Books by Jon Agee

LIFE ON MARS by Jon Agee
Kirkus Star
by Jon Agee, illustrated by Jon Agee
CHILDREN'S
Released: Feb. 28, 2017

"Bursting with quiet wit and gorgeous Martian vistas. Simply masterful. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Is there life on Mars? Read full book review >
LION LESSONS by Jon Agee
by Jon Agee, illustrated by Jon Agee
CHILDREN'S
Released: July 5, 2016

"A jubilant romp fit for a lion. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Being a lion demands hard work. Read full book review >
IT'S ONLY STANLEY by Jon Agee
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 17, 2015

"Fun—just plain fun. (Picture book. 6-8)"
The Wimbledon family—mother, father, four children, a cat, and Stanley, a brilliantly inventive beagle—have a sleepless night. Read full book review >
LITTLE SANTA by Jon Agee
Kirkus Star
by Jon Agee, illustrated by Jon Agee
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 17, 2013

"His red suit and his smile make little Santa stand out in his glum family, and this amusing story stands out in a similar way as a cheerful, original Christmas tale. (Picture book. 4-7)"
Santa's origins are explained in this novel, quirky exploration of how Santa, the elves and the flying reindeer found their callings. Read full book review >
THE OTHER SIDE OF TOWN by Jon Agee
CHILDREN'S
Released: Nov. 1, 2012

"No fare required for this trip, just a tongue and a cheek in which to put it. (Picture book. 6-8)"
In a droll episode that caters to the beliefs of many Manhattanites, a cabbie discovers that the "other side of town" actually is an alternate universe. Read full book review >
MY RHINOCEROS by Jon Agee
by Jon Agee, illustrated by Jon Agee
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 2011

"Lighthearted fun as a read-aloud or read-alone. (Picture book. 3-7)"
What can a pet rhinoceros do? Not a lot, unless it has hidden talents. Read full book review >
MR. PUTNEY'S QUACKING DOG by Jon Agee
ANIMALS
Released: Aug. 1, 2010

"Sure to appeal to a wide range of ages—a real end-of-summer treat. (Nonfiction. 6 & up)"
Continuing the master wordplay displayed in his previous titles about anagrams, oxymorons, palindromes and spoonerisms (Orangutan Tongs: Poems to Tangle Your Tongue, 2009, etc.), Agee introduces Mr. Putney and invites readers to guess the names of his odd menagerie of animal friends in a series of 20 sly riddles. Read full book review >
ORANGUTAN TONGS by Jon Agee
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 15, 2009

"Agee acknowledges Alvin Schwartz's A Twister of Twists, A Tangler of Tongues (1972) as a major source, but adds his own distinctive mix of simplicity and sophisticated wit to this top-notch tub full of tangue tonglers. (index) (Picture book/poetry. 7-10)"
More clever wordplay from the Prince of Palindromes—not to mention 2006's Smart Feller / Fart Smeller and Other Spoonerisms—these 34 rhymed riffs on variously challenging tongue twisters will trip up even lingually limber readers. Read full book review >
THE RETIRED KID by Jon Agee
by Jon Agee, illustrated by Jon Agee
CHILDREN'S
Released: June 24, 2008

"An amusing take on the 'no place like home' theme. (Picture book. 4-8)"
What happens when an eight-year-old boy decides being a kid is hard work and it's time to retire? Read full book review >
NOTHING by Jon Agee
by Jon Agee, illustrated by Jon Agee
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 2007

"Next to the rich feeling and insight in Patrick McDonnell's Gift of Nothing (2005), Agee's take on the core idea is superficial, but his solid fan base will welcome this new outing. (Picture book. 6-8)"
In a barbed commentary on fashion cycles, Agee creates a spare tale that begins and ends in a storekeeper's emptied antiques shop. Read full book review >
WHY DID THE CHICKEN CROSS THE ROAD? by Jon Agee
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 1, 2006

"Evidently offered not to support a charity but just for fun (plus a little promotion), this gallery of clever pullet surprises will draw crows of delight. (Picture book. 5-8, adult)"
Fourteen artists, nearly all of them household names, offer answers to the classic title question. Read full book review >
SMART FELLER FART SMELLER by Jon Agee
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 1, 2006

"Shel Silverstein's Runny Babbit (2005), the joke definitely wears thin—but readers of the target mentality may be tempted to rake the tall and bun with it. (Nonfiction. 6-8)"
From anagrams (Elvis Lives!, 2000) and palindromes (Palindromania!, 2002), Agee moves to a more rudimentary form of wordplay, pairing spoonerisms framed as questions and answers ("What did Rapunzel say to the filthy giant?" Read full book review >
TERRIFIC by Jon Agee
by Jon Agee, illustrated by Jon Agee
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 2005

"Fans of James Stevenson's tales of the 'Worst Person in the World' will find a kindred sort here and are sure to add the adjective to their vocabularies. (Picture book. 6-8)"
Plainly channeling Jack Benny, middle-aged Eugene responds glumly to various reversals of fortune—after winning a cruise to Bermuda: "Terrific. Read full book review >
Z GOES HOME by Jon Agee
by Jon Agee, illustrated by Jon Agee
ABC BOOKS
Released: Sept. 1, 2003

