My Books

Disney/Hyperion 2016

Disney/Hyperion 2016

Pigs and a Blanket
(April 5, 2016)

Pig siblings Henry and Henrietta love their green blanket. It is soft, it smells good, and it makes a great cape! As much as they each love playing with the blanket, they don't love sharing it. Will ripping it in two solve all their problems?

Author/illustrator James Burks has created a funny, relatable, sweet story about two pigs who, despite their individual interests pulling them in different directions, really prefer to remain side by side.

"A charming story of sharing and caring." --School Library Journal

"Burks avoids sliding into treacle, and the gentle message will be well-received by the littlest readers. A charmer." -- Kirkus

HarperCollins 2016

HarperCollins 2016

Itty Bitty Kitty and the Rainy Play Day
(March 2016)

Written by Joan Holub  Illustrated by James Burks

It's a drippy-droppy, plippy-ploppy, rainy, gray, can't-play-outside day—which means that Ava and Itty Bitty Kitty are stuck inside! When Ava and her giant cat run out of things to do, they invent their own games and have a rainy play day that is absolutely purr-fect.

With funny, bouncy text and lively illustrations, Ava and Itty Bitty Kitty's indoor adventures will remind readers of the fun that a rainy day can bring!

Scholastic/Branches 2016

Scholastic/Branches 2016

Haggis and Tank Unleashed:
Digging for Dinos

Written by Jessica Young  Illustrated by James Burks

Haggis and Tank's big imaginations take them on a search for real live dinosaurs! They build a nest for dino eggs and play baseball with a triceratops. But then the ground starts shaking. Is a T-rex chasing Haggis and Tank? Or could something else be headed their way? This series is full of clever wordplay and homophones that make Haggis and Tank's adventures even more fun!

"This sequel is far from a dinosnore; here's to joining these two pals on all their future adventures." -- Kirkus

Scholastic/Branches 2016

Scholastic/Branches 2016

Haggis and Tank Unleashed:
all paws on deck

Written by Jessica Young  Illustrated by James Burks

Tank is a clumsy, outgoing Great Dane. Haggis is a dapper and grumpy Scottie dog. In the first book in the series, Haggis and Tank set sail as pirates. At first, Haggis doesn't see what Tank does — that an adventure awaits them with just a little imagination! But soon, Haggis joins in the fun and the two friends go on a pirate adventure. They talk like pirates, swab the deck, and even search for buried treasure. This series is full of clever wordplay and homophones that make Haggis and Tank's adventures even more fun!

"These salty sea dogs put the bite back in buccaneering." -- Kirkus

"Burks (the Bird & Squirrel series) keeps the book’s six chapters zipping along in lively full-bleed images and panel sequences." -- PW

"The easy-to-read text, in conjunction with the color-coordinated dialogue bubbles for Haggis and Tank, makes the selection a must-have for the difficult-to-fill niche for readers transitioning from picture books and beginning readers to early chapter books." -- School Library Journal

Scholastic/Graphix 2015

Scholastic/Graphix 2015

Bird and Squirrel on the Edge!

Bird and Squirrel are almost home. All that's left for them to do is cross the Great Mountains. But before they can, the duo stops to chase off wolves hunting a baby bear and in the process Bird gets a knock on the noggin that gives him amnesia. Now Squirrel has to set aside his fears and keep both Bird and the bear cub safe as they journey on foot over the mountains. But witha pack of hungry wolves on their tail, can Squirrel step up and be the leader they need to keep them all alive?

"Although it’s a rather gentle story of animal amity, Burks has adroitly managed to infuse it with a rollicking pace, cutely quirky characters, and lively illustrations that practically leap off the page, creating a subtle complexity that is usually missing from such buddy tales." -- Kirkus

HarperCollins 2015

HarperCollins 2015

Itty Bitty kitty

Written by Joan Holub  Illustrated by James Burks

Ava wants a pet, but Mom and Dad say she's too little. So when she finds a kitty, Ava decides to name him Itty Bitty and keep him a secret. There's just one tiny problem: Itty Bitty starts growing and growing and growing . . . until he's neither itty nor bitty! Kids will laugh and cheer along as Ava and Itty Bitty try to keep Mom and Dad from discovering their not-so-little secret!

From New York Times bestselling author Joan Holub and award-winning illustrator James Burks comes this unlikely friendship story with enormous heart! Featuring lively, bouncy text and bold, colorful artwork, this picture book is purr-fect for pet lovers and their parents alike.

 "...it’s Burks’ bright, digital cartoon illustrations in all their big-eyed, Chuck Jones–esque glory that recommend this ponderous pussycat parable." -- Kirkus

Houghton Mifflin 2015

Houghton Mifflin 2015

Willy Maykit in Space

Written by Greg Trine  Illustrated by James Burks

Earth-dwelling fourth-grader Willy Maykit couldn’t be more excited about his school field trip to Planet Ed. Willy’s class will blast off for the afternoon, learn about outer space, and be home in time for dinner. But when he wanders off on his own, Willy ends up being left behind on Ed! Can Willy, along with his classmate Cindy and an alien boy named Norp, outsmart the big hungry monsters on Ed until someone rescues them? With a little help from an android who likes knock-knock jokes and a seagull with terrific aim, they just might!

