Books by Tedd Arnold

Released: Sept. 3, 2019

"Very old, very funny stories made evergreen thanks to the graphic format and inventive casting. (Graphic early reader. 6-8)"
Back for the fourth time, the pasta-headed duo keeps up the fun with their literal way of thinking. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 4, 2018

"Fans won't want to miss the boat on this one. (Graphic early reader. 5-9)"
The macaroni noodle duo returns for their third adventure—fishing! Read full book review >
WHY, FLY GUY? by Tedd Arnold
Released: Oct. 10, 2017

"Cogent answerzz to a range of common puzzzlers. (glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 6-9)"
Fly Guy and his human best bud, Buzz, present answers to over 50 science questions, including "Why are wheels round?" and "Why do my feet smell?" Read full book review >
FLY GUY'S BIG FAMILY  by Tedd Arnold
Released: Sept. 12, 2017

"'Thankz, Buzz!' says the grateful guest of honor at the end. Readers will agree it's the least a boy could do for his buzzom buddy. (Early reader. 5-7)"
In this antic series' 17th episode, Buzz throws his lonely pet fly a surprizze party. Read full book review >
Released: March 15, 2017

"Two delightfully dense heroes bring folk tales into the 21st century, and young readers are all the richer for it. (Graphic early reader. 5-9)"
Two thickheaded macaroni noodles prove the old adage: a fool and his firewood are soon parted. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 27, 2016

"Coming up with an easy-to-read, original Christmas story with a funny plot is a tall order, but the addition of the popular ninja theme sends this one soaring. (Early reader. 4-8)"
Fly Guy buzzes in for his 16th outing, with a funny story combining ninja magnetism with the arrival of Santa, all wrapped up in a sparkly, silver cover. Read full book review >
Released: March 15, 2016

" Endlessly wacky; fast-moving antics and incessant fretting that would make Chicken Little look mellow give this familiar topic a fresh feel. (Graphic early reader. 5-9) "
Anthropomorphic noodles worry and fret over a series of bedtimes and bad dreams. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 15, 2015

"So very Van Gogh and so very satisfying! (Picture book. 3-8)"
The conceit at the center of this celebration of art and color? Tell a pleasingly repetitive tale featuring the Dutch post-impressionist Vincent Van Gogh without ever mentioning his full name. Read full book review >
A PET FOR FLY GUY by Tedd Arnold
Released: April 29, 2014

"Readers will agree that being a pet isn't a bad life, as long as you have a good pet keeper. (Picture book. 4-8)"
A boy and his pet fly, Fly Guy, learn that being a friend has lots of similarities to being a pet. Read full book review >
FIX THIS MESS! by Tedd Arnold
Released: March 15, 2014

"An inept commander and his clueless robot—there are lots of satisfying possibilities there, and Arnold taps into them. (Early reader. 4-8)"
A "remote operating basic utility gizmo"—call him Robug for short—comes to clean Jake the dog's mess, turning the house into hash in the process. Read full book review >
Released: July 1, 2013

"The theme of friendship and loyalty endures in this enjoyable mock-horror tale for new readers. (Easy reader. 5-7)"
"It was a dark and stormy night" as series fans find Fly Guy and Buzz hard at work in their 13th adventure. Read full book review >
Released: May 1, 2013

"A first-rate sharkfest, unusually nutritious for all its brevity. (Informational easy reader. 5-7)"
Buzz and his buzzy buddy open a spinoff series of nonfiction early readers with an aquarium visit. Read full book review >
DIRTY GERT by Tedd Arnold
Released: March 1, 2013

"Vegans, locavores, farm-to-table enthusiasts, take note—Gert is as organic as they come and a genuine delectation, worms and all. (Picture book. 4-8)"
A sweet little ragamuffin, by nature and nurture, is drawn to dirt. Read full book review >
Released: Dec. 6, 2012

"Get this now—it's better than candy. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Get ready to enjoy a laugh-out-loud, fast-paced adventure involving a secret crush, a runaway valentine with an attitude and lots of candy. Read full book review >
RIDE, FLY GUY, RIDE! by Tedd Arnold
Released: March 1, 2012