"The Z Is Zapped meets Chicka Chicka Boom Boom in this zany abecedarium that zips with zesty creativity. (Picture book. 5-8)"
When Z, from the zoo sign, climbs down a ladder and escapes, he travels an alphabetic trek through double-paged scenes where unlikely pairing of words (one per letter) are quixotically juxtaposed: e.g., Z passes ALIEN and crosses BRIDGE (B turned sideways); on a wharf INK is spilled on the JETTY as a man KARATE kicks Z into the water. Read full book review >
PALINDROMANIA! by Jon Agee
by Jon Agee, illustrated by Jon Agee
Released: Oct. 24, 2002

"Good at least for several minutes of chuckles, these spirited cartoons may inspire readers young and old to find linguistic and artistic opportunity in gnu dung. (Picture book/nonfiction. 10+)"
"Yo! Bozo boy!" Read full book review >
POTCH & POLLY by William Steig
CHILDREN'S
Released: Aug. 30, 2002

"The one missing piece of her pie'—gives the essentially adult tale the air of a sophisticated valentine, but perceptive younger readers will also catch the tenderness underlying this rocky, slapstick romance. (Picture book. 7-9)"
Agee (Milo's Hat Trick, 2001, etc.) illustrates this comic take on the course of true love never running smooth with clownish flair. Read full book review >
MILO’S HAT TRICK by Jon Agee
CHILDREN'S
Released: May 1, 2001

"The pacing and delivery are stage-worthy, as is Agee's vastly expressive artwork, which is chockful of visual humor. (Picture book. 3-8)"
Agee displays his masterful drollery to particularly good effect in this tale of a semiskilled magician in need of a good trick. Read full book review >
Released: April 16, 1999

"A man, a plan, a cat, a bar, a cap, a mall, a ball, a map, a car, a bat, a canal: Panama'—Agee hikes down a curious, always entertaining language byway with a book which, it can be said with perfect justice, readers will enjoy backwards and forwards. (Picture book. 6-10)"
The Prince of Palindromia offers a third collection, nearly all of which, he writes, "grew (very slowly) out of my brain." Read full book review >
WHO ORDERED THE JUMBO SHRIMP? by Jon Agee
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 30, 1998

From Agee (Go Hang a Salami! Read full book review >
MEAN MARGARET by Tor Seidler
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 30, 1997

"Advanced readers may perceive an edge beneath the drollery, but it's all in good fun. (Fiction. 9-11)"
A fastidious woodchuck discovers parenthood to be worse than his wildest imaginings in this benign, if sardonic, animal tale from Seidler (The Wainscott Weasel, 1993, etc.). Read full book review >
THE HALLOWEEN HOUSE by Erica Silverman
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 22, 1997

"Booooooo''-ing cast, without fear of nightmares when it's time for bed. (Picture book. 3-5)"
A natural candidate for reading aloud, this book puts a Halloween twist on a familiar counting rhyme: ``In the Halloween house,/in a dark dingy den,/a papa werewolf crouched/with his little ones ten.'' Silverman (Mrs. Peachtree's Bicycle, 1996, etc.) populates her creaky mansion with tried and true creatures, both natural and supernatural: baby vampires, worms, spiders, witches, monsters, ghosts, young skeletons, bats, etc. With splashy watercolors reminiscent of those in James Stevenson's Grandpa yarns, Agee not only creates a plotline—two escaped convicts spend a terrifying night touring the derelict place before dashing back to their cells—but depicts all the creepies as more cute than frightening, or at least harmless-looking. Read full book review >
DMITRI THE ASTRONAUT by Jon Agee
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 30, 1996

"A charmer. (Picture book. 5-7)"
Agee (The Return of Freddy LeGrand, 1992, etc.) scores again with this utterly engaging tale of interplanetary friendship. Read full book review >
FLAPSTICK! by Jon Agee
by Jon Agee, illustrated by Jon Agee
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 1, 1993

"Sturdy pages and construction, but nowhere to accommodate library fixtures without disrupting an essential spread. (Picture book. 3-8)"
Elegant, lighthearted fun: ``10 Ridiculous Rhymes with Flaps''—e.g., ``The maestro Leopardo/Sat down to play some Bach./It sounded very pleasant/But smelled like an old—'' (grand piano lid lifts to reveal a sock). Read full book review >
THE RETURN OF FREDDY LEGRAND by Jon Agee
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 28, 1992

"Lively story; grand pictures; much appeal. (Picture book. 3-8)"
When Freddy's biplane, the Golden Gull, lands through the roof of a French barn after flying the Atlantic, farmers Sophie and Albert take an immediate interest in aeronautics. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 20, 1992

"Delightful visual and verbal fun. (Picture book. 8+)"
From its title, price, and dedication (to ``Hannah'') to endpaper quickies like ``SOS!'' and ``WOW'' and even the ISBN number, 60 or more remarkably ingenious symmetries, their humor wonderfully extended in Agee's comical, imaginative, deftly drawn cartoons. ``If I had a hi-fi,'' warbles a fiddler on a roof; ``Mr. Owl ate my metal worm,'' complains a robotic bird. Read full book review >