Friday, March 30, 2007

A meme!

We've been tagged for a meme by Mother Reader. This actually happened last week, but we were confused.

We thought meme was the sound the Road Runner makes when he sneaks up behind Wiley Coyote causing the Coyote to fly into the air and hit the road just in time to be hit by a truck.


That sound scares us. We are only small chicks (with glasses) and could so easily be crushed by dropping coyotes or coyote droppings.

We were relieved to learn that a meme is a survey, not a funny cartoon noise!

So, we are happy to respond to Mother Reader's very generous invitation and we will now name our favorite NON-kids lit blogs. Our apologies for taking so long!

We love these blogs:

A Librarian's Guide to Etiquette
The Lipstick Librarian (Diary of a library fashionista)
Found Magazine - a journal of odd things found here and there.
Boing Boing - A directory of wonderful things
Writers Almanac - Cause sometimes you need a poem and a little bit of calm
Go Fug Yourself - Bad fashion made snarky

We are supposed to tag others for this Mee-Mee, but we don't want to frighten anyone with our wily sound. So, consider yourself tagged if you are brave. Just leave us a note if you wish to play, and tell us 5 of your favorite non-kidslit blogs!

And speaking of Mother Reader, in today's post, she includes a poem from one of our favorite new books, REACHING FOR SUN by the gloriously talented Tracie Vaughn Zimmer.


Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Bwock! Bwock! It's a Book!!!!!

March is almost gone, and while most people are trying to figure out if March came in like a lamb or a lion, we are having a celebration in the coop!

That's because yesterday was the official release date of Julia Durango's beautiful new book, ANGELS WATCHING OVER ME illustrated by Elisa Kleven (Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing- ISBN 978-0689862526)

ANGELS is a tender, beautiful, inspiring lullaby perfect for bedtime or any quiet moment.

Julia talks about the inspiration for ANGELS in her blog.
Hurray for Julia!!!! Hurray for ANGELS WATCHING OVER ME!

By the way, if you're still trying to figure it out, March might have come in like a lion this year, but it's going out like an Angel!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

In the Coop with David Lubar

It's hard not to like a guy who writes about teen misfits with super freaky powers.

It's even tougher not to be excessively fond of a guy who writes about
alien devices that can turn you into Elvis Presley or Queen Victoria.

But it's absolutely impossible not to love a guy who writes about weenies of
various sorts.

Hence, we chicks adore
David Lubar. Keep reading and join the fan club!

How do you know when what you write is funny?
I have an immediate urge to share it with anyone who has the misfortune of being nearby. This is especially the case with small things – one liners or bits of dialogue that I become sort of like a yapping lap dog as I chase my wife down and start chanting, “Read my blog. Read it now. Please. Right now.” It’s much harder to get someone to drop everything and immediately read a whole novel. I suspect my comic sense has also been honed by exposing myself to huge quantities of humor. I’ll always opt for a funny book, or movie, over a sad one. I watch a lot of standup comedy, and try never to miss Jon Stewart. I’ve also done enough reading aloud to get a sense for what works. There’s no tougher audience than 7th graders.

Do you have any tips for writing funny books?
I think the main thing to keep in mind is the audience. A stunningly funny passage that requires the reader to be familiar with Henry Mancini, the classical Aztec language, and the exact caloric content of a guava might work fine with a MENSA member, but is going to die on contact when offered to a teen. I should also point out that while there are times when I set out to write something funny, such as when I’m writing a short humor piece, a blog post, or my VOYA column, most of the time I just write, and I have no idea whether any particular scene will be funny, dramatic, horrifying, beautiful, or all of the above. I’ve never sat down with the intention of writing a funny novel. Maybe that’s why the comic and dramatic intertwine in my works. Don Gallo recently asked me for a funny story for his next anthology. I started out with something light, but the plot took a major twist into darkness, and ended up being the most intense story I’ve ever written.

Has being funny ever gotten you into or out of trouble?
Into trouble on a daily basis. There is this constant flow of puns running through my brain, and I sometimes can’t resist the urge to share them. Being funny probably got me out of some trouble in college because many of my professors found me at least mildly amusing and tended to cut me a break in any sort of borderline situation.

What are some of your favorite funny books?
All of Douglas Adams books, any of Donald Westlake’s humorous novels, The Portable Dorothy Parker (if you feel an instant urge to Spoonerize that title, I feel your pain), The Far Side, P. J. O’Rourke’s books, Chris Crutcher’s King of the Mild Frontier, Joan Bauer’s Rules of the Road, all of Jean Shepherd, James Thurber, and Bruce Coville, to name a few.

