Denise Fleming; illustrations by Denise Fleming

Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)

Buster does not like change. But change is coming . . . and its name is Betty

"Buster was a happy dog.
He had everything he could ever want-until one day,
when his owner brought home a big box."

Buster hoped there would be juicy steaks or fancy cheeses or spicy sausages in the box. But inside was something Buster did not want. And that something was a cat named Betty.
Buster is a 2004 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.


Praise for Buster

"Fleming brings a cheerful childlike tone to her text, along with abundant touches of humor and tenderness-and a clear understanding of pet (and child) dynamics." --Publishers Weekly, starred

"Offering clever designs, even to the endpapers, Fleming barks up the right tree, as green-eyed Betty and red-furred Buster are definitely a match." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred

"Another winner from a popular, talented author and illustrator." --Booklist

"Fleming's tale of the lovable if kitten-cowed Buster has a steadily rising momentum that will capture listeners from the opening lines." --The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"Fleming's pulp paintings are a celebration of shape, color, and texture." -- The Horn Book

"The format, as well as the use of repetitive language, makes this heartwarming tale a good choice for emergent readers, while the eye-catching illustrations make it perfect for either groups or one-on-one sharing." --School Library Journal

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Denise Fleming; illustrations by Denise Fleming

  • Denise Fleming has written and illustrated many children’s books, including In the Tall, Tall Grass, Shout! Shout It Out!, and Sleepy, Oh So Sleepy. She won a Caldecott Honor for In the Small, Small Pond. Denise published her first painting in the third grade, when she started taking classes at the Toledo Museum of Art and one of her paintings was chosen to be the cover of a teacher’s magazine. She now works primarily with paper, by pouring colored paper pulp through hand-cut stencils. She lives in Toledo, Ohio.
  • Denise Fleming David Powers
    Denise Fleming


Available Formats and Book Details


Denise Fleming; illustrations by Denise Fleming

NYPLC Children's Books 100, Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year
  • Trade Paperback


  • Hardcover