Books by Timothy Bush

ALL IN JUST ONE COOKIE by Susan E. Goodman
CHILDREN'S
Released: June 1, 2006

Chocolate-chip cookies may come from Grandma's oven, but their ingredients come from all over the world, as a pair of exuberant animal researchers finds out. While twinkly Grandma bustles about the kitchen, Bush's sunny illustrations take her excitable dog and cerebral cat much further afield: First to Vermont and Hawaii to see how butter and sugar are created; then to Madagascar for vanilla extract; on to salt pans near San Francisco, a Kansas wheat field and less defined locations for eggs and chocolate. Laced with captions, paragraphs of information and exclamations, the visual gustatory odyssey ends with a map (properly showing that some ingredients can be from several places), a caution against feeding chocolate to pets, a proffered plate of finished cookies—and the requisite recipe to finish it all off. Shelve next to Marjorie Priceman's How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World (1994), and turn even more young gourmands into globetrotters. (Picture book/nonfiction. 6-8)Read full book review >
JANEY AND THE FAMOUS AUTHOR by Mary Downing Hahn
CHILDREN'S
Released: Aug. 15, 2005

A bookish child almost misses seeing her favorite writer in the whole wide world, in a wish-fulfillment tale that will turn any author groupie (or author, for that matter) green with envy. Janey's wild to meet Lily May Appleton at a local college's literary festival, but she gets so absorbed in reading Appleton's latest animal mystery while other, less interesting authors make presentations, that she loses the rest of her class. Much later, having wandered desolately around the campus, she tearfully tells her tale of woe to an elderly passerby, who turns out to be. . . .well, you know. A long, pleasant give-and-take ensues, and Janey gets the entire bagful of books she brought signed before triumphantly rejoining her class at day's end. Hahn tells the tale in present tense; Bush illustrates her brief chapters with full-page scenes of typical children encountering several affectionately spoofed author and illustrator types. A warm companion to Louise Borden's The Day Eddie Met the Author (2001) or Eve Bunting's My Special Day at Third Street School (2004). (Fiction. 7-9)Read full book review >
TEDDY BEAR, TEDDY BEAR by Timothy Bush
CHILDREN'S
Released: May 1, 2005

Using only his vibrant illustrations, Bush creatively transforms the familiar rhyme about an active bear's day into a full-out adventure. While the words of this classic childhood chant remain the same, Bush's pictures tell an engrossing tale of an ingenuous bear who tumbles out of his owner's backpack. With the assistance of furry and feathered friends alike, the lost bear makes it safely home before the little boy's return. This new interpretation puts a unique spin on the tried-and-true verses; e.g., for "jump up high," the intrepid bear is carried away by a friendly gull. The toddler-friendly pictures are just right for a younger audience. Bush's full-color watercolor illustrations saturate the pages in a medley of vivid hues, perfectly designed to capture a reader's attention. The final page includes a detailing of the traditional movements that accompany each action described in the verses. Bush's refreshing take on this classic rhyme only enhances its timeless endurance and is a wonderful way to introduce a true favorite to the next generation of little bears. (Picture book. 2-5)Read full book review >
MY DAD’S JOB by Peter Glassman
CHILDREN'S
Released: May 1, 2003

A youngster listens to his dad talk about work each night and takes it too literally. "On Wednesday, Dad was really tired. He told Mom that the market was up and down and that the bulls and bears were giving everyone a wild ride." Mom dispels the boy's visions of a bovine/ursine rodeo by telling him they aren't that type of bulls and bears. After several days of misunderstandings, the boy goes to work with his dad. The office building doesn't look like a place anyone would have fun . . . until they open the doors to Dad's office. The place is full of bulls, bears—and aliens. In the end, he decides he wants to go with Dad every day. Bush's watercolors bring this play-on-words to life: each family member has an obvious personality in the realistic scenes; in the boy's fantasies, pictures of office workers fighting off hostile takeovers and playing on teams are a hoot. The single gatefold page might not wear well in libraries, but the glossary of Dad's work-speak at the end is a definite plus. Silly, but fun. (Picture book. 5-9)Read full book review >
CHRISTMAS CRICKET by Eve Bunting
ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 21, 2002

Bunting (One Candle, below, etc.) shows her consummate talent as a storyteller in this simple but profound tale of a cricket who comes in from the cold to find warmth, light, companionship, and ultimately joy in his own little world. The story, told from the cricket's point of view, follows the insect on his long journey into the house of a little girl and her father, who are celebrating Christmas Eve in a cheerful living room full of greenery and golden light. When the cricket hops up into a decorated Christmas tree next to an angel ornament, the little girl mistakes the cricket's song for the angel's voice. Her father explains: "Did you know that angels sing in the voices of birds, and frogs and people and crickets?" The cricket feels appreciated and sings his own joyful song as the little girl and her father sing "Joy to the World." Bush's watercolor illustrations bring the little cricket to life with his own personality, and the views of the candlelit Christmas scene effectively convey the warmth and transformative potential of the season. The story can serve as simply a satisfying tale of an endearing insect who finds his way or, on a deeper level, as a parable of the faith journey. (Picture book. 3-6)Read full book review >
MATH MAN by Teri Daniels
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 1, 2001

