Books by Joe Mathieu

Released: May 1, 2012

"While the schtick may be getting a little old for everyday readers, clever teachers could turn this into a creative writing/art lesson that works for multiple grade levels. (Picture book. 4-7)"
Mrs. Millie's silliness with mixed-up words continues as her students plan a few birthday surprises, and this time, it is not just Mrs. Millie who gets her words wrong (Don't Be Silly, Mrs. Millie!, 2005, etc.). Read full book review >
HORSES by Patricia Hubbell
Released: Sept. 1, 2011

Rollicking rhyming couplets keep the pages turning as readers learn how to care for a horse and the many jobs that horses help humans complete in this latest from Hubbell. Read full book review >
WE’RE GOING ON A LION HUNT by Margery Cuyler
Released: Sept. 1, 2008

A gentle adaptation of the familiar call-and-response game. Teacher shows a picture of a lion and passes out safari hats to her multiethnic students, who look to be in kindergarten. Magically, their classroom door opens onto an African terrain, and the hunt is on. They slog through mud, snap through sticks, climb trees, splash through a river and swish through the tall grass before reaching the dark cave, where all that can be seen is a pair of yellow eyes. After getting too close to the king of the jungle, back they go, triple-time. The soft colors in Mathieu's pencil illustrations are attractive, and he offers a variety of facial expressions and action poses on the exuberant children in every two-page spread. While nothing beats or can replace the classic Rosen-Oxenbury collaboration, We're Going on a Bear Hunt (1989), the classroom setting this outing offers makes it a terrific invitation for young listeners to take "Lion Hunt" out of the story circle for some happy dramatic play. (Picture book. 3-7)Read full book review >
PIG PICKIN’ by Stephanie Greene
Released: Oct. 1, 2006

A porcine ingénue narrowly escapes being the main entrée at a country fair, thanks to some fancy footwork and cunning deductions of her companion, Moose. When Hildy, a vainglorious pig, receives a gracious invite to a Pig Pickin' competiton, she naturally assumes she's competing for the title of a beauty queen. However, Moose comes to the realization en route that Hildy may be headed to a destination of a different sort. Greene's farcical tale relies heavily on gags and Hildy's utter naïveté in the face of the ominous evidence. With a slick farmer villain to boo, a wily Moose to champion and a damsel in distress—albeit a bit of a buffoon—Greene's country caper will have readers eagerly turning the pages to the climatic conclusion. Mathieu's pencil-and-gray wash illustrations feature largely throughout the tale, making this a nice bridge for readers who are ready to make the leap from beginning chapter books to more challenging reading. (Fiction. 6-9)Read full book review >
MOOSE CROSSING by Stephanie Greene
Released: Oct. 1, 2005

When the "Moose Crossing" sign is posted, Moose learns that fame is not only fleeting, but it's downright annoying. At first, he is so taken by the sign that he's unable to leave the area, so excited is he by his self-importance. Even his best friend Hildy the Pig has trouble putting up with Moose's arrogant proclamations: "Fine. You shouldn't go swimming anyway. With a head as fat as yours, you'd probably sink." Moose greets his human guests warmly, offering autographs and photographs, but is soon shocked by the sheer number of visitors. Soon, he's a prisoner of his own fame, and he and Hildy have to make up and do some quick thinking. Though the accompanying pencil sketches are humorous, the story loses steam halfway through, making this middling fare for new readers. (Fiction. 6-9)Read full book review >
Released: April 11, 2005

In a classroom setting, the harmless fun begins with the kindergartner's teacher teasing her class by telling them to hang up their "goats," do the "frog salute," and get out their paper and "penguins." The children in Mrs. Millie's kindergarten class, after the initial surprise, reply in unison with the refrain, "Don't be silly, Mrs. Millie! You mean . . . " Full of giggles and guffaws, the children delight in the mental picture of the literal image in colored pencil, ink, and color wash which is equally as bright and absurd as the textual tease, but visually and verbally, Cox and Mathieu don't go beyond average. The verbal errors, though they provide an opportunity for the children to correct them, are a simple fun game for a limited age range, whether it's poodles or puddles, weasels or easels, quackers or crackers. Mrs. Millie's sillies will elicit snickers and participation, once through, but no more than that. (Picture book. 4-5)Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 1995

This follow-up to Dogs Don't Wear Sneakers (1993) offers more of the same random, rollicking doggerel``Horses don't hang glide/Giraffes don't drive cars/And you won't see a piglet saving pennies in jars,'' etc.matched to busy, literal cartoons filled with animals clothed and posed accordingly. As in If You Give A Moose A Muffin (1991), Numeroff stretches a winning idea, perhaps further than it will go. The first book will create demand for the second, but there are empty calories in this sequel. (Picture book. 5-7) Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 25, 1993

``...And pigs don't wear hats/And dresses look silly/On Siamese cats,'' begins this cheerful litany, by the author of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie (1985), of ridiculous impossibilities- -the last few seen from a different perspective after Numeroff suggests, ``Now just close your eyes/And draw with your mind...tell me what you see? It's your dream—not mine!'' Using soft pencil and watercolor against a white ground that dramatizes the lively activity, Mathieu, a frequent illustrator of Sesame Street books, visualizes such unlikely scenes as skunks on scooters, a skiing yak taking a header, or gnus building a ``gnu'' house in a spirited, comical style that's sure to appeal to the preschool crowd as much as the deliciously silly text does. (Picture book. 4-7) Read full book review >