Sunday, September 30, 2007

Iggy Peck, Architect

by Andrea Beaty
Illustrated by David Roberts
Abrams Books for Young Readers
ISBN 13: 978-0810911062

Hip! Hip! Hurray! Iggy is here!

Tomorrow morning, something very exciting is going to happen. Andrea's new book, IGGY PECK, ARCHITECT, will be released into the wild!

Iggy is born to build. And build he does. At the age of two, he builds a great
tower out of diapers and glue. Are they clean diapers? Not exactly. But, hey! When a boy's gotta build, a boy's gotta build!

Iggy has it made until he meets his match in second grade. His teacher, Miss Lila Greer, has a lot to say about architecture. She has issues. (She was scarred for life when she was lost in a skyscraper as a young girl and found by a French Circus Troupe. It was tres tragique.)

When she bans Iggy from building, it turns second grade into a bore. But one catastrophic field trip turns everything around when Iggy proves to the world that "there are worse things to do, when you're in grade two, than to spend your time building a dream!"

This book has it all. dirty diapers, a wacko neighbor, cool buildings, and fun, funny, funky, fabulous illustrations by David Roberts. He rocks! You can check out some of the pics here.

We hope you'll stop by Andrea's website in a couple of weeks. She's planning lots of cool school activities and helpful downloads for teachers, librarians, and booksellers. It will take her that long to get them done, though, because she's too busy right now celebrating by chowing down on bean dip, salsa, and chips and doing the cha-cha with a chicken on her head! It's so wrong. So terribly, terribly wrong.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Marcel Marceau

1923 - 2007

We are a little sad today at the coop, having just learned that Marcel Marceau has died. Here's a link to the NY Times Obituary.

It's true that we like to poke a little fun at mimes. Actually, we like to poke a lot of fun at mimes, but we do it out of love. (And because mimes, like clowns, can be a really scary sometimes.) However, there is a warm spot in our chicky hearts for Monsieur Marceau. He was a kind man dedicated to peace, a truly amazing artist, and a member of the French Resistance!

We shall think of him next time we are riding a bicycle, being buffeted by the wind, or trying to get out of a box. Things he could do better than anyone else!

Watch a video!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Piano Piano

Piano Piano
Written by Davide Cali
Illustrated by Eric Heliot
ISBN 9781580891712

Any child or chick who's ever been forced to take piano lessons will not only marvel at the tragicomic tour de force that is Piano Piano, but will immediately be tempted to send a copy to her well-meaning yet strongly misguided mother who made her practice the piano every day for YEARS, driving everyone within earshot to great despair and needless misery. (But we digress.)

In Piano Piano, young Marcolino would rather be anything other than the grand pianist his mother wishes him to be: "a grand pirate...a grand flying acrobat...a grand karate champion...anything but a grand pianist!" But taskmaster Mom lays a guilt trip on him big time. When Marcolino asks her why she doesn't become a grand pianist, she blames him: "...after you were born, I didn't have time to practice." Ouch! It takes a little talk with Grandpa and a few old photos before Mom sees the error of her ways and cuts Marcolino some well-deserved slack. While Davide Cali's text pokes fun at the mother, it's done in a loving and forgiving way, while Eric Heliot's sharp, modern illustrations heighten the humor in all the right ways. A perfect composition!

Monday, September 17, 2007

In the Coop with Mo Willems

We love Mo Willems. And though we already know so much about him from the very useful clues in our contest, we wanted to know more. So we asked. And Mo answered!

Mo's Website
Mo's Blog
The Pigeon Presents

We are especially excited because Mo has a new book out in stores even as we speak. It's called Knuffle Bunny Too. To read more about it, check here.

Thanks, Mo! And thanks to all our readers who stopped by to play along in our last contest! Here's to a great new year at Three Silly Chicks!

When you create a book, do the pictures or story come to you first?

Pictures or words never come to me, I actively seek them out.

As a cartoonist, I find the supposed division between images and words perplexing and arbitrary. It’s like asking if I walk with my feet or my eyes; take away either at any time and I’m guaranteed to stumble.

Is your latest book Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity autobiographical?

Everything in that book is true except the parts I made up.

The non-fiction is that I live in Brooklyn, NY with an irrepressible daughter and wife who, unlike me, is wiser than she is tall. The fiction is the part that reminds me to be a better dad than I actually am.

How do you know when what you write is funny??

The trick is to develop the ability to tell when your writing isn’t funny. Then all you have to do is take the unfunny out and trust your audience to enjoy whatever is left.

Can the pigeon operate other large motorized vehicles?

The Pigeon’s skills are limitless, his insurance premiums, however, can be problematic.

Do you have any tips for writing funny books?

Short answer: Keep the body count very small or very, very large.

On a practical level, the characters I create don’t know they’re funny. Instead, they approach the absurd situations they’re forced into with utmost seriousness and determination. The funny comes from watching them fail wholeheartedly.

Do you have any tips for illustrating funny books?

Short answer: Keep the body count very small or very, very large.

