Monday, September 29, 2008

In the Coop with Kevin Sherry

Who's the biggest thing in the publishing ocean these days? That would be author-illustrator Kevin Sherry, whose books I'm The Biggest Thing in the Ocean and I'm the Best Artist in the Ocean made a huge splash in bookstores around the country. Nothing fishy about it, this talented creator is making waves!

How do you know when what you write is funny?

When my editors think it's funny. Ha Ha, just kidding. Actually, I really appreciate it when both babies AND their parents think what I write is funny. I know I'm on to something then.

Do you have any tips for creating funny books?

Read a lot. I've been reading comics and comic strips since I could reach the library shelf. Far Side, Calvin and Hobbes, Garfield, Peanuts, Mad Magazine, everything. Take it all in, and then later it comes out naturally.

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

Actually, I think it got me a detention a few times...but usually it smoothes out a situation.

What are some of your favorite funny books?

I like Dave Barry. He's got some funny books. I've gotten into Patrick McDonnell who writes "Mutts" I think "Mutts" is the best strip on the funny pages.

Do you prefer the Marx Brothers or The Three Stooges?

I am not completely familiar with either. I'm a little too young. You should ask "Simpsons or Seinfeld?"

What was your best Halloween costume ever?

I made a giant bear head out of hardware cloth and fake fur. The eyes were made out of clay. I wore it for halloween(and various other events) for years. I used to combine costumes, for instance, it could be a DOCTOR Bear or a GHOST Bear. One time the bear was Michelangelo from The Ninja Turtles. You can see the bear on YouTube if you search for my name.

Clown Vs. Mime Deathmatch. Pick your winner.

Clowns have lots of weapons or at least access to weapons and mimes would have to "mime" weapons. So weapons.

Funniest dead person you'd like to meet?

Roald Dahl

Mark Twain

Chris Farley

Mitch Hedburg

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Written and illustrated by Melanie Watt
Kids Can Press
ISBN 1554531403

Confession time. The book Chester by Melanie Watt, one of our favorite author-illustrators, is actually a 2007 book.

We know! We are so bad! How could we have missed this perfect picture book? Were we punchy from too much bean dip? It's entirely possible. Please don't hold it against us. If it really bugs you, well, just pretend it's a 2008 book.

The mouse in this book (called simply "mouse") keeps trying to tell his story, but the pushy-yet-lovable cat Chester will not stop interrupting. He barges in with his red marker and crosses everything out the poor mouse writes. Mouse tries scaring Chester away with a big dog, but it's no use. Finally the author takes matters into her own hands. Her clever plan to put Chester in his place involves a tutu and a tiara. But will that really keep the pesky Chester away?

Every inch of this book is a pleasure, from the "place award sticker here" space on the cover to the biography of Chester himself on the back flap. We love how the author has played with the boundaries of a book to come up with something truly original and funny, even if it is a 2007 book.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Attack of the Return of the Sequels

We've all experienced it. The satisfying yearning a great movie leaves in its wake. We want more and can't wait to get it. And yet, wait we must. We wait and we wait and we wait. And then the glorious day arrives and we head out to the Cineplex with great trepidation and about a hundred dollars for Goobers, Dots, Mikes and Ikes and Whoppers. Hey! A Chick gets hungry watching movies!

And when all is right in the universe and the stars are aligned, the sequel brings us great joy and new and wonderful friends like this:

And we love it and celebrate by diving beak-first into our extra large buttered popcorn and gulping down a king kong-sized lemondade and squirming in our seats for the next hour because the sequel is too delicious to miss even a minute.

Of course, sometimes, we make friends like this instead:

Then, we are a little sad and bury ourselves in our extra large and very heavily buttered popcorn and king kong-sized lemonade and squirm in our seats because we know that if we leave the theater for even a minute, we might not come back.

Alas, movie sequels are tricky things. Sometimes they make our fluffy yellow hearts sing. And sometimes, they don't. Same goes for book sequels. And here are a few of our recent favorites. Read them, you must!

Not a Stick
by Antoinette Portis
ISBN: 9780061123252
Sequel to Not a Box
Just as delightful as the first one. A great way to jumpstart young imaginations!

Millie in the Snow
by Alexander Steffensmeier
Walker & Company
ISBN: 9780802798008

Millie and her farm friends are back for a holiday romp with a deliciously fun ending!

Mr. Gum and the Gingerbread Billionaire
by Andy Stanton
ISBN: 9780061152450

Another fun chapter book for readers who like their humor on the wacky side!

Mr. Pusskins and Little Whiskers: Another Love Story
written and illustrated by Sam Lloyd
ISBN: 1416957966
Sequel to Mr. Pusskins

Poor Mr. Pusskins. His life with Emily used to be so perfect. But then she invited a kitten into their cozy home, and that kitten was trouble. Mr. Pusskins fans will not be disappointed--he is as grouchy and lovable as ever!

Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Writing thank-you Notes
by Peggy Gifford
Schwartz & Wade Books
ISBN: 9780375842702

Moxy, our favorite girl with moxy, is back and once more, her procrastination lands her in trouble. This sequel brings back one of our favorite spunky characters from last year and adds a surprise emotional punch to boot.

So what are your favorite sequels? Any Yodas or Jar-Jars you've read lately? Do tell!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

It's Back to School for the Chicks!

That's right: we've sharpened our pencils, polished our spectacles, fluffed our tail feathers and memorized our new locker combinations. The chicks are back to school! We spent all summer working hard (i.e. reading in hammocks, sipping fruity beverages) in order to bring you a brand new school year of eggcellent book reviews, eggcuberant interviews, eggciting contests, and other fowl entertainments for your reading pleasure.

Herewith, a short "get-to-know-your-chicks" segment for the newcomers:

CHICK #1: Carolyn Crimi
Favorite School Cafeteria Food: Anything that comes in a "stick" or "patty"
Favorite School Supply: Spiral notebooks
Favorite Back-to-School Book: Kindergarten Rocks! by Katie Davis

CHICK #2: Julia Durango
Favorite School Cafeteria Food: Tots
Favorite School Supply: Glue
Favorite Back-to-School Book: It's Time for School, Stinky Face by Lisa McCourt

CHICK #3: Andrea Beaty
Favorite School Cafeteria Food: The classic Ewing school lunch consisting of one cheese stick, a bowl of chili, and a peanut butter and caro syrup sandwich on white bread
Favorite School Supply: Box of 48
Favorite Back-to-School Book: First Grade Stinks by Mary Ann Rodman

Welcome to the coop!