Books by James Marshall

SWINE LAKE by James Marshall
ANIMALS
Released: May 5, 1999

With a connection between plot and pictures that's often fitful, this patchy star vehicle is more likely to confuse than amuse. Read full book review >

HANSEL AND GRETEL by James Marshall
Released: Sept. 10, 1994

"Marshall's comic genius is less appropriate to this dark tale of betrayal than to "Red Riding Hood" and "The Three Little Pigs," which better lend themselves to farce; but his fans will probably be delighted with this anyway."
Once again Marshall works his magic on a popular tale, retelling without reshaping it and infusing both text and pictures with ingenuous simplicity lit by flashes of roguish humor. Read full book review >
POCKETFUL OF NONSENSE by James Marshall
POETRY
Released: Oct. 1, 1993

Fifteen traditional limericks and other nonsense rhymes, plus five in the same spirit by the late illustrator ("Antoinette Leach came in from the beach/with a lobster asleep in her curls..."), each visualized in fairly literal fashion, without many of the witty graphic embroideries at which Marshall was so adept. Read full book review >

Released: June 1, 1993

"With industry plus a knack for telling good stories, Miss Mouse persuades the cat to change his appetites, while the other challenges here are likewise met in funny, inventive ways. As always, tolerance and care for others were Marshall's themes, belly-laughs his method. (Fiction. 7-10)

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Eight more merry, interrelated tales of mishap and just deserts for readers of Rats On the Roof: unpleasant surprises await both housekeeper "Miss Mouse," who discovers that her new employer is a cat, and (in the title story) the vacationing Waldo Rat family when they find out that their dude ranch is run by rat terriers; Pig speeds around town in a yellow sports car until he learns the hard way that the bridge is out over Gopher's Gulch; and he just can't seem to hold onto a job—not even as local TV weatherpig. Read full book review >

FOX ON STAGE by James Marshall
ANIMALS
Released: April 1, 1993

To an adult mourning Marshall's passing, there's a bittersweet irony to these tales of the unquenchable Fox, whose self-confidence lands him in one pickle after another; each cloud that eclipses Fox here has a silver lining. Read full book review >

FOX OUTFOXED by James Marshall
ANIMALS
Released: May 1, 1992

"Illustrations limned with Marshall's usual zest and verve; good comical fun. (Easy reader. 4-8)

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In his seventh appearance, Fox—always a bit too clever for his own good—gets three more just deserts: when he cheats by using little sister Louise as the engine of his homemade race car; when a neighbor gleefully absconds with the beloved comics he has mendaciously disparaged; and when Louise, abandoned in her Halloween pumpkin costume by the older kids, renders some delightfully novel and appropriate poetic justice. Read full book review >

THE CUT-UPS CRACK UP by James Marshall
FRIENDS AND SCHOOL
Released: May 1, 1992

Irrepressible "cut-ups" Spud and Joe abandon their game of car crash to try to get a video of themselves in old enemy Principal Lamar J. Spurgle's new red convertible. Read full book review >

THE ADVENTURES OF ISABEL by Ogden Nash
POETRY
Released: Sept. 1, 1991

"Marshall matches Nash's deft wit in his usual style: Isabel is a bit cross-eyed but comically assured, the bugaboos are fiercely funny, and there are miscellaneous delightful details to discover. (Picture book. 4-8)

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These familiar, hilarious verses concern an enfant so terrible that she eats up the bear that plans to eat her, gives her physician the perfect comeuppance ("She took those pills from the pill concocter /And Isabel calmly cured the doctor"), and triumphs over other "bugaboos," including a bad dream. Read full book review >

RATS ON THE ROOF by James Marshall
ANIMALS
Released: June 17, 1991

The author-illustrator of a fine array of comical easy readers, picture books, and creatively retold nursery tales adopts a new genre. With irreverent spoofs of contemporary themes, offbeat humor, snappy dialogue, and delightful plot twists, these seven brief animal stories are vintage Marshall. Read full book review >

OLD MOTHER HUBBARD AND HER WONDERFUL DOG by James Marshall
ANIMALS
Released: May 31, 1991

"Predictably unpredictable and genuinely funny; and, of course, the art here is not only wickedly satirical but done with exceeding skill. (Folklore/Picture book. 4+)

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Marshall doesn't retell this old favorite, as he did in his revisionary nursery tales (Red Riding Hood, 1987); he uses it as springboard for a series of outrageously risible illustrations of the jowly old lady and her jowly pet frequenting imaginatively conceived shops or cozily at home, reading The Daily Drool or engaged in other industrious or self-indulgent pursuits. Read full book review >

FOX BE NIMBLE by James Marshall
ANIMALS
Released: May 1, 1990

Always on the look-out for glory, the popular Fox returns in three more deftly phrased comic adventures, culminating when he becomes an expert baton-twirler—thus earning the right to lead the parade, and the band from which he's been dismissed for showing off. Read full book review >
THE CUT-UPS CARRY ON by James Marshall
FICTION
Released: May 1, 1990