"Keep flying, Fly Guy! (Early reader. 4-8)
A ride in the car has never been scarier—or this much fun Read full book review >
DETECTIVE BLUE by Steve Metzger
Released: July 1, 2011

MANNERS MASH-UP by Tedd Arnold
Released: Feb. 1, 2011

The advice in this compendium is completely straightforward: In the cafeteria, "don't take food from others' trays"; on the playground, "Always watch out for the little ones." The delivery, however, is ridiculously, hilariously varied, as 14 illustrators each take a double-page spread and sprinkle those gentle aphorisms among madcap images. Henry Cole illustrates "Don't stare at" with items it is impossible not to—the hairy wart, the plumber's crack and the school receptionist, with cat's-eye glasses and long red fingernails, wearing her bra on the outside of her blouse. Tao Nyeu's beautifully embroidered pages exhort the cute animals therein not to pick their scabs, their belly-button lint or their teeth in public. Adam Rex has a different take entirely on "Table Manners," with a John Waters-like Dr. Frankenstein at the table with Igor ("don't slouch") and a three-headed boy stuffing all his mouths full. At the end, each illustrator recounts personal manners mishaps, complete with self-portraits or photos. Good advice waggishly packaged and not completely tasteful—a winner. (Informational picture book. 5-9)Read full book review >
Released: May 1, 2009

More than 15 years ago, Green Wilma made a splashy, absurdist debut (Green Wilma, 1993), and now Arnold has splendidly resurrected the young frog. The rhymed narration is as light as bubbles—"One morning Wilma woke to hear a buzzing in the sky. / She hopped into the air to catch a tasty little fly"—gently pushing along the story of Wilma's accidental hoisting into an alien spacecraft and her subsequent return—posthaste, after she shoots her tongue at that same fly, which has worked its way aboard with Wilma. In contrast, however, the artwork has wonderful heft and presence. The wealth of panels holds evocative colors: dim in the innards of the spaceship, soft summer light at the frog pond. It is not surprising that there is a high degree of humor, from the bug eyes on the fly to Wilma being mashed into the spacesuit. What gives Wilma a touch of the special is her equanimity; after all, she finds herself in some pretty strange precincts, but she keeps her cool and her focus, even though she never gets the fly. (Picture book. 3-5)Read full book review >
FLY HIGH, FLY GUY! by Tedd Arnold
Released: May 1, 2008

When Buzz and his parents take a road trip, pet-of-sorts Fly Guy stows away in the trunk. Rather than getting lost, as Dad fears, the insect displays effortless adaptive skills. He surfs at the beach, smooches a Mona Lisa look-alike at the art museum and rides the roller coaster at the fun park, finding snacks aplenty in trashcans en route. When Dad loses the way home, Fly Guy rises to the rescue, using "his super fly eyes to spy their house." Arnold delivers another engaging romp that combines a spare but never stilted text and child-appealing pictures (wherein even the figures in museum paintings are bug-eyed). From the very shiny cover's dizzying perspective to the heroic conclusion, this fifth outing's a shoo-in for kids who prefer their beginning readers funny and action-packed. (Early reader. 4-7)Read full book review >
RAT LIFE by Tedd Arnold
Released: April 1, 2007

A teenaged boy's quiet life in Elmore, N.Y., in 1972 is literally swept along when a dead body surfaces in the local river and he befriends a quirky young Vietnam vet. When 14-year-old Todd isn't making beds and doing chores at his family's motel, he writes stories about aliens. Chance connects him with 17-year-old Rat, a mysterious Vietnam vet who works at the local drive-in theatre and offers Todd a summer job. Eager for pocket money and strangely drawn to the taciturn Rat, Todd accepts. Gradually, Todd tries to get Rat to tell his story and wonders if Rat is connected to the murdered man in the river. As Todd unravels the mystery of Rat's life, he must decide whether to trust his own instincts or avoid Rat because he's a "ticking time bomb." Realistically and sensitively written as Todd's own manuscript, this entertaining and thoughtful account is an absorbing snapshot of early 1970s life, as well as fast-paced coming-of-age fare that should appeal to young male readers. (author's note) (Fiction. 12-17)Read full book review >
Released: April 1, 2007

