Reviews
Click on any cover to return to Bookshelf
.

DINNER AT THE PANDA PALACE

panda_cover_lg
“…bouncy, rhyming verse and an innovative cast of characters give this counting book zip … Only after many rereadings will little ones get their fill.”
Publishers Weekly
“…a rollicking, counting rhyme…Perfect company for Hogrogian’s Always Room for One More and De Regniers’s May I Bring a Friend.”
School Library Journal
“This sprightly story in rhyme incorporates a counting lesson…The theme of hospitality closes the story on a warm, satisfying note.”
Booklist
“Everyone happily feasts on Dinner at the Panda Palace.”
The Horn Book

BIRTHDAY AT THE PANDA PALACE

51bOruNnSUL._SX260_
“Mouse’s birthday party is at The Panda Palace, and all her friends are attending, each bringing a special gift…with a rhyming guessing game for each….Rhyming clues and answers appear on alternating pages, allowing children to listen carefully and solve the riddle before turning the page to confirm their response…the combination of a popular theme and winning ending emphasizing a friendship’s reunion in a jovial zoo-like setting will encourage repeated readings with gleeful shouts at the appropriate time.”
Kirkus Reviews
“…Mr. Panda is throwing a bash at his restaurant with many of the same animals first seen in Dinner at the Panda Palace (HarperCollins, 1991). Each guest gives Mouse a gift – described on one page in bouncy rhyme and revealed as readers turn the page and shout out the last word to complete the quatrain…. Cushman’s bright and cheery illustrations echo the lively rhymes… All in all, a fun party.”
School Library Journal

OLLIE’S SCHOOL DAY

61ibCTZ1MRL._SX260_
“…Who is more intrigued by school than a preschooler? And who loves silliness more than a preschooler? This call-and-response book should appeal mightily to young readers as it’s pretty much a dress rehearsal for getting ready for school and then behaving once there. … Besides being fun, this book subtly but clearly introduces playground and classroom etiquette, making it a good choice for both home and the classroom.”
Booklist
“Kids love answering silly questions, but the questions in Ollie’s School Day: A YES-and-NO Book aren’t silly for silly’s sake — they’ll help kids to learn about social skills and positive classroom behavior in a fun way! Stephanie Calmenson’s humorous call-and-response text and Abby Carter’s zany illustrations are impossible to resist. This wacky read-aloud covers it all without sounding the least bit preachy. Kids will have a blast figuring out everything from what to wear to school (certainly not a bathing suit or a police officer’s uniform!) and what to eat for breakfast to how to greet a classmate in the morning (barking is definitely not recommended!) and what to do when the teacher asks a question.”
Children’s Book-of-the-Month Club
“A playful question-and-answer format leads viewers through Ollie’s day at school…youngsters will find many of the alternative responses laugh-out-loud funny. Silliness aside, there is also a strong understory here about appropriate school behavior, making this a great selection for reviewing classroom expectations…Because there is a lot of literal text to image matching, non-readers have the option of retelling the story by following the pictures. Readers aloud will find ample opportunity to improvise and add other silly suggestions throughout the reading, making this as adaptable as it is amusing.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Madcap cartoons embellish a series of questions about a young boy’s day at school….Calmenson cleverly ends the day with Ollie being met at home by “someone who loves him,” accommodating an audience’s variety of after-school greeters. Carter’s watercolors play with the text and add hilarity with wee portraits like a fish wearing boots and a squirrel lounging under a beach umbrella. This gentle tutorial in school behavior effectively employs call-and-response to engage listeners.”
School Library Journal
A Children’s Book-of-the-Month Club Selection

