Books by Scott Nash

I'M AFRAID YOUR TEDDY IS IN TROUBLE TODAY by Jancee Dunn
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 10, 2017

" A fair if somewhat ephemeral story. Readers looking for humorous antics may find more shenanigans in No, David! or Officer Buckle and Gloria. (Picture book. 3-6)"
What happens when over 25 stuffed animals go wild? Officer Hardy and her partner will be glad to show you! Read full book review >
SHRUNKEN TREASURES by Scott Nash
CHILDREN'S
Released: April 12, 2016

"Children won't get the jokes; adult readers won't laugh at them. (closing notes) (Satire. 10-12, adult)"
With his "Versizer," a literary shrink ray, Nash condenses works of Homer, Shakespeare, Proust, and six other classic authors into illustrated light verse. Read full book review >
UH-OH, BABY! by Nancy Coffelt
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 19, 2013

"A sweet, simple story featuring a tenacious tot who is easy to love. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Coffelt and Nash (Catch That Baby, 2011) join forces again to give readers another glimpse into the topsy-turvy world of an endearing toddler named Rudy. Read full book review >
THE HIGH-SKIES ADVENTURES OF BLUE JAY THE PIRATE by Scott Nash
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 2012

"An imaginative premise, fledged in showy if sometimes overdecorated finery. (Fantasy. 10-12)"
A corvid catastrophe threatens swashbuckling Blue Jay and his mixed avian crew after a treetop shipwreck leaves them to the tender mercies of a murder of crows. Read full book review >
THE CAT IN THE RHINESTONE SUIT by John Carter Cash
CHILDREN'S
Released: May 1, 2012

"With phrases seemingly thrown in because they rhyme, not because they advance any sort of plot, this is one to skip. (Picture book. 4-7)"
Cash's latest is plagued with problems similar to those facing his previous two children's offerings, awkward syntax and poor scansion being the worst of these, but he also adds a new one to the mix: a thin, if enthusiastic plot. Read full book review >
CATCH THAT BABY! by Nancy Coffelt
CHILDREN'S
Released: June 7, 2011

"Hysterical fun to share with the older siblings of all the Nudie Rudys out there, and for those Nudie Rudys as they outgrow this stage…but parents beware the power of suggestion and urge to imitate. (Picture book. 4-8)"
When bathtime is over, the whole family pitches in to help catch "Nudie Rudy," who hides to delay having to get dressed. Read full book review >
CAMPING DAY by Patricia Lakin
ANIMALS
Released: June 1, 2009

That quartet of crocodiles is back (Rainy Day, 2007, etc.), this time experiencing all the joys and nuisances that are part and parcel of a camping trip. From packing, hiking and setting up the tent to dinner, campfire and stories, it is all here, including the terror (because of the aforementioned stories) and the quick trek back home to sleep in the backyard. While the rhythm and rhyme sometimes fall flat, the text is bouncy enough to engage listeners and simple enough for early-grade readers to manage. Nash's illustrations combine simple outlines and minimalist detail with snatches of humor—keep an eye on the rabbits. Vibrant shades of green and orange predominate, with blue and brown rounding out the landscape. Many pages are Warhol-esque, with glaringly bright background colors not found in nature. Libraries lacking in camping tales and those with others in the Sam, Pam, Will and Jill series will want to check this out. (Picture book. 3-7)Read full book review >
THE TOY FARMER by Andrew T. Pelletier
CHILDREN'S
Released: Aug. 1, 2007

When Jed discovers an old toy of his father's in the attic, it catapults him into a fabulous agrarian fantasy. "Let's just say that was some farmer," says his father with a wink, and so he is. Corn cob pipe clenched cheerfully in his teeth, the farmer sits in his tractor, seeming at first like any old tin toy. But when Jed wakes up the next morning, he finds that his green rug has been tilled into an orderly field, out of which, days later, sprouts a remarkable pumpkin. Pelletier gives readers a beguiling concept, allowing the lines between reality and fantasy to blur pleasingly. It's but a simple step from Jed's singing "Blue Moon of Kentucky" along with his toy to entering his humongous pumpkin in a fantastic toy county fair. Nash's illustrations beautifully facilitate the reader's acceptance of the premise, rendering Jed's "reality" in soft pastels and the toy farmer and his world in sharp-edged cartoons. It's a gentle homage to the power of a child's imagination, where the fantasy world created in play always seems more solid than plain old reality. (Picture book. 4-8)Read full book review >
RAINY DAY! by Patricia Lakin
ANIMALS
Released: March 1, 2007

