Friday, September 29, 2006

Big Chickens

Big Chickens
Written by Leslie Helakoski
Illustrated by Henry Cole
Dutton Children's Books
ISBN: 0525475753
One day, a wolf sneaks into the farmyard. Four freaked-out feathered friends flap out of the coop and into the woods to hide. The harried hens head deeper into the woods where they find a ditch. They tutter and putter and flutter until one by one, they fall in. They meet a field full of frightening cows. The big chickens squeak and squirm and squawk until one by one, they run into the cow. The panicky poultry head from one terror to the next until, at last, they find safety in a deep, dark cave. Or do they?

These silly chicks (no relation) lead readers on a wild goose chase through the countryside. Cole's playful watercolors are perfectly paired to Helakoski's spunky text. The prose is sprinkled generously with snippets of rhyme, more than a little alliteration (say that five times fast) and a heaping helping of silliness. An eggceptional read aloud

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Contest (Deadline: October 15)

Welcome to the Roost!

Help us celebrate the official launch of Three Silly Chicks by entering this egg-citing contest!

It's as easy as 1 - 2 - 3...

1. Leave a comment on this post by midnight (CST) Sunday, October 15th, listing the title and author of your favorite funny book for kids.

2. If you post your comment anonymously (no blogger or LJ account), send an email to to let us know how to contact you if you win.

3. The winner will be chosen randomly on Monday, October 16th.

THE PRIZE: A brand-spanking new copy of Why Did the Chicken Cross The Road? featuring the hilarious illustrations of Mo Willems, David Shannon, Marla Frazee, Chris Raschka & 10 other award-winning children's book illustrators!

THE FINEPRINT: Multiple entries will not be accepted. One person = one entry. Must be 18 or over to enter. Contains no calories. No eggs were cracked in the making of this contest. Thanks!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

In the Coop with Lisa Wheeler

A Three Silly Chicks Interview

Lisa Wheeler
is the witty, charming and much-loved author of SEADOGS (illustrated by Mark Siegel)
, SAILOR MOO (illustrated by Ponder Goembel), and many other funny books for kids!

How do you know when what you write is funny?

I write what makes me laugh. If it cracks me up, it’ll probably crack up a 6 year-old. I’m not that complex.

Do you have any tips for writing funny books?

Use comedic timing. Don’t belabor the point. Think of how a standup comic uses timing to tell a joke. You have to get in and out of a joke while it’s still funny. Check out Turk And Runt. I think it is a good example of comedic timing in a picture book.

Has being funny ever gotten you into or out of trouble?

I’m not funny enough to create such an impact. But being too serious has caused its share of headaches.

What are some of your favorite funny books?

Mr. Wolf’s Pancakes, The Scrambled States of America, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, all the Junie B. Jones books, There Was An Old Woman, The Captain Underpants series, Bark, George!,.. I could go on and on. But my bookcase is in my daughter’s room and she’s still sleeping (plus, it looks like a bomb hit her room). These are the titles you get off the top of my head.

If you could live in one of your books, which one would you choose?

Just one? I suppose I’d pick Sailor Moo. Not only did she get to go to sea (I love the ocean!), she also ended up living on the beach and meeting the bull of her dreams. What a great life!

Who do you like more, The Marx Bros or Three Stooges?

I pick the Stooges because I’ve seen more of their movies, and I do a wicked Curly Shuffle. Nyuck, nyuck, nyuck.

What was your best Halloween costume?

A cat costume my mom made when I was a kid. It was made out of a faux fur sofa cover and had a huge paper mache’ head with glow-in-the-dark eyes. I couldn’t see a thing out the eye-holes. It was great!

What is your Dream Job For a Day?

Pop star diva. Like, maybe Janet Jackson. I wish I could sing, dance and look gorgeous all at the same time. (But I'll keep my own brothers, thank-you-very-much.)

Clown V. Mime Deathmatch. Pick your winner.

Hmmmmm…tough call. Clowns are inherently evil, and yet mimes need to die. Someone has to lose, but a mime is a terrible thing to waste.

Funniest dead person you’d like to meet?

Gilda Radnor. Her SNL characters are so memorable and hysterical. I'd just like to say Thanks for the laughs.

Friday, September 22, 2006

My Cat, the Silliest Cat in the World

My Cat, the Silliest Cat in the World
Written and Illustrated by Gilles Bachelet
Abrams Books for Young Readers
Translation edition (March 1, 2006)
ISBN: 081094913X

Cats are so silly. They nap in the dryer, on the TV or atop a desk full of work papers. They can destroy an entire house chasing a ball of yarn. And they shower in the toilet. Well, at least Gilles Bachelet’s cat does. But then, his cat also has enormous ears, a long gray trunk and weighs several tons. Some might mistake his cat for an elephant, but that would be absurd. It would also be the makings of a fantastic picture book.

