Books by R.W. Alley

R. W. Alley has illustrated nearly a hundred books for children, including Cat Skidoo, by Bethany Roberts, and the bestselling series about that beloved bear Paddington. The Alley family (the mom, the dad, the girl, and the boy) lives in a neat (except fo


SATURDAY IS DADURDAY by Robin Pulver
Released: May 14, 2013

"Readers will relate to her disappointment and cheer her on as she comes to her own creative solution. (Picture book. 4-7)"
Irrepressible Mimi and her father have named the day after Friday Dadurday. It is their special day to do everything together. But when Dad's work schedule changes, their weekend tradition is in jeopardy. Read full book review >
BECAUSE YOUR MOMMY LOVES YOU by Andrew Clements
Released: April 3, 2012

"This is no helicopter mom, and things turn out just fine. Sure to connect with children in many ways—the adventure of camping, learning how to do things all by oneself and conquering initial anxieties. (Picture book. 4-6)"
Clements and Alley reunite to produce a strong companion title to Because Your Daddy Loves You (2005). Read full book review >
WHEN DADS DON'T GROW UP by Marjorie Blain Parker
Released: March 15, 2012

"An ideal choice for sharing with preschoolers and anyone else who has a soft spot for lovable but goofy dads. (Picture book. 3-5)"
Here is an unabashed celebration of dads who enthusiastically embrace their inner children. The results are endearing, sometimes embarrassing but most often hilarious. Read full book review >
HALLOWEEN SURPRISE by Corinne Demas
ANIMALS
Released: July 1, 2011

"As in Demas' earlier Valentine Surprise (2008), Lily's plucky dedication to solving her own dilemma reinforces the lesson to keep trying and do your best. (Picture book. 3-6)"
Sweet little Lily's quest to come up with just the right costume is characterized by quietly entertaining do-it-yourself determination. Read full book review >
THERE'S A PRINCESS IN THE PALACE by Zoë B. Alley
HUMOR
Released: Sept. 14, 2010

"Smartly hysterical. (Graphic fairy tales. 7-10)"
The Alley duo spread the joy of There's a Wolf at the Door (2009) into another oversized and overstuffed (with giggles, that is) volume. Read full book review >
FOUR EYES by Kate McMullan
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 2010

"Ample white space, endearing characters, occasional jokes and speech bubbles mark this early-reader series as one to watch. (Early reader. 4-7)"
DETECTIVE DINOSAUR UNDERCOVER by James Skofield
DINOSAURS
Released: Sept. 1, 2010

"With a pronunciation guide for those tongue-twisting dinosaur names, this accessible and super-silly romp will be a boost for those about to embark on the next level for chapter books. (Early reader. 4-7)"
Detective Dinosaur, showcased in his third entry in the I Can Read! series, is the same charming numbskull readers have come to love. Read full book review >
READ TO TIGER by S.J. Fore
ANIMALS
Released: Aug. 5, 2010

"Catch a tiger by the tale! (Picture book. 3-5)"
A young boy lies on the couch trying to read his book, but a tiger keeps interrupting him by chewing gum, pretending to be a bear, doing karate kicks and riding the boy's toy train and blowing its whistle. Read full book review >
FICTION
Released: May 25, 2010

"Generously dappled with Alley's breezy line drawings, the cases are timely and twisting enough to keep the light bulb bright in the young sleuth's mind. (Mystery. 8-12)"
Middle-grader Saxby Smart is back in his Thinking Chair for three more stories in this second volume of his mystery series (The Curse of the Ancient Mask and Other Case Files, 2009). Read full book review >
THE TRAVEL GAME by John Grandits
FICTION
Released: May 18, 2009

"A warm celebration of family and imagination. (author's note) (Picture book. 5-8)"
From his apartment above a mid-20th-century Buffalo, N.Y., tailor shop, young Tad describes his important role in his extended Polish-American family. Read full book review >
FICTION
Released: April 1, 2009

"A solid successor to Encyclopedia Brown. (Mystery. 7-12)"
Saxby Doyle Christie Chandler Ellin Allan Smart wants to be a detective as good as the greats. Read full book review >
POLICE OFFICERS ON PATROL by Kersten Hamilton
FICTION
Released: April 1, 2009

"A good introduction for the youngest audiences. (Picture book. 3-6)"
After a previous title celebrating firefighters (Firefighters to the Rescue, illustrated by Rich Davis, 2005), Hamilton addresses another civil servant—police officers. Read full book review >
PEARL AND WAGNER by Kate McMullan
ANIMALS
Released: March 1, 2009

