illustrated by Maryjane Begin

Getting ready for bed can be a time to look forward to with this little mouse's imagination and the fantastic illustrations of Maryjane Begin. 

"A young mouse is on his way to bed- but you wouldn't know it from the way he talks.  He is going on a trip, he is off to catch a crocodile, he is climbing up snow-capped mountains.  Wise Mama Mouse gives him practical advise to temper his flights of fantasy: he is going to bed; he should wash well and put on his warm pajamas.  Roberts cleverly matches each of the little mouse's pronouncements with the more grounded recommendations from his mother.  Begin... provides wonderful glossy  artwork that fills the pages.  She cleverly creates both the wide world of the little mouse's imagination and the cozier bedroom closer to home in this delightful bedtime lark." Booklist

"fantasy and daily life combine enticingly"  Publishers Weekly

"will be welcome in any bedtime collection."  School Library Journal

"delightful"  Kirkus

"lovely soap-bubble of a book" Boston Globe

"tantalizing images of a mouse-sized world" Hornbook

nominated for 1999 Nevada Young Reader Award 

Little, Brown and Company
paperback, ISBN 0-316-74958-3


illustrated by Doug Cushman

Howdy, Cowboy!  Everyone's invited to this rootin' tootin' cowboy birthday celebration!

"Roberts and Cushman's holiday mice return with a bauble for young listeners in celebration of little mouse's birthday. Little mouse is turning two and his party has a cowboy theme. The festivities are taking place in a forest clearing, spiced up with Cushman's party-colored artwork, complete with streamers and jumbo balloons and big cupcakes with candles. The action frequently gets out of hand-"Howdy, cowboy! / Whoa! Watch out! / Oh, no! / POP! POP! POP!"-but, all and all, things are very merry. Presents are unwrapped-"Cowboy boots that stomp, stomp, stomp! / The chipmunks bring a rope lasso. / Skunk gives spurs that jingle, jangle. / Perfect for a buckaroo!"-and some rousing square dancing ends with a chipmunk swung into the cake. But the friends make do, even to the point of assigning a squirrel to be the little mouse's horse. Occasional rhymes and a musical cadence to the text-with its oompah repetition of words-make this a lively performance piece, and the illustrations keep the visual stimulation on par with the words. (Picture book. 3-5)"
 Kirkus Review

Clarion Books
hardcover, ISBN 0-618-07772-3

co-author Patricia Hubbell
illustrated by Cheryl Munro Taylor

Catch a ride with these dizzy dromedaries.  You'll have a thumping good time!

"Jumping and stumping on their way, a group of discontented camels leave the desert only to discover that there is no place like home.  Bumped in boxcars and whumped by fussy bus passengers, they give up pumping bikes and stump on to a plane from which they jump with parachutes so that they can once again clump about the desert.  Staccato phrasing and the rhyme make this a fun read-aloud.  The 'ump' sounds readily invite enthusiastic participation as children thump, and occasionally slump, with these voyaging dromedaries.  The various types of travel from trucks to boats are easily identifiable in the illustrations.  The double-page spreads in a warm, softly bright palette of cut paper collage capture the mood and action of the text.  The amusing expressions and positions of these five malcontents, whose broad shapes fill the pages, further enhance the fun.  Lines that draw readers into the action also catapult their eyes beyond the boundaries of the pages.  Youngsters will enjoy this merry romp with these 'ships of the desert.  School Library Journal

"inspired looniness"  Kirkus

"droll"  Booklist

Tambourine Books
hardcover, ISBN 0-688-13939-6 TR
more about Patricia Hubbell- Patricia Hubbell's web site

available from (Camel Caravan)


illustrated by Diane Greenseid

Catchy rhythm, fun sounds, and exuberant, brightly colored paintings capture the parade-day excitement that makes Cat Parade a purrr-fect story.  

Young readers will have loads of fun chanting the rhythmic beat and catchy sounds as they look for the little scout mouse hiding among the cats marching in the cat parade.

"A rhythmic, marching text, 'Rowr!  Rowr!  Rat-a-tat-tat," announces a cat parade, complete with bands and floats proclaiming feline power.  The brightly hued gouache paintings capture the pageantry, and perspective is effectively used to convey the approach of a parade as the band gets louder and louder and the marchers bigger and bigger.  But trouble is afoot in the form of a frisky mouse."  School Library Journal

Clarion Books
no longer in print, but used books often available
hardcover, ISBN 0-395-67893-5


illustrated by Doug Cushman

While the holiday mice are busy spreading holiday cheer, what is the cat up to?  This delightful read-aloud captures all the anticipation and goodwill that come with this special season.

