Monday, November 27, 2006

Contest! (Deadline Dec. 15)


Ho! Ho! Ho! What do you know?

The holidays are here and We Three Chicks are full of cheer . . . and hot chocolate . . . and cookies . . . and yummy holiday treats. (Except Eggnog, of course. That would be wrong.)

We wanted to share our cookies with our readers, but we had a tragic accident in which we ate them all. (The cookies. Not the readers. Readers aren't very tasty though they are crunchy.)

We wanted to share our brownies, but we baked them ourselves and that ended in a different kind of tragedy. [Note: The Three Silly Chicks Legal Department wishes to state that the Three Silly Chicks (of the first part) claim no responsibility for any accidental damages or injuries involving but not limited to a triple-chocolate chunk brownie batter, a Lady Norelco Shaver, and the couple who were standing on the corner of 9th & Washington at about 4:00 last Saturday. We're just saying.]

Luckily, we have one remaining treat. Peppermint Bark! And yes, we bought this! We tried making it ourselves, but couldn't find any peppermint trees to peel. We substituted the bark from a shrubby little oak plant. It was high in fiber and tasted great with calamine lotion. The swelling and itching are almost gone now, but we're saving the last of our home recipe for our annual New Year's party.


Alas, Dear Readers, we have only one container of Peppermint Bark and there are so many of you. How to decide? We shall hold a caption contest!!!!!

Give us a funny caption (to the picture above) before the deadline (December 15). We will judge all the entries and announce the winner on December 20!

You can enter more than once! Make sure you sign your entries (fake names are okay) so you can claim your prize on the 20th if you win!

Happy Holidays!

The Three Silly Chicks

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Wolves

Wolves
Written and Illustrated by Emily Gravett
Simon & Schuster Books

for Young Readers
ISBN 1-4169-1491-9


Rabbit goes to the library and picks out a book about wolves. Rabbit reads the book while walking home from the library and learns many interesting facts about these wild creatures. So engrossing is the book, that Rabbit does not notice the shaggy, hooded wolf who sneaks up from behind. So engrossing is the book, that Rabbit walks unwittingly up a bushy tail, through dense fur and right to the end of a wolf's sharp snout. However, Rabbit becomes keenly alert when reading about the wolf's diet which includes "large prey such as deer, bison, and moose. They also enjoy smaller mammals like beavers, voles, and . . ."

Wolves is a fresh, funny, ironic and slightly creepy book with more than a dollop of black humor. While small or very sensitive kids might be disturbed by Rabbit's fate, others will laugh out loud at the story's alternate twist ending. Illustrated with a combination of sketches, watercolor, collage and photography, Wolves is a smart and VERY tasty treat.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

In the Coop with Aaron Reynolds

Aaron Reynolds is the author of one of our favorite funny picture books, Chicks and Salsa (Bloomsbury), and the upcoming sequel, Buffalo Wings. Both are illustrated by Paulette Bogan. Aaron is also the author of the Tiger Moth graphic novel series (Stone Arch Books) and many fabulous and funny future picture books.

Break out the chips and salsa and let's Cha Cha!

How do you know when what you write is funny?

Well, there’s four kinds of funny. There’s funny-but-not-funny-enough-to-actually-laugh funny, there’s laugh-inside-my-head funny, there’s laugh-out-loud funny, and there’s laugh-so-hard-that-you-accidentally-fart funny. If my writing makes me do one of the last two, then I figure I’m on the right track.

Do you have any tips for writing funny books?

Extremes are funny. I have to constantly push myself to take a funny idea further. In Chicks and Salsa, I started out with gourmet chickens who make salsa. But it wasn’t until I added connoisseur ducks making guacamole and pigs whipping up nachos that the story started getting funny. And the ending wasn’t working until I took the whole thing the next level with the foodie farm animals. When the rooster ditches the whole thing to cook French crepes…that’s when humor finally felt like it paid off. When you come up with a funny idea, imagine the farthest you could possibly take it…and then take it one step farther. Chances are, that’s when you’ll have something really worth laughing at.

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

I remember at Boy Scout camp once, I was the ring-leader in tying our Scout Master to his cot while he was sleeping in it (we did it with belts, by the way). Then we bodily lifted his cot, with his prone sleeping form still in it, and dumped him in the lake. Seemed like a funny idea at the time. He didn’t think so. I may have lost a merit badge or two over that incident.

What are some of your favorite funny books?

There’s books that are “ha-ha” funny like The Day the Babies Crawled Away by Peggy Rathman, the Babymouse books by Jennifer and Matthew Holm, Bubble Gum, Bubble Gum by Lisa Wheeler, Ka-Pow by George O’Connor, and anything by Jon Scieszka. Then there’s books that are dark and weird and goofy funny, like Boris and Bella by Carolyn Crimi, The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip by George Saunders, Just a Minute by Yuyi Morales, and The Day I Traded my Dad for Two Goldfish by Neil Gaiman. I’m a huge fan of both.

