Books by Karen Rostoker-Gruber

MADDIE THE MITZVAH CLOWN by Karen Rostoker-Gruber
Released: April 1, 2017

"Describing a different way to give back to the community (and help oneself), this cheery outing should not be confined to its Jewish context. (Picture book. 5-7)"
Maddie, a young mouse, loses her shyness when she realizes that she can make others laugh. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 2, 2015

"Though Hanukkah takes something of a back seat, this funny, friendly tale is a worthy addition to the holiday shelves. (Picture book. 3-6)"
An Israeli farmer's menagerie proves to be both a hindrance and an asset when making the perfect romantic match. Read full book review >
FERRET FUN by Karen Rostoker-Gruber
Released: March 1, 2011

Fudge and Einstein were perfectly happy ferrets until Andrea, their owner, brought a surprise visitor into the house. Marvel, a chunky calico cat, is going to stay with them while her owner is away. Marvel has never seen a ferret. She knows Fudge and Einstein aren't cats. She knows they aren't dogs. They must be... Rats! Marvel loves to eat rats. No amount of discussion changes her mind. She breaks into their cage—but Andrea comes back in time to save the ferrets. What are a couple of enterprising ferrets to do? Hide? She'd find them. Ignore her? She'd bug them. Run away? There are no raisins in the wild! When they hit upon a plan to deal with the feline bully, it works perfectly…maybe too perfectly. Fudge and Einstein decide a friend is more helpful (and fun) than a frightened enemy (especially when it means raisins and a good game of chase). Rostoker-Gruber's tale of standing up to bullies might not offer any practical advice beyond the obvious, but children will identify with Fudge and Einstein's situation. Rátz de Tagyos's magic-marker-and-ink graphic-novel-style illustrations are the real draw; the bouncy, fanged trio are a terrific balance between Saturday morning cartoon and real animals. Just enough lesson hidden in the fun. (Picture book. 4-8)Read full book review >
BANDIT’S SURPRISE by Karen Rostoker-Gruber
Released: March 1, 2010

Rostoker-Gruber and Nguyen give Bandit a new sibling in this sequel to Bandit (2008), in which he got a new home. Bandit the tomcat is excited when his owner Michelle packs up his cat carrier and promises to be home soon with a surprise. But when Michelle returns, Bandit says, "Who in cat-nation is that?" as a gray kitten pops her head out of the carrier. Mitzy wants to play, but Bandit's not interested. Things get worse when the kitten eats and drinks out of his dish and uses his cat box. Bandit can take no more when Mitzy plays with his furry mouse! He runs away after a scolding, but when rain begins to fall, he turns around—only to find the house shut up tight. Mitzy alerts Michelle to Bandit at the backdoor, and he begins to think that maybe Mitzy isn't all that bad. An overabundance of cat-puns wears thin quickly ("mew-monia," anyone?), as might the unnecessary layer of Photoshopped dots, perhaps added to mimic old-style newsprint on the distressingly static comics-style panels. There are plenty better new-kitty/new-sibling books out there. (Picture book. 4-8)Read full book review >
ROOSTER CAN’T COCK-A-DOODLE-DOO by Karen Rostoker-Gruber
Released: June 1, 2004

Pity poor Rooster—he has a terrible sore throat, his tail feathers are drooping, and he can't possibly do his cock-a-doodle-doo to get the farm going in the morning. With whispers and coughing, he wakes up each set of animals on the farm, and they all go on to the next unhappy group until they reach the farmhouse to wake the farmer by forming an animal pyramid up to his window. Since Farmer Ted is now hopelessly behind in his chores, he receives help from all the animals in quite hilarious ways while Rooster rests in a lawn chair by the pond, sipping tea with honey to help his throat. Rostoker-Gruber has created a farm-animal story in the best tradition of cumulative tales but with the added spice of deadpan humor, groan-worthy puns, and witty dialogue appropriate to each species. The delightful illustrations are full of funny facial expressions and clever details that will have both children and adults giggling. Rooster might be under the weather, but his well-written story leaves the reader feeling just fine. (Picture book. 3-7)Read full book review >