Books by Tim Warnes

IT'S CHRISTMAS! by Tracey Corderoy
Released: Sept. 1, 2017

"An amusing story that captures the intensity of the Christmas season from a little one's perspective. (Picture book. 2-5)"
A young rhinoceros named Otto prepares for Christmas with his family, getting into mischief by trying to make everything extra "Christmassy." Read full book review >
WARNING! by Tim Warnes
by Tim Warnes, illustrated by Tim Warnes
Released: March 1, 2016

"It's hard to sympathize with anyone here. (Picture book. 3-7)"
Take a bunny, put it in its second favorite thing—a magic top hat—and you get what is known as a population explosion. Read full book review >
MORE! by Tracey Corderoy
by Tracey Corderoy, illustrated by Tim Warnes
Released: Sept. 1, 2015

"Here is one case where more is definitely just right. (Picture book. 2-5)"
Who doesn't love getting a little more? Otto is an expert at "More!" Read full book review >
Released: March 2, 2015

"The throngs of felonious mice make this story worth the read. (Picture book. 3-6)"
Fathers aren't afraid of anything—are they? Read full book review >
WHY? by Tracey Corderoy
by Tracey Corderoy, illustrated by Tim Warnes
Released: Sept. 1, 2014

"Look for a different title to entertain, rather than impersonate, young readers. (Picture book. 3-5)"
More character sketch than story, this title will feel familiar to parents of curious children. Read full book review >
NO! by Tracey Corderoy
by Tracey Corderoy, illustrated by Tim Warnes
Released: Sept. 1, 2013

"An entertaining romp of a book that amusingly addresses this often difficult aspect of toddlerhood. (Picture book. 2-6)"
Otto has learned the dreaded "no" word, for life for his family and friends, as well as for himself, just got more complicated. Read full book review >
MONTY AND MILLI by Tracey Corderoy
Released: June 1, 2012

"Cute but slight. (Picture book. 3-5)"
Little sisters can be annoying, but would you really like them to disappear? Read full book review >
Released: May 1, 2010

This picture book by veterans Landa and Warnes puts a stale spin on a timeless lesson: There's no use in making a mountain out of molehill, or, in this case, a monster out of a mouse. When Duck hears suspicious noises coming from under her bed, she turns to her trusty forest friends, Pig, Bear, Wolf and Owl, to help investigate what horrid creature must be lurking under her bed. As each one passes the message along to the other, the monster becomes more and more terrifying and makes increasingly more menacing noises—from the "pshh pshh!" Duck initially hears to a cumulative "pshh pshh, grrr, bang bang, wham wham, grrrowl! OOOOOOoooeeeeee!"—until they finally decide to face the beast head on. The gang is left feeling silly when they realize the awful monster they've imagined is nothing more than an innocuous little mouse. The Disney-esque depictions of the likable-enough, though entirely bland characters make both figures and setting seem recycled rather than fresh. Although there is an important lesson to be learned here, this picture book would've benefited from a bit more imagination. (Picture book. 3-6)Read full book review >
SORRY! by Norbert Landa
by Norbert Landa, illustrated by Tim Warnes
Released: June 1, 2009

New collaborators Landa and Warnes (who is often paired with Julie Sykes) have created a picture book about friendship, jealousy, arguing and making things right again. The pictorial gimmick here is a Mylar balloon they find, which appears within the illustrations as a shiny and reflective foil element. Both want the balloon, which makes a very fine mirror. They squabble and—predictably—end up ripping it in half. Each storms home and admires himself in his fragment of Mylar, but soon the longing for friendship trumps the argument and all is well. A number of words in the text are produced in a much larger font than the rest. There appears TO be no RHYME or reason for THIS stylistic decision, forcing an awkward and unnatural reading-aloud experience. The illustrations are vintage Warnes—sweet, warmly colored and evocative—but this book about the testing of friendship remains strictly ADDITIONAL. (Picture book. 3-7)Read full book review >
CHALK & CHEESE by Tim Warnes
Released: Oct. 21, 2008

A white dog named Chalk and a cheerful British mouse named Cheese explore New York City together in this well-intentioned but confusing story. A dual design makes the story inherently difficult to follow, as it presents both a brief narrative in an omniscient viewpoint and a cartoon-panel format with speech balloons, requiring repeated awkward shifting between perspectives. The effort might appeal to those few preschoolers who know both England and New York City, but most children will need explanations of such New York references as the subway, King Kong and Rockefeller, as well as clarification of the British expression of dissimilar items going together "like chalk and cheese." Though the watercolor-and-pencil illustrations have a humorous appeal, there is a rather frantic air to the volume in general, exemplified by multiple exclamation marks and words in dialogue rendered in all capital letters. While adult readers who have traveled with little ones will empathize with the indulgent Chalk, its appeal to children is less clear. (Picture book. 4-6)Read full book review >
Released: July 1, 2008