Replete with poultry-related double entendres and (in the pictures, at least) popeyed, rubber-legged steeds, this tale of sibling rivalry offers plenty of chuckles—even if the climactic twist is too contrived to be credible. Injured during a hunt and unsure which of his twin sons was born first, King Chanticleer announces a race, with his crown to go to the one whose horse finishes last. This odd provision really ruffles the feathers of aggressive Fowler, who's used to having his way over the kinder, gentler Henry and has already poisoned his brother's horse in expectation of a more conventional race. Arnold repeatedly warns that there's a "riddle" (more of a poser, really) coming up, and even tucks in an old peddler woman to provide additional hints. As it happens, both princes end up standing before the finish line, waiting for the other to go ahead. How to solve the dilemma? Read and see. Presented as a tale being told to Henry's royal chicks by their nanny, it won't outpace "The Tortoise and the Hare," and other versions of the folktale, but readers won't have any trouble staying the course. (Picture book. 6-8)Read full book review >
SHOO, FLY GUY! by Tedd Arnold
Released: Sept. 1, 2006

Buzzy Fly Guy's on his own for most of his third outing. Returning from a foray past garbage, a horse and other intriguingly scented landmarks, Fly Guy finds a note that his human buddy Buzz and family have gone off for a picnic. Away he flies in pursuit—both of Buzz, and of his favorite food, which is "brown, oozy, lumpy and smelly." Being a fly, he is of course willing to settle for any one of those qualities, but the tempting burger, pizza slice, bones and roadkill he finds are already claimed. Poor Fly Guy, shooed away from every snack. Arnold's cartoons are more pop-eyed than ever in this simply told, medium-gross episode, and emergent readers will enjoy following the muscid marauder to final nirvana atop a slice of—yes, shoo-fly pie: brown, oozy, lumpy and smelly. (Easy reader. 5-7)Read full book review >
SUPER FLY GUY by Tedd Arnold
Released: March 1, 2006

The busy, buzzy beastie introduced in Hi! Fly Guy (2005) accompanies his best bud Buzz to school, and enters fly heaven. Which is to say, he discovers the lunchroom run by the esteemed Roz, a fine cook who isn't above rewarding a bug who can say her name with a delicious cup of chicken bones and fish heads in sour milk. But when Roz is fired in favor of Miss Muzzle—whose idea of a nourishing lunch is burnt peas and turnips—it's up to the resourceful Fly Guy to return the favor. Arnold's pop-eyed, big-headed cartoon figures provide the proper comedic air for this brief episode, which is arranged in chapters and wrapped in an eye-catching, glittery cover. Fledgling readers will cheer the intrepid insect on as he engineers Roz's return, and is last seen basking in a redolent bowl of garbage soup. Keep on buzzing, Fly Guy. (Easy reader. 6-8)Read full book review >
HI! FLY GUY by Tedd Arnold
Released: Sept. 1, 2005

Pest—or Pet? A fly changes some minds in this diminutive tale—first, by astounding the lad who captures him in a jar ("BUZZ!" "You know my name! You are the smartest pet in the world!"), then, thanks to some fancy flying, by convincing the lad's parents and ultimately even the judges of the Amazing Pet Show that he's more than just a nuisance. A pop-eyed, self-confident mite in Arnold's droll cartoon illustrations, Fly Guy's up to any challenge, whether it be eating a hot dog (well, most of it, anyway), or performing amazing aerial acrobatics; readers drawn by the flashy foil cover will stick around to applaud this unusually capable critter. Any similarity to Ezra Jack Keats's Pet Show! (1972) is surely coincidental. (Picture book. 6-8)Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 2005

Type-A lead foot Rush Hotfoot is the nemesis of Axle Annie's school bus in Pulver's droll poke at all those drivers who feel a creeping road rage when they get stuck behind Big Yellow, the vehicle that can't get off its brakes. Every morning, Hotfoot comes roaring up behind Annie's bus; the children have come to look for him as he streams by, grabbing a quick shave, picking his nose hairs, blatting his horn, popping beads of sweat: "Here comes Rush! Bearing down fast! Driving full blast!" Annie confronts the menace, even calls the cops on him after a particularly outrageous display, but to no avail. Only after his own life is threatened, and his sorry rump is saved by Annie and her bus, does Hotfoot mend his ways, opting for a tricycle with helmet. Arnold gives the story a good, frenetic twist of the tail with his high velocity artwork (his bug-eyed people are perfect for these roles), while Pulver tempers the insanity of Hotfoot's behavior with little puns at his expense, and showcases Annie's level-headed, big-hearted protectiveness. (Picture book. 4-7)Read full book review >
EVEN MORE PARTS by Tedd Arnold
Released: Sept. 1, 2004

