Books by Kevin O'Malley

HOW THEY CHOKED by Georgia Bragg
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: May 6, 2014

"Readers will be entertained and fascinated by the flawed humanity depicted within. (notes, sources, index) (Nonfiction. 10-14)"
Bragg's follow-up to How They Croaked: The Awful Ends of the Awfully Famous (2011) reveals the failures of 14 notables from history. Read full book review >
IF BEAVER HAD A FEVER by Helen Kettemen
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 2011

"Mama Bear, Mama Bear… / If you were a doctor / in charge of the zoo, / what would you do / if Gnu had the flu?"

As Little Bear asks his Mama what she would do for a series of animal ailments, she answers him in rhyme while he draws a huge picture with crayons of the cure. Read full book review >

DESK STORIES by Kevin O'Malley
FICTION
Released: July 1, 2011

When it comes to school, backpacks and desks go hand in hand, so it is no surprise that O'Malley has followed his Backpack Stories (2009) with this impertinent look at that standard of classroom furniture, the desk.

In these six stories, O'Malley capitalizes on most of the stereotypes associated with school—practical jokers, daydreamers and goody two-shoes, attempts to escape boring lessons and fool teachers and the quintessential messy desk. Read full book review >

THE GREAT RACE by Kevin O'Malley
FICTION
Released: June 1, 2011

"An updated but optional version of this ubiquitous tale. (Picture book. 4-8)"
A slightly fractured fable works too hard to appeal to an adult audience and leaves children in the dust.  Read full book review >
Released: March 15, 2011

The most reluctant of readers will find it difficult to resist this consistently disgusting chronicle of the gruesome deaths of 19 famous people. Read full book review >

ONCE UPON A ROYAL SUPERBABY by Kevin O'Malley
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Sept. 1, 2010

For a new highlight in the annals of Good Cooperation, the creators of Once Upon a Cool Motorcycle Dude (2005) reprise the winning premise and bring back much of the original cast. Read full book review >

ANIMAL CRACKERS FLY THE COOP by Kevin O'Malley
ANIMALS
Released: April 1, 2010

"The Brementown Musicians" is a wonderful bit of cleverness captured by the Brothers Grimm. Read full book review >

BACKPACK STORIES by Kevin O'Malley
FICTION
Released: Sept. 1, 2009

A tongue-in-cheek history of backpacks from prehistory to the 21st century kicks off O'Malley's comics-inspired collection of four short tales. Read full book review >

CONGRATULATIONS, MISS MALARKEY!  by Judy Finchler
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Aug. 1, 2009

"Miss Malarkey has been acting really strange lately." Read full book review >

PAULA BUNYAN by Phyllis Root
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: April 6, 2009

Paula Bunyan, who could outwrestle her more famous brother Paul "three times out of six," gets tired of hauling ferries across the river on her shoulders and sets out for more open spaces where she can sing without breaking china and walk without running out of forest. Read full book review >

THE BIRTHDAY PET by Ellen Javernick
ANIMALS
Released: March 1, 2009

A little boy is inundated with new pets he doesn't want in this humorous reminder that listening counts. Read full book review >

ADVENTURE
Released: Sept. 1, 2007

Continuing the heroic work of making the spaceways safe for all law-abiding dinosaurs, Captain Raptor and the scaly crew of starship Megatooth return—this time in pursuit of the pirate ship Blackrot, whose bloodthirsty mob of "misshapen mutants and reptilian cyborgs" has stolen planet Jurassica's trove of jewels. Read full book review >

GIMME CRACKED CORN & I WILL SHARE by Kevin O'Malley
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 2007

Cornball comedy guaranteed to pun-ish your funny bone. Read full book review >

DAD’S BALD HEAD by Paul Many
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: May 1, 2007

Young Pete has to cope with a small but unsettling change in this low-key family story. Read full book review >

SLUGS IN LOVE by Susan Pearson
FICTION
Released: Nov. 1, 2006

Slugs in love? Read full book review >

FICTION
Released: July 1, 2006

Miss Malarkey, school librarian, has set a goal to have the school read 1,000 books before the end of the school year, and to find a book for each and every student to love. Read full book review >

HIPPO GOES BANANAS! by Marjorie Dennis Murray
ANIMALS
Released: March 1, 2006

Wasting his considerable talent on a clumsy, illogical tale, O'Malley casts big, rotund, comically frantic-looking animals knocking down trees, dashing hither and yon or tumbling down a steep hillside. Read full book review >

WALTER THE GIANT STORYTELLER’S GIANT BOOK OF GIANT STORIES by Walter M. Mayes
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Sept. 1, 2005

While the middle "giant" in the title is hyperbolic, as this is only rather longer than the average picture book, it is indeed a collection of stories about giants told by a giant (or at least, according to the flyleaf, a very tall man). Read full book review >

ONCE UPON A COOL MOTORCYCLE DUDE by Kevin O'Malley
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: April 1, 2005

Young readers who have ever been forcibly yoked to a rival for some class project will glory in this contentious oral report. Read full book review >

CAPTAIN RAPTOR AND THE MOON MYSTERY by Kevin O'Malley
ADVENTURE
Released: March 1, 2005

Young readers drawn by the gloriously toothy dinosaur posing on the cover of this tongue-in-cheek space opera may be astonished to discover that he's the episode's hero. Read full book review >

LUCKY LEAF by Kevin O'Malley
FICTION
Released: Sept. 1, 2004

While trying to beat level 20, a young boy's video-gaming gets interrupted by the age-old maternal cry of "Get outside and play!" Read full book review >

MISS MALARKEY’S FIELD TRIP by Judy Finchler
FICTION
Released: Aug. 15, 2004

Fledgling teacher Miss Malarkey's real education continues in another spot-on slice of school life. Read full book review >

