Books by Michael Foreman

A CHILD'S GARDEN OF VERSES by Robert Louis Stevenson
CHILDREN'S
Released: Nov. 1, 2017

"Vistas real and imagined blossom again in Stevenson and Foreman's caring hands—but caregivers will want to choose the blooms they share with care. (Poetry. 5-10)"
A sumptuous reissue of the classic children's collection. Read full book review >
OH, IF ONLY... by Michael Foreman
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 1, 2013

"A blithe romp. (Picture book. 3-6)"
Take one playful dog, add a red ball, and the result is mischief. Read full book review >
KASPAR THE TITANIC CAT by Michael Morpurgo
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 13, 2012

"Surprisingly (and disappointingly) dull. (Historical fiction. 9-12)"
Readers might be tempted to check the copyright date on this old-fashioned rags-to-riches tale that manages to turn a major historical disaster into just another incident in the narrator's very full life. Read full book review >
FORTUNATELY, UNFORTUNATELY by Michael Foreman
ADVENTURE
Released: March 1, 2011

"Still, it's a fresh and welcome alternative to a perennial crowd pleaser that has become a period piece. (Picture book. 5-8)"
Answering the longstanding need for an alternative to Remy Charlip's classic but now-creaky Fortunately (1964), Foreman reworks the titular dichotomy into a young chimp's adventuresome delivery of an umbrella to his grandma's house. Read full book review >
A CHILD'S GARDEN by Michael Foreman
CHILDREN'S
Released: May 1, 2009

Foreman specifies no locale for his brief parable, but there's a Middle-Eastern look to the buildings in the background (although the characters are all pale-skinned). Read full book review >
THE LITTLEST DINOSAUR’S BIG ADVENTURE by Michael Foreman
CHILDREN'S
Released: May 1, 2009

"EWSLUGp1998 or Martin Waddell's Tiny's Big Adventure, illustrated by John Lawrence (2004), this will at least give very young audiences an easy-to-follow emotional track. (Picture book. 3-5)"
Just the dish for pre-readers who prefer their story fare bland, this prehistoric outing follows the young ceratopsid introduced in Littlest Dinosaur (2008) on a happy ramble through a sunny meadow, then into a dark forest where he quickly overcomes his growing anxiety by helping a lost baby pteranodon find its mother—earning a free flight back to his own parents. Read full book review >
SAY HELLO by Jack Foreman
CHILDREN'S
Released: June 1, 2008

"Guidance counselors, primary teachers and art teachers will all find a spot for this one on their shelves. (Picture book. 3-7)"
A beautiful pairing of son's sparse rhyming text with father's simple drawings says it all in this poignant debut about including others and making friends. Read full book review >
THE LITTLEST DINOSAUR by Michael Foreman
CHILDREN'S
Released: May 1, 2008

"Nor will the routine plot or language. (Picture book. 6-8)"
In this bland tale, a hatchling dinosaur barely bigger than one of his several siblings' feet gets a chance to shine when his entire family becomes mired in sticky mud. Read full book review >
WHITE OWL, BARN OWL by Nicola Davies
ANIMALS
Released: May 1, 2007

"A worthy companion to Jane Yolen and John Schoenherr's Caldecott-winning Owl Moon (1987). (Informational picture book. 4-8)"
Few children in the U.S. now have access to the open woodlands and grasslands frequented by barn owls, but they can all enjoy the magic of this bird thanks to this lovely introduction. Read full book review >
CAN’T CATCH ME by Michael Foreman
ANIMALS
Released: Jan. 1, 2007

"While children will be 'tickled' by the interactive ending, the story's greatest appeal is the twilight-hued, mixed-media illustrations, which hint at the next adorable animals to appear. (Picture book. 2-5)"
Foreman returns to a theme he knows well: children who won't sleep. Read full book review >
BEOWULF by Michael Morpurgo
CHILDREN'S
Released: Nov. 1, 2006

"Hear, and listen well, my friends, and I will tell you a tale that has been told for a thousand years and more." Read full book review >
ANIMALS
Released: Aug. 1, 2006

"Telling the story with an underlying tone of respect rather than outrage or pity, and expertly capturing the Andean setting and characters, Foreman will leave readers impressed by the resourcefulness of Mia and her community, and hoping along with them for a brighter future. (Picture book. 7-9)"
Mixing small, intimate drawings captioned in pencil with larger-scale landscape watercolors, Foreman crafts a sketchy, touching original tale inspired by a family he met in a Chilean waste dump. Read full book review >
DOLPHIN BOY by Michael Morpurgo
ANIMALS
Released: Feb. 1, 2005

"A happy tale that carries the now almost contrarian idea that good deeds indeed are, occasionally, properly rewarded. (Picture book. 7-9)"
The renowned team's newest collaboration celebrates a collective act of kindness. Read full book review >
SIR GAWAIN AND THE GREEN KNIGHT by Michael Morpurgo
BIOGRAPHY
Released: Oct. 1, 2004