On a practical level, the characters I create don’t know they’re funny. Instead, they approach the absurd situations they’re forced into with utmost seriousness and determination. The funny comes from watching them fail wholeheartedly.

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

Oh yes, both. During high school, I was nearly suspended for including the word ‘fart’ in a cartoon in the student paper, a notorious scandal quickly labeled “Fartgate” (I know it sounds crazy, but you must remember that I attended a conservative prep school in the South during the late Renaissance).

Any-hoo, to clear the air, I was compelled to pen a public mea culpa to all offended Faculty members and student body. Contritely, I produced a document apologizing for my “uncivilized and regrettable mention of anal gaseous emissions in one of the State’s oldest running publications” and added as a post-script, “P.S. This whole fart thing stinks, but it will blow over soon.”

And you know what? It did.

What are some of your favorite funny books?????

I grew up on Peanuts and Doonesbury anthologies, Woody Allen’s Without Feathers and the radio scripts for Doug Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, but choosing favorites is like picking teams in second grade, someone funny always gets left out.

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

The Dull Adventures of the Lucky Little Boy Whose Wife Made Bolognese Every Night And Never Had to Do the Dishes

Do you prefer The Marx Bros or Three Stooges?

Are you kidding? Even without Harpo the Marx Brothers would be the funniest comedy group ever to grace The Great White Way or The Silver Screen. Harpo’s gleefully surreal shtick adds sublimity to the mix.

The Three Stooges punch each other, right?

What was your best Halloween costume ever?

An other time I got in trouble in High School was when I arrived on Halloween in khakis, pressed oxford shirt, and letter jacket. Satire trumps Vampire, I say.

What is your Dream Job for a Day?

Sheep farmer.


Clown V. Mime Deathmatch.? Pick your winner.

Who’s Mime Deathmatch? She sounds all sexy and goth and obtusely mysterious. I’ll take the clown.

Funniest dead person you'd like to meet??

The dead are, by and large, the least funny people you are likely to meet, which is, frankly, odd. I mean, they don’t have to worry about deadlines, or book reviews, or marketing plans, do they?

Actually, Harpo

Friday, September 14, 2007

Happy Birthday, Chicks! And the Winner Is . . . .

Happy Birthday!
Three Silly Chicks!

Dear Readers,

It's our first blogging birthday, and we want to thank you for coming to visit our coop during our first year. We've had so much fun and can't wait to keep on rolling with lots of wonderful book reviews, contests, pie fights, pie eating, bean dip, and of course wonderful interviews with super-talented funny authors and illustrators!

We hope you've enjoyed the year, too, and will keep stopping by the coop to visit!!!

Thank you so much!

The Three Silly Chicks

And now, it's time to reveal our Mystery Guest! Drum roll . . . . .

The Mystery Guest is the Amazing Mo Willems!

But wait! Can we prove it? Why yes we can! Let's consider the evidence:

1. Mo Willems is bigger than a breadbox. This is true. We actually placed Mo in a breadbox to see if he would fit. He did not (in one piece). He did, however, leave footprints in our Wonder Bread and complain that we needed a bigger breadbox. Preferably one with airholes.

2. Mo Willems has more hair than Kenny Chesney and less hair than Chewbacca. See for yourself:

3. Mo Willems is living. (Th
ough he is a little bit squished up and now has bits of Wonder Bread stuck between his toes. Sorry, Mo!)

4. Mo Willems writes and illustrates kids' books. And the world is a better place because of it!

5. Mo does not write in rhyme. At least not at this time. At least we haven't seen any rhyming books by him. (But then, we didn't really check, so maybe we were cheating a bit on this one!) Bad Chicks.

6. Mo Willems is for the birds. And our favorite bird is the Pigeon.

7. Mo Willems is not a grouch (except when stuffed into a breadbox), but he probably knows one! And of course, we're talking about Oscar the Grouch here! As many of you know, Mo has 6 won Emmy Awards for his writing on Sesame Street. And you know we Chicks love Sesame Street! Big Bird is our hero.

We're so excited to welcome Mo to the coop! We will post our interview on Monday! (And it's a hoot!)

And now, the MO-ment we've all been waiting for!

It's time to announce the winner of our Mystery Guest Contest!

There were so many good guesses from our lovely readers. (And some less good ones, but we loved them all!) Six of you guessed correctly: Tammi, Linda Skeers, Jenny, Renee, Lisa Yee, and Pamela.

Your names were entered into a drawing conducted by the same people who pick the winners for the Oscars out of a hat! (And you thought someone voted on them!)

And the Oscar (or the Super Duper Bag O'goodness from the Three Silly Chicks) goes to Jenny!

Congratulations, Jenny! Just send us your snail mail addy to, and we'll send you your prize!

Also, Chris, Lisa Yee, Linda Skeers, Joann, & Cyn all win Chick Magnets for being the first five folks to enter our contest! Send us your addresses, folks! And thank you for playing!!!!

Final clue!

