Monday, February 16, 2009
by Michael Ian Black
illustrated by Kevin Hawkes
Simon & Schuster
Warning: If you are the type of person who doesn't believe the word "bum" belongs in a children's book, then read no further. This book is not for you. Trust us. However, if you are the type of person who couldn't help but snicker or at least grin when you read the word "bum" a few seconds ago, then welcome to the coop, dear friend! Because we chicks find bums pretty darn funny, and the kids we hang out with think they're even funnier.
Chicken Cheeks is a fanny extravaganza, a delightful romp of rumps throughout the Wild Kingdom. From the cheeky chick on the cover to the moose caboose inside, each animal modestly displays his or her backside in an attempt to reach...oops, never mind, we don't want to ruin the surprise (rear) end! Master illustrator Kevin Hawkes never fails to deliver, and children's book newcomer Michael Ian Black slings around his synonyms so effortlessly that old Roget would be green with envy. Plus, it turns out Michael Ian Black is really one of us.
Friday, February 13, 2009
A bored (and thus by our definition a boring) kid complains that nothing exciting ever happens. Of course, in his bad mood, he kicks a can into the air and yells, "Phooey!"
The can hits a sleeping cat which freaks out and gets chased by a dog into a zoo. The mahem includes pirates, elephants, keystone cops, housepainters, and pie throwing.
Saturday, February 07, 2009
Tough Chicks, by Cece Meng, illustrated by Melissa Suber
Okay, if you thought we could pass up a book titled Tough Chicks, well, then, you really don't know us very well. Plus, this book is fun, lively and has a message we embrace. This is definitely up our Chick Alley! Kudos, bean dip and chicken feed to Cece Meng and Melissa Suber!
"From the moment Mama Hen's eggs burst open, she knew she was dealing with some pretty tough chicks. Penny, Polly and Molly shook out their wet fluff and immediately began to strut their stuff. Peep, peep, zoom, zip, cheep!"
Oh, how we love the image of three tough, strutting chicks! These new heroes of ours wrestle with worms, race with bugs and check under the hood of Farmer Fred's tractor. They love the mud, they love to rope roosters and they love to hitch a ride on the cow's tail. Folks, these are not your average cuddly-duddly chicks, and we adore that about them!
Unfortunately, the other animals on the farm are not pleased with their rough and tumble ways. "Make them be good!" they insist. "But they ARE good!" Mama Hen tells them.This answer isn't good enough, so the animals give them lessons on how to be behave like proper chicks. They try teaching them to scratch for feed, build a nest, and cluck in a calm manner. But the chicks keep stirring things up with their wild and raucous ways.
"You are little fuzzy-headed chicks. Be cute. Be quiet. Be good," says Farmer Fred.
Grrrrr! say The Three Silly Chicks. Luckily, Penny, Polly and Molly stay true to themselves, and when Farmer Fred's tractor starts rolling down the hill towards the farm, these tough smart chicks know exactly what to do!
Melissa Suber's illustrations are bright and bursting with energy, just like the chicks themselves. We love the refrain, "Peep, peep, zoom, zip, cheep!" and think that kids will love repeating that during Spring storytimes. A positively chickalicious book in every way!
Monday, February 02, 2009
1. When you create a book, do the pictures or story come to you first?
The jokes come first. Once I’m done writing jokes, I try to string them together into a narrative.
2. How do you know when what you write is funny??
If I don’t feel embarrassed by the joke, or if it isn’t clichéd.
3. Do you have any tips for writing funny books?
Yes…. Write lots and lots of material, and then throw out the worst 90%.
4. Are you in any way like Greg or any of the other characters in Wimpy Kid?
Sure, Greg is an amplification of my worst points both as a kid and as an adult.
5. Has being funny ever gotten you into or out of trouble?
Once, my Algebra teacher, who had recently shaved his beard, told the class his wife said it was like sleeping with a different person. I said, “How would she know?” It got a laugh from the class, but not from the teacher.
6. What are some of your favorite funny books?????
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, by Judy Blume, and the Calvin and Hobbes books.
7. If you could live in one of your books, which one would you choose?
In an alternate universe, I feel like I’ve already lived in my books
8. Do you prefer The Marx Bros or Three Stooges?
The Marx Brothers.
9. What was your best Halloween costume ever?
10. What is your Dream Job for a Day?
To have any one job instead of the three that I have!
11. Clown V. Mime Deathmatch.? Pick your winner.
Mime, because they must have thicker skin.
12. Funniest dead person you'd like to meet
Dead people aren’t funny… what are you trying to pull here?
13. Do you keep a diary of your own?
I used to, but then I realized I was spending more time chronicling my life than living it.