"Several condensed versions of the story are available for young readers, but enhanced by striking art, plus handsome packaging that includes a text in (perfectly legible) green, this full rendition stands apart. (Folktale. 10-13)"
Morpurgo offers a fluid translation of the 14th-century tale. Read full book review >
CAT ON THE HILL by Michael Foreman
ANIMALS
Released: Aug. 1, 2004

"Large attractive illustrations give the slight tale substance but the nuance, message, and cat's voice don't elicit child appeal. (Picture book. 4-7)"
In a story told by a ship's cat now relegated to shore because his skipper is too old to care for him, Foreman's signature, blue-dominant palette portrays the cat's existence through three seasons: summer, autumn, and winter. Read full book review >
TORO! TORO! by Michael Morpurgo
ANIMALS
Released: March 1, 2004

"Compelling. (Fiction. 9-11)"
A young child sees violence done in the bull ring, and worse violence to his small town, in this powerful, simply written tale by Britain's Children's Laureate, set during the Spanish Civil War. Read full book review >
HELLO, WORLD by Michael Foreman
ANIMALS
Released: Nov. 1, 2003

"Beautiful. (Picture book. 3-6)"
Prompted by his bear—"Wake up, Baby. Read full book review >
A TRIP TO DINOSAUR TIME by Michael Foreman
CHILDREN'S
Released: Aug. 1, 2003

"A slight but lively tale for children who just can't resist giving those so-inviting buttons a push, far friendlier in tone than Dewan's Baby Gets the Zapper (2002). (Picture book. 6-8)"
The blinking blue button atop a new, flying saucer-shaped kitchen timer proves irresistible to young Tom—and suddenly he's "a zillion days and a zillion nights" in the past, being chased by a herd of brightly colored dinosaurs. Read full book review >
WONDER GOAL! by Michael Foreman
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 2, 2003

"Lots of a good thing here—and to his credit, Foreman doesn't come across as having overindulged the fantasy. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Dreams do come true in Foreman's (Playtime Rhymes, 2002, etc.) story of kicking a big goal in a soccer match; they come true with amazing alacrity. Read full book review >
MICHAEL FOREMAN’S PLAYTIME RHYMES by Michael Foreman
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 1, 2002

"A perfect companion to Michael Forman's Mother Goose (1991). (Nonfiction. 2-6)"
A comprehensive anthology of favorite children's activity rhymes that is sure to have children building churches with their fingers; celebrating all the animals on Old Macdonald's farm; and rowing their boat gently down the stream. Read full book review >
SAVING SINBAD! by Michael Foreman
ADVENTURE
Released: Oct. 1, 2002

"Some youngsters might be drowning with excitement here, but for others, this might be nothing but foam. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Everyone works in an English fishing village and everyone volunteers for life-saving duty, even the carpenter's canine. Read full book review >
THE SAGA OF ERIK THE VIKING by Terry Jones
CHILDREN'S
Released: Jan. 1, 1999

"An enjoyable volume. (Fiction. 8-12)"
Erik and his crew go in search of "the land where the sun goes at night." Read full book review >
FARM BOY by Michael Morpurgo
CHILDREN'S
Released: Jan. 1, 1999

"Although the grandfather and the narrator, who has grown into young manhood by the end, appear only occasionally, their warm mutual regard for one another comes through clearly, anchoring this expertly crafted reminder that stories can link generations. (Fiction. 9-11)"
A lad gives his grandfather a great gift, and receives one in return in this small gem from two of Britain's foremost children's book talents. Read full book review >
LOOK! LOOK! by Michael Foreman
ANIMALS
Released: Aug. 1, 1998

"Still, the one-joke story is clumsily written; Little Panda's oblivion—his immersion in the pocket-size computer—is obvious in the pictures, making the text's references to it jarring and obvious. (Picture book. 3-6)"
"Look! Look!" says Baby Panda, pointing out the window. Read full book review >
THE SONG MY PADDLE SINGS by James Riordan
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 1, 1998

"With a foreword by Shirley Little Dove Custalow McGowan of the Mattaponi. (glossary) (Folklore. 8-12)"
A collector of tales from around the world, Riordan (The Snowmaiden, 1992, etc.) now turns to stories from North America's first people. Read full book review >
THE LITTLE REINDEER by Michael Foreman
ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 1, 1997

"Foreman's watercolors are two-page splendors, with captivating, diverse perspectives on the city and the snowy north. (Picture book. 4-8)"
This bittersweet love story from Foreman (After the War Was Over, 1996, etc.) starts on a wintry night in the far north. Read full book review >
CREATION by Ann Pilling
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 1997

Defining creation liberally, Pilling (Realms of Gold, 1993, etc.) includes pourquoi tales among the 16 here, retold in a uniform, easy style that does indeed lend itself to reading aloud—especially since the typeface is large and well-leaded. Read full book review >
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 1, 1997

"An eloquent ending to a book that makes a near-mythical event of WW II real and deeply personal. (Picture book. 8-11)"
A moving, fictionalized account of the ``miracle of Dunkirk,'' in which an armada of 861 ships ferried to safety across the English Channel over 300,000 Allied soldiers who had been trapped in northern France by the Germans. Read full book review >
THE BROTHERS GRIMM by The Brothers Grimm
Released: March 15, 1997