"Kids who love listening to Kevin Henkes's books about Lily and her friends will enjoy reading this one themselves. (Early reader. 5-8)"
Poor Wagner—he is having a rough day. Read full book review >
THERE’S A WOLF AT THE DOOR by Zoë B. Alley
ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 1, 2008

"MPSLUGMISTER McGregor's garden and considering turning vegetarian. (Graphic folklore. 7-9)"
A hungry wolf just can't catch a break in these five loosely connected folktales. Read full book review >
PADDINGTON HERE AND NOW by Michael Bond
FICTION
Released: June 1, 2008

"Children's literature in its finest, purest form. (Fiction. 5-10)"
In the past 50 years, very little has changed for the residents of 32 Windsor Gardens. Read full book review >
VALENTINE SURPRISE by Corinne Demas
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Jan. 1, 2008

"Lily's solution is a salute to creativity, ingenuity and thinking outside the box; it will have all parents cheering her efforts and hoping that their own child takes a page from her book. (Picture book. 3-6)"
For Lily, the week before Valentine's Day is filled with attempts to make the perfect heart for her Mom. Read full book review >
PEANUT AND PEARL’S PICNIC ADVENTURE by Rebecca Kai Dotlich
ADVENTURE
Released: July 1, 2007

"An excellent addition to the classic I Can Read series, this is one that will be read over and over. (Easy reader. 4-6)"
Peanut and Pearl, next-door neighbors and best friends, decide to go on a picnic together. Read full book review >
BEING TEDDY ROOSEVELT by Claudia Mills
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: March 7, 2007

"EWSLUGp1991, the model for Riley's report. (Fiction. 7-10)"
Riley goes to school with Harriet Tubman, Helen Keller, Martin Luther King, Jr., Queen Elizabeth and many other world-famous figures—all fellow fourth-grade students researching their chosen topics for Mrs. Harrow's biography tea. Read full book review >
BALLERINO NATE by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
ANIMALS
Released: March 1, 2006

"Terrific well beyond the ballet lesson. (Picture book. 3-6)"
After attending a student ballet performance with his kindergarten class, Nate decides he wants to become a ballet dancer. Read full book review >
TIGER CAN’T SLEEP by S.J. Fore
ANIMALS
Released: Jan. 1, 2006

"Indeed, readers may actually find themselves wishing for a tiger of their own. (Picture book. 3-7)"
A sleepless little boy learns that when Tiger can't sleep, no one else will, either. Read full book review >
DEAR SANTA by Bill Harley
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 2005

"There's a lot packed into this holiday package: humorous action, subtle humor and growth in the main character, all wrapped up with authentic reasons for a child to write persuasively. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Jimmy Dobbins is a young hockey player who has been very good all year—or so he tells Santa in a letter with a long list of gift requests. Read full book review >
ZIGGY’S BLUE-RIBBON DAY by Claudia Mills
FICTION
Released: Aug. 11, 2005

"Alley's illustrations convey a genuine sense of Ziggy's frustrations on the field, but also the focus and bliss that drawing brings into his life. (Picture book. 4-7)"
Poor Ziggy: Track-and-Field Day at school is a pox on his life; he isn't good at running or throwing balls or jumping. Read full book review >
WE’RE OFF TO FIND THE WITCH’S HOUSE by Mr. Krieb
FANTASY
Released: Aug. 1, 2005

In newcomer Krieb's story, four youngsters march off into Halloween night to find the witch's house. Read full book review >
BECAUSE YOUR DADDY LOVES YOU by Andrew Clements
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: May 23, 2005

"The third-person voice is a bit distancing, but it makes the togetherness less treacly, and Dad's mix of love and competence is less insulting, to parents and children both, than Douglas Wood's What Dads Can't Do (2000), illus by Doug Cushman. (Picture book. 5-7)"
Give this child's-eye view of a day at the beach with an attentive father high marks for coziness: "When your ball blows across the sand and into the ocean and starts to drift away, your daddy could say, Didn't I tell you not to play too close to the waves? Read full book review >
THIS IS THE HOUSE THAT WAS TIDY & NEAT by Teri Sloat
ANIMALS
Released: May 1, 2005

"It's a sure thing that listeners in laps will enjoy pointing out the messy details. (Picture book. 3-7)"
To the rhythm of "This is the House that Jack Built," a boy, a girl, a cat, dog and mouse make a mess of the tidy Edwardian house of the title. Read full book review >
THE GENIE IN THE BOOK by Cindy Trumbore
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Oct. 1, 2004

"Entertaining. (Fiction. 9-11)"
A bookish genie adds zing to a ten-year-old's summer vacation, and also helps out in a family crisis, in this improbable but engaging fantasy. Read full book review >
A REVOLUTIONARY FIELD TRIP by Susan Katz
POETRY
Released: June 1, 2004