THERE ARE NO MOOSE ON THIS ISLAND

51zdRZOpiPL._SX258_BO1204203200_
“A young boy out with his father is certain that he will spot a moose. So is the moose. After their ferry docks on a small Maine island, the boy tries very hard to convince his father that a moose is nearby in the woods. The father, his nose planted firmly in a guidebook, says no. They see many animals, fish and insects as they walk about. The smiling moose is quite chatty and offers frequent clues in speech bubbles (“What am I? A mouse?”). Finally, he poses in full double-spread splendor… Calmenson writes in quatrains with a humorous point of view…the story is entertaining and would serve as a good introduction to family outings. A valuable reminder to enjoy the outdoors and keep an eye out for possibilities! (Meet the Moose facts, author’s note)”
Kirkus

NO DOGS ALLOWED!  Ready, Set, Dogs! – Book 1

9780805096453_p0_v1_s260x420
“Frequent collaborators Calmenson and Cole begin the Ready Set, Dogs! series with a peppy story that takes the notion of dog-loving kids to the extreme. … Good-natured banter and silliness move the story along at a brisk pace.”
Publisher’s Weekly
Amazon.com Best Book of 2013
Scholastic Book Clubs
Mondadori Edition, Italy

WELCOME, BABY!

“This companion to Good for You! Toddler Rhymes for Toddler Times (2001) offers very young children 33 short poems to match their unique perspective of the world. The poems and pictures mirror the physical and emotional development of children from birth to about 18 months… A fine alternative to board books and nursery rhymes.”
Booklist
“This adorable compendium of original rhymes begins with an infant’s birth… The selections are whimsical and lively and are sure to grab the attention of even the littlest listeners… A wonderful addition to any picture-book collection.”
School Library Journal
“A collection of original poems offers cheery readalouds for very young children… It all ends appropriately with a kiss goodnight.”
Kirkus Reviews

KINDERGARTEN KIDS

“Calmenson, herself a former kindergarten teacher, explores that world in this collection of original poetry. The 18 short rhyming poems address common features of the classroom…and one of the last, a riff on the old “See you Later, Alligator” pattern, might just become a new playground classic with 19 ways to say good-bye…”
Kirkus Reviews
“…highly interactive picture book… The book will hold up through repeated readings…. Calmenson’s bouncy words… create a positive, encouraging view of classroom activities.”
The Horn Book
“There’s lots to keep children interested in this snappy book …plenty of ideas to be found inside the covers, many of which will lead teachers to new ones of their own.”
Booklist
“…appealing collection of original rhymes…simple, interactive rhymes… provide a light, accessible introduction for new students…A lively and fun addition.”
School Library Journal

ROSIE – A VISITING DOG’S STORY

“Rosie’s real-life adventures make for one of the outstanding nonfiction titles of the year.”
Smithsonian Magazine
“Author of such popular books as The Principal’s New Clothes, Calmenson here tells the story of her own dog, Rosie … succinct yet sensitive descriptions…This is a close-up, valuable, and charming look at the contributions made by working dogs like Rosie.”
Booklist
“Dog lovers will delight in this photo essay about a pet with an unusual occupation … “
School Library Journal
“Rosie…will satisfy readers of all ages.”
The Horn Book Magazine
“… well-known author, Stephanie Calmenson, shares Rosie’s successes in a true story that is touching and delightful.”
Family Life
“… an appealing read … if the irresistible bundle of black-and-white fur were human, she’d be Jay Leno.”
Detroit Free Press

MAY I PET YOUR DOG?