"A nicely balanced, mid-sized gathering. (Folklore. 10+)"
In nearly three dozen MÑrchen—``strange little tales''- -newly translated and illustrated, Alderson mixes the usual suspects—``The Bremen Town Musicians,'' ``The Frog King,'' ``Little Snow White,'' ``The Twelve Dancing Princesses,'' etc.- -with less common entries, such as the gruesome, peculiar ``Fitcher's Bird'' and a variant on ``The Three Sillies'' called ``The Sad Tale of Clever Elsie,'' in which the suitor later repents of his marriage and tricks the foolish girl into running off. Read full book review >
ROBIN OF SHERWOOD by Michael Morpurgo
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 1996

"Resonant and satisfying. (Fiction. 9-14)"
The story of the hero of Sherwood Forest is retold in this compelling, heartwarming, illustrated adventure book for older children. Read full book review >
AFTER THE WAR WAS OVER by Michael Foreman
BIOGRAPHY
Released: May 20, 1996

"Evocative and memorable. (Autobiography. 10+)"
After The War Was Over ($18.95; May 20, 1996; 96 pp.; 0-55970-329- 6): Unusually small typeface doesn't detract from this companion to War Boy (1990) and War Game (1994), about the return to relative innocence that marked the immediate postWW II years. Read full book review >
GRANDFATHER'S PENCIL by Michael Foreman
BEDTIME BOOK
Released: Sept. 1, 1994

"The rich, saturated watercolors are suggestive of the power of the night and the hidden magic of dreams. (Fiction/Picture book. 4-8)"
From award-winning British author/illustrator Foreman (War Game, 1994, etc.) comes another story of Jack and his tale-spinning grandfather. Read full book review >
WAR GAME by Michael Foreman
Released: April 7, 1994

"A thoughtful and beautifully wrought book, powerful in its understatement. (Picture book. 8+)"
In the same format as Foreman's fine book about his early childhood on the British home front during WW II (War Boy, 1990), this fictionalized depiction of WW I (1993 Smarties Book Prize winner) is also based on family history: The four uncles whose experiences Foreman portrays here all died in the war. Read full book review >
THERE'S A BEAR IN THE BATH! by Nanette Newman
ANIMALS
Released: March 1, 1994

"A jaunty readaloud that would also be especially appropriate for dramatic play. (Picture book. 4-8)"
It's the dialogue that shines in this British actor's story about a little girl who finds a huge bear in her garden and, at his forthright, childlike prompting, invites him in. ``Jam'' helps himself to food, turns on the radio, teaches Liza to tango, decries the absence of trees in her bedroom, and generally talks and behaves like an outspoken two-year-old. Read full book review >
JACK'S FANTASTIC VOYAGE by Michael Foreman
ADVENTURE
Released: Oct. 1, 1992

"The lucid, tenderly evocative watercolors—whether glowing with tropical color, delicately misty, or in delectable shades of ocean blue—are a pleasure. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Jack loves his grandfather's seaside house, its marvelous nautical decorations, and Grandfather's tales about his adventurous years at sea. Read full book review >
THE BOY WHO SAILED WITH COLUMBUS by Michael Foreman
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 2, 1992

"Columbus's accomplishments and attitudes are getting plenty of scrutiny; though Foreman's story is only loosely based on the historical record, and has more action than analysis, it should set readers thinking. (Fiction. 9-11)"
The New and Old Worlds exchange captives in a tale of a ship's boy who is left behind by Columbus and grows up to be a respected sage and healer. Read full book review >
I'LL TAKE YOU TO MRS COLE! by Nigel Gray
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 1, 1992

Whenever a young black boy makes a mess, his mother threatens to take him to Mrs. Cole's ramshackle house. Read full book review >
BUSY! BUSY! BUSY! by Jonathan Shipton
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 1, 1991

"A touching vignette. (Picture book. 3-7)"
A wide-eyed preschooler explains that Mom is in a bad mood; she has so much to do that she can't read with him, or play— she's ``chained to the kitchen sink.'' Left on his own, the child decides to tidy up his own belongings, depicted in creative disarray in Foreman's colorful watercolors. Read full book review >
MICHAEL FOREMAN'S MOTHER GOOSE by Mother Goose
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 1991

From a talented illustrator, a lush but uneven collection with a wealth of verse (over 200 rhymes, many unfamiliar), a delightful introduction by Iona Opie, and notably creative matching of rhymes to create composite double spreads (e.g., the old woman under the hill and the grand old Duke of York). Read full book review >
RAINBOW RIDER by Michael Foreman
Released: July 1, 1974

"An impoverished corruption of the Indian creation myths it's intended to 'evoke."
This facile, sentimental pseudofolktale, full of gratuitous phrases and self-conscious cadence but without the high polish that elsewhere disguises the insubstantiality of Yolen's tales, could be either a self parody or a reject from The Girl Who Cried Flowers (below). Read full book review >