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

I’d probably pick my newest book, a graphic novel series called Tiger Moth, Insect Ninja. Eric Lervold, who illustrated it, has created a weird and wonderful world where the bugs are very humanized, yet very buggy, and the colors are wild and vivid. Not to mention, there’s no shortage of humor, action, and a whole lot of HI-YAH! Every boy’s dream.

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

I have to confess, I’m really too young to like either. Sorry about that. Even The Little Rascals, I only saw in re-runs. In lieu of that, I’ll pick Ginger as my favorite Gilligan’s Island castaway, Marcia as my favorite Brady Bunch member, Daisy as my favorite Duke of Hazzard, (see a pattern anywhere in my hormone-induced adolescence?) and The Donny and Marie show over Sonny and Cher as my favorite lame variety show.

What was your best Halloween costume?

Has to be the year I went as Ponch from CHiPs. It was cold out that year, so my mom made me wear my coat over my plastic jump-suit-with-the-outfit-printed-on-the-front costume. Luckily, I had a bomber jacket that year, so I looked even more Ponch-esque than I would’ve without it. But, bummer of bummers, the elastic band from my mask came loose from it’s staple halfway through the night, so I had to hold it in place with my hand. This limited maximum candy-scoring-potential significantly. But still…who was cooler than Ponch?

What is your Dream Job for a Day?

I’m doin’ it, you silly chicks.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Minnie and Moo Wanted Dead or Alive

Minnie and Moo
Wanted Dead or Alive

Denys Cazet
HarperCollins
ISBN: 0-06-073011-0
An I Can Read Book: Level 3

It's trouble on the farm when Mr. and Mrs. Farmer can't pay the bills. As Moo knows, such trouble can only end in dust storms and floods. That's bad news since she doesn't know how to swim. Luckily, she has a plan. Minnie and Moo dress up and head to town to ask the bank for some of its extra cash. Unfortunately, with their fancy suits (the bank will give them more money if they are rich) and their violin case (they need some way to carry the money), these good-deed doing cows look remarkably like the bank-robbing Bazooka Sisters. What follows is an accidental bank robbery, an unintentional getaway, and a story that will have new readers (and old) laughing out loud.

Minnie and Moo are the bovine queens of comedy. Their winsome world view gets them into trouble and right back out without missing a beat. Cazet packs a remarkable amount of humor into the short text and matches it perfectly with his expressive and slightly exagerated art. Sophisticated and silly at the same time, Minnie and Moo: Wanted Dead or Alive is a pure joy!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Coco All Year Round


Coco All Year Round
by Sloane Tanen
photography by Stegan Hagen
Bloomsbury Children's Books
ISBN:
1582347093
http://www.sloanetanen.com/


Thank goodness. The elections are over and the chicks can get back to silly business. While the rest of you were voting for the Lesser of Two Weevils, we here at Chick Central were getting acquainted with Coco (no relation to the monkey, Puffs, or Ms. Chanel).

Coco is a chick with a style all her own, no matter the season. In double-spread dioramas, Coco celebrates each month's holiday in true silly chick fashion: she dyes herself green for St. Patrick's Day, dons a T. Rex costume for Halloween, and designs the best-hat-ever for Grandma on Christmas Day. We are especially fond of Coco's favorite toy (a giraffe on wheels) and her pet turtle named Raoul. Better than Barbie any day of the week, Coco shows us that all a chick needs to be cool is a dash of moxie and a big pink bow. Coco in 2008!



Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Clementine

Clementine
By Sara Pennypacker
Illustrated by Marla Frazee
Hyperion Books for Children
ISBN 0786838825


Clementine's week started out fine. On Monday she had exactly enough bananas for every mouthful of cereal AND she was excused from Journal Writing. Two lucky signs for sure! But when her best friend Margaret experiences severe hair problems, Clementine takes it upon herself to fix them, which is not an easy task with those plastic art scissors. As soon as the art teacher sees Margaret's hair she goes all historical, and then Margaret goes all historical, and Clementine winds up in the principal's office for the umpteenth time that month. So begins Clementine's catastrophic week, filled with ceiling snakes and Pigeon Wars and a bazillion trips to the principal's office.

This young chapter book should be tucked into every third grader's backpack. Pennypacker has created a thoroughly believable, quirky character with a unique voice and a fresh take on life. Clementine is a giggle-filled masterpiece stuffed with love, humor, pointy things and cats named Mascara. Move over, Junie B, Eloise, and Ramona. Clementine is in town, and we couldn't be happier!