Books by Randy Cecil

SAIL AWAY DRAGON by Barbara Joosse
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 24, 2017

"Fans of the series will delight in seeing these favorites again, and Girl and Dragon should win some new ones. (Picture book. 3-6)"
A young girl and a dragon take their sweet friendship on an adventure. Read full book review >
LUCY by Randy Cecil
Kirkus Star
by Randy Cecil, illustrated by Randy Cecil
CHILDREN'S
Released: Aug. 1, 2016

"A brief denouement in the final act reveals that each main character has given the others just what they needed; a clever structure and a satisfying story. (Picture book. 6-9)"
Defying simple categorization, Cecil's 144-page illustrated narrative presents a street dog that dreams of home, a light-skinned girl who longs for companionship, and her father, a juggler who panics in front of an audience. Read full book review >
EVERMORE DRAGON by Barbara Joosse
CHILDREN'S
Released: Aug. 4, 2015

"A beguiling read-aloud for more than princess-and-dragon lovers. (Picture book. 3-6)"
The comforting friendship between a young girl and an enormous dragon deepens. Read full book review >
LOVABYE DRAGON by Barbara Joosse
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 11, 2012

"A strong and hopeful tale. (Picture book. 3-6)"
When the tears of a young princess trickle onto a dragon, a sweet friendship is born. Read full book review >
BRONTORINA by James Howe
by James Howe, illustrated by Randy Cecil
CHILDREN'S
Released: Aug. 1, 2010

"The frankly funny illustrations complement Howe's understated text, resulting in a sweet, frothy story, complete with tutus and arabesques, for the little (and big) dreamer in everyone, lightheartedly demonstrating that the sky's the limit, so think big! (Picture book. 2-7)"
Brontorina is a rotund, orange Apatosaurus who dreams of being a ballerina, so she presents herself at Madame Lucille's Dance Academy: "[I]n my heart I am a ballerina." Read full book review >
POSSESSING JESSIE by Nancy Springer
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: April 15, 2010

"The strongest feature of this banal effort is its shortness; even the most reluctant of readers might be enticed to pick up a slender horror novel that delivers, in true Twlight Zone fashion, a chillingly nasty conclusion. (Horror. 12 & up)"
Strikingly shallow characters abound in this brief horror-fest. Read full book review >
HOW DO YOU WOKKA-WOKKA? by Elizabeth Bluemle
CHILDREN'S
Released: Aug. 1, 2009

"Not a must-have, though the right storyteller could get the preschool crowd dreaming up their own version of the wokka-wokka. (Picture book. 3-6)"
A little boy bounds out of his house because "[s]ome days you wake up and you just gotta wokka— / Say "HEY!' to your neighbors up and down the blocka / wammy-lammy-wotcha-hoo. Read full book review >
DUCK by Randy Cecil
by Randy Cecil, illustrated by Randy Cecil
ANIMALS
Released: Feb. 1, 2008

"She's still much bigger than he is—but at least her dreams don't come true by having her turn real, which makes for a refreshing change. (Picture book. 6-8)"
Equally affecting on literal and metaphorical levels, this tale of a wooden carousel duck who yearns to fly like a real duck makes prime shared reading. Read full book review >
GATOR by Randy Cecil
by Randy Cecil, illustrated by Randy Cecil
ANIMALS
Released: March 1, 2007

"Illustrated with soft-textured scenes featuring a small, rather timorous looking crocodile sporting a derby, a saddle and a visible hole through his middle, this mini-adventure will leave readers warmed, if not entirely convinced. (Picture book. 6-8)"
Sketchy on internal logic but rich in feeling, this tale features a carved animal who takes off on a journey of discovery after his carousel goes dark and neglected. Read full book review >
LOOKING FOR A MOOSE by Phyllis Root
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 2006