"Hundreds of years away from school." (glossary) (Poetry. 7-10)"
Linked by Alley's amiably humorous scenes of a small class, led by a Ms. Frizzle–like teacher, trooping through a reconstructed colonial village and sampling hands-on activities, Katz's poems—some rhymed, some in free verse—open windows on daily life in those olden days. Read full book review >
PEARL AND WAGNER by Kate McMullan
ANIMALS
Released: May 1, 2004

"Pearl and Wagner are a winsome pair of pals who will surely share more easy-reader adventures, perhaps next time over four seasons like another famous animal duo. (Easy reader. 5-7)"
Pearl the rabbit and Wagner the mouse continue to develop the friendship introduced in the first volume in this easy-reader series, Pearl and Wagner: Two Good Friends (2003). Read full book review >
CAT SKIDOO by Bethany Roberts
ANIMALS
Released: May 1, 2004

"This will be best for sharing one-on-one or with small groups since many of the smiles and laughs are in the details. (Picture book. 2-6)"
Two chubby, frisky kittens race around the house and yard playing cat skidoo, which seems to entail chasing everything that moves while wreaking havoc. Read full book review >
PEARL AND WAGNER by Kate McMullan
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 2003

"Teachers in the lower elementary grades might use this as a read-aloud before science-fair season, and Pearl and Wagner seem destined to explore other curriculum areas in future volumes as their friendship continues. (Easy reader. 5-8)"
Pearl the rabbit and Wagner the mouse are best friends in this funny school-themed easy reader that focuses on science fair projects. Read full book review >
BEST KIND OF BABY by Kate Laing
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: June 1, 2003

"A comforting, good-humored alternative to the likes of Martha Alexander's angry When the New Baby Comes, I'm Moving Out (1979). (Picture book. 4-6)"
A child struggles to assimilate the idea that Mom's going to have a baby in this low-key children's debut. Read full book review >
THE GREAT GOOGLESTEIN MUSEUM MYSTERY by Jean Van Leeuwen
ANIMALS
Released: April 1, 2003

"A whisker-tingling adventure. (Fiction. 7-11)"
A trio of mice living in a dollhouse in a New York City department store decides to hitch a ride in a shopping bag in search of an adventure. Read full book review >
OFF TO BETHLEHEM! by Dandi Daley Mackall
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 2002

"Pale golden endpapers show a peaceful shepherd with his flock outside Bethlehem, and the same scene with the band of angels surrounding the Christmas star on the back endpapers. (Picture book/nonfiction. 3-7)"
The story of the Nativity is introduced to young children in simple rhyming text. Read full book review >
THE REAL, TRUE DULCIE CAMPBELL by Cynthia DeFelice
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Sept. 20, 2002

"883) illustrations in summer colors do justice to the down-home aspects of the family farm and kitchen as well as Dulcie's silken-and-gilt royal musings and some pretty neat ogres. (Picture book. 5-8)"
A search for identity and a dose of reality come in a pleasing package. Read full book review >
MRS. BROWN ON EXHIBIT by Susan Katz
POETRY
Released: July 1, 2002

The lucky children in Mrs. Brown's class are certainly not fieldtrip-deprived. Read full book review >
PADDINGTON IN THE GARDEN by Michael Bond
ANIMALS
Released: Feb. 1, 2002

"The trimmed-down text makes this a perfect place for Alley's jovial and detailed watercolor illustrations and an amusing way to look forward to the advent of spring gardening. (Picture book. 3-6)"
For over four decades, generations of readers worldwide have embraced the bumbling, lovable Paddington, who hasn't changed much over the years. Read full book review >
PADDINGTON BEAR GOES TO THE HOSPITAL by Michael Bond
ANIMALS
Released: June 30, 2001

"He'd be the perfect hospital-room companion. (Picture book. 3-8)"
Books on first trips to the hospital can be such timorous affairs, so full of forced cheer. Read full book review >
LITTLE FLOWER by Gloria Rand
FICTION
Released: April 1, 2001

"Little Flower is a simple pig, and her adventures should be equally so. (Picture book. 4-7)"
Sweetly winning as the main character may be, Rand's story is mildly confusing enough to keep readers from fully enjoying the book. Read full book review >
A KNOW-NOTHING HALLOWEEN by Michele Sobel Spirn
FICTION
Released: Sept. 30, 2000

"On to Thanksgiving (see below). (Easy reader. 6-8)"
In the wake of A Know-Nothing Birthday (1997), noodleheads Boris, Morris, Doris and Norris—and their puzzled puppy Floris—begin rambling around the holidays. Read full book review >
THE KNOW-NOTHINGS TALK TURKEY by Michele Sobel Spirn
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 30, 2000

