Books by Kara LaReau

PROJECT FLUFFY by Kara LaReau
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 16, 2018

"The Ratso brothers' third outing is good, anthropomorphic fun. (Animal fantasy. 5-9)"
It's Poetry Month—time for the First Annual Peter Rabbit Elementary School Poetry Contest! Read full book review >
GOOD NIGHT, LITTLE MONSTERS by Kara LaReau
CHILDREN'S
Released: June 26, 2018

"What better way to deal with baby monsters than to tuck them safely into bed? Little monsters will try to put off the inevitable bedtime with the demand, 'read it again.' (Board book. 2-4)"
A board book for older toddlers who like pretending to be just a little bit scared. Read full book review >
THE UNCANNY EXPRESS  by Kara LaReau
CHILDREN'S
Released: Jan. 9, 2018

"Move over, Holmes and Watson. There's a new detecting pair in town, and the name's Bland. (Mystery. 7-9)"
Magicians are supposed to disappear, but this one may have a hard time coming back. Read full book review >
THE INFAMOUS RATSOS ARE NOT AFRAID by Kara LaReau
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 12, 2017

"Charming. (Animal fantasy. 5-8)"
Following The Infamous Ratsos (2016), Louie and Ralphie Ratso deal with different types of fear while starting a carnival-style arcade. Read full book review >
JOLLY REGINA by Kara LaReau
by Kara LaReau, illustrated by Jen Hill
CHILDREN'S
Released: Jan. 10, 2017

"'To shanghai' and 'charming' don't usually go together, but here they do. (Adventure. 7-9)"
When two dull-as-dishwater sisters suddenly find themselves working for female pirates, their days of boredom come sadly to an end. Read full book review >
THE INFAMOUS RATSOS by Kara LaReau
CHILDREN'S
Released: Aug. 2, 2016

"A nicely inventive little morality 'tail' for newly independent readers. (Fiction. 5-8)"
Two little rats decide to show the world how tough they are, with unpredictable results. Read full book review >
NO SLURPING, NO BURPING! by Kara LaReau
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 4, 2014

"The ill-mannered apple doesn't fall very far from the tree. Parents, take note. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Two impossibly neat and polite youngsters attempt to rein in their father's madcap (but undeniably cheery) mealtime missteps. Read full book review >
MR. PRICKLES by Kara LaReau
CHILDREN'S
Released: Dec. 20, 2012

"Misfits, bullies, educators, parents and kids of all kinds just may learn a thing or two from this nocturnal love story. (Picture book. 4-8)"
It looks as if Mr. Prickles will never fit in with the cast of furry forest creatures that cavort each night. This makes him feel "Very prickly." That is, until he meets Miss Pointypants. Read full book review >
OTTO:  THE BOY WHO LOVED CARS by Kara LaReau
CHILDREN'S
Released: Aug. 2, 2011

"Maybe monomaniacal preschool readers will take the hint, too. (Picture book. 2-6)
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Otto, as is only fitting, is in love with autos—obnoxiously so. Read full book review >
RABBIT & SQUIRREL by Kara LaReau
ANIMALS
Released: May 1, 2008

"Stay away from my garden—or else!" Her crunchiest carrots, his sweetest sweet peas.... Neighbors Rabbit and Squirrel blame each other for pillaging their respective, carefully kept gardens. Actually, as Magoon makes clear in his digitally created, deceptively gooney cartoons, the culprit is a human gardener who comes back later to chase the still-quarreling animals out of what she regards as her garden and off into the dark woods. "One of these days," readers are assured, "they'll grow tired of fighting. And then, hopefully, they'll learn to grow something new." Along with the idea that wars can be touched off by jumping to conclusions or other mistakes, the lack of a pat resolution to the hostilities makes this a good discussion-starter—and also sets it apart from the general run of simplistic peace-mongering titles. (Picture book. 6-8)Read full book review >
UGLY FISH by Kara LaReau
ANIMALS
Released: June 1, 2006

Adding to the most recent spate of seemingly innocuous illustrated tales with sudden macabre twists, this deals just deserts to an aggressive aquarium fish—depicted in Magoon's simple, spacious illustrations with spiky teeth and a squarish, pea-green body—who chases and then eats every finny newcomer until an extra large arrival provides apt turnabout. Intended as a lesson for bullies, it's more likely to provide a morsel of vicarious satisfaction for their victims; still, for Gorey, Dahl and Belloc fans, shelve it next to such other unsettling titles as Jean Willis's Tadpole's Promise (2005), illus by Tony Ross, or Whatever (2005), Bee Williams's darker remake of Maurice Sendak's Pierre. (Picture book. 6-8)Read full book review >
SNOWBABY COULD NOT SLEEP by Kara LaReau
BEDTIME BOOK
Released: Oct. 1, 2005

It's a perfect night for sleeping—wintry and windy. "But Snowbaby could not, would not sleep." First, he's not tired, then he's too hot, thirsty, he'd like a song, the wind is too loud, he wants some company. His never flagging parents cheerfully attempt to solve them all. Snowpapa suggests he count snowflakes. Snowmama adds another layer of snow to his blankets. Nothing gets him to sleep until the ingenious parents create a Snowdoggie. Dad's buttons are his eyes, while his smile is a ribbon from Mom's skirt. But Snowbaby gets a taste of his own medicine when Snowdoggie becomes restless and "could not, would not sleep." When the two finally close their eyes, the tired parents tiptoe off to their own bed: "Good night! Sleet dreams!" Ishikawa's mixed-media illustrations perfectly evoke the wintry text, with touches that remind readers at every turn that the characters are snowmen: cool colors, evergreen wallpaper, penguin friends. A cute winter version of a familiar theme with the added touch of providing a solution—counting snowflakes—for parents to suggest to overtired tots. (Picture book. 3-8)Read full book review >