Math Man might be a barrel of fun, but he's not going to be teaching readers much math. Marnie's class is off to Mighty Mart to see a little math in action. Garth, a.k.a. Math Man, is a clerk with a talent for math. (A contemporary fantasy, obviously.) He races about the store, advising shoppers on their purchases: get a quarter of a watermelon, it fits in the fridge better; or to a mother—"There are four Dinkies in that box, ma'am. And you've got five kids. How about a family pack of ten . . . two snacks each?" By the end of the story, when the cash registers have gone on the blink and Math Man is adding colossal columns of figures in his head, readers will swoon at his command of all those numbers. Problem is, readers will not be able to do the same, nor do they get any inkling of the mechanics behind the math—a troop of mice play a cameo role by introducing equations into the marginalia, but without an explanation, the equations' rationale goes begging. Math Man's value and appeal lies in his enthusiasm, which Bush (Ferocious Girls, Steamroller Boys, and Other Poems in Between, 2000, etc.) conveys through exuberant, cornball illustrations full of mousy fun, but the best that can be hoped for here is a provocation to learn the meat of the math elsewhere. (Picture book. 6-8)Read full book review >
BENJAMIN MCFADDEN AND THE ROBOT BABYSITTER by Timothy Bush
CHILDREN'S
Released: Nov. 1, 1998

In a futuristic tale from Bush (Three at Sea, 1994, etc.), Benjamin's parents go out for a night on the rings of Saturn, leaving him in the care of Babysitter, a robot who is preprogrammed for bedtime at 8:00, with no cookies, no milk, and no sense of humor. Benjamin uses his recently acquired computer skills to reprogram his caretaker. At first, the evening is a blast, filled with games, reading, and junk food. However, while Benjamin tires, Babysitter seeks more fun. It constructs robots made of game pieces, basketballs, and pie slices, while Benjamin desperately calls the Babysitter Helpline; just as the lady there is about to give him the password to reboot the robot, Babysitter yanks the phone from Benjamin's hand. Bush's skillful drawings create a space-age household that is as fun to explore visually, for many of the same reasons, as Ted Dewan's The Sorcerer's Apprentice (1998). Order is restored in the nick of time; readers will share Benjamin's relief that the returning parents never suspect the chaos that reigned moments before. (Picture book. 5-8) Read full book review >
THREE AT SEA by Timothy Bush
ADVENTURE
Released: Aug. 10, 1994

Three rough-and-ready little boys are sporting on an inner tube when it drifts out to sea. Unfazed, they try to prevail on passing aquatic life to save them, but the sea turtles don't go that close to shore: ``Got to be careful...we're endangered, you know.'' Zachariah Jr.—the studious African American, the one the others playfully hit when he uses big words—is already concerned about that; fortunately, he's also interested in crocodilians and keeps his cool when one tries to lunch on them, engaging it in debate (``Alligator?! With a long, pointed snout like this?'' says the incensed creature) and capturing its jaws in a bandanna (as he knows, the muscles for opening a croc's jaws are relatively weak) and getting it to carry them home. Deftly characterized in each dramatically depicted scene and pungent exchange of banter, Zachariah and his pals Joel (an irrepressible tease) and Alex (who dreams of joining the navy) are a vibrant trio whose zest for adventure is evident in every line of Bush's comical pen-and-watercolor art. A winner. (Picture book. 4-9) Read full book review >
JAMES IN THE HOUSE OF AUNT PRUDENCE by Timothy Bush
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 1993

A young guest in the home of an elderly relative, wreaking havoc that's actually caused by animals that come alive from her precious artifacts, isn't new; still, Bush develops the idea imaginatively, with energetic drafting and a comic spirit that pleasantly recall the art of David Small. Little James (formally clad in suspenders and tie) is left with tea and macaroons while his aunt finishes a letter. A bear rug comes splendidly to life, while a slew of other wild figures emerge from paintings and other ornaments as James tears around the elegant house, leaving everything awry. Fortunately, Aunt Prudence is unperturbed—``I should have expected it...Your father was no better.'' Then, companionably, she plays mazurkas while James and the bear dance. A promising debut, with engagingly offbeat, childlike humor and a sure hand with the lively art. (Picture book. 4-8) Read full book review >