"Joining their other books, the Christmas Mice are preparing for another holiday.  They harvest a tree (a sprig) and decorate it, prepare cookies, and wrap presents.  Then they venture outside to sing carols in the snowy woods.  The cat has been lurking nearby and much to the mice's surprise he has left a present.  They reciprocate.  It is all told in a simple text that is filled with lots of onomatopoeia and with drawings that are full of charm.  Young ones will surely enjoy the holidays with the Christmas Mice." Children's Literature

"The pen-and-ink and watercolor art is charming."  School Library Journal

"Doug Cushman's engaging, whimsical drawings accompanies a fine holiday story of four jolly mice who prepare for Christmas.... A simple, fun holiday title for the young picturebook reader."  Midwest Book Review 

Clarion Books
hardcover, ISBN 0 39591204 0
more about Doug Cushman- Doug Cushman's web site


illustrated by Lorinda Cauley

A squabbling set of twins learns the art of cooperation in this seasonal tale from Roberts. When Grampie Groundhog announces his retirement, fractious twins Gregory and Greta decide they each want the job. Like most siblings, twins or otherwise, the duo have no little difficulty sharing. Disappointment looms when Grampie selects just one successor, Gregory. However, when his anxiety over this new responsibility nearly ruins Groundhog Day, the pair discover that two is better than one-especially when they work together. Cauley's watercolor-and-colored pencil illustrations have a classic feel to them, featuring amber-hued, cozy home scenes that neatly complement the tale and capture the twins' antics with a keen and comical precision. The happy resolution of the story provides a satisfying conclusion and with its simple explanation of Groundhog Day, this warm-hearted tale offers readers an entertaining introduction to an annual event. (Picture book. 4-8)  Kirkus Review

Henry Holt and Company

hardcover ISBN-13: 9780805082807


illustrated by Doug Cushman

Ready, set, let's begin the egg hunt! Hidden everywhere are colorful eggs of all shapes and sizes, but the littlest mouse sibling is distracted by the sights and sounds of the early spring day and doesn't find even one. Discouraged, he wanders off to sulk and ends up stumbling across the best egg of all--one that hatches into a surprise Easter friend. Brief, rhymed stanzas, classic illustrations in a rainbow of Easter colors, and a character preschoolers are sure to identify with guarantee EASTER MICE! will be as appealing and popular as the previous books about the holiday mice.

"Mother Mouse bedecked in her Easter bonnet takes her three children dressed in jackets and ties outside for an egg hunt. The two older ones begin to search right away but the youngest gets sidetracked. He thoroughly enjoys picking flowers ("Sniff! Whiff!/ Spring! Fling!"), rolling in the mud, swinging on a branch, and boating on a leaf. When Mother Mouse gathers her three boys, the youngest is upset because he is the only one with no eggs. He runs away but happens upon an egg that cracks and reveals "An Easter friend." Cushman's illustrations in springtime colors extend a spare but energetic text that is full of action words. The expressive faces of the little mice will engage the reader. There are a number of imaginative touches in the interior of the house, such as the pencil that serves as a curtain rod and the postage stamp that is a picture on the wall. A nice little holiday story with a reassuring premise for young listeners."  Children's Literature

Clarion Books
hardcover, ISBN 0-618-16455-3

co-author Patricia Hubbell
illustrated by Minh Uong

Eleven silly elephants teach the ordinal numbers as they wreak havoc in a department store from the first floor to the eleventh floor.

"Eleven elephants running rampant in an elevator visit all eleven floors of a department store.  Counting and the letter "L" are highlighted.  Children will enjoy this colorful and whimsical story."  Librarians Book Review

Whispering Coyote Press/Charlesbridge
hardcover, ISBN 1-879085-61-5
more about Patricia Hubbell- Patricia Hubbell's web site


illustrated by Diane Greenseid

Bright paintings bursting with sea life complement this playful verse about an exciting first journey through the colorful underwater sea world.

"Eight little octopuses follow their Octopus Mum as she leads them through their ocean habitat.  They visit the gold and white striped clown fish that live among the sea anemone, encounter crabs and turtles among the weeds and reeds, and float with the jelly fish.  But danger lurks in the form of a hungry eel.  The octopi squirt a dark cloud of ink and manage to escape.  Told in rhyming verse with anthropomorphic creatures, young kids will enjoy the story with its look at sea life, a slight touch of danger, and a decidedly happy ending."  Children's Literature.