Bachelet's minimal text wryly describes his perfectly normal cat, but his beautifully detailed water color illustrations paint a much different picture. Kids will crack up at the sight of an elephant bathing himself and using the litter box. Adults will love the references to famous paintings by artists like Picasso, Míro, and Magritte. Simple, smart and funny. This book can be enjoyed over and over. This is an English translation of French book published in 2004 and are we ever glad it jumped the pond!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

One More Sheep

One More Sheep
Written by Mij Kelly
Illustrated by Russell Ayto
Peachtree Publishers

September, 2006

During a “wild, windy night,” Farmer Sam brings home his sheep, tucks them in, and starts to count them, making sure all ten are snug in bed. There’s just one little problem: counting sheep puts Sam to sleep. Before he’s even halfway through, Sam’s snoozing and the sheep are miffed:

I think that he finds us terribly boring.
How rude! How uncouth!
And now he is snoring!

When a wolf in sheep’s clothing knocks on the door, Sam wakes up and welcomes the imposter with open arms, mistaking him for one of his ten sheep. The real sheep quickly insist Sam count them again – and this time they’ll do anything to keep him from nodding off!

Illustrator Russell Ayto’s pleasingly plump yet skinny-limbed sheep are a riot, especially during their high-kicking-chorus-line attempt to keep Sam awake. ONE MORE SHEEP is one bedtime story that will please parents, kids, and chicks alike!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich

Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich
Written and Illustrated by Adam Rex

Harcourt, Inc.

September, 2006
ISBN: 0152057668

FRANKENSTEIN MAKES A SANDWICH is an uproariously funny poetry collection about the pesky little problems that monsters face each day. When Frankenstein decides to borrow deli slices from his neighbors to make a sandwich, they pick up their pitchforks and chase him out of town. They throw rotten tomatoes and loaves of moldy bread. Voila! A perfect sandwich! When the poor Phantom of the Opera tries to create a new song, he can’t get "It’s a Small World After All" out of his head. (Can't you just hear it now?) Wolfman’s dog is sick and tired of his master clawing at the door and leaving globs of hair in the tub. And the Invisible Man? Well, he can’t seem to get a decent haircut. The silly barber keeps cutting off the wrong parts. Such problems!

The best way to share this wonderful read-aloud is by pouring over the illustrations with a fiend. Each spread is a loving ode to a different illustrator. Careful readers will notice some unlikely influences, like Charles Schultze (Snoopy’s skeleton makes an appearance on page 33), Richard Scarry and Norman Rockwell. (Could that be Tony DiTerlizzi’s pug on page 13?) Be sure to read all the fine print—you’ll find some of the funniest jokes half-hidden in the illustrations.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

About Us and Our Blog

Why did the chicken cross the road?
To read our blog!

Welcome to Three Silly Chicks, a seriously silly celebration of funny books for kids!

We review funny new picture books and mid-grade novels and interview some of the funniest writers in kids' books today!

We review new books that you might not know about.

We don't review super-smash hits like Captain Underpants or Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus. You already know how funny those books are. (Though we might review a book called Please Let the Pigeon Wear Underwear.)

"But wait," you say, "Who are these Three Silly Chicks?"

What a silly question! We like you already!

We are Andrea Beaty, Carolyn Crimi, and Julia Durango. We are all children's authors who LOVE funny books. But not funny smells. Or funions (which smell funny.)

We do:

  • Love silly books.
  • Love silly string.
  • Love silly hats.
  • Love our jobs! As children's authors, we get to spend our days writing books that make kids laugh. What could be better than that, you ask? Reading funny books and talking about them with friends, too! That's why we started this blog!

We do:

  • NOT review young adult books. Sorry. We love them, but we don't review them. Rule of thumb: If a book is written for anybody who might shave, we won't review it.
  • NOT review books we don't love. Life is too short for that!
  • NOT accept review copies of books.
  • NOT know how to hula dance. Though we could learn.

We hope you will:

  • Visit us often!
  • Link to our blog!
  • Tell us about your favorite funny books for kids!
  • Tell your friends about us!
  • Tell your friends when they have something hanging out of their noses.
  • Tell your friends to go home already. Don't they have lives?

More to come ...

The Three Silly Chicks