Books by Marc Boutavant

DUMPSTER DOG! by Colas Gutman
Released: June 11, 2019

"It's a good thing more books are on the way. (Animal fantasy. 6-10)"
A homeless dog is on a mission to find an owner in this first entry of a chapter-book series from France. Read full book review >
BARKUS DOG DREAMS by Patricia MacLachlan
Released: Aug. 7, 2018

"A solid entry in an entertaining series foreshadowing more adventures for the trio of Barkus, Baby, and Millie on the horizon. (Early reader. 4-7)"
Newbery Medalist MacLachlan continues her series of early chapter books with this second offering about Barkus the dog, his feline companion named Baby, and the child who owns them, Nicky. Read full book review >
EDMOND: THE THING by Astrid Desbordes
Released: Oct. 17, 2017

"We were all strangers, once, so howdy, stranger. (Picture book. 4-8)"
The arrival of a stranger—"the Thing"—roils the placid waters of Edmond the Squirrel and George Owl's day. Read full book review >
BARKUS by Patricia MacLachlan
Released: June 6, 2017

"Nicky, Barkus, and Baby the kitten will appeal to fans of the Henry and Mudge series as well as to the younger picture-book audience. (Early reader. 4-7)"
A child grows to love a new canine companion in this initial offering in a new series of early chapter books by Newbery Medalist MacLachlan. Read full book review >
Released: July 14, 2015

"Buy the book for the illustrations and for the concept of living in a tree, which every preschooler will love. (Picture book. 3-6)"
Three very different animal characters live in separate apartments in the old chestnut tree. Read full book review >
Released: April 1, 2015

"Pleasantly lacking moral-mongering, this fresh collection will appeal to parents and children who enjoy sharing stories as springboards to discussion and speculation. (table of contents—in the backmatter) (Short stories. 6-9)"
Dutch writer Tellegen explores the psychology of anger in 12 vignettes featuring a society of animals. Read full book review >
GHOSTS by Sonia Goldie
Released: Nov. 1, 2013

"Perhaps best saved for the daytime, though the light tone will keep the chills on the mild side. (Picture book. 6-8)"
The sheets, the clanking chains, the loud "BOO!"s—so old school: Today's ghosts haunt today's homes. Read full book review >
THUNDER HORSE by Emmanuel Guibert
Released: June 4, 2013

"A sitcom series between paper covers, offering familiar situations, occasional chuckles and a (not entirely) clueless young protagonist. (Graphic novel. 8-10)"
More mild mischief from a bookish donkey and his porcine best bud. Read full book review >
ARIOL by Emmanuel Guibert
Released: Feb. 19, 2013

"Definitely on the Wimpy Kid bandwagon, but less vicious with the satire and therefore all the more welcome. (Graphic novel. 8-10)"
Scenes from the life of a middle-grade Everydonkey. Read full book review >
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? by Nicola Davies
Released: Nov. 13, 2012

"Entertainment and education in a pleasing package. (Informational picture book. 3-7)"
A smartly designed lift-the-flap book reveals surprises in the animal kingdom. Read full book review >
FOR JUST ONE DAY by Laura Leuck
Released: Oct. 1, 2009

A group of kids painting pictures in what seems to be a school setting launches a series of playful day-dreams as they imagine what creature they might like to be "for just one day." The rhyming narrative marches through a smattering of wildlife fantasies featuring a bee, a crocodile, a chimpanzee, a butterfly, a snake and so forth. The upbeat rhymes are active and visual: "But what if I could swim the Nile— / and be a creeping... / Crocodile! / I'd have the sharpest, snapping smile, / if I could be a crocodile." The book's downfall is a distance created between the characters and the readers. The group of kids painting in the beginning don't bear much resemblence to the children pictured throughout, creating a weak, unfulfilled visual narrative. Boutavant's funky modern/retro illustrations definitely add freshness, and any child will most likely be happy to play the game, but without a unified narrative, nothing's asking them to stick around. (Picture book. 3-6) Read full book review >
ALL KINDS OF FAMILIES! by Mary Ann Hoberman
Released: Aug. 1, 2009

Readers who approach this title expecting a 21st-century love-makes-a-family message overtly embracing adoptive, queer, blended and other diverse family constellations will be disappointed. Instead of approaching "all kinds of families" in this way, however, the author riffs on "family" as a synonym for "group," describing not only human relationships but placing inanimate objects, animals and other things into family groups. The result is vintage Hoberman: Clever, rhyming wordplay mining a single concept for all it's worth and a singsong cadence that begs to be read aloud combine to produce a text reminiscent of earlier collaborations with Betty Fraser in A House is a House for Me (1978) and The Cozy Book (1999). French artist Boutavant's stylized, digitally produced illustrations are a clear departure from Fraser's watercolors, but they share a high attention to detail, inviting children to pore over pictures for new discoveries on every page opening. (Picture book. 4-7)Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 8, 2008

Life is positively vexing for Lulu Atlantis at this particular moment in time. It isn't enough that her father is constantly away saving various animal species from extinction, but now her mother has gone and had an unnecessary (to Lulu's eyes) baby. With her best friend Harry at her side (a top-hatted spider who may just exist in Lulu's imagination), Lulu decides to search for the True Blue Love she is certain she currently lacks. In the course of four stories she also makes the acquaintance of a tough-talking skunk, gangster bakers, a spoiled kitty and an Egg Man. A near tragedy at the end also teaches Lulu that love of this particular shade is sometimes closer to home than we realize. The "True Blue Love" conceit become tiresome, but Martin's clever enough to pepper her twee sensibilities with honestly imaginative writing. There's enough good old-fashioned curiosity and, quite frankly, weirdness in this early chapter book to overcome its potentially cutesy underpinnings. With descriptive sentences and a penchant for eclectic storytelling, this is an author to watch. (Fiction. 6-9)Read full book review >