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Sheep Won't Sleep: Counting by 2's, 5's, and 10's

Counting picture book
illustrated by Nina Cuneo

Winner 2018 Mathical Award

Clarissa can't sleep. She tries counting sheep, but it doesn't help--especially when the sheep won't settle down! She tries counting other woolly animals by twos, fives, and tens. Soon colorful alpacas, lamas, and yaks fill her room. Will she ever be able to get rid of them and fall asleep?

"This story provides an entertaining and humorous introduction to skip will certainly be enjoyed by animal lovers, insomniacs, and anyone familiar with the conspicuous amount of math involved in knitting." --School Library Journal

"It's a rowdy introduction to counting, addition, and subtraction that's anything but soporific."--Publishers Weekly

"Children can count along, add the numbers, and then subtract them in this enjoyably crafty bedtime tale."--Kirkus Reviews

Oregon Reads Aloud

Celebrate reading and the state of Oregon with these 25 short stories by Oregon children's authors. I'm thrilled to be a part of this wonderful project, celebrating 25 years of Start Making A Reader Today (SMART), a non-profit program to enhance literacy by matching volunteers with children. My story, "Serafina's Tree", includes a recipe for plum jam!


Hooray! It's a snow day. The family is baking cookies, and Mouse gets showered with yummy crumbs. But the real adventure begins when he accidentally gets swept out the door with the snow Dad has tracked into the house. Mouse is in for a wild winter wonderland romp with Cat close on his tail!

"Readers will look forward to taking this snow-day romp again and again." --Kirkus Reviews

"Ebbeler's generously detailed acrylics brim with comedic details."--Publisher's Weekly

“This fourth story about Mouse perfectly sums up the euphoria of fresh-fallen snow. Cox’s text rhymes throughout, and reads aloud well: “Mouse scampered between their feet, undetected, unsuspected.” The author also combines descriptive words in a new and fresh way, such as snow being likened to “mounds of mashed potatoes.” Ebbeler’s illustrations expand on the text, with details everywhere to pore over, including a superhero snowman and a puffy, fluffy bedroom slipper. Mouse himself is a delight, with his thick glasses and striped pullover.”--School Library Journal

Happy Birthday, Mrs. Millie!

Mrs. Millie is back! Get out the baboons (balloons) and pheasants (presents); it's Mrs. Millie's birthday. Her Kindergartners surprise her with a pun-filled birthday party! 

"The text is exuberant and energetic, and readers will be swept up in the merriment." --School Library Journal

"Cleaver teachers could turn this into a creative writing/art lesson that works for multiple grade levels." ---Kirkus Reviews

Happy Birthday, Mrs. Millie!

Cinco de Mouse-O!

A delicious smell wakes up Mouse. He follows his nose down the street to a Cindo de Mayo festival. High up in a tree he spies a pinata magnifica. If only Mouse could get just one piece of candy from it. But look out! Cat is on the prowl. He is planning a fiesta of his own, and Mouse is on the menu.

"Another winner from the team behind One is a Feast for Mouse"--Booklist

* "Ebbeler's feisty full-page illustrations of the world from Mouse's perspective expand on Cox's ebullient text and enchanting story line, establishing the adorable Mouse as a character that children, parents, teachers and librarians will want to follow from one celebration to the next." --Starred review, Kirkus

"With a tightrope-balanced Mouse and a wild ride atop the burro pinata, this action-packed tale combines Mexican tradition with adventure for young readers."--School Library Journal

Bank Street College of Education, Best Books of 2011
ALA One World, Many Stories list

Also available as an Audio book from Dreamscape Media! 

Cinco de Mouse-O!

The Secret of the Doolittle Device

Ishbu loves carrot sticks and marshmallow treats, and Frederick loves Geography. The rat brothers live and learn in a cozy cage in Miss Dove’s classroom, until the fateful day when Mrs. Thorn throws them out of the window, and launches them on a wild journey to save the world. This third adventure finds them traveling the globe in search of a rare element needed to power the mysterious Doolittle Device. But can the brothers reach it before the Big Cheese gets his evil paws on it?

