa's sleigh, reach Times Square just in time to see the Ball drop, then flutter off across recognizable New York scenes to Central Park, to spend the rest of the winter on a welcoming snow-lad. Read full book review >

THE SHOE TREE OF CHAGRIN by J. Patrick Lewis
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Sept. 1, 2001

With contagious wonder and language as broad as the lady herself, Lewis (Good Mousekeeping, p. 743, etc.) adds an outsized new member to the ranks of tall-tale heroines, introducing itinerant cobbler Susannah DeClare: "Strong as a lockbox and as long as a good spit in a windstorm." Read full book review >

POETRY
Released: May 1, 2001

Whimsical verse marries curious art in a second collaboration by Lewis and Desimini (Doodle Dandies, 1998). Read full book review >

POETRY
Released: May 1, 2001

Lewis leaves behind the serious mood of his Freedom Like Sunlight: Praisesongs for Black Americans (2000) with jocose commemorations of 22 more important notables. Read full book review >

ARITHME-TICKLE by J. Patrick Lewis
NUMBERS AND COUNTING
Released: April 1, 2001

Math story problems aren't always boring exercises about dividing up a bowl of apples or trains traveling between cities. Read full book review >

POETRY
Released: March 1, 2001

In catchy, clever verse, the prolific Lewis (Earth and You: A Closer View, not reviewed, etc.) plays with place names, marvels at the journeys of several explorers, goes "Island Hopping," gads about the cities of Europe, even provides mnemonics to distinguish stalagmites from stalactites, and latitude from longitude—"Lines of latitude / Have a f l a t i t u d e. / Longitudinal lines / Rise like porcupines." Read full book review >

ISABELLA ABNORMELLA by J. Patrick Lewis
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Sept. 1, 2000

The nabob of nonsense verse brings readers to the town of Trouble, situated between Good-Grief! and Who's-to-Blame? Read full book review >

Released: March 1, 1999

A thrilling story, at once preposterous and divinely ingenious. Read full book review >

THE BOOKWORM'S FEAST by J. Patrick Lewis
POETRY
Released: Feb. 1, 1999

PLB 0-8037-1693-1 Lewis (Doodle Dandies, p. 896, etc.) has created an almanac of words at play, using tongue-twisters, puns, alliteration, and many forms and fancies of rhyme scheme in an unabashed celebration of language. Read full book review >

HUMOR
Released: Oct. 1, 1998

Lewis (Doodle Dandies, p. 896, etc.) turns his admiration for Edward Lear into inspiration for a collection of biographical poems about his literary hero. Read full book review >

THE HOUSE OF BOO by J. Patrick Lewis
FICTION
Released: Sept. 1, 1998

A spooky Halloween poem, well-matched with dusky, windswept gouache illustrations illuminated by moonlight and pumpkin glow: "Boo Scoggins lived on Humpback Hill/Above the misty water mill./His house was lit by pumpkin-light;/His songs were sung by whippoorwill." Read full book review >

POETRY
Released: June 1, 1998

Aimed at a younger audience than its wittier, more sophisticated cousin, Paul Fleischman's Joyful Noise (1989), this collection of poems celebrates bugs. Read full book review >

THE LA-DI-DA HARE by J. Patrick Lewis
ANIMALS
Released: April 1, 1997

Clever wordplay and a marvelous island bestiary distinguish this rhymed wonder quest from Lewis (Black Swan/White Crow, 1995, etc.). Mouse suggests to Honeypot Bear that they set sail for the magical Island of Oh, ``to hear the applause of the Red Lobster claws/For the beautiful La-di-da Hare.'' Honeypot Bear obliges by becoming their boat, Mouse navigates (``Honey! Read full book review >

THE BOAT OF MANY ROOMS by J. Patrick Lewis
ANIMALS
Released: Feb. 1, 1997

The story of Noah, told in episodic verse. Read full book review >

RIDDLE-ICIOUS by J. Patrick Lewis
HUMOR
Released: April 1, 1996

Lewis (Black Swan/White Crow, 1995, etc.) offers 28 ``poems that hide/behind disguises'' and ``tickle you with/small surprises,'' each with a funny picture clue that makes most of the riddles easily guessed by preschoolers. Read full book review >

THE CHRISTMAS OF THE REDDLE MOON by J. Patrick Lewis
FANTASY
Released: Oct. 1, 1994

Two children are lost in a blizzard while they are on their way home on Christmas Eve in early 20th-century England. Read full book review >

THE FROG PRINCESS by J. Patrick Lewis
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Sept. 1, 1994

A prince marries a frog—it's a long story. Read full book review >

JULY IS A MAD MOSQUITO by J. Patrick Lewis
NATURE
Released: April 1, 1994

"(Poetry/Picture book. 6-10)

"

A baker's dozen of lightly lyrical poems in a cycle of months summed up in a final entry: ``January's a polar bear;/February's a mole....'' Though he offers few epiphanies, Lewis's descriptions are vivid, his images are fresh and appealing, and he makes deft use of a variety of rhyme schemes and verse forms, including a lovely haiku for August: ``At bedtime, outside/my room...nighthawk and trainsong/on the wind's guitar.'' Hall's stylized art, in a rainbow of yummy hues as bright as Italian ices, makes this useful offering especially attractive. Read full book review >

ONE DOG DAY by J. Patrick Lewis
ANIMALS
Released: April 30, 1993

A well-regarded author of poetry for children (A Hippopotamusn't, 1990) concocts a comic literary tale about a 12- year-old who enters her collie in an unusual two-part race for coon dogs: following a caged coon in a rowboat, they swim across a pond, then dash to the base of a pole to whose top the coon has been whisked. Read full book review >

THE MOONBOW OF MR. B. BONES by J. Patrick Lewis
FICTION
Released: March 10, 1992

The author of some deftly comical verse (A Hippopotamusn't, 1990) spins an allegorical tale about a mysterious old peddler- -whose wares include glass jars labeled ``Sundrops,'' ``Snowrays,'' and ``Moonbows''—and the skeptical young storyteller who convinces the other people in a little mountain town that Bartholomew Bones's ``secret weather bottles'' are as empty as they look. Read full book review >

TWO-LEGGED, FOUR-LEGGED, NO-LEGGED RHYMES by J. Patrick Lewis
POETRY
Released: Aug. 1, 1991

From the author of A Hippopotamusn't (1990), more ebullient verse about animals. Read full book review >