Books by Jeanne Willis

BOA'S BAD BIRTHDAY by Jeanne Willis
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: April 1, 2014

"Festive fare that ultimately misses the mark. (Picture book. 4-8)"
On the cover of this picture book, an impossibly cute, sad-looking boa lolls from a tree branch, birthday hat on his head. What could possibly be the matter? Read full book review >
FLY, CHICK, FLY! by Jeanne Willis
Released: Sept. 1, 2012

"This gentle read-aloud looks forward to the time when the child will have a young one of her own. (Picture book. 3-7)"
The third of three owl chicks hesitates to fly, requiring much encouragement from its parents. Read full book review >
HIPPOSPOTAMUS by Jeanne Willis
Released: Sept. 1, 2012

"Eeeew. But in a good way. (Picture book. 5-7)"
A mysterious pink spot on Hippo's bum provides the MacGuffin for a lottamus of silly wordplay capped by a deliciously gross denouement. Read full book review >
WHO'S IN THE LOO? by Jeanne Willis
IPAD BOOK APPS
Released: June 8, 2012

"A few clogs in the digital plumbing away from a wrap. (iPad storybook app. 4-8)"
Sound effects and animated wriggles squeeze out laffs from this unabashed exercise in toilet humor, but the software coding and design is a major update short of release-ready. Read full book review >
I'M SURE I SAW A DINOSAUR by Jeanne Willis
DINOSAURS
Released: Sept. 1, 2011

"Another slyly disquieting outing from the creators of Who's in the Bathroom? (2007). (Picture book. 6-8)"
Willis and Reynolds deliver a sharp tweak to the credulous, as just the rumor of a monster sighting prompts a mass migration of rubberneckers. Read full book review >
THAT'S NOT FUNNY! by Jeanne Willis
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 2010

"Sure to trigger young listeners' laughter as well. (Picture book. 3-6)"
Hyena gets a taste of his own mischievous medicine. Read full book review >
OLD DOG by Jeanne Willis
by Jeanne Willis, illustrated by Tony Ross
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Aug. 1, 2010

"Great message about mutual respect, crisply told. (Picture book. 3-6)"
Does Grandpa need new tricks to get the attention of canine whippersnappers? Read full book review >
THE BOG BABY by Jeanne Willis
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Oct. 13, 2009

"Narrated in the personable voice of one of the sisters all grown up, this happy-ending story asks readers to consider not only the importance of leaving wild things wild but the possibility of magic. (Bog Baby field note form) (Picture book. 4-7)"
Anyone who has ever tried to re-create a tide pool in a jar or displaced a wild thing only to watch it wither will understand the heartbreak of two sisters and their beloved Bog Baby in this whimsical British import. Read full book review >
FLABBY CAT AND SLOBBY DOG by Jeanne Willis
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 2009

"Skip this sermon and enjoy a nice walk outside instead. (Picture book. 4-7)"
Eating right and exercising is undoubtedly an excellent prescription for good health. Read full book review >
MOMMY, DO YOU LOVE ME? by Jeanne Willis
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: March 1, 2008

"The themes of love and forgiveness aided by the lovely illustrations help this addition rise to the top of the genre. (Picture book. 3-5)"
Yet another entry in the how-much-do-you-love-me genre with a helpful addition toward the end. Read full book review >
COTTONBALL COLIN by Jeanne Willis
ANIMALS
Released: Feb. 1, 2008

"Young children daunted by how dangerous to mice and other small creatures Colin's world turns out to be may be happier with the sibling support in Martin Waddell's Tiny's Big Adventure (2004), illustrated by John Lawrence. (Picture book. 5-7)"
In a tale pointedly addressed to overprotective adults, a mother mouse finally lets her littlest one go. Read full book review >
WHO’S IN THE BATHROOM? by Jeanne Willis
ANIMALS
Released: March 27, 2007

"For bladder or worse, rare is the child who won't "go" for this, despite its unexpectedly low-pressure dénouement. (Picture book. 5-8)"
Echoing the plaint of many a desperate bathroom-seeker, Willis offers an extended series of rhymed speculations about what's holding up the line for the loo. Read full book review >
DELILAH D. AT THE LIBRARY by Jeanne Willis
FICTION
Released: March 19, 2007

"While her antics may be amusingly familiar for parents and librarians, it's less clear how much kids will enjoy the arch humor. (Picture book. 5-8)"
Delilah D., a precocious preschooler, insists that she's the queen of a distant country. Read full book review >
GORILLA! GORILLA! by Jeanne Willis
ANIMALS
Released: June 1, 2006

"Illustrations are ideal for group readings. (Picture book. 3-6)"
This colorful work, rendered in pastels, is another collaboration between the team that made readers laugh at Tadpole's Promise (2005). Read full book review >
TADPOLE’S PROMISE by Jeanne Willis
ANIMALS
Released: June 1, 2005

