Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Gone Fishin'!

It's summertime and the livin' is easy! It's time to break out the poles and the bean dip and go fishing!

We Chicks are taking off a little time so we can enjoy some great summer weather, do some writing, and maybe catch us some fishies (or more likely catch forty winks and some sun while we laze at the lake)! While we're gone, we hope you have a great summer and read some fantastic books.

But even though we have the bait and poles packed and the bean dip is strapped to the roof of the car, there's something we have to do before we sneak away for a few weeks. We have to let you know about our new books!

We have been very busy lately. And not just creating papier-mache art on the ceiling of the coop, though we are very talented in that area as well. (BTW, We think Charmin works best for this.) No, we have been busy writing and we each have new books to show for it!

So if you're looking for something funny to read, try Carolyn's new picture book called Where's My Mummy? illustrated by John Manders. (Yes, THE John Manders who also illustrated Henry and the Buccaneer Bunnies!) Fun! Fun! Fun! Oh how we love it when these two make books!

And then there's Andrea's new picture book, Doctor Ted, illustrated by Pascal LeMaitre. It's just what the doctor ordered for kids with big ideas and anyone in need of a good laugh. You can find out more here.

"But Chicks!" you say, "What if I'm not in a funny mood? What if my funny bone is not feeling--well--funny? What if I want something more? What if I want books that will drop me down into someone else's life? Someone else's world? Stories that offer some drama or maybe some mystery and that will stay with me after I've finished reading? What then? What on Earth will I read?"

Never fear! We've got you covered! Both Julia and Andrea have written novels! Dramatic novels!

Julia makes her debut in The Walls of Cartagena which takes us into the life of Calepino, the young interpreter who helps Father Pedro take care of the slaves brought into port city of Cartagena. When he meets Mara and Tomi, a mother and son who remind him of his own past, Calepino tries to find a way to save them. Will this be his chance to change someone else's fortune, or will he put them all in more peril? A beautiful and powerful novel from a truly talented chick! The Walls of Cartagena will be published on July 29!

Andrea also makes her debut as a novelist this year with Cicada Summer, the tale of Lily Mathis and Tinny Bridges. Both are girls with secrets. Both are girls in danger. One from her past and a loss that threatens to devour her. The other from a stranger who comes to small town Olena. Lily has read every Nancy Drew book in the library, but will what she has learned help her find out what happened to Tinny? And can she do so without revealing her own secrets?

We hope you have a delightful summer! We will return in the fall with lots of new book reviews and interviews and some silliness! And if we're really lucky, we'll bring back lots of fish! Or a tan! Or some tan fish! Now THAT would be something to see!

Happy Reading!

The Chicks

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

A Birthday for Cow!

A Birthday for Cow!
Written and illustrated by Jan Thomas

Harcourt ISBN 9780152060725

A while back we worried what Fat Cat would sit on. Now Jan Thomas has us concerned about Cow's birthday. She sure keeps us on pins and needles, that Jan Thomas!

Things start out beautifully in this short, short picture book. It's cow's birthday, and her friends Pig, Mouse and Duck are going to make her the best birthday cake EVER. Pig and Mouse put the necessary sugar, flour and eggs in a big bowl. But just as they are about to stir, Duck asks if he can add a turnip. Who ever heard of a turnip in a birthday cake? Pig and Mouse know this is just plain wrong, so every time Duck suggests it they turn him down.

Duck is a bit obsessed with that turnip. Which is of course what makes the book so hysterically funny. On just about every page he's asking if he can add that silly turnip, much to the dismay of Mouse and Pig, who are sensible creatures. They keep refusing, until a twist in the simple plot causes them to rethink turnips and birthday cakes altogether.

Jan Thomas has a real talent for writing and illustrating super short books. Do you know how hard it is to tell a story in less than 100 words? Trust us, it's tough! We admire her for that alone. But the woman can draw funny pictures as well. And while we don't know too much about text type, we do know that we love the text type Eatwell Chubby and Chaloops. Because honestly, how can you NOT love the something called Eatwell Chubby and Chaloops?

This is the perfect birthday gift for the preschool crowd. Serve it up with milk and turnips!