Linda Ashman

children's book author, mom, wife, writing instructor, animal lover, gardener, vegetarian . . .


"From the moment our mischievous narrator wakes up, we are swept along with his creative imagination. In dramatic rhymed couplets, he describes his hair-raising adventures. Our hero is a vivacious, adorable, tousled-haired lad in orange pajamas who finds what we 'giants' consider mischief to be the way adventures happen. We want to join the fun."
Children's Literature

"Though he doesn't retreat so far into the Id as Max in his wolf suit, here's a lad who wakes surrounded by live zoo animals (plush, in the pictures), tiptoes past sleeping "giants" and rappels down a stepped "mountain" to get to the kitchen, confronts a voracious, sucking monster in the utility closet, then goes on to further adventures indoors and out before one of those "giants" snags him for a bath, a cuddle, and a nap. Ashman captures the non-stop action in rollicking rhyme. Even children well aware of the pleasures of Pretend will trail along admiringly in the wake of this very young Indiana Jones." Kirkus Reviews

"An inventive child's 'typical' morning routine will intrigue youngsters while generating giggles. The rhyming, circular story never misses a beat and introduces some challenging action words. Full-page watercolor illustrations humorously depict the boy's tireless energy and sense of whimsy. Well suited for storytime, this spirited tale will stimulate imaginations and encourage make-believe play." School Library Journal

"Ashman's tongue-in-cheek picture book portrays the ordinary world through the eyes of a rambunctious youngster. As his parents sleep, a boy in red pajamas wakes up surrounded by stuffed animals and imagines that the bars of his bedstead belong to a cage in the zoo. He tiptoes past his parents' room and imagines himself confronting various dangers: a vacuum cleaner becomes a monster, a garden hose transforms into a 'spitting snake,' his backyard swimming pool a tidal wave. Although the boy narrates his own adventures, the illustrations clue the audience in without diminishing the make-believe fun. When the giant forces the boy to drink a 'magic sleeping punch,' and he awakens inside the zoo/​bedroom, the end of the book hints at the start of another adventure." Publishers Weekly

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Illustrations copyright 2004 by Claudio Munoz. With permission of HarperCollins.

Author's Note

The day begins as many do:
I find myself inside a zoo.

I'm cornered by a savage ape --
I growl and make a quick escape.

I pass the place where giants sleep,
Descend a mountain long and steep.

Behind a door, I find a feast,
And share it with a hairy beast.

This is the story of our son, Jackson, at age 3 in our Los Angeles home. Jackson has a very vivid fantasy life, and his days are full of imaginary adventures. Over the years, he's play-acted being a gardener, firefighter, tornado chaser, pirate, Titanic passenger, "disasterologist" and house cleaner (he was obsessed with vacuum cleaners). Although at age 7, he is more likely to be a pro baseball player or basketball star, the adventures continue!

I love how Claudio Munoz captured the physical movements of a small child, and the energy and impishness of this particular character. I would love to meet him and ask him who his model was, and thank him for so perfectly capturing this little adventurer.

Teaching Themes: imaginary adventures, stories in rhyme, humor, finding extraordinary in the ordinary.


Brand New
"A go-to source of calm and comfort." PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
In Print
"Altogether delightful." Starred review, KIRKUS
"Excellent advice in a sweet and easy-to-swallow package." KIRKUS
"A memorable first skate by an irresistible imp." Starred review, KIRKUS
"Ashman's concept is both sophisticated and delightful." KIRKUS
"Beautifully crafted and satisfying." Starred Review, BOOKLIST
"Kids will love the colorful paintings while parents will appreciate that it's chock full of facts about the Centennial State." VAIL DAILY
A "lovely reverie on the joys of being alive and being loved." Starred Review, PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
"As pithy and clever as Ogden Nash at his best." Starred Review, KIRKUS
"A splendid bedtime fantasy." KIRKUS
Other Titles
"Ashman's poetic portraits are packed with lots of tasty assonance and alliteration." Starred Review, PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
"Quirky, sarcastic, and rather educational, too." BOOKLIST
"A 10 on the "aw"-inspiring scale." PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
"A family outing gone hilariously awry." BOOKLIST
"A rip-roaring, exciting excursion." SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL
An "enchanting ride." PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
"The clever, rhyming text bounces along with perfect cadence." SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL
"A riotous adventure." HORN BOOK MAGAZINE
"Vibrant, playful text . . . excellent for storytimes." SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL
"A hilarious look at the world through the sharp eyes and nose of a dog." SCRIPPS HOWARD NEWS SERVICE
"This one's a keeper." SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL
"Youngsters will find nothing but comfort in these pages." KIRKUS
"Ashman captures the non-stop action in rollicking rhyme." KIRKUS
A "captivating collaboration." Starred Review, KIRKUS
"A lighthearted look at bad behavior." KIRKUS
Wagmore is "a charming, gentle hero." KIRKUS REVIEWS