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Review: Oh, No! by Candace Fleming

Oh, No!
By Candace Fleming
Illustrated by Eric Rohmann

Schwartz & Wade (Random House)

ISBN: 9780375842719
Grades K-2
In Stores

*Best New Book*

Find it at:
Schuler Books | Your Library

It makes sense, doesn’t it? Pair a great author with a great illustrator and you get…something great? Indeed, Oh, No! is well crafted from top to bottom. The ever-versatile Candace Fleming joins Caldecott Medal winner Eric Rohmann to create a fine example of a big name team-up done right. It makes the majority of picture books that come on the scene pale in comparison.

Tiger is the villain. Stalking through the thick bamboo of the jungle, he chases a frog into a trap:

Frog fell into a deep, deep hole.
Frog fell into a deep, deep hole.

When mouse comes to lend a hand, he falls in as well, causing a chain reaction among the other animals. Soon mouse is joined by loris, sun bear, and monkey. Tiger is just about to pounce, when an unexpected visitor turns the tables on the big cat.

The text, mixing story and sound, is playful – full of signature Fleming repetition.

There’s a completeness to this book that stands out. The artwork begins telling the story on the front endpapers and works seamlessly with the text. The story takes the repeated refrain and flips it for the conclusion, adding an unexpected and satisfying twist.

The illustrations are done in relief print, using rich earth tones. The artwork plays with perspective in large two page spreads, then focuses on movement by breaking onto panels.

When you open Oh, No!, you realize you’re in the hands of a couple pros. This is a book that should not be overlooked. Find it on “Best of 2012” lists far and wide.

Review copy from the publisher.

Also reviewed by Pink Me.

About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at scopenotes@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.


  1. I found myself “stuck” at a Barnes and Noble this past week across from a store that I was waiting to open up, and I had the opportunity to read this and several other new books. Solid…this book is solid. It was also instantly fun to read aloud to my 3-year-old son.

  2. I agree. Saw this yesterday at my public library and plucked it off the display to read while I waited in line. It’s marvelous!

    • I had the pleasure of interviewing Melissa Sweet this past week. I’m really looking forward to reading your soon-to-be-published book!

      • Melissa is a gem of a person and a masterful artist. We truly enjoyed this project and I hope you’ll enjoy it!

      • I think that a better liaibrran is one who, through reading and education and maybe experience, knows that there are many types of libraries out there and many types of patrons. Like many others I got my start as a page in my high school library and went on to publishing and academia. That doesn’t mean that I ignore any information on public, corporate, museum and any other library that exists. I’ll never work in the Library of Congress or the Huntington, but I am interested in and concerned about their issues and problems. I love to learn how people in my particular position do their jobs in all types of libraries. I don’t think that I would have maintained that interest without a degree in Library Science. Being a liaibrran is not just a job!


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