"Amelia Bedelia's fans will gobble this up. (Easy reader. 6-8)"
Thanksgiving seems like a fine occasion for celebration—but as if "dressing" the salad, mashing the potatoes (with a sledgehammer) and sewing string beans isn't hard enough, literal-minded noodleheads Boris, Morris, Doris, and Norris (A Know-Nothing Halloween, see above, etc.) discover that they're supposed to serve a turkey too. Read full book review >
THE NEW DOG by Barbara Shook Hazen
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 1997

 Get ready for a rollicking story-hour session; the blatant injustices suffered by a pampered young dog during his initiation into the cold, cruel world of socialization will have the picture-book set on its feet with indignation and cheering at the puppy's eventual triumph. Read full book review >
SHEEPISH RIDDLES by Katy Hall
ANIMALS
Released: April 1, 1996

"Alley's lush artwork has real comic sense and keeps readers cackling even when the riddles go astray. (Picture book. 4-8)"
 This Easy-to-Read offering from Hall and Eisenberg (Snakey Riddles, 1990, etc.) has its ups and downs, but for the most part its cleverness shines through. Read full book review >
THE KNOW-NOTHINGS by Michele Sobel Spirn
FICTION
Released: May 30, 1995

"Steer chuckling readers to the kindred stories in Alvin Schwartz's All of Our Noses Are Here (1985) or to Joanna and Philip Cole's Big Goof and Little Goof (1989). (Picture book. 5-7)"
 The Stupids have nothing on housemates Boris, Morris, Doris, and Norris, an affectionate quartet as long on silly ideas as they are short of attention spans. Read full book review >
EDWARD IS ONLY A FISH by Alan Sincic
ANIMALS
Released: Nov. 1, 1994

 When Mr. Billingsly leaves the bathwater running and locks himself out of the house, Edward the fish finally gets the vacation he has been longing for. Read full book review >
THERE'S A DRAGON ABOUT by Richard Schotter
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Sept. 1, 1994

"With Arthurian urgency and bright festivity, this book may launch a second wave for those roving nighttime theatricals. (Picture book. 4-7)"
 ``Hold, friends, hold!/We are very cold./Inside and outside,/we are very cold./Something to warm us,/if we may./For that, kind folks,/we'll give you a play.'' So starts this marvelous adaptation of the revel known as the Oxfordshire St. Read full book review >
MRS. TOGGLE'S BEAUTIFUL BLUE SHOE by Robin Pulver
FICTION
Released: March 1, 1994

"Simple and, by now, predictable; still, disarmingly lighthearted and funny. (Picture book. 4-8)"
 ``Overcome by spring,'' the ever-childlike Mrs. Toggle (Mrs. Toggle's Zipper, etc.) leaves the papers on her desk to join her class in kickball. Read full book review >
MY CHRISTMAS SAFARI by Fran Manushkin
MUSIC AND THE ARTS
Released: Oct. 1, 1993

"Twelve elephants trumpeting,'' makes a dramatic denouement to this creative adaptation; then the child and her dad head back to their tent—and, back home, off to bed. (Picture book. 3-7)"
 Pretitle illustrations imply that this cumulative safari is imaginary, suggested by a gift of toy animals the narrator receives. Read full book review >
SERENA KATZ by Charlotte Pomerantz
Released: March 31, 1992

"A treat for readers who find Miss Rumphius a bit too genteel. (Picture book. 7-9)"
 All of Elmsville is excited to hear that Mr. Duncan and his family are off to N.Y.C. to visit the great Serena Katz—but is she who they think she is? Read full book review >
MRS. TOGGLE AND THE DINOSAUR by Robin Pulver
DINOSAURS
Released: Sept. 30, 1991

"A fine sequel to the equally delightful Mrs. Toggle's Zipper (1990). (Picture book. 4-8)"
 When the principal tells Mrs. Toggle that her new student will be a dinosaur, she is taken aback but doesn't doubt his word—Mr. Stickler never jokes. Mrs. Toggle and her wide-eyed class start to get ready: they'll need a big desk and another reptile to keep the dinosaur company; the cafeteria should be warned. Read full book review >
WHERE'S LULU? by William H. Hooks
ANIMALS
Released: June 3, 1991

"Alley's illustrations are as brisk and user-friendly as the text of this warm family story. (Easy reader. 4-8)"
 In a Level 1 entry in the ``Bank Street Ready-to-Read'' series, a little black girl asks each member of her large suburban family where her favorite ballplaying companion, Lulu, could be. Read full book review >