Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Chicks Sighting!

Dear Readers!

The chicks are leaving the coop!

Next Saturday, February 10, we will be attending the Fifth Annual Children's Literature Breakfast hosted by Anderson's Bookshop in Naperville, Illinois. This event brings together dozens of children's authors and hundreds of teachers, librarians, and other folk who love children's books!

Here's the link for more information about this wonderful event:

Anderson's Children's Literature Breakfast

<----- Julia, Carolyn, and Andrea will be signing our books!

If you are attending this great event, please stop by and say "Bwock!"

But wait! You have a question!

"How will you recognize us among so many other authors?" you ask.

Just look for the fluffy yellow authors with funny glasses!!!!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

17 Things I'm Not Allowed to Do Anymore

by Jenny Offill
Illustrated by Nancy Carpenter
Schwartz & Wade Books

Random House Books for Children

ISBN – 978-0375-83596-4

There are some things in life that are just plain funny. Stapling your brother’s hair to his pillow is one of them. Watching him cling to your mother’s waist with the pillow still attached is another. In the fabulous new picture book, 17 THINGS I’M NOT ALLOWED TO DO ANYMORE, Jenny Offill explores the trouble an earnest kid with great ideas can get into. From telling her brother’s fortune (He’ll soon be eaten by hyenas.) to freezing a fly into the ice cube tray to running away to live with the kind and happy beavers, the main character gets in trouble at every turn. By the end of the book, she has 17 things she’s not supposed to do anymore. Fortunately, she has 18 brilliant ideas!

This book is a joy! Carpenter’s art combines her perfectly expressive illustrations and photography to capture the heart of this exasperating and endearing character. We only wish she had 30 things she couldn’t do anymore so we could read more about her! Bravo!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

In the Coop with Kevin O'Malley!

We have a visitor in the coop! Who can it be?

He's bigger than a breadbox, stronger than a batch of Aunt Melma's Rum Cookies, and able to leap a frog in a single bound!

Of course, he's Kevin O'Malley, illustrator (and/or author) of over 40 picture books including WHO KILLED COCK ROBIN?, ONCE UPON A COOL MOTORCYCLE DUDE, and the Miss Malarkey series. We are so excited to welcome Kevin to the coop!

How do you know when what you write is funny?
I think a lot of stuff is funny. A lot of stuff I think is funny makes it into the dummy books I pitch to publishers. Publishers often don't share my sense of humor.

Do you have any tips for writing funny books?
Read as many humorists as you can. Don't read anything written by Russians.

Has being funny ever gotten you into or out of trouble?
I gave my 5th grade teacher an Irish seven course meal (a six pack and a potato). He called my dad. My dad sat me down. I thought I was done for. My father told me, with a twinkle in his eye, "Next time give him the cheap stuff."

What are some of your favorite funny books?
There are just too many to name.

If you could live in one of your books, which one would you choose?
That's a stiffening question. I can't imagine living in any of them. I'm a 3-d guy. I couldn't live all flattened out and getting dusty on a B&N shelf.

Who do you like more, The Marx Brothers or Three Stooges?
The Marx Bros without a doubt. I love reading the humorist S.J. Pearlman. He wrote several of the screen plays for their movies. I will skip a good party to watch 'Duck Soup' or 'A night at the Opera.'

What was your best Halloween costume?
My mother dressed my three brothers and me as convicts in striped prison garb complete with ball and chains. We marched along in the schools Halloween parade. We killed 'um! My mother followed along with a big stick in her hand. She said "What we have here is a failure to communicate."

What is your Dream Job for a day?
Playing jazz guitar along with my big brother on the up-right bass.

Clown V. Mime Deathmatch. Pick your winner.
It would be over in seconds. Mimes in the ring. The sight of the bozo make-up terrorizes him. First he'd try to make the 'trapped in glass box'. Then he'd fight a strong wind as he tried to get out of the ring, but the clown would just keep coming, seltzer bottle in hand. A quick blast of water and it would all be over. The mime is revealed to be a Vassar Grad who majored in Elizabethan poetry and thinks Marcel Marso is hot.
Happily the clown spends months in rehab after tangling his oversized shoes in the roping and tumbling to the floor.

Funniest dead person you'd like to meet?
Jean Shepherd or Erma Bombeck.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Our Librarian Won't Tell Us Anything

Our Librarian Won't Tell Us Anything
written by Toni Buzzeo
illustrated by Sachiko Yoshikawa
Upstart Books
ISBN: 978-1932146752

This weekend, millions (if not thousands) of librarians will descend upon Seattle for the mid-winter American Library Association conference. What better way to celebrate this conglomeration of literature lovers than to review a brand new book about (wait for it . . .) a librarian? Luckily, we have the brand-spanking new offering by one of our favorite authors, Toni Buzzeo.

Mrs. Skorupski is the school librarian at Liberty Elementary. Word in the school is that she won't tell you anything so don't even bother asking. And it's true. Robert wants a book . . . she takes him to the card catalog. When he wants an article online . . . she makes him do the typing. What's that about? This lady is on a twinkle-eyed mission to raise "library success stories" and she succeeds.

Mrs. Skorupski is a school librarian's dream come true. With a twinkle in her eye, a bounce in her step, and glasses so cool it makes silly chicks drool, she reminds us a bit of Ms. Frizzle - without the bus! Yoshikawa's bright and playful illustrations compliment the text wonderfully and keep the mood light even while readers learn just a tad about using the library. Our Librarian Won't Tell Us Anything is a great addition to any elementary school library!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Slugs in Love

Slugs in Love
Written by Susan Pearson
Illustrated by Kevin O'Malley
Marshall Cavendish
ISBN 978-0-7614-5311-6

Why we're crazy about SLUGS IN LOVE:

1. No cute
teddy bears, bunny wabbits, or puddy tats to be found here. Just slugs. All slugs, all the time.

2. While it's true that they're romantic, pining, poetry-writing slugs...these slugs write poems with their own slime.

That's right. Slugs + Slime + Poetry = Love. Here's the scoop:

Marylou, a shy slug with charming pink bows on her eye stalks, loves Herbie...but Herbie doesn't even know she exists. Marylou starts leaving Herbie romantic poems in various locations. Herbie tries to leave poems for Marylou in return, but his attempts are always foiled.

Marylou is in despair. Why won't Herbie notice her?!

Herbie is in despair. Who the heck is Marylou?!

Fortunately, Pearson and O'Malley come through with a happy, slime-filled ending guaranteed to please slugs and readers alike. Vive l'amour!

Monday, January 08, 2007

Mr. Pusskins, A Love Story

Mr. Pusskins, A Love Story
Written and illustrated by Sam Lloyd

ISBN 1416925171

Emily adores her cranky cat, Mr. Pusskins. She combs him, plays mouse games with him, and tells him what a handsome boy he is. None of that matters to Mr. Pusskins, who is bored with all her "blah blah blah." He decides to leave one night in search of adventure and naughty fun with the Pesky Cat Gang. After a while, though, he starts to miss Emily and her kind ways. His naughty fun isn't quite as much fun as it used to be. He wants his Emily back!

Lloyd's loose, expressive brushwork and bright palette make for exciting spreads, and her comical style captures Mr. Pusskins in all his scowling glory. This funny tale of unconditional love will be a welcome change from the more typical "I Love You" Valentine's Day books on the shelves now.