Books by James Howe

ALSO KNOWN AS ELVIS by James Howe
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: April 15, 2014

"With its companions, it's a powerful affirmation of friendship, compassion and the right to be accepted for who we are. (Fiction. 10-14)"
Over a decade has passed for readers since The Misfits (2001) introduced the Gang of Five, four seventh-grade outsiders who've got one another's backs; for Bobby, Joe, Addie and Skeezie, a year's gone by. Read full book review >
OTTER AND ODDER by James Howe
Released: Oct. 1, 2012

"Ever-changing watercolor washes and primordial shapes depict a wondrous, liquid world in which the star-crossed lovers learn to trust their hearts. (Picture book. 5-9)"
The love between a fish and an otter is given the thoughtful treatment such an unexpected attraction deserves. Read full book review >
ADDIE ON THE INSIDE by James Howe
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: July 26, 2011

"Readers will agree when, in the triumphant final poem, an assured Addie proclaims: "I am a girl who knows enough / to know this life is mine." (author's note) (Verse novel. 11-14)"
In this companion novel, Howe explores the interior life of the most outspoken member of the "Gang of Five" from The Misfits and Totally Joe (2001, 2005). Read full book review >
BRONTORINA by James Howe
by James Howe, illustrated by Randy Cecil
DINOSAURS
Released: Aug. 1, 2010

"The frankly funny illustrations complement Howe's understated text, resulting in a sweet, frothy story, complete with tutus and arabesques, for the little (and big) dreamer in everyone, lightheartedly demonstrating that the sky's the limit, so think big! (Picture book. 2-7)"
Brontorina is a rotund, orange Apatosaurus who dreams of being a ballerina, so she presents herself at Madame Lucille's Dance Academy: "[I]n my heart I am a ballerina." Read full book review >
ANIMALS
Released: July 7, 2009

"Proactive readers with similar troubles may find her strategy successful. (Picture book. 6-8)"
Having always enjoyed "Roquefort and Beaufort and Blarney and blue. Read full book review >
HOUNDSLEY AND CATINA by James Howe
ANIMALS
Released: April 1, 2009

"Howe's gentle text deftly mixes in some sight words alongside easily sounded-out vocabulary, all while telling a sweetly engaging story; Gay's energetic watercolors brim with personality and humor. (Early reader. 5-8)"
Houndsley loves to take his canoe out onto the lake, but Bert the goose, his usual paddling partner, must visit a sick aunt. Read full book review >
HOUNDSLEY AND CATINA AND THE QUIET TIME by James Howe
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 2008

"These endearing characters shine in this gentle and reflective read. (Early reader. 5-8)"
The frantic pace of daily life is thrown by the wayside when a heavy snowstorm quietly descends in this latest installment starring friends Houndsley and Catina. Read full book review >
ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 1, 2006

"Using language appropriate for new readers, Howe crafts a knowing paean—filtered mainly through Houndsley's point of view—to the care and feeding of friendship. (Easy reader. 5-8)"
In a sweet sequel to their debut, good friends Houndsley and Catina sadly realize that they don't know when their birthdays are. Read full book review >
HOUNDSLEY AND CATINA by James Howe
ANIMALS
Released: April 1, 2006

"A pleasantly seasoned potboiler. (Easy reader. 5-8)"
Houndsley, a good cook, and Catina, a misguided memoirist, pursue goals out of step with their true natures in this humorous beginning reader, the first of a series. Read full book review >
TOTALLY JOE by James Howe
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Oct. 1, 2005

"There's more of a sense of spending extra time with a favorite friend. (Fiction. 10-14)"
One quarter of the "Gang of Five" from The Misfits (2001) tells his own story of coming out and overcoming bullies and prejudice through alphabetical entries in his "alphabiography." Read full book review >
KADDISH FOR GRANDPA IN JESUS’ NAME AMEN by James Howe
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: May 1, 2004

"While some may consider the phrase with both "Kaddish" and "Jesus" unconventional, this is a unique and necessary addition for libraries serving both communities. (Picture book. 3-8)"
Children of interfaith couples are exposed to religious issues even when one religion is chosen for the family. Read full book review >
BUNNICULA AND FRIENDS by James Howe
ANIMALS
Released: Feb. 1, 2004

"It's to be hoped that Bunnicula will get all new adventures instead of more retreads to satisfy the promise of more to come. (Easy reader. 6-8)"
For his 25th anniversary, Bunnicula is being ushered into one of the last children's literature formats he has yet to invade: the easy reader. Read full book review >
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 2003

"Focus on change and growth gives strength to this offering. (Fiction. 11-13)"
Just as 13 is an age with agonies and ecstasies, this collection ranges from the trivial to the powerful. Read full book review >
ANIMALS
Released: Jan. 1, 2003

