Books by Ursula Dubosarsky

THE GOLDEN DAY by Ursula Dubosarsky
Released: Aug. 6, 2013

"Read this slender mystery for the meticulous prose and characterization, not for the plot. (Historical mystery. 12-18)"
Eleven schoolgirls are haunted by their teacher's inexplicable disappearance during a field trip in this atmospheric mystery set in Vietnam War-era Sydney. Read full book review >
THE TERRIBLE PLOP by Ursula Dubosarsky
Released: Aug. 18, 2009

"Six little rabbits / Down by the lake / Munching on carrots / And chocolate cake"—until they hear a dreadful plop! And with that, the bunnies are off and running, and so is Dubosarsky's humorous tale. A cavalcade of creatures—from forest and jungle to grassland and farm—join the fear-mongering rabbits in trying to escape the plop. All flee, except the big brown bear. With his grizzly attitude, he coerces the littlest rabbit into taking him to see the monstrous thing. But when the plop reappears, the macho bear hightails it away, leaving the bunny—who discovers the plop's source—with the last laugh. Joyner, whose illustrations are reminiscent of '50s-style American animation, turns the story from playful to downright hilarious. Delectable pictures of cake are collaged into large swaths of color; mixed-media use of fur lends texture to the artwork, with all held together by crisp, fluid line work. Based on a cumulative folktale, this lively story reassures readers that things are not always as scary as they may seem—and is guaranteed to see many multiple readings. "Again!" (Picture book. 3-6)Read full book review >
THE WORD SNOOP by Ursula Dubosarsky
Released: July 1, 2009

Fascinating facts about words and the English language abound in this giddy Australian import (The Word Spy, 2008), narrated by the exuberant "Word Snoop," who discloses her discoveries to her "dear readers" in a chatty, conspiratorial style. Those who haven't pondered how the world's first alphabet developed (or even the word "alphabet" itself) will be wowed, and trivia buffs will adore learning that quotation marks are nicknamed "goose feet" in Iceland and what the letters in the acronym "laser" stands for. Anagrams, palindromes and oxymorons are demystified, as are mondegreens, Yogiisms and Tom Swifties. Solid-red, chapter-demarcating pages featuring the silhouette of a donkey-riding, telescope-wielding child contribute to the book's distinctly old-fashioned design and sensibility, but the Snoop's eclectic cultural references range from Albert Camus to Lauren Myracle, 17th-century Norwegian poets to the Simpsons—and the final chapter analyzes texting (so like haiku!) and emoticons. Wordplay and cryptography aficionados will enjoy the intermittent coded puzzles that culminate in one final message. Riddle's simple cartoons, often visual puns, enhance the playful nature of this thoroughly engaging, well-crafted primer. (timeline, glossary, code key) (Nonfiction. 10 & up)Read full book review >
THE RED SHOE by Ursula Dubosarsky
Released: May 1, 2007

Three sisters growing up in an isolated area of Sydney have to cope not only with significant world and local happenings but also their largely absent and mentally unstable sailor father; his brother, who seems to visit mostly when Dad is away; and their possibly unfaithful mother. Excerpts from actual Sydney newspapers from April 1954, interspersed throughout, subtly illuminate and comment on this story's comings and goings, primarily the defection of a top-level Soviet Embassy official in Australia, a genuine scandal of the time. Some clippings describe other significant events, including the polio scare and the H-bomb. While generally interesting and sometimes humorous, the narrative, mostly told from the perspective of six-year-old Matilda, is somewhat distant and uninvolving, but watch out for the very slowly unfolding revelation, told from several points of view, of a shocking family secret. (background on the "Petrov affair") (Fiction. 10-14)Read full book review >
REX by Ursula Dubosarsky
Released: Sept. 1, 2006

A small, shy-looking chameleon is transformed into a giant dinosaur each night in this imagination-stretching import. Every day a different child takes the class pet home, with the assignment to describe or draw a picture of what it does. Mackintosh's pictures, drawn in a quick, childlike style on lined paper, tell different and far more exciting tales than the chatty comments. On Tuesday, for instance, when Hilary takes Rex home to her apartment and reports that he fell out the window, the accompanying scene shows a massive, toothy, fire-breathing monster climbing a skyscraper. Likewise, when he unexpectedly goes for a swim, his huge foot alone fills the pool; another time he's dressed as Malibu Barbie, but the bikini top is barely visible on his scaly chest, and he—or rather, just his towering, tyrannosaur-like muzzle—is last seen sharing a bed with the delighted young narrator, who gets him for the entire weekend. Young readers, dinophiles and (if there are any) otherwise, will be eager to answer the closing question: "What would you do if Rex came to visit you?" (Picture book. 6-8) Read full book review >