Saturday, April 26, 2008

Rabbit & Squirrel - A Tale of War and Peas

Rabbit & Squirrel: A Tale of War and Peas
by Kara LaReau
Illustrated by Scott Magoon
Harcourt Children's Books
ISBN-13: 978-0152063078

Once upon a time, there was a lovely, fluffy pink and sparkly book about a happy rabbit named Rabbit and her best friend, Squirrel. This is NOT that book.


We Chicks love sweet fluffiness in our cupcakes. We do NOT love sweet fluffiness pressed between the covers of a book. It makes the pages stick together and that makes us cranky.

We love books that tell us a good story in a funny, smart, and slightly mischievous way. Rabbit & Squirrel: A Tale of War and Peas is such a book. This new title is brought to us by Kara LaReau and Scott Magoon who recently collaborated on the wickedly dry underwater saga, Ugly Fish.

This is no corny tale of competition between friends. Rabbit and Squirrel are not friends. They are neighbors who barely notice each other until someone starts raiding their gardens. They jump to bad conclusions, blaming each other for the destruction. It is war!

Even when the true culprit is revealed, Rabbit and Squirrel can't let it go. They just don't know when to say when. Where will it end? (Sorry. You have to read the book to find out.)

LaReau's smart text is perfectly balanced with Magoon's nuanced illustrations which reveal Rabbit's and Squirrel's surprising breadth of emotion. If you've ever wondered what a vengeful rabbit or a suspicious squirrel might look like, this is the book for you. (If you haven't wondered that, what have you been doing with your spare time?)

Rabbit & Squirrel is no garden variety morality tale. It is a simple story that makes a big point without ever getting preachy or gooey. Exactly what we like to find between the covers of a book!

Monday, April 14, 2008


by Leslie Helakoski
Illustrated by Lee Harper
ISBN: 978-0060847265

Woolbur was a little lamb whose fleece was white as snow...until, of course, he decided to dye himself a bright, snappy blue:

"You look unbelievable!" said Paa.

"I know," said Woolbur. "Isn't it great?"

"It will never wash out!" said Maa.

"I know, " said Woolbur. "Isn't it great?"

Whether he's carding, spinning, or weaving, Woolbur's uncoventional approach to wool causes his nervous parents to pull their own wool at night, waiting for the day when Woolbur will finally follow the flock. "It's what we sheep do," say Maa and Paa, begging him to change his ways.

But Woolbur's spirited individuality can't be sheared, and before long he has the rest of the flock following him. Woolbur is the perfect yarn to share with kids who dare to be different, as well as those who need a nudge to let their own light shine. Go Woolbur!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

And the Winner is . . .

We have a winner to our contest! Jim, come on down! You're the winner of a copy of Andrea's new book, DOCTOR TED! Please send us an e-mail at with your snail mail and we'll send it right out for you!

Kara/Jenna, Donna, Tammi, and Kramerchronicle, e-mail us with your addy's, too, and we'll send you a token of our esteem. Or a steamed token. Or a steamed Tolkien!

Thanks to everyone who entered! We enjoyed your videos and jokes!

The Chicks

Monday, April 07, 2008

The Cow That Laid An Egg

Written by Andy Cutbill
Illustrated by Russell Ayto
ISBN 978-00613772957

Just when you thought there couldn't possibly be another picture book set in a barnyard--Ta-da-MOO! A new, fresh barnyard story is hatched, thanks to Andy Cutbill and Russell Ayto!

Lovely Marjorie the cow (who is blessed with the kind of long, lush lashes that would make a mascara ad model green with envy) doesn't feel very special. After all, she can't ride bicycles or do handstands like the other cows at the farm. In an effort to cheer her up, the chickens plant an egg in her stall. Soon everyone on the farm is clucking about the egg that Marjorie laid-- except for the cows, who are suspicious. Will Marjorie be able to prove that she is indeed a special egg-laying cow?

This book incorporates the three important S's--Silly, Sweet and Succinct. The wild, zingy colors and whimsical illustrations add lots of panache to this funny tale.

And of course, we LOVE the fact that chickens are prominently featured! Ayto's chickens are almost as cute as we are.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

April Fools' Contest!

It's April Fools' Day!

We LOVE April Fools' Day. It makes us feel all clever and sly and like such tricksy Hobbitses.

Who knows what mischief we might get into here at the Coop with our fresh vat of nacho cheese and a carton of stink bombs at our disposal!

But we're not the only clever ones around!

As readers of our blog, you have proven yourselves quite the smartcicles.

So, are you up for a contest?

Here's the deal: Leave us a message and tell us about a clever trick you have pulled on someone or had pulled upon you or even just one that you heard about.

Or . . .

Tell us a joke or a riddle! We love jokes and riddles!

Or . . .

Leave us a link to a silly website or video! You know how we love silly!

On April 8, 2008 we will pick winners from all those who entered. The grand prize (drawn randomly) will be an autographed copy of Andrea's Brand-Spanking NEW picture book, DOCTOR TED!!!!!!

(Note: While saying that DOCTOR TED is brand-spanking new, we do not in any way imply that he spanks any brands. However, he does administer fine medical advice and has been known to administer cookies as needed and can diagnose measles, gingivitis, and foot odor.)

Here's a great review where you can learn more about Ted. This one includes some fabulous pics from DOCTOR TED. Here's another. And a podcast, too! But wait... we digress! That happens when we get to talking about bears with stethoscopes. We'll post more about DOCTOR TED very soon!

Meanwhile, back to the contest . . .

Five other lucky winners will receive mystery prizes to be named when we figure out what that stuff is in the back of our refrigerator and if it can be legally shipped via the US Postal Service!!!!

These winners will be selected by being funny, clever, or just lucky that everyone else was playing bunco and forgot to enter. Hey, it's all good!

You can play early and play often!