When a new student, Boris the bear, arrives in Miss Cluck's classroom, he gets a frosty welcome from the other students, who are all afraid of his "fierce"-looking smile and booming voice. Things get decidedly warmer when, after a long and lonely day, the "hairy, scary grizzly bear" scares off the bullying rat pack with his toothy grin. Weston's deft characterizations and Warnes's soft-edged illustrations build sympathy for poor Boris, but readers who know anything about wildlife will wonder at the inconsistency in the animal roles: Why are the mice, rabbit and mole not afraid of Fergus the fox? Pleasing enough, but not much new here. (Picture book. 4-8) Read full book review >
DADDY HUG by Tim Warnes
by Tim Warnes, illustrated by Jane Chapman
Released: May 1, 2008

This husband-and-wife team's addition to the daddy-adoration genre comes out just in time for his big day. An adorable but realistically portrayed cast of animals parades through the pages, daddies with their offspring. One by one, compact rhyming couplets describe the various dads: "Daddy busy / Daddy strong / Daddy slimy / Daddy long." These pages depict hummingbirds, gorillas, snails and snakes, respectively, each interacting with his children. Many of the adjectives and verbs appear in delightfully descriptive fonts—"fluffy" sprouts soft-looking feathers, while "dirty" shakes off clumps of mud. The gentle rhyme sets the tone for bedtime, and the final spread is the perfect segue to sleep, with a group of daddies hugging their children close. As always, Chapman's illustrations define the mood and tone for the text. Her animal families are warm and loving, with expressive faces, and she keeps their interactions and activities natural. A cuddly tribute to all the things that make a dad, Dad...and not a bad way to reinforce a child's concept of adjectives and verbs, either. (Picture book. 3-5)Read full book review >
Released: May 1, 2008

"I love you as big as the world. / I love you as deep as the sea. / I love you as bright as the sun. / I love you. / And I know you love me!" Parent bear and child bear roll in the grass, walk in the wind, stare at the stars and cuddle. Though big bear points to little bear on the title page, it's never clear who's speaking, but it doesn't matter. The claim of big love ends with: "I love you because . . . / . . . you are you!" Van Buren's first is a simple text which, although stumbling a bit in the scansion, is every bit as sweet as any in the guess-how-much-I-love-you genre. What makes this one stand out from the teeming crowd is the art. Warnes's watercolor-and-charcoal illustrations depict the expressive bears in a range of natural settings. The package is far from unique, but it would be a good gift for a cuddle-bear who's somehow missed all the others. (Picture book. 2-5) Read full book review >
RISE AND SHINE! by Tim Warnes
Released: Jan. 23, 2007

The appealing bears introduced by Warnes in his version of Jesus Loves Me! (2006) return as the main characters in another satisfying treatment of a traditional children's religious song. The cheery, rhyming words to the song retell the story of Noah and the Ark, using the delightfully silly line endings ("twosies" and "kangaroosies") that have made kids in Sunday-school class and summer camp giggle for generations. As in the previous volume, the bear family enjoys simple activities that loosely parallel the structure of the song, with the action taking place in an idyllic forest and a garden full of bright sunflowers. The little bear cub wakes up on the title page, and then he and his dad build a toy ark together. The cub fills the ark with toy animals and pairs of obliging animal friends who continue to interact with the bears as they enjoy some lemonade and a walk through the woods. (music notation) (Picture book. 2-6)Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 2006

Beguiled by the friendly twinkle of the moonlight, Little Honey Bear sets off on a jaunt to visit the moon. His woodland friends, Lily Long Ears and Teeny Tiny Mouse, soon join him on his expedition, in hopes of having mooncakes and moonjuice. However, a sudden winter squall turns the joyful lark into something more ominous. With a chilly wind blowing, they find themselves disoriented in the suddenly darkened woods and unable to locate the path home. Respite arrives in the form of Mommy Bear, who soon has the friends safe and warm. Warnes's inviting illustrations gracefully illuminate the bewitching quality of a moonlit night, while the trio of friends is sketched with ultimate furry appeal. An overlay of glitter on the pages adds textural dimension as well as sparkle appeal for youngsters. Just the right amount of fancy to enchant young readers. (Picture book. 3-6)Read full book review >
I’VE SEEN SANTA! by David Bedford
Released: Sept. 1, 2006