The Secret of the Doolittle Device

Ukulele Hayley

Everyone has a talent, right? Hayley is sure she has one but she's having trouble pinpointing it. Then Hayley buys a ukulele at a yard sale. Learning to play takes practice, but it's fun, fun, fun. Before long Hayley is strumming up a storm, and her classmates want in on the action. Then terrible news threatens not only the new uke band, but the whole school music program. Now it's up to Hayley and her band to come up with a creative plan to keep their school rocking.

"Hayley is a fun and spunky heroine. The outcome of the story is hard-won but optimistic."--Bellingham Herald

"Clean, clear writing and charming cartoon illustrations further enhance this little gem." --School Library Journal

"Readers who like their protagonists with a lot of mettle will particularly appreciate Hayley's rapid rise from shyness to stardom." --The Bulletin of The Center for Children's Books

Beverly Cleary Award nominee 2015
New and Noteworthy--Capitol Choices list
Bank Street College of Education Best Books 2014

Don't Be Silly, Mrs. Millie!

Mrs. Millie loves to tease her kindergartners. she tells them to wash their hands with soap and walrus, and sit on the bug for story time. The children think Mrs. Millie is hilarious. They have fun correcting her "mistakes." Finally, at the end of the day, they get on the octopus to go home!

"Children will love this book for its bold slapstick humor and for the way the class is able to correct the teacher's mistakes. Adding greatly to the fun are the bold, bright illustrations. Mrs. Millie looks as zany as she sounds with her bushy red hair, purple and white plaid sneakers, bright pink slacks, and yellow flowered jacket. It is very apparent that the author relates extremely well to her own kindergartners."--Sylvia Firth, Children's Literature

TIME magazine Best Children's Books of 2005
Nominated for Bill Martin, Jr. Award
Nominated for Washington Children's Choice Picture Book Award

Don't Be Silly, Mrs. Millie!

The Mystery of the Burmese Bandicoot

When Frederick and Ishbu escape their cozy cage in Miss Dove's fifth grade classroom, they find themselves on the wildest adventure of their lives. They follow the trail of the Burmese Bandicoot, a beautiful and mysterious statue, from the underworld lair of the Big Cheese to a tropical island that may not be the paradise it seems.

"The action-packed story should readily hold readers' attention."
--Publishers Weekly

"Fast-paced and suspenseful, this is solid entertainment for the middle-grade reader."
--Kirkus Reviews

"Cox, a former elementary-school teacher, imbues the story with suspenseful action as well as interesting information about rat behavior, geography, and marine navigation."

"The short, action-packed chapters, engaging illustrations, and author's conversational style will attract many readers. This book would serve as an entertaining read-aloud."

June 2008 Kid's Choice Wellington Public Library, Wellington, New Zealand

 The Mystery of the Burmese Bandicoot

Happy Birthday, Mrs. Millie! 

Mrs. Millie is back! Get out the baboons (balloons) and pheasants (presents); it's Mrs. Millie's birthday. Her Kindergartners surprise her with a pun-filled birthday party!

"The text is exuberant and energetic, and readers will be swept up in the merriment." --School Library Journal

"Cleaver teachers could turn this into a creative writing/art lesson that works for multiple grade levels." ---Kirkus Reviews

The Secret Chicken Society

When Daniel finds out that his class is going to hatch chicks as a science project, he is thrilled. He's sure that his parents will let him adopt Peepers, who is his favorite. But who ever guessed that chicks could run amok and get into so much trouble? This warmheated chapter book about an environmentally-conscious family's experiment with poultry farming will provided plenty of clucks and lots of chuckles for young readers.

Winner--Oregon Spirit Award

Best of the Best 2012--Chicago Public Library
Nominated for six State Young Reader Awards--Oklahoma, Virginia, Massachusetts, Oregon, Texas, Connecticut

"A quick, kid-friendly plots, amusing black-and-white illustrations and lots of interesting chicken facts make this a great choice for animal-loving chapter-book readers." --Kirkus Reviews

"A funny story with endearing characters both human and fowl, this is a great choice for readers just moving on to chapter books."--School Library Journal

"Good vocabulary, jaunty font, silly chicken cliches, entertaining black-and-white spot illustrations, and back-matter recommendations for at-home egg hatching support the success of this early chapter book." --Booklist

Now Available in Bookstores!