"Roberts's verse is attuned to the needs of a young audience, with plenty of bounce and onomatopoeia."  Publishers Weekly 

Clarion Books
hardcover, ISBN 0-395-82268-8

Follow Me!
Follow Me!


illustrated by Melissa Iwai

Jesse and Gramps aren't sleepy, so they imagine pictures in the fireplace flames.  Soon they see a fire dragon and the adventure begins.   Can Jesse save Gramps from the not-so-scary dragon and lead them safely home?

"Roberts' tale has a breathless quality that will keep children turning the pages"  School Library Journal

"celebrates both the delights of storytelling and the special relationship between grandparent and grandchild."  Booklist

"This book could be the springboard for adventures other grandpas and grandkids might have"  Children's Literature

"This is a celebration of imaginations and storytelling"  Children's Choices for 2001(International Reading Association and The Children's Book Council)

Clarion Books
hardcover, ISBN 0-395-69849-9
more about Melissa Iwai- Melissa Iwai's web site


illustrated by Doug Cushman

A delightful midnight romp told in simple, sprightly verse and captured in cheerful, lively pictures, Halloween Mice! is filled with the fun of a favorite holiday.

"A group of costumed mice are frolicking in the pumpkin patch when they hear the swish, swish, swish of a creeping cat.  Off they run, but they don't just turn tail.  Using a light and a mask, they throw a shadow that frightens away the cat for good.  Simple sentences and lots of onomatopoeia make the text as appealing as the energetic watercolor-and-pen artwork.  A fun read for Halloween story hours." Booklist

""Four mice dressed in costumes treat a stalking cat to a Halloween trick in this nimble tale.  The bouncy text and lively art make the book a refreshing addition to a holiday collection."  Hornbook

"The simple text is packed with words to delight the ear.  A worthwhile addition to a holiday that never has enough picture books."  School Library Journal

"This wisp of a book is as light as a floating autumn leaf."  Publishers Weekly

Clarion Books
hardcover, ISBN 0-395-67064-0
paperback, ISBN 0-395-86619-7


illustrated by Marsha Winborn
One summer night, May Belle meets an Ogre who wants to steal her pretty hat, her pretty gloves, and even her pretty feet with their toenails painted pink. At first May Belle is scared. But the Ogre turns out to be just a furry little Ogre. Then May Belle isn't scared at all. She also knows just what to do with that pesky Ogre-make a new friend!

May Belle and Ogre sing songs, bake pies, and even paint their toenails pink. Readers will admire May Belle's spunky independence and delight in her fun with her bad-mannered buddy.

"May Belle is a perky little blonde with fuzzy black eyebrows, freckles, and bare feet. She lives with her tiny dog in a cottage in the mountains, where she meets Ogre, a furry gray critter (with fuzzy black eyebrows) who seems in need of a friend. In three short chapters, May Belle and Ogre get to know each other, and Ogre becomes more civilized due to May Belle's no-nonsense guidance. First Ogre gets a bath, a pink bow, and pink toenail polish; then he learns to bake a blueberry pie; and finally he craves the warmth of a home and friends and moves in with May Belle and her dog. The easy-to-read text is interspersed with lots of sound-effect words in all caps, along with several short songs that May Belle sings, set in a different typeface in curving lines. Winborn's whimsical illustrations add clever touches to the overall effort, and her May Belle might be a country cousin of Sendak's Rosie. (Easy reader. 6-8)"  Kirkus Reviews

"A spunky heroine, buoyant text, and irresistible illustrations make this easy reader a real winner."  School Library Journal

"well-crafted repetition helps make the text accessible to beginning readers... a solid addition to collections that  need easy-reader material."   Booklist

Dutton Easy Reader
hardcover, ISBN 0-525-46855-2

illustrated by Andrew Glass

Three mischievous young monsters demonstrate good and bad manners while playing, eating, reading, bathing, and doing chores.  Monster Manners hilariously captures young children's efforts to be good- and the irresistible urge for making mischief.