In this charming, well-written story for younger children, a bear family of three prepares for Christmas Eve together. Little Bear and Big Bear (the father) decide to wait up together to see Santa arrive. The little fellow nods off and wakes several times to spot a mysterious, tall figure in the cave, but it's only Big Bear tasting the treats left out for Santa or Mommy Bear leaving her own presents in the stockings. Finally the three bears settle down together in front of the fireplace to wait for Santa, but they fall fast asleep in a tangled pile under their Christmas-green blanket. In the final spread, Santa is shown behind the sleeping bears, quietly enjoying his milk and blueberry pie. The appealing illustrations provide dramatic suspense that will captivate preschoolers, who will love the amiable bears and the tiny mouse that makes an appearance on each spread. The story is simple enough for two-year-olds, funny enough for five-year-olds and clever enough for older children and parents to enjoy as a family read-aloud during Christmas season. (Picture book. 2-7)Read full book review >
JESUS LOVES ME! by Tim Warnes
Released: Feb. 1, 2006

The words to this traditional children's hymn serve as the text for a pleasant interpretation focusing on a family of three bears: a father, mother and child. The storyline begins with the father bear reading a children's Bible with the little bear and continues throughout the family's day as they garden, fish, bake and decorate Easter eggs. On several spreads the bears are shown hiking and singing the words of the song together, indicated by speech balloons. The general theme of love and caring for others is always apparent even on those pages where the words of the song aren't directly related to the bears' activities. Warnes provides engaging illustrations of the smiling bear family, with expressive faces and charming details such as a fiddle and a fishing hat for the father and a stuffed bunny for the child instead of a teddy bear. This reassuring version of a beloved Sunday-School standard provides an introductory context to the song for very young children, who will enjoy the cozy world of this anthropomorphic bear family. Music and guitar chords are included. (Picture book. 1-5)Read full book review >
MOMMY MINE by Tim Warnes
Released: March 1, 2005

Author Warnes teams up with his illustrator wife to create a salute to mothers of all types. Simple, rhyming text characterizes the mostly physical attributes of various animal mothers. Spanning a broad spectrum of species, Warnes's choices include creatures from the smallest winged insect to the tallest giraffe. The sing-song cadence of the rhymes is naturally suited for read-aloud sessions with the very young. Although some human mothers could take umbrage at the slightly disparaging remarks that arise from rather forced rhymes, such as "Mommy grubby / . . . Mommy chubby" and "Mommy lazy / clumsy Mommy-whoopsy-daisy," when combined with Chapman's comically detailed illustrations, these comments lean more towards a spirit of whimsy rather than casting aspersions. While Chapman's charmingly depicted creatures range from exotic lemurs and anteaters to more familiar barnyard inhabitants, the devoted connection between the mothers and their offspring becomes the universal theme that unites them all. Scoring high on the exuberance scale, the rollicking recital is bound to be warmly embraced by the preschool set. (Picture book. 3-5)Read full book review >
A SURPRISE FOR ROSIE by Julia Rawlinson
Released: March 1, 2005

Veteran Warnes creates an idyllic, ground-level (until the end, anyway) woodland setting for this debut tale of a young rabbit's search for a promised surprise. Daddy's planning something, and curious little Creamsicle-colored Rosie sets out to discover for herself what it might be. Fellow creatures she meets won't give it away, but furnish clues: It's acorn-shaped, says Squirrel; you can go into it, claim the burrowing moles; it's blue as an egg, hints a bird. What could it be? Young followers will sympathize with Rosie, who finally takes a tumble down a hillside: " ‘I'm tired of looking and hopping,' she said, rubbing her bumped bunny nose.' " But there's Daddy, at last, and his truly grand surprise—revealed in a climactic fold-out as a basket beneath huge blue balloon—banishes all weariness: " ‘Now I can see the whole wide world!' " Readers will definitely share Rosie's delight. (Picture book. 5-7)Read full book review >
BLESS YOU, SANTA! by Julie Sykes
Released: Sept. 1, 2004

Sykes and Warnes team up for their second story about a Santa who makes all the Christmas toys with the help of his animal companions rather than elves. On December 23rd, Santa wakes up with a horrid cold and is unable to finish the toys for Christmas Eve delivery. His huge sneezes, illustrated with "ACHOOOO!" in flowing display type, are large enough to knock over the completed toys, so Santa's pet cat and mouse tuck him into bed and finish all the toys with the help of the other animals. Santa makes a quick recovery and is able to deliver the toys on Christmas Eve, just as his cat starts to come down with the cold. Preschoolers will enjoy the humor of the huge sneezes, though they may wonder what happened to Santa's elves and why he only has four reindeer instead of eight. Warnes provides cheerful illustrations full of bold colors and bright patterns, and he has a humorous way with his animal characters, including the tiny but expressive mouse and the cat who wears a headband with star antennae. (Picture book. 3-6)Read full book review >
SCAREDY MOUSE by Alan MacDonald
Released: March 1, 2001