Though somewhat tamer and less hilarious than their other adventures, Spud and Joe's reluctant entanglement with dancing school—and their ironic good fortune in winning the preferable second prize on a TV contest show—will still entertain fans of this irrepressible duo. Read full book review >
THE THREE LITTLE PIGS by James Marshall
Kirkus Star
adapted and illustrated by James Marshall
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 1989

"A delightfully witty rendition, honoring the old tale while giving it a fresh new look."
An ebullient raconteur (Red Riding Hood, 1987, etc.) takes on another favorite nursery tale, spicing up its basic broth with his own inimitably flavored dialogue and visualization. Read full book review >
GEORGE AND MARTHA ROUND AND ROUND by James Marshall
ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 1, 1988

"In this eighth book about the pair—just as fresh and original as the first—Marshall's illustrations are as wonderful, witty, and wise as his text."
Five more stories explore the vicissitudes of an excellent friendship between two strong-minded hippopotamuses who often Crud themselves at odds but always summon the tact to avoid hurting each other's feelings—and also indulge in enough tit-for-tat to let each other know how they feel, and to keep the laughs coming. Read full book review >
GOLDILOCKS AND THE THREE BEARS by James Marshall
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 1988

"Like its predecessor, perfect for several uses, from picture-book hour to beginning reading."
With the same delightfully irreverent spirit that he brought to his retelling of "Little Red Riding Hood" (1987), Marshall enlivens another favorite. Read full book review >
FOX ON THE JOB by James Marshall
ANIMALS
Released: April 1, 1988

"Marshall's comic illustrations, situations, and well-phrased text are sure to keep them reading."
In his sixth appearance, Fox is still amusingly ridiculous and recognizably human. Read full book review >
THE CUT-UPS CUT LOOSE by James Marshall
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 1987

"A funny, satisfying companion to the classic Miss Nelson stories, featuring slightly more sophisticated wish-fulfillment."
With their supplies all together—two rubber rattlesnakes, five rolls of caps, three boxes of premade spitballs, half-a-dozen stink bombs and a real tarantula—dedicated cutups Joe and Spud are ready for school. Read full book review >
RED RIDING HOOD by James Marshall
Kirkus Star
adapted and illustrated by James Marshall
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Sept. 30, 1987

"Bravo!"
A thoroughly modern, thoroughly charming retelling of the old favorite. Read full book review >
THREE UP A TREE by James Marshall
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 1986

"Marshall's lively, cartoon-like illustrations are just right."
Spider, Sam and Lolly of Three by the Sea are back, with some competitive storytelling in a tree house. Read full book review >
MERRY CHRISTMAS, SPACE CASE by James Marshall
FICTION
Released: Sept. 1, 1986

"Despite some disappointing features, this new story will be welcomed by those who loved the small alien during its first visit."
James Marshall, who illustrated Edward Marshall's Space Case, has written and illustrated this sequel. Read full book review >
YUMMERS TOO! by James Marshall
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 1986

"Although not on the level of his Wings, the book will nonetheless be welcomed by Marshall's fans."
Emily Pig and Eugene Turtle continue their anarchic adventures in this third book about them, the second to concentrate on Emily's dedicated gluttony. Read full book review >
THE CUT-UPS by James Marshall
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 1984

"But it's all mindless, aimless mayhem: sheer illustration of what devils kids can be."
This is the first of cut-ups Spud Jenkins and Joe Turner, but it apparently won't be the last: at the book's close the neighborhood terrors are headed for school, where "little did they know" that their latest victim, kid-hating Lamar J. Spurgle, awaits them. Read full book review >
GEORGE AND MARTHA BACK IN TOWN by James Marshall
ANIMALS
Released: April 1, 1984

"The magic, as always, is the economy of means."
Further episodes—some characteristically sly, each one engaging—in the delicately balanced friendship of portly hippos George and Martha. Read full book review >
RAPSCALLION JONES by James Marshall
Released: Oct. 1, 1983

"Trite and lame."
Some hollow flimflam about an aging, needy fox who decides to become a writer. Read full book review >
TAKING CARE OF CARRUTHERS by James Marshall
ADVENTURE
Released: Oct. 26, 1982

"A restorative tonic for the grumpiest bear."
Marshall begins with Eugene the turtle, who's written a story, reading it to grumpy Carruthers the bear. Read full book review >
GEORGE AND MARTHA TONS OF FUN by James Marshall
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 29, 1980

"She saw that the photograph was pretty funny after all"—a concession that pretty well illustrates why this picture-book friendship endures."
Misunderstandings, twinges of guilt, petty deceptions, and the loss of a birthday gift are winningly overcome in this latest set of five brief tales about Marshall's ludicrously buoyant hippos. Read full book review >
JAMES MARSHALL'S MOTHER GOOSE by James Marshall
POETRY
Released: Sept. 28, 1979