Arnold returns with a third dose of the idioms that torture poor literal-minded Chip. Loosely based around heading to school, the rhymed text of grossly exact interpretations of figures of speech involving body parts are as funny as ever. Each large spot illustration is accompanied by two or three smaller spots at the bottom of the page depicting related idioms enacted by Chip's toys. Arnold's squiggly, bright watercolor-and-pencil illustrations are again delightfully bizarre. The two-page spread of "I want all eyes on me" will likely keep the class snickering through the year each time the teacher says it. The endpapers are covered with further figures of speech and should add a few chuckles. Fans of the first two will laugh their heads off with this entry. (Picture book. 4-7)Read full book review >
Released: July 1, 2004

Arnold's cartoon figures seem to explode across the pages with even more pop-eyed frenzy than usual in this rendition of the traditional camp song. Having done "very informal research," he gives himself license to add some original lyrics, sending young Catalina, et al., dancing from basinet—"She had two holes in the bottom of her nose—One for her fingers . . . and one for her toes"—to wedding limo, with doting parents, friends, relatives, and a bemused beau swirling in her wake. He closes with a swatch of music, plus a list of variant monikers for the eponymous lass he's encountered along the way. Like the recent remake of Alan Sherman's Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah, illustrated by Jack E. Davis (p. 401), impossible to read without bursting into song—and maybe adding a few improvised lines. (Picture book. 6-8)Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 2002

Bagert's (Rainbows, Head Lice, and Pea Green Tile, not reviewed, etc.) collection of children's poetry is a devilishly funny lot that connects to situations familiar to all young readers, the ones the classroom hamster believes to be giants. Each poem recognizes the ordinary and bizarre events that children experience with rhythmic references to the frustration and anger at a no-show tooth fairy, the pain from a scratch on the knee, and the fear of school performances, this work in verse captures the emotions, reactions, and imaginations of a child. While some poems are devious (Booger Love) and some are motivating (Bad Words: "I can't"), all are true-to-life and sure to please. Arnold's (More Parts, 2001, etc.) trademark characters are Simpsons-like, with large heads, bulging eyes, and square pants. Each image is a perfect companion for the text and helps emphasize the humor. The art is a bright, watercolor wash accentuated with small whimsical squiggles from colored pencils creating a pattern that gives visual texture. Both the poetry and the artwork conspire to make this piece enormously entertaining and rich with wicked humor. (Poetry. 4-8)Read full book review >
MORE PARTS by Tedd Arnold
Released: Sept. 1, 2001

The literal-minded lad who worried so hilariously about losing his Parts (1997) returns for a series of anxiety-inducing encounters with figures of speech. What exactly do people mean by asking him to lend a hand, promising that a joke will crack him up, or telling him to stretch his arms and legs? How, exactly, is he supposed to hold his tongue? Does a friend's baby sister really cry her lungs out every night? In Arnold's cartoony illustrations, the pop-eyed narrator envisions the disastrous results of taking these expressions at face value, then proceeds to strap, wrap, and glue himself up, just to be safe. The gross-out factor is toned down for this sequel, but young readers who find Amelia Bedelia a trifle too self-possessed will warm to this neurotic young rhymester. (Picture book. 6-8)Read full book review >
PARTS by Tedd Arnold
by Tedd Arnold, illustrated by Tedd Arnold
Released: Sept. 1, 1997