Four rhyme-happy crocodiles find fun during a long steady storm. There's nothing to do indoors, so even though it's raining, crocodiles Sam, Pam, Will and Jill decide to play outside. They put on colorful raincoats and boots and hats and take their umbrellas. Rain and fog make the trip slow going, but the foursome finds an empty miniature golf course and a big wet pooch with whom they play baseball (the umbrellas make good bats). When the rain turns to hail, they find the perfect place for rainy day adventure: their local library, where they can have the same exciting adventures but stay warm and toasty. The format's bold minimalism is attractive; Nash's simple crisp illustrations, in black Prismacolor pencil and Photoshop, combine with easy rhymes and large simple type to invite early readers, who should be able to tackle the text themselves. (Picture book. 2-6)Read full book review >
COWS GOING PAST by Bruce Balan
ANIMALS
Released: May 1, 2005

Using simply drawn figures and pale, clear colors, Nash transforms a catalog of common car-window sights into something deliciously uncommon. "Everything goes past . . . fast," a young observer notes, including cows: "A red cow under a green tree staring at a dog. Bow-wow, cow! A brown cow and a white cow asleep by a stream. Do they dream?" Innocuous enough—but that red cow is actually deep in a book, those snoozing cattle cradle a rod and reel while fish check out their bait can; other bovines gambol about waving a veil, schmooze over little cups of espresso, or, as night falls, gather fireflies in jars. Closing with a Good Night, Moon-style recap—"Good-bye, town. Good-bye, tree. Good-bye, barn. Good-bye, sea. And cows. . . . "—as a cozy bed beckons at journey's end, this will delight parents as much as preschoolers with its rhythmic language and whimsical twists. (Picture book. 3-5)Read full book review >
PICKLE AND PENGUIN by Lawrence David
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 1, 2004

"Fans of Peter Armour's unjustly neglected Stop That Pickle! (1993) will happily add this to the barrel. (Picture book. 6-8)"
Definitely setting new parameters for unlikely friendships, a strayed penguin and a lonely cucurbit go in search of each other after becoming separated on a busy New York City street. Read full book review >
MY CREATURE TEACHER by Laura Leuck
CHILDREN'S
Released: July 1, 2004

Who better to deal with a class of little monsters than a toothy, green-skinned teacher with a lizard's tail and witchy powers? In Nash's otherwise-familiar classroom scenes, many of the children really are juvenile versions of famous Creature Feature creatures: a vampirelet, a loosely-wrapped mummy, a furry wolf-boy, a black-clad child whose last name has to be Addams, and so on. The young narrator regards his "creature teacher" with a mix of respect and affection, whether she's rejecting his " . . . taped and glued / assignments that my werewolf chewed," dispatching a bully to the Principal's office aboard a flying broom, or leading everyone outside "for recess time / to jump and play in piles of slime." Despite plenty of extra limbs and googly eyes, there's not a trace of eeriness here; even sensitive or younger readers will respond with giggles rather than shivers to this tongue-in-cheek tribute—and likely take to heart the closing line: "So if your creature teacher's near— / thank her for her help this year!" Quite a contrast to Edith Pattou's Mrs. Spitzer's Garden, illustrated by Tricia Tusa (2001), but the message is the same. (Picture book. 6-8)Read full book review >
TUFF FLUFF by Scott Nash
CHILDREN'S
Released: May 1, 2004

Illustrator Nash flies solo with a plush-boiled whodunit set amidst the shadowed cardboard cartons of "Los Attic." Responding to the pleas of a big blue teddy bear with a voice "as thick and smooth as catsup," Flopsy Flips Rabbit, a.k.a. Tuff Fluff, P.I., hares off to find out why bookish Duckie has lost all of his words except "Quack." As it turns out, the stuffing in Duckie's head has taken a powder—but a trip into hostile Beantown ("There was no love lost between the beanbags and stuffs"), a flash of inspiration, and a bit of surgery later, Duckie's right as rain, and reciting Alice in Wonderland to a mixed crowd of admirers. Nash populates his moonlit mean streets with brightly colored, new-looking or neatly repaired toys, including a lagomorphic gumshoe with an eyepatch and exaggeratedly long, rumpled ears. Neither these pictures nor the overlong narrative capture the snappy tone of David Wisniewski's Tough Cookie (1999), Margie Palatini's Web Files (2001), or similar takeoffs, but still young readers will never regard their castoff beanie babies in quite the same light again. (Picture book. 6-8)Read full book review >
BEACH DAY! by Patricia Lakin
CHILDREN'S
Released: May 1, 2004