"When Marshall is good he's pretty funny, and when he's bad he's not horrid, merely flat."
You'll skip right through this Mother Goose—partly because Marshall's selections are consistently bouncy and light, but partly because his goofy, one-note pictures don't often invite poring over. Read full book review >
PORTLY MCSWINE by James Marshall
ANIMALS
Released: March 26, 1979

"Fetchingly ludicrous."
What if my party isn't amusing enough? . . . Read full book review >
GEORGE AND MARTHA ONE FINE DAY by James Marshall
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 1978

"Another winner."
Another quintet of minitales, filled out by the blimpy shapes of Marshall's inseparable hippopotami. Read full book review >
A SUMMER IN THE SOUTH by James Marshall
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 1977

"To us it seems more thin than whacky; perhaps a young reader in the summer sun would reverse the judgment."
Marshall's first "novel" for young readers, a kookie murder mystery, is more like an extended easy reader, with no pretense to the dimension you'd associate with the label even at this level. Read full book review >
GEORGE AND MARTHA RISE AND SHINE by James Marshall
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 29, 1976

"To see Martha carrying a dainty pocketbook or hopping on her pogo stick, or George rump end up among the seats at the movie house or leaping onto the chandelier (and off the top of the page) at the sight of a snake, is to recognize the sunny incongruity that made them a success."
Five more tiny stories about Marshall's absurdly bloated-looking hippos—who though not blind to each other's foibles, are admirably indulgent. Read full book review >
SPEEDBOAT by James Marshall
ANIMALS
Released: March 12, 1976

"Mole and Troll, Gus and Buster, and all those other poor copies of the matchless Frog and Toad."
Just when we'd had it with both easy-reading animal friendships and James Marshall's schleppy creatures, along come Jasper Raisintoast and Jack Tweedy-Jones, canine companions of complementary dispositions and discrete charms. Read full book review >
FOUR LITTLE TROUBLES by James Marshall
ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 1, 1975

"But it takes more than furnishing all the dumpy looking animals with clothes and cozy homes to make these very little fabrications worth the trouble."
With indifferently reproduced three color drawings and soft paper covers, this boxed package of four puny variations on a minimal theme is better suited to toting to the sandbox than returning to the library. Read full book review >
THE GUEST by James Marshall
FICTION
Released: April 25, 1975

"This is patently a variation on Marshall's last successful matchmaking job, though as usual his cheerfully costumed blimps make a visual splash."
Maurice and Mona aren't the perfectly matched couple that George and Martha were. Read full book review >
WILLIS by James Marshall
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 18, 1974

"Again the buoyant blimpiness of Marshall's open-hearted creatures is paralleled in the disarmingly goofy delivery of his message."
All that unhappy Willis, a sort of potbellied crocagator, needs to cheer him up is a pair of sunglasses so that he can open his eyes and take in the fun on the beautiful beach, but though his new friends Bird, Snake, and Lobster are eager to help, they can only come up with ten cents toward the 29¢ glasses. Read full book review >
MISS DOG'S CHRISTMAS TREAT by James Marshall
ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 1, 1973

"Meanwhile however that nougat of recognition is almost lost inside the frosting."
In the wake of the overindulgent Emily Pig of Yummers (KR, p. 110, J-30) waddles Miss Dog, decked out in red and green for her annual Christmas party, but unable to resist gobbling up all the goodies before the guests arrive. Read full book review >
GEORGE AND MARTHA ENCORE by James Marshall
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 1973

The idyllic friendship of those shy pin-eyed, buck-toothed hippos ambles on through Martha's dance recital, George's unsuccessful attempt to disguise himself as an Indian, a French lesson ("Voulez-vous m'embrasser?"), and the planting of cut tulips in Martha's garden; it even survives Martha's bad case of sunburn because "George never said 'I told you so!'" The "two great chums," decked out here in dancing costumes and enormous horizontal striped bathing suits, have grown tamer since their first outing, but their ingenuous exercises in mutual admiration are worth the encore. Read full book review >
YUMMERS! STARRING EMILY AND EUGENE by James Marshall
ANIMALS
Released: Feb. 28, 1973

"And Eugene is a model straight man."
Whereas in George and Martha (1972) Marshall portrayed a pair of lovably blimpy hippopotami without overt reference to their proportions, here he confronts the subjects of overweight and compulsive eating head on. Read full book review >
GEORGE AND MARTHA by James Marshall
ANIMALS
Released: March 29, 1972

"The pictures — of George trying to roller skate or to ascend in a balloon, of Martha gazing into the mirror — hold up their end of the "lovable blimp" load, and though this George and Martha won't go down in history, they are worth looking in on."
"Five stories about two great friends" — a pair of hippos named George and Martha. Read full book review >