Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Doggone Dogs!
by Karen Beaumont
illustrated by David Catrow
ISBN: 9780803731578

It's a momentous day here in the coop. While two of us remain glued to our media outlets, one of us is shaking her tail feathers in Washington, DC to celebrate an event of EGG-ceptionally EGG-citing proportions...a new puppy in the White House!!!
We are besides ourselves with anticipation. Will the new first dog be a purebred Portuguese water dog or a lucky labradoodle? Or perhaps a frisky cockapoo or a lovable bullschitzu? Whatever it is, the Three Silly Chicks are ready to welcome our new first pooch with open wings, chew toys and doggy treats.

In the meantime, we highly recommend
Doggone Dogs, to our fellow dog-loving readers. Brought to you by the same talented team who gave us I Ain't Gonna Paint No More, this rhyming picture book guarantees belly laughs with Beaumont's playful romp of a text accompanied by Catrow's comedic crew of canines. Parents and Librarians: read this aloud to your kids (or have them read it to you!) and then let the doggone discussion ensue! Some questions to consider: Which dog in the book is your favorite? What kind of dog would make a good White House pet? If you were Malia and Sasha Obama, what would you name the first dog? Feel free to leave your own opinions in the comment section!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Mole's In Love

Mole's In Love
by David Bedford
illustrated by Rosalind Beardshaw
Tiger Tales
ISBN 9781589254176

We love the first line of this book. "One bright day, Morris the mole peeped out of his hole to find that it was spring."


Is there really such a thing? The Three Silly Chicks are not entirely sure, especially when the thermometer says it's 400 below zero. But, like Morris, we have hope.

The uber endearing Morris, seeing that it is spring, hops down from his hill to find someone to love. As we all know, that can be a little tricky. And if you are a nearsighted gent with an impulsive nature, trickier still. Morris falls instantly in love with Luscious Black Fur, Pretty Pink Nose, and Gorgeous Wide Feet, only to find out seconds later that they are, um, a little different from what he expected. Is Morris destined to spend spring alone and loveless?

Oh, gosh, of course not. This is a picture book, for crying out loud. Morris does find love--right at the end of his nose. A funny and satisfying read that is sure to be as popular as heart-shaped candy on Valentine's Day.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

In the Coop with David Roberts

Question: Why did the chickens cross the road?
Answer: To get more bean dip for our party with David Roberts! Duh!

This month we are doubly excited to be in the coop with the amazing and talented and --did we say amazing-- David Roberts. To start with, we are excited because David is the illustrator of Andrea's book, Iggy Peck, Architect.

But do you know why we are doubly excited?

It's because David (who has illustrated more than 30 books) is also the illustrator of Carolyn's upcoming title, Dear Tabby, which comes out in 2010.

Welcome, David!!!!

What artists have influenced your work?

I have been inspired by artists such as Edward Gorey, Maurice Sendak, David Hockney, John Burningham, Brian Wildsmith, Tomi Ungerer and from Dore particularly I have learned how to get great tone by just using line.

How do you know when what you create is funny??
If it makes me laugh!

Do you have any tips for illustrating and/or writing funny books?
Not really, but if something makes you laugh it might work but it is just really hard.

Has being funny ever gotten you into or out of trouble?
I do a lot of events like book festivals and one of my characters is a boy called Dirty Bertie who has a joke book and I often ask the children what their favourite jokes are and this can sometimes prove a bit risque!

What is one of your favorite funny books?
I love a "Hole is to Dig" by Ruth Kraus and Maurice Sendak which is funny and charming.

If you could live in one of your books, which one would you choose?
Bearing in mind that a lot of the stories I illustrate are of a spooky nature and sometimes even rather scary ghost stories I would not want to live in any of these as I would be permanently terrified. I do have a passion for the 1930's and art deco and I would not mind spending a day or two in Cinderella, an Art Deco Love Story by Lynn Roberts.

Nobody but NOBODY does skit comedy better than the British. Do you have a favorite show?
I quite agree and there are so many to choose from Little Britain, Absolutely Fabulous

and Victoria Wood on TV. There is a show that was on in the 80's called Girls on Top

and this is my all time favourite.

What was your best Halloween costume ever?
I was a vampire victim with two holes in my neck, a white face and I wore my Marilyn Monroe T-shirt drenched in fake blood.

What is your Dream Job for a Day?
Wine taster, whiskey taster, gin taster, chocolate taster, cake taster - but I do that most days any way! I would quite like to be able to play the trumpet in a brass band.

Clown V. Mime Deathmatch?
Pick your winner. I suppose the mime artist could be the underdog so I would say that.

Funniest dead person you'd like to meet??
Loved Laurel and Hardy, a custard pie fight never ceases to make me laugh.

And because the fourth season of Doctor Who just ended on this side of the Pond and the Chick in pink is now experiencing serious withdrawal, we must ask: Who is YOUR Doctor?
Without a shadow of a doubt Tom Baker. My brother and I spent a lot of time behind the sofa when he was on the screen. I illustrated his one and only children's book,

The Boy who Kicked Pigs, and when I met him we were in a taxi on our way to dinner and I was thinking to myself we could end up anywhere!!!!!

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Honorary Silly Flock of Chicks - the Stevenson-Trupiano-Durango-Washburn Gang

On Christmas Eve, the Stevenson-Trupiano-Durango-Washburn gang from Ottawa, Illinois held a tacky sweater contest with proceeds going to Heifer International. Altogether, they were able to purchase 8 flocks of chicks due to their tasteless attire. Seen here are the patriarch and matriarch of this shameless clan, Bill and Diane Stevenson circa 1977. As you can see, this attractive couple has been making fashion statements for decades.

Honorary Silly Chick - Sherry Stanford

Sherry Stanford (sister of silly chick Julia) bought a flock of chicks for Christmas. Sherry teaches 2nd grade in St. Charles, MO. Her favorite funny book to share with students is Fox on the Job by James Marshall. Her secret skill is the ability to tame cowlicks (and she has many!) by wearing a knit hat for an hour before she leaves the house.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Timothy and the Strong Pajamas

Timothy and the Strong Pajamas
written and illustrated by Viviane Schwarz
Arthur Levine Books
ISBN 0545033299

We think this book is especially appropriate for a day when we Three Silly Chicks have decided to stay in our pajamas all day and eat bean dip. Making New Year's resolutions makes us soooo tired. Thank goodness for cozy bedtime stories featuring Super Strong Pajamas and sock monkeys!

Timothy Smallbeast isn't big and he isn't strong. Every night he puts on his pajamas, drinks his fortified milk, does his exercises and thinks STRONG thoughts. Alas, no matter how hard he tries, he stays small and weak. But all that exercising is tough on his pjs. His mom comes to the rescue and fixes them with extra strong thread. In fact, Timothy's mom fixes them so well they are now Super Strong Pajamas! Timothy and his best friend Monkey use the pajamas to perform all sorts of heroic acts, like saving elephant ladies, zookeepers, kittens, and sailors. It seems there's absolutely nothing Timothy can't do when he's in his Super Strong Pajamas. Then one day Timothy rips them while trying to pull his friend Monkey out from under a very large bear. Uh oh! How will Timothy be able to save his friend without his Super Strong Pajamas?

Newcomer Viviane Schwarz has written and illustrated a fast-paced, kid-pleasing super hero tale that is destined to be read on Pajama Days in schools across the country. Serve it up with fortified milk and extra-tough cookies!