“Dachshund Harry leads the youngest readers through every step of kid-meets-dog etiquette… The line-and-watercolor illustrations are as simple and patient as the text, placing the viewer in a straight-on and consistent position for Harry’s how-tos, reinforcing the way the “lessons” build on each other…What is perhaps most engaging about the book is the direct address from dog to child”
Horn Book Magazine, starred review; Fanfare Best Book of 2007
“Harry is a cheerful and friendly long-haired dachshund who serves as the first-person narrator for this thoughtful look at the best way for a child to meet dogs… Children who are afraid of dogs, as well as those who love them, will find this volume useful and encouraging.”
Kirkus Reviews
“A little boy learns from Harry, a dachshund, how to treat an unfamiliar dog safely and politely…friendly, gentle voice…positive, encouraging tone … Harry’s advice will certainly come in handy, and dogs will appreciate the safety and consideration shown by readers who put the techniques into practice.”
School Library Journal
“Calmenson’s ease with declarative sentences makes this the perfect book for the sidewalk dog stalker. The narration is from the point of view of Harry, a real long-haired, dappled Dachshund…Calmenson, the author of one of my all-time-favorite dog books for children, Rosie, A Visiting Dog’s Story, concludes with a roundup of practical tips…as well as some important advice: Remember, dogs have feelings too.”
Bark Magazine
“Harry the dachshund narrates this explanation of safe kid-dog interaction, covering important aspects such as permission…safe approaches…and general philosophy…There’s a clear message that dogs and situations vary…This is a subject usually relegated to a page or two, at best, of dog books, and it’s useful to see it thoroughly explored as its own topic, since dog encounters are a big part of kids’ sidewalk travel…the book is clear and helpful…This will not only be a helpful lesson for heedlessly enthusiastic youngsters, it will provide more timid kids with useful tools that might make them feel more in control of inter-species encounters.”
The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Thank you very much for sending me a preview copy of Stephanie Calmenson’s engaging book “May I Pet Your Dog?” I found the book delightful, very well illustrated, and informative. It sets just the right tone to encourage children to interact with animals in the correct way. Bravo!”
W. Jean Dodds, DVM
“What a good book…really, really smart!…It’s full of all the information you want to give a child….The safety rules are so explicit and yet so digestible…done in a way that children will want to absorb the information…[Harry] is so cute and adorable…we’ve read this book a zillion times!”
Andrea Ross, “Just One More Book”
“Required reading for every dog lover!”
Lisa Von Drasek, Children’s Librarian, Bank Street College
“Offering an excellent primer for youngsters on how to approach strange dogs, this iconographic-animated adaptation is based on the picture book written by Stephanie Calmenson and illustrated by Jan Ormerod… DVD extras includes “Sharing My Story” conversation with Calmenson, who talks about her life with her real pet Harry. Highly recommended.”
Video Librarian starred review ALA Notable Children’s Video Award

SHAGGY, WAGGY DOGS

Shaggy, Waggy Dogs and Others
“… snappy four-line rhymes reflect a joy in and love of dogs as they spotlight more than 20 canine breeds…Calmenson follows up with brief, sound advice for choosing the right dog for your lifestyle and deciding whether you are right for a dog…Her carefully considered words will help encourage responsible, committed dog ownership.”
Booklist

PERFECT PUPPY

“…warm story of acceptance, mistakes and all.”
Horn Book
“…engaging glimpse of puppy-training reality…Puppy’s hopes, fears, frustrations, and joys make up most of the simple text, which will sensitize youngsters to be understanding, patient trainers for their soon-to-be perfect puppies.”
Booklist
“…heart-warming story told from the dog’s perspective. Anyone who has ever had a pet or strived for perfection without success will enjoy Puppy’s amusing tale.”
School Library Journal

LATE for SCHOOL!

“Usually it’s the kids who are late for school. But here, it’s Mr. Bungles, a school teacher …who practically jumps off the pages…. His car won’t start, so he races for the train. “I missed the train. I won’t make a fuss. Down the street, I can catch the bus.” Or can he? …the vehicles get progressively more outrageous…. This laugh-and-a-half book gets its kick from well-structured rhyming text and fruit-colored, in-your-face pictures. Fun for children and teachers alike.”
Booklist
“This book will teach your child about different vehicles used for transportation; you’ll have fun helping your child spotting the clock in each illustration so they can see what time it is, and the cleverly written rhyming text will help your child guess the rhyming word before turning to the next page. This book gets a high five from me for fun, for learning, and for having the tables turned on a teacher for a change – every kids’ dream!”
Stories for Children Magazine
“…this fast-paced pleaser… shows that even teachers can learn a new lesson.”
Kirkus
“…this book shouts MOTION and encourages listeners to fill in the rhyme with each turn of the page… A colorful selection for all libraries….stimulating choice for teachers presenting time and transportation or inspiration for young students as the school year resumes.”
School Library Journal

OOPSY, TEACHER!

