Books by Joanna Harrison

Released: Sept. 23, 2014

"A travesty. (Picture book. 5-7)"
A sequel of sorts—and a wordy one at that—to the lovely, wordless and beloved The Snowman, by Raymond Briggs (1978). Read full book review >
FELINE CHARM by Kitty Wells
Released: Nov. 8, 2011

"The sweet storyline, appealing characters and just the right touch of magic make this an endearing series for new, cat-loving readers who are ready for a little bit of adventure in their vocabulary. (Fantasy. 7-10)"
Maddy Lloyd and her ceramic cats are back, this time solving a problem close to home (Shadow Magic, 2011). Read full book review >
SHADOW MAGIC by Kitty Wells
Released: July 12, 2011

Maddy's magical ceramic cats come to life, helping her and her cousin adjust to the many changes in their lives. Read full book review >
GRIZZLY DAD by Joanna Harrison
Released: May 12, 2009

When Dad wakes up one morning, he is in a GRRRRIZZLY mood, and after grrroaning, grrrizzling and GRRRUMPing, he goes back to bed where he can't do any more damage. Mum goes out with the other sibs, telling her son to check on his dad, which the boy does with some trepidation—well-founded, as it turns out, as Dad has turned into a genuine (bespectacled and pajama'd) grizzly bear. While his bear-dad's table manners are lacking, however, he's huge fun on an outing, and father and son end up having "the best day EVER." Harrison's illustrations make the most of her absurd plot, sprawling appropriately all over the oversized pages and supplying plenty of subtext for readers to enjoy. In a season full of saccharine, this is the real thing. (Picture book. 4-8)Read full book review >
WHERE’S THAT CAT? by Eve Merriam
Released: Oct. 1, 2000

The late poet's long-time editor completed this puzzle book about Jitterbugs, a tiger-striped cat who leads a girl on a merry chase out the door and around the neighborhood. "What squeaks open and makes a breeze?" asks the text, and the watercolor panel beneath shows readers the exiting cat; the answer also appearing in text at the top of the following page: "Jitterbugs, Jitterbugs glides out the door." Typographics make the most of action words and aid incidentally in building readers' vocabularies and sensitivity to language. Similar puzzles ask what's white and edges the grass or "What's ticklish, green, and smells like spring?" with the answers—a fence, the grass—immediately following. But the big question remains—"Where's that cat?"—for Jitterbugs runs like greased lightning, once even chasing the girl who is chasing him. All ends happily back at home, where it is time for a nap for the girl and the cat. A pleasant poetic excursion into the mildest of mysteries of which the outcome is never in doubt, but which will nonetheless entice listeners into following the clues. An excellent read-aloud. (Picture book. 3-7)Read full book review >
DEAR BEAR by Joanna Harrison
Released: Nov. 5, 1994

Katie and the bear who lives under the stairs at her house start a correspondence. At first, Katie just tells him to shove off. But after the bear takes a brief vacation, Katie misses the brute, and when he writes that he has been ill, she prepares a hot-water bottle for him. Finally, the two come face to face (at Mom's connivance) for a tea party. There is little pungency in this bogey-in-the-closet tale: no intimation that Ursus horribilis may indeed reside under the stairs, no tension, no drama in the denouement, no appreciation of fear's role—no bite, as it were. The artwork is overly benign, the colors too washed out for any edginess. See Helen Cooper's stair-dwelling griz (The Bear Under the Stairs, 1993) for a convincing bear scare. From the beginning, it's clear that newcomer Harrison's bear is a harmless figment. Katie might just as well have had this correspondence with her parrot. (Fiction/Picture book. 4-8) Read full book review >