"The setup being perfect enough to leave even adult readers unsettled, this makes a promising addition to the "share if you dare" list, next to, say, Chris Raschka's Arlene Sardine (1998). (Picture book. 6-8)"
In this deceptively innocuous love story, a caterpillar and a polliwog pledge their love, promising each other that they will never change. Read full book review >
I HATE SCHOOL by Jeanne Willis
FICTION
Released: July 1, 2004

"Willis will have readers or listeners rolling in the aisles—and what a refreshing twist on all of those blandly reassuring "First Day of School" stories. (Picture book. 5-7)"
Never have the horrors of school been more forcefully, or adroitly, expressed. Read full book review >
NAKED WITHOUT A HAT by Jeanne Willis
FICTION
Released: May 11, 2004

"With strong secondary characters and an original final twist, this British story, which was shortlisted for the Whitbread prize, moves slowly at times but ultimately rewards the reader in full measure. (Fiction. YA)"
Will Avery, who's slow, deliberate, and unusually kind to both people and animals, narrates his love story in an unsophisticated voice. Read full book review >
DON’T LET GO! by Jeanne Willis
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: May 1, 2003

"Wholesome fare for both parent and child. (Picture book. 5-7)"
Achieving the skill of riding a two-wheeled bike is the first step on the path to independence. Read full book review >
THE BOY WHO THOUGHT HE WAS A TEDDY BEAR by Jeanne Willis
FICTION
Released: Sept. 1, 2002

"Varley's pen-and-wash art has teddy's essential qualities: homey, disheveled, and warm. (Picture book. 3-6)"
The fairies are responsible, so this story of a boy who thought he was a teddy bear qualifies as a fairy tale—and a very charming one indeed. Read full book review >
THE TRUTH OR SOMETHING by Jeanne Willis
FICTION
Released: May 1, 2001

"The narrative voice is a challenge and the subject matter is grim, but patient, older readers will find a good story and some measure of truth. (Fiction. YA)"
"I don't know me either. Not any more." Read full book review >
WHAT DID I LOOK LIKE WHEN I WAS A BABY? by Jeanne Willis
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Oct. 1, 2000

"A fine choice for a frog-themed story time or for integrating a satisfying read-aloud into science class. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Most schoolchildren in the primary grades study lifecycles in science class, often focusing on frogs to observe their dramatic metamorphosis. Read full book review >
THE BOY WHO LOST HIS BELLY BUTTON by Jeanne Willis
ANIMALS
Released: April 1, 2000

"It will take a good storyteller to make it work, but it might be worth the effort. (Picture book. 3-6)"
This quiet, engaging fantasy, illustrated in humorous, expressive color pencil falls flat at its sudden ending. Read full book review >
SLOTH'S SHOES by Jeanne Willis
ANIMALS
Released: March 1, 1998

"Readers are bound to enjoy the amusing, offbeat party preparations. (Picture book. 3-6)"
It's Sloth's fifth birthday, and all the animals pitch in to plan the party of the year. Read full book review >
IN SEARCH OF THE GIANT by Jeanne Willis
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: May 1, 1994

"The beautiful art tantalizes the imagination, yielding intriguing new images with each rereading. (Picture book. 4-10)"
 A little boy and his older sister explore a dark forest ``looking for a creature of enormous size, with a backbone as strong as a beech tree...and thighs as round as oaks.'' While the text mentions such pleasurably shivery possibilities as the scent of a moist bank being ``the giant's mossy breath'' or wind-blown brambles his snare, the illustrator's marvelous watercolors offer more evidence of an elusive giant, and perhaps other weird creatures, in the forest's shadowed recesses, the twisted, muscular shapes of trees, and some startling juxtapositions of fungi and knotholes. Read full book review >
EARTH MOBILES, AS EXPLAINED BY PROFESSOR XARGLE by Jeanne Willis
FICTION
Released: Jan. 1, 1992

"Not as amusing as its predecessors, but still good fun. (Picture book. 4-9)"
 Moving right along, the fuzzy, green three-eyed alien who explained human babies so hilariously in Earthlets (1989), as well as our cats and dogs in later efforts, takes up the subject of terrestrial transportation before his class dons their disguises for a field trip to sample the marvels he has described. Read full book review >
EARTH TIGERLETS by Jeanne Willis
ANIMALS
Released: May 1, 1991

"(Picture book. 4+)"
 Though the first (Earthlets, 1989) in this series of comical lectures by an extraterrestrial pedant concerning what he describes as some of Earth's more bizarre species is still the funniest, these misconstructions of feline motives and behavior (``Earth Tigerlets...leave squishy puddings on the stairs so the Earthling has something soft to step on when he has forgotten his socks'') are also pretty funny, especially as rendered in Ross's vigorous, wickedly satirical pictures. Read full book review >