“Calmenson and Yoshikawa’s high-energy romp follows the hapless Mr. Bungles through another calamitous day (Late for School!, 2008)…Calmenson’s verses reflect Mr. Bungles’ breathless day. The clever format leaves the last rhyming word to the page-turn, allowing kids who are listening to shout out the answer…readers’ enjoyment practically guarantees that he will face yet another bad day sometime in the near future.”
Kirkus
“The accident-prone teacher who first appeared in Late for School (Carolrhoda, 2008) is back. After getting soap in his eye and jam on his tie, Mr. Bungles knows that it’s going to be an “oopsy” day…. The full-color cartoon illustrations capture the nonstop action, while the rhyming text — placing the next important rhyming word on the following page — builds momentum… for breathless, laugh-filled storytimes.”
School Library Journal

THE PRINCIPAL’S NEW CLOTHES

“.. marvelous update of Andersen’s The Emperor’s New Clothes … Calmenson’s rendition of this beloved tale of self-aggrandizement is particularly fun because of its contemporary setting.”
Publishers Weekly
“..will have children giggling through to the very end.”
Booklist
“The whole school should chortle with glee over this one!”
Kirkus
“…tried and true.”
Jim Trelease, The Read-Aloud Handbook

THE FROG PRINCIPAL

“…ribbit-tickling companion to The Principal’s New Clothes…Lucky is the school with a Principal like Mr. Bundy.”
Kirkus Reviews
“…a rollicking, riotous sequel to The Principal’s New Clothes…” Instructor “…quirky humor and delightful situation. Brunkus’s … illustrations accentuate the hilarity of this spoof…Read aloud or alone, this book is sure to get its share of chuckles.”
School Library Journal
“…a natural choice for all those principals who routinely visit primary-grade classrooms for a quick read-aloud.”
Booklist

THE TEENY TINY TEACHER

“…hilarious…A fine example of what an imaginative author and illustrator can bring to an old favorite.”
School Library Journal
“Calmenson engages readers’ attention through her use of repetition and the familiar setting…”
Publishers Weekly
“…could easily become a story-hour favorite.”
Kirkus
“Calmenson and Roche have bravely taken the old folktale and transformed it into a true picture book… setting the story in a modern classroom, draws young readers immediately into the story.”
The Horn Book

OLLIE’S SCHOOL DAY

“An interactive look at a young boy’s school day teaches those new to school about routines and manners. Calmenson, a former kindergarten teacher, savvily encourages the youngest listeners to chime in and be part of the reading process, inviting them in from the very first page… Readers are sure to catch the pattern and relish shouting out the answers… after they finish giggling at the silly scenarios…. Will this be a popular and raucous first-day-of-school favorite? YES”
Kirkus, starred review
“Never has a child approached the first day of school with naysaying or negativism! But if one did, he might appreciate Calmenson’s gently humorous approach to appropriate student behavior. For every step in the school day, the reader is asked what Ollie should do in a given situation… Whether a parent decides to pre-emptively go over potential pitfalls before school starts or a teacher offers remedial work once in session, would-be model pupils will enjoy the call-and-response.”
The New York Times

JAZZMATAZZ!

“…a rainbow of sound…Calmenson and Degen have created a bright, syncopated jam session sure to please storytime audiences.”
Kirkus Reviews
“…rhythmic text…a jazzy refrain…the music is represented as brightly colored ribbons and shapes…filled with whirling, dancing people, animals, and rainbows…swelling, rhythmic sound…”
Booklist
“This cheerful book about making one’s own music is full of color and sound… a spirited book … for a foot-tapping storytime.”
School Library Journal