Haunted House, Haunted Mouse

Sour balls! Gumdrops! Chocolate! Mouse is stunned as he watches goblins and skeletons and ghosts collect candy. He wants to go trick-or-treating too, so when the little bitty ghost drops her sack, Mouse scrambles inside. Now he's in for a harrowing Halloween adventure!

"Cox keeps readers turning pages with fast-paced action in her descriptive text." --Kirkus Reviews

"Children who enjoyed Cinco de Mouse-O! and One is a Feast for Mouse will welcome this Halloween addition to the Mouse adventures." --Chicago Examiner

"Mouse, with his Rachel Maddow-style eyeglasses, striped shirt, and oversize ears, is a charming guide to this richly detailed world."--Publishers Weekly

Carmen is nervous. She is starting school, and no one in her class speaks Spanish expect her teacher, Ms. Coski, whose Spanish in muy terrible. But when the time comes for the class to learn a new lesson, Ms. Coski needs help, and Carmen's special talent just might come in handy. (Holiday House, 2010. Illustrated by Angela Dominguez)

"Cox gets Carmen's narration just right, folding in both Spanish words and enough malapropisms to give readers a sense of her special voice. Dominguez's bright paintings present a basically confident little girl whose progress from anxious frowns to smiles will make readers cheer. Muy bueno."--Kirkus Reviews

"Many kids, especially immigrants, will enjoy the nonpreachy turnarounds in which Ms. Coski (whose Spanish is muy terrible) has Carmen teach the other students Spanish, and Carmen tells the class bullies that they are the ones with an accent."--Booklist

"This charming celebration of bilingualism captures both the fears and delights of learning a new tongue."--School Library Journal

"This book is a must-read for teaching children to embrace cultural diversity."--University of Delaware, College of Education

"The frustrations of starting school as the only Spanish-speaking student come through clearly in Cox's tale of a girl who slowly gets a handle on English with the help of a compassionate teacher."
--Publisher's Weekly

A Reading Rockets selection at PBS
Book of the Week at University of Delaware College of Education
Nominated for a Cybils Award
ALA One World, Many Stories list

Go to Sleep, Groundhog!

Poor Groundhog just can’t sleep. He tosses. He turns. Finally, he gets out of bed. Outside his burrow he finds amazing sights he’s never seen before: glowing jack-o’-lanterns, gobbling turkeys, and sparkling holiday lights. But shouldn’t Groundhog be in bed? Will he be awake for his big day?

A perennial favorite for Groundhog Day.

"At last, Groundhog Day finally has an irresistable story to call its own." --School Library Journal

"...a useful as well as charming answer to the scarcity of engaging material on Groundhog Day." --Booklist

The Case of the Purloined Professor

Frederick is the brave one. Ishbu is the hungry one. They are lured out of their peaceful existence in Miss Dove's cage when the beautiful Natasha implores them to help rescue her father, Professor Ratinsky.

This time they travel from San Francisco to Scotland by private aeroplane, train, gondola--and meet such colorful characters as a secret clan of badgers, two vicious rat terriers, and a stuffy English show mouse. But can they save the Professor from their old nemesis--the Big Cheese?

"Cox's memorable animal characters and action-packed globe-trotting will delight fans of the previous title and newcomers alike." --Booklist

"A sequel that can stand alone, this lively adventure will appeal to able middle-grade readers who like to learn as much as Frederick does." --Kirkus Reviews

"This fast-paced story has lovable characters, humor, and unique plot twists. The author also does a great job of integrating facts about the history and cultures of the places the rats visit without intruding on the story. young readers will enjoy this high-flying, mountain-climbing adventure."
--School Library Journal

"Hilariously convoluted and beguilingly suspenseful....The book has enough adventure and romance to attract both boys and girls, enough suspense to entertain unwilling readers like Ishbu, and enough information to involve nerds like Frederick."
--Children's Literature

"Cox is at the top of her game. She does it all in this gripping story: great characterizations, suspense, humor, fantastic dialogue (with believable foreign accents), action, and even a tidbit of romance. More tales of Frederick and Ishbu would be very welcomed."
--San Diego State University, Children's Literature Reviews

The Case of the Purloined Professor

Pick a Pumpkin, Mrs. Millie!