"An excellent addition to any collection. (Picture book. 3-6)"
In this energetic frolic replete with onomatopoeic language, four friends put on their hats and boots and go off in search of a moose, because they want to see one. Read full book review >
MY FATHER THE DOG by Elizabeth Bluemle
ANIMALS
Released: May 1, 2006

"Tail-wagging hilarity that's simply doggone funny—and a perfect Father's Day gift. (Picture book. 4-7)"
The title, cover and opening sentence groom readers for this waggish tale. Read full book review >
WE’VE ALL GOT BELLYBUTTONS! by David Martin
ANIMALS
Released: Feb. 1, 2005

"With its interactive element, and a tickle-inducing ending, Martin's predictable text will please young listeners. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Mammal babies and their families show what they can do with various body parts—ears, hands, necks, and feet—and invite children to play along in Martin's latest effort. Read full book review >
THE LOVESICK SALESMAN by Margaret Gray
ADVENTURE
Released: Oct. 1, 2004

"Still, despite the lame title, this prequel to The Ugly Princess and the Wise Fool (2002) will draw chuckles. (Fantasy. 11-13)"
A lighthearted romantic fantasy, set in a time and place when "the stories we call fairy tales were breaking news," and featuring a humble shopkeeper deeply in love with a stunningly beautiful, eminently capable princess. Read full book review >
ONE DARK AND DREADFUL NIGHT by Randy Cecil
CHILDREN'S
Released: Aug. 1, 2004

"A hysterical addition to any fractured-fairytale collection. (Picture book. 4-10)"
Fairy tales run amok in this great poke at the stories of "unfortunate events." Read full book review >
AND HERE’S TO YOU! by David Elliott
ANIMALS
Released: April 1, 2004

"Reminiscent of Flora McDonnell's I Love Animals (1994) for its intensity of feeling, but more articulate in its expression, this will have young readers and listeners calling for another round. (Picture book. 6-8)"
Elliott's cup runneth over with good cheer in this rhymed toast to people—and not just the two-legged variety, either: "Here's to the birds! / The Feather People! / Birds! / Here's to the who-o-o ones, / The cock-a-doodle-doo ones, / Their breasts as red as fire ones, / The sitting on a wire ones. / Oh, I love the birds!" Read full book review >
CHILDREN'S
Released: May 1, 2003

"The buggy-eyed insects, crabs, and snails provide an appealing cast of characters who stand up to be counted against a summertime palette of orange sand and blue skies. (Picture book. 4-10)"
Seeing patterns and different ways of calculation are standard concepts of mathematical reasoning, but there is nothing standard about this creative counting book. Read full book review >
BIG DAY ON THE RIVER by Sarah Wilson
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 1, 2003

"A good tale of a spunky girl for independent or group reading. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Willie starts out at dawn for a solo raft ride on the Wallawatchee River. Read full book review >
DUSTY LOCKS AND THE THREE BEARS by Susan Lowell
ANIMALS
Released: May 1, 2001

"And though the story's momentum is somewhat on the clunky side, the comedy keeps the wheels turning, as do Cecil's pictures of goofy bears in cowboy boots and kerchiefs. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Lowell and Cecil (Little Red Cowboy Hat, 1997) return to cowboy twists on nursery tales when they take Goldilocks and plunk her down in Montana in this spry retelling of a classic. Read full book review >
THE RUNAWAY TORTILLA by Eric A. Kimmel
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 2000

"How delicious! (Picture book/folk tale. 6-8)"
The author of a conventional Gingerbread Man (1993) dishes up another version, this with a Southwestern flavor and a female entree. Read full book review >
LITTLE RED COWBOY HAT by Susan Lowell
ANIMALS
Released: March 1, 1997

"A merry success, this Wild West fairy tale makes other versions look limp by comparison. (Picture book. 5-8)"
``Once upon a ranch'' is how Lowell begins her enjoyable twist on the story of Little Red Riding Hood, starring a brave heroine who needs no lesson in self-reliance. Read full book review >