Arnold (The Simple People, 1992, etc.) cashes in by grossing out the picture-book set in this story in rhyme, which kids with rough-and-ready sensibilities will relish and fastidious adults will shun, for the same reasons. The goggle-eyed narrator has noticed that he loses hairs, his skin peels, and a tooth is loose, not to mention his discoveries of belly-button lint and nose yuck. He comes to the alarming conclusion that he's going bald and toothless, shedding his skin, losing his stuffing, and his brains are leaking out his nose. His parents reassure him that all these lost parts renew themselves. His response: ``That's really good to hear! Then tell me, what's this yellow stuff I got out of my ear?'' Stupid, silly, and base, in equal measure, this has watercolor illustrations that are textured with colored-pencil curlicues in such a way that they look hairy—like the tangles that clog a shower drain. (Book-of-the- Month Club) (Picture book. 4-8) Read full book review >
MY DOG NEVER SAYS PLEASE by Suzanne Williams
Released: May 1, 1997

Dogs don't have rules of etiquette to follow, and Ginny Mae is envious. Ol' Red gets to chew with his mouth open, lick his plate clean, and snooze in his doghouse all day, while Ginny Mae is constantly told to mind her manners. In a fit of anger, she finally tells her family she's moving in with Ol' Red. It's great, for a while, but by the end of the book she's thinking about inviting herself inside for dinner. While the broadly funny cartoon pictures capture the silliness of this tale, they treat the colloquialisms of the story generically, and don't address the folksiness of the text. Still, enough readers have probably coveted their pet's setup to provide this switcheroo with a large human audience. (Picture book. 4-8) Read full book review >
TRACKS by David Galef
by David Galef, illustrated by Tedd Arnold
Released: March 1, 1996

When Albert, who is supervising the laying of new railroad track, drops his glasses, things get a little blurry. He has no time to go home for his spare pair. His hard-working crew puts down track through Sally's Pond, around cows that look like boulders, through a barn, and over some pine tree ``mountains.'' Fortunately for Albert, the Mayor loves the wacky ride on the train's inaugural run, and all's well that ends well. This starts with a funny premise, but because readers see, every step of the way, the truth behind Albert's mistakes, the second trip over the track (with the mayor) is a letdown. Arnold uses a looser style than usual, but the broad humor of the illustrations can't carry the piece. (Picture book. 4+) Read full book review >
MY WORKING MOM by Peter Glassman
Released: April 1, 1994

Mother as mad scientist, mother as witch—that's what the illustrations here are all about. The words are another thing altogether: a child's innocent account of what mother does—e.g., ``Mom says her meetings are boring, but I'll bet they're a blast!'' The overwhelming cartoon accompanying this matter-of- fact observation shows a delirious witches' coven. In the pictures, Mom creates monster frogs, gives children rides on her broom, and makes birthday cakes out of the moon, all to the beat of simple sentences. It's a deliciously sly example of picture book counterpoint: The author and illustrator's parallel themes combine to create an explosive third melody. Children may enjoy contrasting this with the subtler harmony of fantasy and reality in Rosenberg/Gammell's Monster Mama (1993). (Picture book. 3-7) Read full book review >
Released: June 1, 1992

The ``simple people''—depicted in Shachat's glowing mixed- media art as adult males whose pink, almost hairless heads constitute more than half their bulk—live happily, singing songs and eating fruit, until a serpent intrudes in the form of a first invention: Node makes a frame to look through. Intrigued, Bog organizes the others to build it a support that escalates to a wall that curves to meet itself and receive a roof; meanwhile, crews are formed, specialties established, managers appointed. When the original aperture is covered by a zealous worker, the people are left in the smoky dark, where they finally notice that they aren't thriving. It's Node who unearths his window and helps them all escape to return to their former Eden. Simplistic and heavy-handed, but in the spirit of real contemporary concerns—a book that could contribute to thoughtful discussion. (Picture book. 4-9) Read full book review >
Released: May 1, 1992

Arnold's large-headed, stubby-limbed figures move solidly through a droll cautionary tale. Norman the apprentice has noticed that people always obey signs; when his boss takes a brief trip, Norman busily paints and distributes his own: ``No School Today''; ``Eat Your Hat''; ``Go Back Three Spaces''; ``Knock Heads.'' In a series of textless spreads, people follow these directions regardless of the silly results. Finally, every sign in town is angrily torn down—creating even worse confusion. Seeing the error of his ways, Norman scrambles about repairing the damage, earning forgiveness from the signmaker and the embarrassed townsfolk. O the perils of blind obedience! (Picture book. 6+) Read full book review >