STRAIGHT TO THE POLE by Kevin O'Malley
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 2003

A muffled figure leans into the wind, struggling through drifts and swirls of snow, falling forward to crawl on hands and knees to reach The Pole at last . . . no, not that sort of Pole: the kind with a sign on top. Read full book review >

LITTLE BUGGY RUNS AWAY by Kevin O'Malley
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 2003

O'Malley sends all the right signals as he also sends the ladybug star of Little Buggy (2002) stomping off in a huff after an argument with Big Buggy. Read full book review >

MOUNT OLYMPUS BASKETBALL by Kevin O'Malley
FICTION
Released: March 15, 2003

It's chaos on the court as the Greek Gods, still riding high after their victory over the Titans, square off against a team of mortal Heroes for a riotous, epic game of hoops. Read full book review >

TWELVE DAYS by Gordon Snell
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 2002

Snell (Thicker Than Water, 2001, etc.) provides new words to the old Christmas song of "The Twelve Days of Christmas," with a more modern theme that may be more accessible to today's children. Read full book review >

YOU’RE A GOOD SPORT, MISS MALARKEY by Judy Finchler
FICTION
Released: Sept. 1, 2002

Another installment in this ongoing author and illustrator collaboration (Testing Miss Malarkey, 2000, etc.) explores Miss Malarkey's sojourn as the new soccer coach. Read full book review >

LITTLE BUGGY by Kevin O'Malley
ADVENTURE
Released: Aug. 1, 2002

Little Buggy's lesson in flying radiates with encouragement and determination. Read full book review >

DINOSAUR DEALS by Stuart J. Murphy
DINOSAURS
Released: Sept. 1, 2001

Murphy continues to amuse with math—quite a trick considering the amount of anxiety the subject manages to generate. Read full book review >

MAKING PLUM JAM by John Warren Stewig
FICTION
Released: June 1, 2001

Eccentric aunts Jane, Lizzie, and Alice star in Stewig's (Mother Holly, 2001, etc.) memoir-ish account of a boy's summer sojourn to the country. Read full book review >

HUMPTY DUMPTY EGG-SPLODES by Kevin O'Malley
FICTION
Released: April 1, 2001

O'Malley throws a spanner in the Mother Goose works when he lets Humpty Dumpty snap and go on a rampage through the land of nursery rhymes. Read full book review >

TESTING MISS MALARKEY by Judy Finchler
FICTION
Released: Aug. 1, 2000

Finding humor in standardized testing is no easy task, but the creators of Miss Malarkey and crew know just where to look. Read full book review >

BUD by Kevin O'Malley
FICTION
Released: March 1, 2000

A sweetly anthropomorphic Rhino family learns to appreciate their child's unique interests through surprising support from an unexpected source. Read full book review >

MISS MALARKEY WON'T BE IN TODAY by Judy Finchler
FICTION
Released: Sept. 1, 1998

A worthy sequel to Finchler and O'Malley's Miss Malarkey Doesn't Live in Room 10 (1995). Read full book review >

COLLIDING WITH CHRIS by Dan Harder
FICTION
Released: March 1, 1998

Harder's first book is aimed at bicyclists, including those still soldiering on with training wheels. Read full book review >

VELCOME by Kevin O'Malley
FICTION
Released: Sept. 1, 1997

A comic book in picture-book clothing, more akin to MAD magazine than to anything by Sendak, Macaulay, Van Allsburg, or other practicioners of the form. A heavy-lidded, mustachioed host in an armchair, wearing a Steve Martinstyle fake arrow through his head, introduces campfire stories and other old chestnuts, for example, about the man who ominously announces his impending visit on the telephone: ``I am the Viper.'' Of course, he turns out to be the viper who has come to vash the vindows. Read full book review >

ROSIE'S FIDDLE by Phyllis Root
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: March 1, 1997

The devil does love a good contest. Read full book review >

MISS MALARKEY DOESN'T LIVE IN ROOM 10 by Judy Finchler
FICTION
Released: Sept. 4, 1995

As the narrator knows (the rest of the world has been misinformed), teachers don't go home after school, but spend their lives sleeping in the classroom, roaming the corridors, and taking meals in the lunchroom. Read full book review >

ROLLER COASTER by Kevin O'Malley
FICTION
Released: May 1, 1995

A slight book, its appeal limited by its narrow subject matter, takes readers through a day at an amusement park. A giddy protagonist narrates last year's visit, which included everything except a ride on the Monster Coaster (she was too short). Read full book review >

WHAT'S FOR LUNCH? by John Schindel
ANIMALS
Released: Aug. 1, 1994

"O'Malley's brash cartoon-style illustrations add substantially to the humor of this simple, repetitive tale, which will be as much fun for beginning readers as for the preschoolsers who are its more obvious audience. (Picture book. 2-7)

"

Sidney, a mouse thinking about his own lunch, is unperturbed when a cat declares that ``I'm going to eat you.'' Noticing a bounding dog, he rejoins, ``I don't think so.'' The dog pants, ``I'm going to chase you, cat.'' Again, not so: A goose plans to bite the dog's tail, but a fox sneaks up on the goose, and so on until an elephant proposes to sit on the lion before it can ``paw'' the goat that was going to butt the fox, and Sidney's friend Shirley, arriving with their lunch in a basket, shouts ``Boooo!'' All the other animals run home in a fright, but the two mice settle down to an elegant picnic. Read full book review >

CINDER EDNA by Ellen Jackson
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: April 1, 1994

One of two new takes on a tale that feminists justly find problematic (see also Minters, below). Read full book review >

WHO KILLED COCK ROBIN? by Kevin O'Malley
MYSTERY
Released: Sept. 1, 1993

A mystery in the classic style, written in verse that mimics the familiar rhyme. Read full book review >