IT BEGINS WITH AN A

“Calmenson once again shows her ability to connect with kids in this buoyant alphabet-cum-riddle book … the text’s basic vocabulary, bouncy rhythm and brief sentences are well suited to beginning readers.”
Publishers Weekly
“A clever new alphabet book in riddle form …”
Booklist
“a sure-to-be-successful experience… More interactive – and therefore more fun – than the usual “A is for apple” alphabet.”
Kirkus
“…the child appeal of a riddle book combined with the practicality of an alphabet book … Preschoolers will delight in responding to “What is it?”
School Library Journal

WHAT AM I? Very First Riddles

“This small book is a gem.”
School Library Journal
“Stephanie Calmenson introduces turn-of-the-page suspense in What Am I?, a riddle book for very young children.”
Zena Sutherland
“The joy of riddles is given to the youngest readers in these simple, rhyming puzzles.”
Publishers Weekly
“Catchy, rhyming riddles about familiar objects will delight young audiences…”
Sesame Street Magazine
“Books that engage children, that ask for their participation, are among the most popular. It is a pleasure to be able to offer children this collection of riddles about everyday objects … children will be reading this book to themselves in no time at all.”
The Horn Book
“… a sweet way for small children to discover the fun of guessing games.”
Parents Magazine

ZIP, WHIZ, ZOOM!

“Calmenson’s simple, breezy verse invites her audience’s participation; each stanza begins with the sound effects of a different vehicle, with the various vrooms, whirrs, toots and beeps joining at the end in a robust crescendo.”
Publishers Weekly
“This energetic story in rhyme … will provide a lively introduction to transportation for an age group already fascinated with things that zip, whiz, and zoom.”
School Library Journal

ENGINE, ENGINE NUMBER NINE

“This rendition of a traditional American children’s rhyme is a definite read-aloud. Kids, adults, animals and even a band are taking the train. But where are they all going? The simple storyline is well-complemented by the bold, colorful cartoon illustrations. Kids will find lots to look for and discuss. The rhyming verses will soon have even the youngest singing along.”
Children’s Book Review Service
“A rhyming verse follows the journey of a train as it picks up passengers, including a marching band and a number of farm animals, and eventually the destination is divulged…the passengers return home sleepy and satisfied, clutching all manner of ribbons, prizes and trophies.”
The Horn Book

MARIGOLD AND GRANDMA ON THE TOWN

“In the spirit of Minarik’s Little Bear … Calmenson brings in delicious details … An endearing introduction to someone who could become a real favorite.”
Kirkus, bulleted review
“…just right for the intended audience … Marigold is a pleasure to spend time with.”
The Horn Book
“An all-around, year-round choice for one-on-one sharing or easy reading.”
School Library Journal
“This simple, sweet tale of a young bunny and her granny displays a genuine grasp of what children find funny.”
USA Today

HOTTER THAN A HOT DOG!

“… lyrical text … The startling contrast between the steamy city and the … beach is wonderful.”
School Library Journal
“Sweet, funny, and right on the mark …”
Booklist
“This endearing tale of a steamy day’s romp at the beach radiates with the warmth of summertime.”
Publishers Weekly
“… delightful slice of city life … story of friendship and understanding between a child and her grandmother … just right to warm up a reader longing for summer days …”
Horn Book

WANTED: WARM, FURRY FRIEND

“Hare hilarity … The telling is delicious … Ralph and Alice are a pair to cherish.”
Publishers Weekly
“A warm, furry romance …”
School Library Journal
“… kids will delight in figuring out the truth … readers who may feel they are beyond picture books will appreciate the romance and subtle message about first impressions.”
Booklist

The Gator Girls

“A beginning chapter book…that will tickle children’s funny bones…A delightful story that’s fun and easy to read.”
School Library Journal, starred review
“Exuberant line drawings…portray the two winsome alligator heroines, who pledge friendship and togetherness “forever.” Brief chapters and large type will further delight newly autonomous readers.”
The Horn Book
“Adorable alligators, Amy and Allie, are best friends with big summer plans…This 60-page chapter book makes new readers feel accomplished…”
USA Today
“Cole and Calmenson’s collaboration rings true, addressing the closeness of friends and the possibilities of summer…”
Children’s Book Review Magazine