What at first blush appears to be an early-early reader with all the questionable charm of Dick, Jane, Sally, and Spot turns out to be a modest, yodeling read along (or at least reading the oversized words). " ‘HOT!' said Sam. ‘SUNNY,' said Pam. ‘SWEATY,' said Will. ‘SWIM?' said Jill. ‘BEACH' said Sam, Pam, Will and Jill." This is good, simple stuff: a bunch of alligator pals decide to go cool off at the beach, get lost on their bicycle built for four, have a picnic, and find the beach in time for a moon-lit swim. The art is as bright as a summer day on the Mediterranean and the characters possess big-caliber grins and grimaces. Elementary concepts like up and down and under and over get illustrated and the words LOST and LOOK and PICNIC come in super-jumbo type size, giving the youngest a chance to join in the reading. A great follow-up to the team's Snow Day (2000). (Picture book. 2-5)Read full book review >
STANLEY, FLAT AGAIN! by Jeff Brown
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 1, 2003

Flattened once more, this time not by a falling bulletin board but a double blow to his elusive "Osteal Balance Point"—or so says family GP Dr. Dan—Stanley Lambchop gets two more chances to play the hero before popping back into shape. First he becomes a human spinnaker in a sailboat race, then he worms his way through the wreckage of a collapsed building to rescue ever-rude classmate Emma Weeks. Alluding to previous episodes, Stanley complains, "Why me? Why am I always getting flat, or invisible, or something?" Mr. Lambchop replies, "But things often happen without there seeming to be a reason, and then something else happens, and suddenly the first thing seems to have had a purpose after all." Perhaps—even if that purpose is just to tread water, as Brown does here. Still, with its cartoon illustrations, well-leaded text and general goofiness, this retread is as likely to draw transitional readers as the perennial favorite Flat Stanley (1964) and its sequels. (Fiction. 8-10)Read full book review >
BETSY WHO CRIED WOLF by Gail Carson Levine
ANIMALS
Released: June 1, 2002

Levine continues her tradition of reworked fairy tales with strong heroines begun with Ella Enchanted (1999) in this delightful tale of a bright young girl who can stand up for herself and the sheep she guards. When Betsy turns eight, she proudly takes the Shepherd's Oath, determined to be the best shepherd ever. Meanwhile, the last wolf on the mountain is hungry, lonely, and devising a plan to have sheep for his next meal. When Zimmo makes his appearance before Betsy and her flock, she blows her whistle and the farmers come running. But the crafty Zimmo has disappeared—part of his master plan. He repeats the show the next day—same deal. Sent back to Shepherd School and given one last chance, she packs her lunch and tends her flock. But there is Zimmo again, and this time he is charging right at them. Blowing her whistle fails to bring any farmers, so Betsy gets ready to hurl her lunch at the wolf, at which point he sits down and howls for food. Realizing that he is just hungry, the crafty heroine feeds him and he leaves the sheep alone. The sheep sum up one of the story's morals quite nicely: unlike the original fairy tale, "People who cry wolf may be deceived and not deceivers." Nash's (The Bugliest Bug, not reviewed, etc.) personified sheep are a stitch—walking on two legs, posing for a dive into the Soakenwetz River, belaying down a cliff, and always commenting on the current state of the story. Especially funny are the endpapers, where readers can eavesdrop on the sheep's conversations. A must-have. (Picture book. 4-10)Read full book review >
GRANDPA’S OVERALLS by Tony Crunk
ANIMALS
Released: June 1, 2001