"Teachers and parents looking for a beginning book on manners will want this one....'Little monsters' will pick up this title for its lively, brilliantly colored illustrations. rollicks along as three huggable monsters exhibit sometimes bad, sometimes good behavior.....Youngsters will enjoy reading this selection on their own, but the rhythms and brightness make it a sure bet for group sharing."  School Library Journal

American Bookseller Pick of the Lists

Clarion Books
hardcover, ISBN 0-395-69850-2
paperback, ISBN 0-395-86622-7


llustrated by Kay Chorao

Rosie is worried. Why aren't her parents home yet? The reassuring, heroic text and fun-filled illustrations address one of children's biggest fears while celebrating one little squirrel's bravery.

Selected for the Bank Street's The Best Children's Books of the Year, 2004 edition

The wait for Mother and Father to get home can seem eternal for a young preschooler, but Rosie uses her imagination to help her courageously pass the time with babysitter, Aunt Lily. The long afternoon drags on and shortly before parents are due to return, Rosie envisions disaster. "What if something happened? What if . . . what if . . . a tiger ate them?" Her inventive mind creates one outrageous scenario after another, explaining to Aunt Lily her resourceful, brave solutions that she herself will employ. Rosie will come to the rescue by chasing the tiger away. Kidnapped by a giant bird and thrown into the sea? No problem, Rosie will sail a ship to save them. Each episode becomes more and more outlandish as Aunt Lily playacts her fearful, nail-biting reactions, all the while encouraging Rosie's brave, strong, undaunted, devoted "love conquers all" attitude. Chorao (Up and Down With Kate, 2002, etc.) delightfully complements Roberts's (Birthday Mice!, 2002, etc.) yarn with pen-and-ink, colored-pencil, and gouache drawings of a squirrel family whose loveable, expressive features offset the comically exaggerated, frightful looks of Rosie's imaginary characters as each scene builds on the previous calamity across every vibrant double-page spread. And just 25 minutes after Rosie's initial concern, a hug-filled and joyous reunion happens as Mother and Father return "right on time." Soothing, playful, and fun. (Picture book. 3-5)  Kirkus Reviews

A small squirrel with a big imagination plays a rousing game of "what if" in Roberts's  reassuring picture book about a common childhood fear. In the care of Aunt Lily, Rosie wants to know when her parents will be home. The answer, "soon," does not satisfy her: Rosie dreams up all manner of elaborate scenarios that might keep Mother and Father away, possibly forever ("What if something happened? What if... a tiger ate them?"). In a twist on the tried-and-true Runaway Bunny formula, it is Rosie, not the adult, who provides the antidote. Aunt Lily serves as an encouraging listener ("Eaten by a tiger? What an awful thought!"), allowing Rosie room to surmount each imagined obstacle ("But I would rescue them.... I would chase that tiger until he let them free"). Chorao's playful compositions-a blend of candy-colored gouache, pencil, pen and ink-alternate between small-ish views of Rosie's warm and comforting surroundings and larger pictures of her high-energy fantasies. Just this side of scary, the artwork keeps perfect pace with Rosie's (er, Roberts's) tall-tale telling. Ages 3-7. Publisher's Weekly

"charming...appealing.... irresistible... A lively, light-hearted spin on every child's fear of separation from parents."  ALA Booklist

"Dealing with a common preschooler fear, this amusing book will hit the spot with apprehensive youngsters." 
School Library Journal

"useful and high-spirited reassurance about a primary youthful fear, and kids will enjoy planning their own parental rescues."  BCCB

Henry Holt and Company
hardcover, ISBN 0-8050-6486-9


illustrated by Doug Cushman

Four adorable mice are putting on a play.  Come one, come all, come see the Pilgrim mice and hear the story of the first Thanksgiving!  Brief rhyming stanzas and irresistible illustrations of mice in costume make for a lively story that's perfect for sharing the true meaning of a favorite holiday.

"Thanksgiving is a story within a story here, as interpreted by a group of little costumed mice who are putting on a pageant.  They rhymed verse sets an upbeat tone for the action.  There's plenty of comic byplay in the watercolor illustrations, which show the furry thespians acting out a very simplified story of the Mayflower voyage, the hardships the Pilgrims endured on land, and the triumph represented by Thanksgiving.  The happy- though occasionally hapless- members of the little troupe slosh paint on the stage and knock each other over with bits of scenery, as well as acting out the tale with enthusiasm.  Preschool and elementary grade teachers looking for a short, light introduction to the holiday may want to give this colorful picture book a try."   Booklist

"...this book should fill a gap in read-aloud Thanksgiving material for the younger set."  School Library Journal

"Simple rhyming text and historical basics come together as the Holiday Mice present a play."  Publishers Weekly

Clarion Books
hardcover, ISBN 0-618-12040-8

illustrated by Doug Cushman

Fun to read-aloud, with endearing illustrations, this is a story young valentines will cherish.