"Younger readers may have to go to librarians or well-read parents to have some of the in-jokes explained, but for all pup writers, not to mention the next Newboney Committee, this is a "must-chew." (Fiction. 9-11)"
In the latest Bunnicula spinoff, canine author Howie sets his sights on winning a coveted "Newboney" Award, enlisting the advice of heartthrob Delilah, who not only offers cogent advice—"It also helps if the characters are poor and somebody dies . . . or if the main character, usually a child and preferably an orphan, goes on a long journey. Read full book review >
ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 1, 2002

"Though Horace and Morris are largely placeholders here, fans will welcome the triumphant return of this adventure-loving threesome. (Picture book. 6-8)"
Moustro Provolone welcomes Horace and Morris into his new chorus, but Dolores, the sparkplug of the trio introduced in Horace and Morris, But Mostly Dolores (1999) doesn't make the cut—perhaps because she belts out "notes no one had ever heard before." Read full book review >
THE MISFITS by James Howe
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 2001

"Readers of every stripe will find themselves here and laugh (or cringe) as they catch on. (Fiction. 10+)"
The Gang of Five wants, basically, to get through seventh grade in Paintbrush Falls, New York. Read full book review >
FICTION
Released: July 1, 2001

"Here's good news for teachers, too: the stories serve as fine springboards for introspective student-writing and classroom discussion. (Fiction. 12+)"
Some of today's most celebrated YA authors, including Avi, Walter Dean Myers, Jacqueline Woodson (writing with Chris Lynch), Annette Curtis Klause, Norma Fox Mazer, Virginia Euwer Wolff, and Howe himself, are represented in this generally fine though uneven anthology. Read full book review >
BUNNICULA STRIKES AGAIN! by James Howe
Released: Sept. 1, 1999

Once again Harold, "canine author extraordinaire," relates a madcap tale lit up with clever character twists and plots going hilariously awry. Read full book review >
Released: March 1, 1999

"The message is no secret, but getting there is a barrel of fun, thanks to snap-happy acrylic and collage art with its three mouse gallivants and their gleefully expressive faces. (Picture book. 4-8)"
An auspicious debut for illustrator Walrod, whose hilarious characterizations of three mice friends enliven Howe's jocular plot that pokes fun at boys-only and girls-only clubs. Read full book review >
PINKY AND REX AND THE SCHOOL PLAY by James Howe
FICTION
Released: April 1, 1998

"Unfortunately, the language is inexorably sterile, without even the humor of previous Pinky and Rex installments. (Fiction. 6-9)"
Pinky and Rex (Pinky and Rex and the Bully, 1996, etc.) return in this entry in the Ready-To-Read series, intended for emerging readers to tackle independently, with a plot to draw them in but little grace or style in the writing. Read full book review >
PINKY AND REX AND THE BULLY by James Howe
FICTION
Released: April 1, 1996

"Meanwhile, Rex is only a marginal figure, barely sketched into the tale; all her behavior is described rather than shown. (Fiction. 6- 8)"
This anachronistic entry about a popular duo in the Ready-to- Read series addresses gender issues for newly independent readers. Read full book review >
THERE'S A DRAGON IN MY SLEEPING BAG by James Howe
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Oct. 1, 1994

"Rose's lovable creatures are a delight. (Fiction/Picture book. 4-7)"
Alex has been sleeping in his older brother Simon's room in a sleeping bag. Read full book review >
RABBIT-CADABRA! by James Howe
ANIMALS
Released: April 23, 1993

"Predictable, but fans will love it. (Picture book. 5-9)"
When Harold and pals Chester and Howie see the poster for ``The Amazing Karlovsky,'' who's to perform at the local school, they're alarmed: That's Bunnicula he's pulling out of a hat—will the world be overrun with vampire rabbits? Read full book review >
PINKY AND REX AND THE NEW BABY by James Howe
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: March 31, 1993

"With lively, believable dialogue, realistic situations that gently test the likable pair's mettle, and Sweet's appealing art on every easily read spread: another strong entry in a popular series. (Fiction/Young reader. 5-8)"
Perhaps because Rex is a little older than the expectant siblings found in many picture books, her experience is the reverse of theirs: her worries about being supplanted come before her parents bring home new adopted brother Matthew. Read full book review >
PINKY AND REX GO TO CAMP by James Howe
FICTION
Released: March 31, 1992

"Howe presents these young children learning how to share their feelings with a sure touch for realistic dialogue; Sweet's full-color illustrations, on almost every page, nicely reflect the story's warmth and gentle humor. (Fiction. 5-8)"
Fifth in an appealing series of early chapter books about two close friends, boy and girl, whose names reflect their characters' reversal of stereotypical roles. Read full book review >
PINKY AND REX AND THE SPELLING BEE by James Howe
FICTION
Released: April 30, 1991

"Sweet's attractive illustrations extend the wholesome good humor. (Young reader. 6-8)"
One of two new books about the likable best friends introduced in 1990. Read full book review >