Books by Luke LaMarca

Released: June 2, 2015

"Delightful brother-and-sister snark in squid form—yes, really. (Picture book. 4-7)"
In supersaturated oceanic color, squidling Oliver, purple and with top hat and wand, becomes Squid Kid the Magnificent after saying the magic words: "smelly yellow jellyfish." Read full book review >
THE DAY RAY GOT AWAY by Angela Johnson
Released: Sept. 7, 2010

A huge yellow parade balloon manages to slip his tether and elude his handlers. Seen partially, big grin in place, Ray's sunny yellow roundness peeks through windows, at the edges of the frames and from behind buildings. Bright colors and cartoon illustration add to a feeling of celebration and wildly cheerful chaos as the parade is interrupted by Ray's unexpected escape. "It was rare for a balloon like Ray, / who had been good for years, / to decide that ‘today was the day.' " Johnson's lyrically reportorial, enigmatic text offers no answers, just a slyly subversive account of the shenanigans. "That day the parade was a disaster: / clowns everywhere, / bands backed up downtown, / ... / paper flowers as far as the eye could see, / ... and Ray, / shining bright, smiling (he always did)." There's plenty to talk about: What kind of balloon is Ray? What is going to happen? Some may wish for a back story—or to know what happens to Ray as he continues sedately skyward—but small listeners who occasionally tire of holding hands every time they go out may find Ray's boldness thrilling and poetically liberating. (Picture book. 2-5)Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 1, 2006

Few creatures can flaunt disdain like a contrary cat, and this rhyming tale of a test of wills between Witch and her pet proves it. Witch is dressing for a bash: " ‘Cat,' said Witch, ‘fetch me a hat!' But Cat was busy, chasing Rat." For each of Witch's requests—chair, hat, fife, cloak, broom and toad—Cat is busy pursuing Bat, Ghost, Troll, Spook and Gnomes. "DRAT THAT CAT!" As the tale and tail become more tangled, comeuppance for Cat is within paw's reach, ending in a surprise transformation. The real cat's meow here is the exaggerated black-and-white, pen-and-ink illustrations that portray every wart, gremlin and eerie monstrosity with delicious delight. Reminiscent of Boris and Natasha cartoons, the melodramatic mockery is made for multiple readings with chants for joining in. No pussyfooting around, this is an out-and-out outlandish, original opus of pure fun and witchery that will have kids spellbound. (Picture book. 4-8)Read full book review >