If you could live in one of your books, which one would you choose?
Dunk. I set it at a place I love – the Jersey shore. If I could also work in the dunk tank, that would be perfect. I’d have them buying hacksaws to get through the bars. Humor can be so wonderfully lethal.

Who do you like more, The Marx Bros or Three Stooges?
While I’m definitely able to enjoy the Stooges, I love the Marx Brothers. They are brilliant in so many ways, from wordplay and slapstick humor to elaborate comic setups and stunningly absurd or surreal situations. Each of the brothers contributed in a special and unique way. While Groucho stands out from the group, I always thought Karl was under-appreciated.

What was your best Halloween costume?
The best idea I ever had was for me and my wife to dress up as Atari joysticks (this was back in the early 1980’s, when I was working as a game designer). Unfortunately, I’m not very good with cardboard. And even if I was good, I doubt it’s possible to make a joystick costume that actually allows the wearer to sit. Since we wore the costumes to a party, that was a bit of a problem. My best costume as a kid was a skull, based on instructions from Famous Monsters of Filmland’s Monster Makeup Book.

What is your Dream Job for a Day?
Stand-up comic. Or the guy who gets to arrest tailgaiters.

Clown V. Mime Deathmatch. Pick your winner.
Clowns are evil and they are unafraid to fight dirty. The mime goes down in the first ten seconds. Except for his eyes, which remain on the clown’s fingertips, like weepy olives.

Funniest dead person you’d like to meet?
Dennis Miller. I know that, technically, he might appear to still be alive. But the comic part of him seems to have died. If I met it, maybe I could convince it to recapture his body and exorcise the humorless, conservative demon that is controlling it. As for someone who is dead in all senses of the word, and probably making the most of it, that would have to be Charles Addams.

You’ve written about Lawn Weenies and Road Weenies. What kind of weenies can your readers look forward to next?
In September, kids will be able to warm up to Campfire Weenies. I’m pretty excited about this collection. Along with the usual creepy and funny stories, I have a couple sort of mystical ones that popped up out of nowhere. But the title story is definitely a funny one. Especially if you’ve ever encountered Girl Scout songs. I even have a story that explains why clowns are so creepy.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Farmer Ham

Farmer Ham
by Alec Sillifant
Illustrated by Mike Spoor
North-South Books
ISBN: 978-0-7358-2134-7

If there's anything Silly Chicks love, it's a bunch of sassy old birds sitting around cracking themselves up. It reminds us of . . . well . . .us!

The crows on Farmer Ham's farm are fat and sassy. They should be. They spend their days eating the farmer's corn. Try as he might, Farmer Ham can't get rid of them. His yelling and arm waving sends them into fits of laughter. The crows flap up to the phone lines where they sit and taunt him, "Silly Old Farmer Ham!" Finally, Farmer Ham hatches a plan, but it doesn't require any arm waving or yelling. Day after day, he calmly heads to the pond and fishes out an old boot, a ratty scarf or some other slime-encrusted piece of clothing. All the while, the sassy crows mock the farmer. But in the end, it's Farmer Ham who gets the last laugh.

Many of Spoor's lively illustrations are from the crows' perspective and that's where the humor lies. The crows are a funny, clever chorus drawn with pizazz. The close-ups of their tear-filled eyes and knee-slapping fits of laughter contrast perfectly with the steadfast, good-natured Farmer Ham who plods merrily along in search of a solution to his problem. The smooth text and energetic illustrations combine to make a book kids will enjoy immensely.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Happy Bird-Day Julia!!!!

Happy Bird-Day Julia!

We've all been warned to "Beware the Ides of March!"

Well move over you nasty old Ides! There's a new chick in town with a reason to celebrate! It's Julia Durango's birthday!

And doesn't she look Seussical in her birthday chapeau?

We love Julia and hope you'll stop by to wish her a Happy Bird-Day, too!

And in case you didn't know it. Here are 3 important facts about Julia.

1. Julia is the author of SOOOO many amazing books with many more to come. You can find out more here and here!

2. Julia was once crowned Miss Silly-Chick-In-Green-Glasses 2007. It happened about 1 minute ago. She is still waiting for the tiara because Andrea is a sore loser and won't give it up.

3. Besides being an amazing author, Julia is beautiful and smart and sassy and an amazing mom and also the silliest chick we know and we all love her!

Happy Happy to you, Miss Silly-Chick-In-Green-Glasses 2007! May you rule the coop forever!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

We have a winner!!!!

Hurray! Hold on to your red-and-white-stripish hats!!! We have a winner for our Dr. Seuss Celebration Contest!

Come on down Bookbk!!! You win!

And what do you win, you wonder? A plethora of prizes! A bounty of booty! A mother lode of loot!!!