Just a quick little note to remind everybody that today is the day we announce our Mystery Guest!

We've had some wonderful guesses so far. Some of them may be wrong. Some of them may be right!

If you haven't guessed yet, do it now!

If you have guessed, guess again!

We will pick the winner from all the correct guesses.

And for one final clue: Our mystery guest is not a grouch, but probably knows one!

Hmmm. Who could it be? Just leave us a message with your guess!

Winners will be announced tonight when the Chicks are done with dinner. That means about 6:30 central time (Or longer if we eat taffy for dinner. Which we often do.)

Good luck!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Mystery Guest Contest: Clue Three!

Sing along, everybody:

Mystery Guest . . .
Are you ready for our Mystery Guest?
Will he be a dream? Hmmmm?
Or a dud? Awwww!

No way our guest is a dud. No way at all!

Though we didn't think we would tell before the contest ended, we have changed our yellow brains and decided to say that no one has yet guessed our guest! Say that five times fast!

So, it's time to break out some new clues, one or two. (Typed up in blue.) We love a rhyme. Don't you?

Just post a message to enter your guesses! Contest ends on Friday!

Mystery Guest Clues:

1. Bigger than a bread box.
2. More hair than Kenny Chesney but less than Chewbacca
3. He's living (at least the last time we checked)
4. Writes AND illustrates kids' books
5. Does not write in rhyme. At least not at this time.
He's for the birds.

Good luck!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Mystery Guest Contest: Clue Two!

Remember folks, this contest is like a Chicago election. You can vote early and vote often. Heck, you can even vote if you are dead! Everyone else in Chicago does!

Here's Clue Number Two!

Clue Two: Our Mystery Guest has more hair than Kenny Chesney and less hair than Chewbacca (see scientific figure 172.3)

Scientific figure 172.3:

Pretty obvious who it is now, eh?

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

A Celebration and a Contest, too!

What's going on?

The Three Silly Chicks are fluffin' up our feathers, cleaning off our glasses, breaking out the tortilla chips, and getting ready to celebrate!

"Why?" you ask. "Because," we answer, "our anniversary is almost here!"

We began our blog on September 14, 2006 and
what a year!

We've read so many great & funny books and interviewed some of our favorite funny writers and illustrators:
Lisa Wheeler, Lisa Yee, Aaron Reynolds, Cyn & Greg Leitich Smith, Kevin O'Malley, Esme Codell, David Lubar, Kara & Jenna LaReau, John Manders, Dori Chaconas, Margie Palatini, Kelly DiPucchio!

Interviewing fantastic, funny people is our favorite thing (next to bean dip), so we can't wait to interview more fantastic, funny people!

But first, we feel like having a party and nothing puts us in the party mood faster than bean dip! Sadly, nothing ends a party in a small coop faster than bean dip.

So we're going to have a contest, instead! And here it is:

Mystery Guest

Are you ready for our Mystery Guest?

1. Contest begins NOW!
2. Guess the secret identity of our Mystery Guest! (Click on "comments" down below to leave your guess.)
3. All correct guesses will be entered in a drawing for the grand prize*
4. Grand prize winner will be announced on September 14!
5. First five entries will win a Chick Magnet**
6. First Clue: Our Mystery Guest is bigger than a bread box

* Grand Prize is one of the following:

  • A vat of bean dip
  • An emu
  • An emu in a vat of bean dip
  • A super-duper-bag-o'-goodness from the Three Silly Chicks. Bag includes autographed copies of books by Andrea Beaty, Carolyn Crimi, and Julia Durango. Also includes assorted items from our drawer of silliness (not to be confused with our silly drawers as shown here.)
** Chick magnets are not guaranteed to attract chicks, hot babes, hot Emus or hot tamales. May present a choking hazard to Emu, ostriches, and other humorously large birds. Chick magnets are guaranteed to look extremely cute and hold scraps of paper on your refrigerator door so you can ignore them while searching for bean dip.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

A Dog Needs A Bone

A Dog Needs a Bone
Written and Illustrated by Audrey Wood
The Blue Sky Press
ISBN-10 054500005X

One silly chick couldn't believe her luck when she passed a book on the bookstore shelves that featured a PUG and was written and illustrated by the fabulous Audrey Wood. Swoon City! True, she had to push aside a few pesky four year-olds who naively thought the book was for them. But honestly, that's what they get for standing in the way of a Chick on a Mission.

The persistent Pug in this tale wants just one thing--a bone, goshdarnnit! He will gladly sweep floors, answer phones and treat his mistress like a queen on a throne, all for a simple bone. We can relate. The three silly chicks have been known to do all that and then some for a scoop of Ben and Jerry's Chubby Hubby ice-cream with hot chocolate sauce.

We love that Audrey Wood created these illustrations with crayons on brown paper bags. What could be easier than to have kids make their own books using these materials? Kids will also love finding all the bones hidden on each page.

Not only does Audrey Wood own two Pugs, she also has 20 chickens. Paging Audrey Wood! We want a chicken book, please!