Nibbles and Squeak embark on an adventure to retrieve some chocolate cake from the kitchen, but what are two little mice against the big, ginger cat, especially when Squeak is "a small mouse, a scared mouse, a stay-at-home mouse." Even though Squeak is afraid, his rumbling stomach and Nibbles's insistence convince him. With the end of a ball of string tied around his waist, Squeak—with his sister, Nibbles—begins his journey. Around each corner, Squeak spies an object that he is convinced is the ginger cat, ready to pounce, but each time Nibbles points out that it is just scarf, or a toy, a pillow, or the feather duster. Finally after Squeak has just about run himself ragged from fear, they spot the cake and in no time at all, they are whisker-deep in chocolate. After filling themselves, they begin to head home with a large slice of cake in tow, but suddenly there is the ginger cat. Just as it looks as if Nibbles and Squeak have had their last adventure, the ginger cat becomes so tangled in the string that Squeak has been trailing that he can't move. Tied all in knots, the cat is not as scary and Squeak becomes a "bold-as-a-lion-mouse." Expressive, comical illustrations add even more whimsy to this amusing tale. (Picture book. 3-7)Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 1, 1999

A young bunny and a hungry fox stick to their traditional roles in this formulaic bunny-finds-trouble tale, imported from Britain. While his brothers and sisters, Misha, Sasha, Masha, and Natasha romp and play, Bunny Bobkin is busy learning to count. His counting, however, leads him into peril—into a den of foxes. The furry tales, gleaming eyes, and tawny toes spell danger for Bunny Bobkin, who stalls Mother Fox by distracting her into chanting a rabbit stew rhyme. A lapse in logic sends Mother Fox off for stew bones to flavor her broth—it doesn't seem to occur to her that Bunny Bobkin would flavor the concoction just as well—providing the rabbit with a chance to escape. Cartoonish line drawings capture action but not nuance in a tale that includes a warm fuzzy ending. (Picture book. 2-5) Read full book review >
HURRY, SANTA! by Julie Sykes
Released: Aug. 1, 1998

It's Christmas time again and Sykes's noisy, jovial Santa (Shhh!) returns, embarking upon a whole new succession of misadventures. This time, Santa's troubles begin when his alarm clock does not go off, causing him to oversleep. The race is on to see if he can manage to save Christmas by delivering all his presents by morning. Accompanied by animal friends, and spurred on by their cries of "Hurry, Santa," the affable but slightly harried old gnome stumbles through several mishaps as he endeavors to get dressed, round up his, and deliver the presents. Children will sympathize with Santa, whose efforts to hurry are frequently misunderstood by the well-meaning animals. When Santa gets scolded by the owl for playing (all he's done is interrupt the reindeer's snowball fight), the beleaguered Santa wails, "But I wasn't playing!" Santa's fumbles as he hurries through the night are cheerfully brought to life through Warnes's expressive, lively illustrations; whimsical figures, rich colors, and lighthearted illustrations complement the frenetic tale. The humorous antics of the intrepid Santa make for a wonderfully silly holiday story. (Picture book. 3-7) Read full book review >
Released: June 20, 1998

Although the language of the originals seems to have been oversimplified (there are no notes or sources given), these ten retellings about African animals—how the gluttonous zebra got its vulgar stripes, how the boastful hippo lost his silken hair and acquired his nocturnal habits, and more—remain thoroughly entertaining. The stories frequently hinge—as is appropriate for the genre—on some weakness of character (the witless lion, the tortoise without self-respect, the thieving monkey) that manifests itself as bad behavior or foolishness, so that the endings ring with a sense of just deserts, and, in some cases, border just this side of smug. The token trickster tale features a jackal, who pulls a fast one to reclaim the fruit of the Muula Tree. Warnes has an impressive knack for summoning the African landscape in expressive forms and very few colors. (Picture book/folklore. 3-7) Read full book review >
WHO LIKES WOLFIE? by Ragnhild Scamell
Released: April 1, 1996

A comically patchy book with poignant charm. Wolfie is upset because nobody likes him and sets out to win friends. His toothy smile reassures no one, but his singing brings about better results. He sings so loudly that he wakes up the hibernating bears and all the other animals in the snowy forest; by and by, along comes a beautiful white wolf, who likes his singing, and likes Wolfie, too. The illustrations have a humble, unassuming expressiveness, made even more attractive by a mostly wintry palette, warmed with orange. The awkward-looking wolf will earn much sympathy and there are moments to please onlookers, e.g., an awakened bear points to a clock that has the names of the months instead of numbers on it. For anyone unsure of being welcomed, Scamell (Buster's Echo, 1995, etc.) shows that clumsiness can be endearing and that a song need not be musical to be heartfelt. (Picture book. 6-8) Read full book review >