STARRED review from Booklist

"Pairing this witty cat-and-mouse mini-mystery and its satisfying ending with Santat’s expert use of backlighting and angular close ups makes for a truly winning combination."


"Santat’s multimedia art elevates Bird’s joyful, playful text to holiday picture-book excellence..."


"Freddy Melcher’s feverish desire to meet his favorite celebrity makes him the kind of over-the-top comic character whose inane schemes provide laughs whether they succeed or fail—and naturally suggest further stakeout possibilities."


"The mystery of Santa Claus is one that intrigues many children and adults alike, and this is a clever take on the topic."

STARRED review from Kirkus

“Stellar. . . . Will surely appeal to a wide audience. ”

STARRED review from Publishers Weekly

“Certain to fit the bill for just about any child looking for a good laugh or 20.”

STARRED review from School Library Connection

“This book supports free choice reading, but has the potential to be the culprit that interrupts silent sustained reading because girls will break out in giggles or outright laughter.” 

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

“Timely . . . girl-power humor for the middle-grade set.”


“Hilarious and heartfelt, this won’t only appeal to future funny girls and boys, it’ll inspire them.”

School Library Journal

“These stories are bound to engage most readers and tickle ribs.”

STARRED review from Booklist

"Obviously, the collaborators plow an ample field, and they do so with affection, insight, the occasional raised eyebrow, and great good humor. Theirs is a book that will delight and divert any lover of books for kids and will also inform newcomers to the field, planting seeds of salutary subversion in their minds and hearts. Wild Things!, I think I love you."

Kirkus Reviews


“The authors’ enthusiasm and engagement will keep the pages turning. [F]ascinating… The discussion of censorship is particularly thoughtful, both emphasizing intellectual freedom and considering the problematic nature of classic literature amid changing cultural sensibilities. … [A] whole lot of enjoyment and no small amount of edification.”



“Bird, Danielson, and Sieruta’s knowledge is so vast, even the well-informed will be introduced to new books and the drama that surrounded the publication and reception. … Told conversationally, moving easily from book banning to social politics to plain old sour grapes, this collection dispels any notion that children’s literature is apolitical and humorless. Librarians, writers, teachers, scholars, and enthusiastic readers alike will revel in the information that complicates the world of children’s literature.”



“Source notes and an extensive bibliography make the book ideal for university courses, but the audience for Wild Things! is much broader than just students. Anyone who loves children’s books will relish the historical facts, insightful interpretations and wild anecdotes in this highly recommended addition to the literature about children’s literature.” 


Chapter 16


“Wild Things! was co-written by three highly opinionated experts with different styles and tastes, but the text of the book reads seamlessly, as though written by a single author. … [It] packs a lot of information and opinions into a fairly short space and is certain to become required reading in education courses and classes on the history of children’s books. Non-specialists, too, will enjoy the lively and engaging exploration of this important and ever-changing field.” 




“The audience … is certainly teachers, librarians, and anyone who … still feels passionately about children’s literature as an adult (and maybe still reads more than a little of it, too). Even this educated crowd will learn a lot from this well-researched volume. But WILD THINGS! also deserves to find an audience among more general readers, perhaps among parents who are just starting to explore the world of children’s literature with their kids. For one thing, [it] is a terrific resource for anyone looking for smart, off-kilter, honest books to share with children — and it also offers an insiders’ look at the fascinating stories behind them.”






The New York Times Book Review


“Bird, a children’s book specialist at the New York Public Library, writes like someone who ought to know what children like to read. And while children generally don’t dance at the library, they do like a rollicking good dance party.”


STARRED Review from Kirkus

"Strong, action-packed language and syntax that speaks directly to readers keeps the tale flowing at a brisk pace and makes the fantasy elements completely believable. Lexy is a charmer, full of pep and verve and enthusiasm, fully realized in Dorman’s large-scale digital illustrations as she sprightly cavorts through the pages. Sheer joy."

From School Library Journal

"The story nicely weaves together a realistic fear with fantasy elements. The characters’ cheery personalities leap off the pages. Children will identify with Lexy and chuckle when they see the giants dancing. Dorman’s peppy, full-color digital artwork, printed on glossy paper, pumps up the story line. Bird and Dorman’s efforts blend into a delightful picture book with a feel-good ending." –Lynn Vanca, Freelance Librarian, Akron, OH

From Bookie Wookie

Isaac (age 14):  “Giant Dance Party.”

Lily (age 10):  (singing) Hey, hey, hey, it’s a good book!
Gracie (age 12):  When a book is good, you are just drawn to it for the sake of its awesomeness.
Lily:  It’s by Betsy Bird, and Brandon Dorman is illustrating it.
Elijah (age 7):  I’ve never heard of a book illustrated by a Doormat.
Gracie:  DorMAN.

From Publishers Weekly

"Bird’s chatty narrative is dynamic and funny, as are Dorman’s images of the twirling giants, which resemble a cross between pigs and fuzzy indigo caterpillars. Happily, Bird sticks to fun over “message moments,” though Lexy’s exuberant final performance has a grain of advice for readers attempting something scary: don’t overthink it."

From School Library Journal

"Bird writes in a chatty tone reminiscent of her popular blog, A Fuse #8 Production, and her love of children's literature shines through on every page. This slim volume is not meant to be an in-depth textbook, but rather a brief overview of the field and an introduction to the stars of children's literature. There are several lists of recommendations, most notably the 100 Children's Books That Belong in Every Library. Shorter lists cover baby books, overlooked novels and picture books, middle-grade titles to booktalk, and great picture-book read-alouds. Highlighted boxes throughout feature questions and answers from seasoned professionals on how they handle various parts of their collections and aspects of their work. Readers who are new to the field may find this a comforting basic guide to managing their collections. For instance, the chapter on how to use your materials touches on displays, reference and readers' advisory, storytimes, storytelling, booktalking, and book parties. A chapter on professional development outside the workplace is also included. Practical advice in a compact form." –Renee McGrath, Nassau Library System, Uniondale, NY