Books by Paul Brett Johnson

ON TOP OF SPAGHETTI by Paul Brett Johnson
FICTION
Released: May 1, 2006

"Music and recipes are included for those who want the full experience. (Picture book. 2-8)"
Yodeler Jones's Spaghetti Emporium & Musicale is in trouble when the Fried Fritter Fricassee opens next door. Read full book review >
LITTLE BUNNY FOO FOO by Paul Brett Johnson
ANIMALS
Released: Feb. 1, 2004

"Storytimers will be singing along from page one. (Picture book. 2-6)"
The Good Fairy doesn't like tomfoolery. Read full book review >
THE BEST KIND OF GIFT by Kathi Appelt
FICTION
Released: April 1, 2003

"There are a countless good reasons to give a gift—as a treat, because it's useful, makes you proud, or because you'd like it and can share in the pleasure—and they get a gladdening observance in this sweetly old-fashioned tale that's a gift to its readers. (Picture book. 4-8)"
A genuinely warm-hearted story of gift-giving that has a nice, traditional feel about it. Read full book review >
JACK OUTWITS THE GIANTS by Paul Brett Johnson
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: June 1, 2002

"Told in a folksy style that fits both tale and pictures perfectly, this Appalachian folk hero's latest escapade should win him plenty of new fans. (author's note) (Picture book/folktale. 7-9)"
Even extra heads are no help when it comes to a battle of wits with Jack. Read full book review >
REPTILES ARE MY LIFE by Megan McDonald
ANIMALS
Released: Aug. 1, 2001

"The children do impart snippets of fact about the creatures to which they're devoted, but the brio and good humor of Insects Are My Life (1995) is missing from this follow-up. (Picture book. 7-9)"
Non-stereotypical hobbies and sprightly writing keep this routine tale of a friendship's collapse and regrouping afloat—but barely. Read full book review >
FEARLESS JACK by Paul Brett Johnson
FICTION
Released: June 1, 2001

"Readers who haven't met Jack already will be pleased to make his acquaintance; those who are already fans will have new cause to admire his pluck and common sense. (foreword) (Picture book/folktale. 6-9)"
In a whimsical retelling of "The Brave Little Tailor," young Jack paints "FEARLESS JACK KILLED TEN AT A WHACK" on his cap after doing for the yellowjackets feasting on his sorghum sandwich, then sets out to make his fortune. Read full book review >
THE GOOSE WHO WENT OFF IN A HUFF by Paul Brett Johnson
ANIMALS
Released: April 1, 2001

"The artwork is sure-handed, painted in mellow tones, and the best part all around. (Picture book. 3-7)"
The title sounds fun, but this story of a disconsolate goose that wants a child has a somewhat sad underpinning. Read full book review >
MR. PERSNICKETY AND CAT LADY by Paul Brett Johnson
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 2000

"Not a great conflict-resolution model for the kids. (Picture book. 4-7)"
Mr. Persnickety and Cat Lady are neighbors but not, unfortunately, the best of friends in this mildly amusing, although decidedly mean-spirited story about feuding neighbors. Mr. Persnickety is a fussbudget who likes everything just so, while Cat Lady revels in the chaos that owning 37 cats brings. Read full book review >
BEARHIDE AND CROW by Paul Brett Johnson
Released: March 15, 2000

"Who among us doesn't like to have the last laugh? (Fiction. 3-5)"
An amusing tale based on Appalachian folklore, in which it is said crows can be taught to speak. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 1999

"Told in the melodious twang of mountain vernacular, Johnson's story rumbles along to its own beat, an outrageously ghoulish tale to make story-hour listeners shiver. (Picture book/folklore. 5-8)"
An Appalachian folktale is the basis of Johnson's story of a fried-chicken-loving preacher whose untimely demise sets into motion an tumultuous chain of events as members of his flock frantically try to absolve themselves of the non-existent crime of murder. Read full book review >
THE PIG WHO RAN A RED LIGHT by Paul Brett Johnson
Released: March 1, 1999

"At last Miss Rosemary and Gertrude put their heads together, drawing up a successful scheme to get George to behave like a perfect pig—just as Magnolia the goose decides to burst into oinks. (Picture book. 4-7)"
Poor Miss Rosemary. Read full book review >
A TRAVELING CAT by George Ella Lyon
Released: Sept. 1, 1998

"It's rare to find such a distinctly drawn animal character without a trace of an anthropomorphic trait, but Boulevard is through and through a cat among cats. (Picture book. 5-7)"
Some cats are born to travel, and such a one is Boulevard, who appears at a drive-in one evening, stays with the young narrator and her family for a year, then leaves as the spring floods arrive. Read full book review >
A PERFECT PORK STEW by Paul Brett Johnson
Released: March 1, 1998

"Johnson's tale entertains, while his fuzzy pastel drawings keep the wart-nosed witch from being too scary, and place the story in a Russia of onion-dome churches and countryside dachas. (Picture book. 5-9)"
Johnson (Farmers' Market, 1997, etc.) concocts his own silly story from the elements of Russian folktales. Read full book review >
TOO QUIET FOR THESE OLD BONES by Tres Seymour
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Sept. 1, 1997

"Not original in any way, but good for one noisy read-through. (Picture book. 4-7)"
Seymour (Black Sky River, 1996, etc.) presents a glimpse of a surprising sort of grandparent, in clumsy, awkward verse. Read full book review >
FARMERS' MARKET by Paul Brett Johnson
FICTION
Released: March 1, 1997

"Add it to a growing shelf of recent stories about markets: Nancy White Carlstrom's Baby-O (1992), Omar Casta§eda's Abuela's Weave (1993), and Pat Mora's Uno, Dos, Tres: One, Two, Three (1996). (Picture book. 4-7)"
One summer Saturday in the life of Laura, a farmer's daughter who accompanies her parents and older brother to Lexington, Kentucky, where they sell their produce at an open-air market. Read full book review >
LOST by Paul Brett Johnson
ANIMALS
Released: March 1, 1996

"The presentation of the harsh beauty of the desert as well as a cathartic, unanticipated reversal of tragedy result in a book that is both visually and emotionally stunning. (Picture book. 4-7)"
The compelling true story of a beloved beagle named Flag, lost on a family camping trip in the desert of Arizona's Tonto National Forest and then, against all odds, found. Read full book review >
INSECTS ARE MY LIFE by Megan McDonald
ANIMALS
Released: March 1, 1995

"Predictable, but gratifying. (Picture book. 4-7)"
A perky tale of a girl, Amanda Frankenstein (yes, Frankenstein) who persists in an unpopular fascination with bugs. Read full book review >
FRANK FISTER'S HIDDEN TALENT by Paul Brett Johnson
FANTASY
Released: March 1, 1994

A disappointing clinker from the author of The Cow Who Wouldn't Come Down (1993). Read full book review >
SAINT PATRICK AND THE PEDDLER by Margaret Hodges
BIOGRAPHY
Released: Sept. 1, 1993

"An auspicious blend of appealing story and engaging visual interpretation. (Folklore/Picture book. 4-10)"
Reshaping a tale found in both Jacobs's More English Fairy Tales and Sawyer's The Way of the Storyteller (as she explains in an excellent note), Hodges creates a briefer, more accessible tale retaining enough of Sawyer's Irish lilt for a pleasing flavor. Read full book review >
THE COW WHO WOULDN'T COME DOWN by Paul Brett Johnson
ADVENTURE
Released: March 1, 1993

"A delightful and well-polished first performance. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Poor Miss Rosemary! Read full book review >