Here's the strange and wonderful tale of an exasperating pair of overalls from the author of Big Mama (2000). Grandma wakes one morning to the sight of Grandpa's overalls skedaddling out the door. Without, that is, Grandpa inside of them. The house is roused, and this being a family of dogs, they are happy to take chase. Plus, Grandpa doesn't want to have to work in his underwear—or, as he delicately puts it, his "long-handled drawers." The rascally overalls lead a gathering swarm of family and neighbors on a wild romp—over hill, down dale, through the hen house—until they finally decide to take flight up and out of sight into the blue yonder. That puts an end to the chase, but not the camaraderie of the proceedings, as all and sundry help take care of Grandpa's plowing, milking, and digging-spud chores while Grandpa hides out in the smokehouse. And that is what this little item is all about—good-neighborliness and pitching-in—brought home to readers by a pair of willful overalls, a most outlandish and gratifying vehicle (which returns at book's end to make off with Grandma's nightie). Nash's (Pet of a Pet, not reviewed, etc.) clean, old-school illustrations work just right with the story, making the overall buttons look like eyes and the straps become arms. Move over, Gingerbread Boy. (Picture book. 4-7)Read full book review >
WILLIMENA AND THE COOKIE MONEY by Valerie Wilson Wesley
ADVENTURE
Released: June 1, 2001

Willie is a seven-year-old African-American girl with a big problem as she heads into summer vacation: she spent $20 of her Girl Scout cookie sales money and now it's time to turn in the cash. (She spent the funds on school lunches for two neighbor girls who weren't getting enough to eat.) Willie and her big sister stop their tedious bickering just long enough to try to solve the problem with a lemonade stand and a pet show with an admission fee, but both schemes fail to raise much cash (or much interest from the reader). Finally, Willie confesses to her parents; they pay back the money from Willie's savings account; and they try to get some help for the poorly fed neighbor girls. Wesley (Freedom Gifts, 1997, etc.) includes too many inane arguments, too many characters, too much description, and not enough dialogue and action to keep kids reading. There are so many neighborhood characters that Willie herself never really comes alive, leading to a stale story without the sweetening of successful humor or the snap of a crisp plot. (That's the way the cookie crumbles.) (Fiction. 7-10)Read full book review >
HENRY THE FOURTH by Stuart J. Murphy
CHILDREN'S
Released: Jan. 31, 1999

PLB 0-06-027611-8 In this entry in the MathStart series, Murphy (Lemonade For Sale, p. 1711, etc.) uses an engaging tale about an amateur dog show to present the concept of ordinal numbers and how they are an integral part of daily life. Readers observe as each dog is called forth for its particular feat; seamlessly woven into the text are the first, second, third, and fourth ordinals. " ‘Today, you will see tricks performed by the most talented dogs on the block,' announced Jeremy. ‘Maxie, you're first.' " When a new ordinal is introduced, Nash provides a diagram that has each of the four numerals situated below a mug shot of the dog they represent and highlights the featured digit in red. His vividly hued, lively illustrations humorously depict the antics of the intrepid canines and their proud owners. The combination of written and visual reinforcement effectively provides a firm foundation of understanding for beginning learners. (Picture book. 4-8) Read full book review >
OVER THE MOON by Rachel Vail
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 1998

Vail (Daring to be Abigail, 1996, etc.) reimagines a nursery rhyme as a Broadway production headed for disaster; running concurrent with the lines of the rhyme is the exasperated exchanges between noted director, Hiram "Hi" Diddle Diddle, and his uncooperative cow. "Over the moon! You get it? Or the whole nursery rhyme is ruined." But the cow keeps goofing up. She leaps under, next to, and finally right through the glowing orb (which is only a paper moon in this production). Finally the bovine star gets it right, but after successfully flying over the moon she crash lands on her worried director, which sets the little dog giggling. When the dish and the spoon cut out for a bite to eat, the rest of the crew (including the cool blue fiddling cat) decide to take a break, too. Although young readers might not get all the theatrical posturing and angst, Nash's funny illustrations, with the hand-lettered dialogue appearing in conversation balloons, will elicit plenty of smiles, making Vail's first picture book a giddy success. (Picture book. 3-7) Read full book review >
SATURDAY NIGHT AT THE DINOSAUR STOMP by Carol Diggory Shields
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 1, 1997

Dinosaurs get down and boogie at a Saturday all-night bash: Shields's rhymes and Nash's drawings create an extravaganza of prehistoric fun. Saturday evening the dinosaurs primp and preen, preparing for the big dance. Then they go out to stomp their feet, crank their guitars, and dance so hard they create the first earthquake, upsetting volcanoes into a fireworks display. The party lasts until the Cenozoic dawns, when all the dinosaurs settle in for some sleep. Witty and imaginative, the poem has a rhythm that makes cumbersome multi-syllable dinosaur names roll off the tongue—good read-aloud material. The illustrations match the text's exuberance with drawings of boisterously striped and polka-dotted dinosaurs, who play bongos, dance congas, and kick up their heels. (Picture book. 4-8) Read full book review >