"The Valentine Mice make sure that every living creature receives a valentine message.  Fun-filled and lively illustrations along with a short but wonderful text make this a great story of love, friendship, and acceptance." American Bookseller Pick of the Lists

"Four bustling mice deliver Valentine's Day cards to animals living in a snowy forest.  The rhyming text is cheerful and moves along quickly: 'More to deliver.  Cross the pond./ Slide. Glide.  Slip! Flip!'  The smallest mouse is temporarily buried in snow.... Will the others find him?  Can they pull him out?  Not to worry.  This holiday story would not be complete without a group hug to make the cold little creature feel better.  The bright water-color cartoons add to the fun.  The pleased expressions of the creatures receiving the cards are charming."  School Library Journal

"perky"  Booklist

"welcome balance of the real and the whimsical"  Publishers Weekly

"will draw the young reader in"  Kirkus

Clarion Books
hardcover, ISBN 0-395-77518-3
paperback, ISBN 0-618-05152-X
more about Doug Cushman- Doug Cushman's web site


illustrated by Sarah Stapler

Seven brightly illustrated stories describe the fun and anticipation of getting ready for the holiday.

"Trying to keep the impatient bunnies calm on Christmas Eve, Papa  Rabbit spins seven stories about Christmas doings, most of which get their punch from the personification of various seasonal trimmings: 'Just as [Papa] was tying the ribbon into a nice, big bow, the package said, "Ouch!  That is too tight!"  But Papa soothes the package with the promise that it has a secret inside; similarly Mama Rabbit has a conversation with the utensils while making Christmas cookies, and Little Sister chats with the star while decorating the tree.  The tone is droll and comfy, the stories silly but low-key...  The writing is simple enough for beginning readers as well, and the watercolor sketches have a tender-tidy rightness for the season." Bulletin

"The voices of the unusual characters, such as a mailbox, a rolling pin, a gift box, and a treetop star, provide a refreshing tone to these gentle episodes about an extended family of bunnies.  Delicate, watercolor paintings in rich hues, featuring long-eared rabbits, aptly carry the Christmas sentiments across the pages.  This small volume is nice for sharing one-on-one."  Booklist

"Simple sentences, an open format, and lots of repetition make the stories enjoyable and accessible for beginning readers."  School Library Journal

American Bookseller Pick of the Lists

Clarion Books
paperback, ISBN 0-395-79728-4
cassette, ISBN 0-395-85813-5


illustrated by Melanie Hope Greenberg

This picture book's simple verse and vibrant illustrations contrast a beautiful, cultivated garden tended by a young girl, with a wild, wonderful garden created by the wind. 

"Roberts focuses on two parallel gardens- one carefully cultivated, the other a product of nature- in this cheery picture book.  'I planted a garden. The wind planted a garden, too,' announces the narrator, a lively girl with a green thumb and carrot-colored hair.  As she charts the growth of both gardens, in simple phrases ('The wind didn't weed.  Its garden just grew'), readers can see for themselves the contrast between the girl's carefully tended plot with its neatly ordered rows, and the result of what happens when the wind 'swirled around, throwing seeds to the ground, here and there and everywhere.'  The narrator makes no ultimate judgments; instead she happily appreciates the beauty of both styles.  Like the gardens themselves, Greenberg's vibrant, folk-art style gouache paintings burst with life, from the swooping curlicues used to indicate the wind to the zinnia-bright colors of the flowers and surrounding yard.  Pink and purple sheets hang on the clothesline; a peach-colored house boasts a periwinkle door; a rolling line of blue hills anchors the horizon.  This breezy tale ends with a few brief tips from the author on cultivating gardens both domestic and wild."  Publishers Weekly

"could inspire the reader to become a young gardener."  Kirkus Reviews

"A good book for reading aloud."  Booklist

"this book is a fine inspiration for discussing the role of people in natural spaces." School Library Journal

"there is lovely symmetry here, and the dicotomy between the wild and the cultivated with its resonant philosophical implications is presented attractively and simply." Children's Literature

Henry Holt and Company
hardcover, ISBN 0-8050-6367-6
more about Melanie Hope Greenberg-interview