Books by Stu Smith

MY SCHOOL’S A ZOO! by Stu Smith
Released: July 1, 2004

A lad's world is transformed the morning after a zoo visit: his parents "snort and drool" at the breakfast table, the substitute teacher is literally a bear, the computers in the lab are swarming with giant "bugs" of the creepy-crawly kind, and so on. As in Dorros's The Fungus That Ate My School (2000), Catrow's lurid green-and-yellow scenes boil with action; each room the worried young narrator passes is filled with leering, overweight, self-absorbed creatures, all rendered in lovingly oogy detail. Not the most expert of versifiers, Smith sometimes inserts lines just to make a rhyme—"The lunchroom sure was crowded, / and the aides looked pretty mean. / The lions and the wildebeest / were causing quite a scene." And there's not much in the way of actual plot, either. Still, the general premise is a crowd-pleaser, properly wrapped up with a closing remark about an upcoming trip to a dinosaur exhibit. Uh-oh. (Picture book. 7-9)Read full book review >
Released: June 1, 2004

A rhyming twist of an old favorite designed to satisfy space lovers, too. Goldilocks has got it rough: her mom makes her clean her room, eat healthy food, stand up straight, and she even checks her homework every night. Fed up with all this treatment, she decides to build a rocket and find a planet where things are easier. But each of the seven unnamed planets she and her pets visit has its problems—one is way too hot, while another has too many storms—hint, hint. Rechecking the map, they head for Mars. Upon entering a Martian home, Goldilocks samples the stew, etc., etc. Meanwhile, the Martians discover her presence and gear up for a mouthwatering alien dinner. Her trusty pets save the day, carrying her off to the rocket, where they decide that they had it pretty good on Earth after all. Garland's unearthly illustrations will spark the imaginations of youngsters, helping to move along the often awkwardly rhythmic spoof. Additional even for fractured fairy-tale collections. (Picture book. 4-8)Read full book review >