Yes, Bookbk, you win your very own copy of A HATFUL OF SEUSS, your very own Three Silly Chicks Coffee Mug which we didn't even use to drink from (though it made a nice temporary bowl for our goldfish while we cleaned out the tank), and an assortment of unexpected and inexplicably small silly surprises which we would enumerate, but we don't know what that word means.

Congratulations to you and special thanks to all the others who entered, even though they lost and are now very, very sad people but we still love them. And we know that they won't be sad for long because we are sure to have more contests for them so everyone can be a winner!!!!

Bookbk - please e-mail us with your snail mail addy and we will mail your bounty of booty right off to you!

Friday, March 09, 2007

Poultry Friday

It's Friday in the coop and we're feeling extra silly today, so we'd like to take this Very Special Moment to give homage to one of our favorite funny fowls:

Foghorn Leghorn

Voiced by the uber-talented
Mel Blanc, and star of Looney Toon classics such as Banty Raids, Weasel While You Work, and Strangled Eggs, we think Foghorn deserves top roost in the Poultry Coop of Fame.

Foghorn Leghorn: We salute you...ah say, we salute you, son!

p.s. Only 48 more hours to enter our Seussarific contest. Go, go, go!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The Snack Smasher: And Other Reasons Why It's Not My Fault

The Snack Smasher: And Other Reasons Why It's Not My Fault
by Andrea Perry
Illustrated by Alan Snow
Atheneum, 2007
ISBN 0689854692

The Three Silly Chicks are so relieved. We finally understand why we sometimes have bad hair days. No, it's not our hair--it's those awful Scary-Hair-Fairies! We're also relieved to learn that we are not going crazy (contrary to popular belief). There really are Ink Drinkers, thirsty and sly, who sip our ink when we're not looking. And, well, we just knew we didn't snore. It's those dastardly Snorists, of course! The Chicks certainly don't snore.

This zany poetry collection is all about the pesky hobgoblins who create havoc in our lives. We think students will have a great time coming up with their own monsters. What about that big goon who lives in the washing machine and eats our socks? What a pain he is. Or how about the mischievous imp who steals our car keys whenever we're late? That guy needs a name.

We love that this book is out in time for Poetry Month! Funny how that happens.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Contest! (Deadline March 10th)

I know it is wet
And the sun
Is not sunny.
But we can have
Lots of good fun
That is funny!*

Happy Bird-day,
Dr. Seuss!

In honor of
the Cat, the Lorax, the Grinch, and the Man himself, Theodor Seuss Geisel, the chicks are throwing a party in the coop!

WHO'S INVITED? All sneetches (star-bellied and otherwise), whos, obsolete children and YOU!

WHEN? Today through March 10th (midnight, CST).

WHERE? Down below, in the comment section.

HOW? Surely you don't need us to tell YOU how to party, but might we suggest sharing one of your favorite Seuss books, characters, or quotes?

THEN WHAT? Hop on over here to send a birthday card to the Cat. (For every card sent, Random House will donate a book to First Book!)

IS THERE A DOOR PRIZE? Of course! Everyone who comments will be entered in a random drawing. The winning entry will be pulled out of our fantabulous party hat (see above) and announced on Sunday, March 11th, as soon as the chicks wake up and spring ahead. The prize is a surprise. (But if you're one of those people who likes to peek, take a look here and here.)

*lifted from The Cat in the Hat..but you knew that already!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Wolf! Wolf!

Wolf! Wolf!
by John Rocco
ISBN 0-1-4231-0012-3

Wolf is old, tired and friendless. He spends his days fighting a losing battle against the weeds in his garden. When he hears a far-off voice calling, "Wolf! Wolf!" he hauls his creaking, cracking joints down the mountain to see if someone is inviting him to share a meal. He arrives to find a boy who should be minding his goats, but prefers playing tricks on the villagers. Wolf, who (surprisingly) doesn't like tricky boys or angry villagers with sticks, sneaks away. When the boy cries, "Wolf! Wolf!" again, Old Wolf treks back to see if another wolf is stealing the goats. Instead he finds more angry villagers. (Dang those angry villagers!) But when the boy tries to trick those townfolk for the third time, it's the boy who gets tricked and Old Wolf who ends up with a friend and a weed-free garden.

In this clever retelling of The Boy Who Cried Wolf, John Rocco weaves a tight story to show that things aren't always as they seem. From the villagers' point of view, events follow the classic tale. The wolf's vantage point offers a much different reality. His behind-the-scenes account of what really happens might make readers rethink other classic tales. Rocco sets his rendition in long-ago China and illustrates it with warm tones and slightly angular lines. This is a well-written, quietly funny book that is perfect to share with any tricky kid who loves a good tale.