There are so many books by Linda Ashman I could select for Perfect Picture Book Friday. Not only are we huge fans in our house, but I’ve been fortunate enough to work with Linda several times over the course of my writing career. In a fantastic example of the circularity of life, I once cried on Linda’s shoulder at a workshop after MY LOVE FOR YOU IS THE SUN got completely trashed in a first pages session. She then took the time to walk through the manuscript with me and give me tips for making it better. Several years (and MANY revisions later), this past week she was able to give me an endorsement for it as part of my Kickstarter campaign.

Linda is also our 12 x 12 featured author for November, and if you haven’t read her post on bad beginnings (and how to fix them), you should go straight there – AFTER you read this post of course. Then I highly recommend you nab her ebook, The Nuts and Bolts Guide to Writing Picture Books. Lastly, you should check out more of her award-winning, critically acclaimed books. Now – let’s get on with the show, shall we?

M is for Mischief - Ashman M is for Mischief

Written by Linda Ashman and Illustrated by Nancy Carpenter

Dutton Juvenile (July 3, 2008)

Suitable for: Ages 6-8

Themes/Topics: Poetry, Consequences, Rhyming, Manners, Alphabet Book

Opening/Synopsis: From Amazon: “Clever cautionary poems, raucously illustrated, about 26 children you’d rather read about than meet.

Here are twenty-six brats you’d never want to babysit: Catastrophic Coco, Gluttonous Griffin, Impolite Irma, and Quarrelsome Quincy, just to name a few. Linda Ashman’s perfectly crafted ditties about kids from Angry Abby, who is “apt to argue at any time and any place,?” to Zany Zelda, who “zigs and zags through all the rooms” are paired with hilariously energetic digital collages by Nancy Carpenter. Kids will relish the chaos these naughty tykes create and also the comeuppance many of them justly receive.”

Activities: Linda has a phenomenal teaching guide for this book on her website. As a bonus, she even offers an exercise for writers to learn how to scan the meter of one of the poems.

Why I Like This Book: As a writer and fellow rhymer, I love this book because it showcases how brilliant Linda is at writing rhyme. Internal rhyme, consonance, assonance, alliteration – it’s all here. Not to mention that each character’s personality jumps off the page. No easy feat to accomplish by itself, much less to write all in rhyme! My kids love the book because ALL kids love to read about naughty children. Especially naughty children who are MUCH naughtier than themselves. They express the same kind of glee over some of the consequences the children face in the book as they do for the brats in CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY. AND – without even realizing it, they are learning about good manners while reading about and considering these children with their bad manners. The book is a perfect jumping-off point for more serious discussions about behavior and consequences.

For more fantastic picture books and resources please visit author Susanna Leonard Hillโ€™s blog and find the tab for Perfect Picture Books.

Categories: 12 x 12, 12 x 12 Featured Author, Authors, Books, Children's Books, Parenting, Perfect Picture Book Friday, Picture Books, Rhyming, Writing · Tags: , , , , , , , ,



  1. That synopsis is 100% perfect! I guess when you have a deliciously naughty book, it’s easy to write a great pitch.

  2. I can’t wait to read this. Linda is the master of rhyme.

  3. Linda’s books and advice are always brilliant. Glad you featured this one!

  4. Love that the kids are referred to as brats. Made me chuckle as I remember babysitting a few obnoxious kids. Will have to check this one out. I can only imagine how good the rhyme is! Great share!

  5. Whew! Maybe these characters will make my kids appear to be angels! Rhyme is not my fortรฉ, so I’ll need to check this one out, Julie!

  6. Linda sounds wonderful, as does her new book!!

  7. I need to put this on hold in the library. I love to read truly masterful rhyme.

  8. Masterful rhyme, naughty kids and mischief. All sounds good to me!

  9. I’m not a rhymer, so I’m always impressed by those who are! I think I’ll make some time for these naughty tales. ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. deborahholtwilliams

    I have great respect for someone who can put a new twist on an alphabet book–and in rhyme yet? Brilliant!

  11. Big Linda Ashman fan here, too, Julie, so I will definitely have to check this one out! It sounds like tons of fun ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. What a cute book! Excellent choice.

  13. I read three of Linda’s books at the library this week. ‘Looks like I’ll be going to a different branch to look for this title. Thanks for the review.

  14. This sounds very cool. Must check it out. Thanks, Julie

  15. Heehee! I love the cover! It looks awesome! ๐Ÿ˜€

  16. It’s a fun one. We’ve read this one.

  17. “Internal rhyme, consonance, assonance, alliteration โ€“ itโ€™s all here.” OK! I’m all in!

  18. It looks like a fun book. I love how it’s described as “raucously illustrated.” Who can resist that?!

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