In the fall, Mrs. Millie takes her kindergartners on a class trip to pick pumpkins for their harvest party. The class has fun guessing the meanings of their favorite teacher's nonsense words. They go on a dragon (wagon) rige, see a harecrow (scarecrow), pet the boats (goats) and drink apple spider (cider). What a pun-filled day!

TIME magazine Best Children's Books of 2009.

"Mrs. Millie is back and sillier than ever....Cox's wordplay is sure to amuse and entertain....A good addition to autumn storytimes." --School Library Journal

"When exuberant Mrs. Millie takes her kindergartners to the pumpkin patch, her malapropistic tendencies are in full force....Mathieu's artwork adds to the laughs, with images of 'round, orange pumas' and a busy game of 'hide and sheep' in a corn maze." --Publisher's Weekly


The Thanksgiving feast is over. Leftover turkey and pumpkin pie litter the table. Mouse peeps our of his hidey-hole and spots a small green pea, the perfect feast for one mouse. Yes, one green pea, one red cranberry, one plate of mashed potatoes, and one roasted turkey--that would make a very fine feast for Mouse. But can he get it all back to his mouse table?
This warm and humorous picture book gently reminds us to give thanks for the little things.

Anne Izard Storytellers' Choice Award 2009
Nominated for Washington Children's Choice Picture Book Award 2010

"Everyone will be cheering for the exuberant little mouse with the large glasses. Original and fun to read aloud, this is a marvelous blend of text and illustration--just what a good picture book should be."--Children's Literature

"This entertaining story may be a good starting point for discussions about appreciation and excess."--Booklist

"Plenty of action and humor as well as a thoroughly satisfying ending make this a wonderful holiday read-aloud."--School Library Journal

"Greed goeth before a a slapstick climax children will relish.--Kirkus Reviews


Make way for the boss of tetherball! Fran knows she's best at everything, so who cares if nobody wants to play with her? She has Hercules, her rowdy Newfoundland puppy. She's thrilled to receive the lead part in the school play--until her teacher warns her she'd better shape up. Even worse, her parents are at the end of their rope with Hercules. Will Fran be able to keep the leading role, and her puppy?

"...the familiar situation will resonate with the early elementary set."--Kirkus Reviews

"...another entertaining novel full of believable kids with recognizable problems....With a brisk plot, short chapters and frequent pen-and-ink illustrations, this story will be a good pick for children making the transition to short novels." --Booklist

"A light tone, clear writing, action, vivid descriptions, and realistic school and family scenarios earn this book a place on library shelves."
--School Library Journal

Nominated for a Rhode Island Young Readers Award
Nominated for a Beverly Cleary Award
Children's Choices List 2009


Mrs. Millie Goes to Philly!

Silly Mrs. Millie! She loves to use animal words when talking to her kindergarten class. On a class trip to Philadelphia, the kids board a platypus, hold hens with their buddies, and visit the Liberty Bull. Outrageously funny illustrations by Joe Mathieu.

"A lively book which will appeal to many listeners..."
--Children's Literature

Featured on Picture Book of the Day website. Includes suggestions on how to use this book to teach the six traits of writing.

Mrs. Millie Goes to Philly!

My Family Plays Music

Everyone in her family makes music. This spunky girl joins in! From jazz to rock ‘n’ roll to polkas, this young percussionist finds just the right beat for all kinds of music. Festive cut-paper art harmonizes perfectly with this soulful introduction to music.

Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Award 2004

Nominated for a Chickadee Award from the Maine Children's Choice Picture Book Project. 2004-2005.

"A lively, colorful introduction to 10 varieties of music by a young African American girl and her contemporary family." --ALA