Linda Ashman

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




"An entertaining tale in which a girl's vivid imagination whisks her away to Africa. The richly colored pictures and constant action make this a good choice for storytime. Ashman's Sailing Off to Sleep has a similar, though quieter, ending while this title is a rip-roaring, exciting excursion." School Library Journal

"This adventurous romp through the before-bedtime jungle is accentuated by fantastic sound effects: 'Beep! Beep! Beep!' and 'Screeeeeeech!' as the safari-bound youngster races his (or her) jeep through the terrain, passing the likes of zebras and wildebeests. With full-page waggish illustrations painted in thick strokes with lively colors, this mini-thriller is proof that imaginations really can go wild." Kirkus Reviews

"Racing through the jungle in her sturdy jeep, the unnamed narrator encounters threatening wildebeests, a giraffe, an angry rhino, an ostrich, a 'roadblock buffalo,' and more. Preschoolers will giggle with delight when they realize this is a bedtime tale -- and immediately begin planning their own imaginative safari." Booklist

"Energetic rhymes and action-packed spreads from the team behind Rub-a-Dub Sub chronicle a child's wild safari adventure. Only in the final pages does the author reveal (with the intrusion of two grown-up feet) that this safari has taken place in the comfort of home." Publisher's Weekly

"Action packed from beginning to end, STARRY SAFARI is a rhyming adventure that will keep young readers on the edge of their seats."

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From STARRY SAFARI. Illustrations copyright 2005 by Jeff Mack. With permission of Harcourt.

Author's Note

Racing in my sturdy jeep --
On safari! Beep! Beep! Beep!

Passing fields where zebras feast.
Trailing herds of wildebeest.

Gazing at a tall giraffe,
Bump into a rhino calf.

Angry rhino starts to chase.
Lanky ostrich joins the race.

Floor the jeep, and go, go, go!
Screeeeech! A roadblock! Buffalo!

I really enjoyed the process of working with Harcourt editor Karrie Oswald and illustrator Jeff Mack on RUB-A-DUB SUB, and asked Karrie about doing a companion book. She liked the idea, so I began mulling over possible settings. After several false starts, I came up with the African Safari idea, which had so much potential for interesting animal encounters and lively illustrations.

As with RUB-A-DUB SUB, I love Jeff's vibrant colors, adorable animals and the sense of excitement he conveys in his paintings. And I love how he captures this girl's adventurous spirit.

Teaching Themes: safaris, African animals, humor, imagination, stories in rhyme. For teaching ideas, visit National Geographic's Protecting African Wildlife. Find printable activity sheets at illustrator Jeff Mack's website and download the Teacher's Guide below:


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