"For those still appreciative of a well-placed illustration to set the scene, Burks’ cartoon images won’t disappoint." -- Kirkus

Scholastic/Graphix 2014

Scholastic/Graphix 2014

Bird and Squirrel on Ice

Bird and Squirrel are back and ready for adventure!

After Bird and Squirrel crash land in the South Pole during a raging blizzard, a penguin named Sakari thinks Bird has come to rid her village of a hungry Killer Whale. But when Squirrel finds out that Bird will actually be fed to the Killer Whale as a sacrifice, they hatch a crazy plan to escape.

With good timing, a little luck, and help from Sakari, they just might make it out alive. Or they might end up as whale food!

"With quirky characters, silly situations, and brightly colored panels, this volume promises to be another engaging, fast-paced story for tweens to enjoy." -- School Library Journal

Scholastic/Cartwheel Books 2014

Scholastic/Cartwheel Books 2014

Open Wide

Written by Stephen Kresnsky  Illustrated by James Burks

Get ready to chow down in this hilarious board book with a free punch-out paper airplane!

Picky eating is a common occurrence in many households, but this charming story turns this topic on its head as little Sam's refusal to eat changes a simple dinnertime meal into a hilarious display of silly parental antics! Laugh out loud as Sam's dad becomes an elephant, flies around the room like an airplane, and performs more daring tricks to try to get Sam to eat!

OPEN WIDE! is a familiar picky eating story with a humorous and satisfying surprise ending. Includes a punch-out paper airplane that children can put on their spoons, just like Sam's!

Aladdin/Simon&Schuster 2013

Aladdin/Simon&Schuster 2013

The Monstore

Written by Tara Lazar  Illustrated by James Burks

The Monstore is a one-stop shop for all your monsterly needs in this enormously funny story that’s full of friendly, kooky creatures.

At the back of Frankensweet’s Candy Shoppe, under the last box of sour gumballs, there’s a trapdoor. 
Knock five times fast, hand over the bag of squirmy worms, and you can crawl inside The Monstore.

The Monstore is the place to go for all of your monsterly needs. Which is perfect, since Zack definitely has a monsterly need. The problem? His pesky little sister, Gracie, who never pays attention to that “Keep Out” sign on Zack’s door—the one he has made especially for her.


But when Zack’s monsters don’t exactly work as planned, he soon finds out that the Monstore has a few rules: No Refunds. No exchanges. No exceptions.

Scholastic/Graphix 2012

Scholastic/Graphix 2012

Bird and Squirrel: On the Run!

Bird and Squirrel outwit Cat and become best friends in this zany adventure.

Squirrel is afraid of his own shadow. Bird doesn't have a care in the world. And Cat wants to eat Bird and Squirrel. Of course, he'll have to catch them first, and that's not going to be easy.

Join this trio as they head south for the winter in a hilarious road trip. But watch out! Cat is waiting around every bend, and he's one pesky feline.

"The brightly colored panels and cartoon artwork attract the eye and complement the engaging, fast-paced story." -- School Library Journal

"The easy-to-follow panels offer a great introduction for readers interested in trying their first graphic novel, and the warm, engaging art has the same vibrant energy of a beloved Saturday morning cartoon."-- Booklist

"The character design is astounding."-- Kirkus

"Burks' comic-strip-like panels utilize zesty colors, bold compositions, and varying perspectives to create plenty of visual interest."

-- The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Carolrhoda Books 2012

Carolrhoda Books 2012

Beep and Bah

Beep is a robot who hungers for adventure. Bah is a goat who wants to stay out of trouble. When Bah discovers a single sock, Beep knows there's only one thing to do: find its match! Together, Beep and Bah begin a winding journey that takes them up high hills and into the deep ocean. On the way, they'll meet monkeys, whales, and angry bears--but will they find the missing sock?

"The story is awash in fanciful colors, quirky backdrops, kid humor (Nickelodeon style), wonderful expressions, and plenty of action. Sure to have kids clamoring for more."-- School Library Journal

"Beep's relentless belief in his own heroism (which makes his indefatigable running commentary great fun to read aloud), combined with the comics-style framings and geeky-goofy supporting cast, should keep this story in heavy rotation."-- Publishers Weekly

"It's a ride as rich enough in slapstick, comical mishaps, jokes and general silliness to make anyone want to invite themselves along."
-- Kirkus

YenPress 2010

YenPress 2010

Gabby and Gator

Gator has just never seemed to fit in with the other neighborhood pets...probably because he has a nasty habit of eating the other neighborhood pets. Flushed down the toilet as just a little snapper, Gator spends his days alone in the sewers...

On the streets above, little Gabby has never seemed to fit in with the other kids in town. She'd rather collect bottles and practice her tuba than gossip with the girls down at the pool, but it does get lonely being the only vegetarian on the block...

When Gabby and Gator meet, their fun and adventures prove that the best friends are those who accept you as you are, teeth and all!

2010  Junior Library Guild Selection

"Burks' story is funny and smart, filled with wonderful sight gags that will appeal to kids and parents alike." -- School Library Journal

"Young readers will enjoy following these unlikely partners as they help each other work through personal hang-ups while evading a Taser-wielding Animal Control officer." -- Kirkus

" James Burks offers a book for all ages with a breezy style of writing, especially for elementary-school-age readers who will gain confidence with this easy to digest YA novel of 192 pages." -- NY Journal of Books

Ask for Gabby and Gator at your school's Scholastic Book Fair.