Monday, October 26, 2009

The Messiest Desk


The Messiest Desk
A Three Silly Chick's Pick
Written and illustrated by Marty Kelley
Zino Press
ISBN: 978-1-55933-319-1

What is it?

An adventure story of sorts about a boy named Benjamin Putt who gets sucked into his very messy desk.

What do we love about it?

Oh geez, let's see, could it be the moldy, dripping, rotten fruit? The twelve gooey wads of chewed up gum? The...underwear? We think kids will howl with laughter when they hear the list of gunky, gooey, icky, ooey stuff that's in this desk. And, well, there is also a burp. Could it be any more kid friendly?

What does it remind us of?

Our own desks.

What is it perfect for?

A rowdy, gross-out story time! The rhyme makes it extra fun to read aloud.

What do we think?

Read this with Kelly DiPucchio's Mrs. McBloom, Clean Up Your Classroom! and our very own Carolyn's Boris and Bella (featuring a messy monster named Bella Legrossi) and then go mess something up!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Sticky Burr, The Prickly Peril

A Three Silly Chicks' Pick

Sticky Burr, the Prickly Peril
by John Lechner
Candlewick Press
ISBN: 978-0-7636-4580-9


What is it?
A graphic novel about burrs. You heard us. And no, we're not talking about the Aaron or Raymond kind. We're talking about the kind that sticks to your socks when you walk through a field. They are actually quite fascinating things, burrs. Evidently, they live in villages and some can even play the ukele and paint.

This is the sequel to the previously published STICKY BURR, ADVENTURES IN BURRWOOD FOREST.

What do we love about it?
This is a book that shows the truth about nature. We've long suspected that beetles were natures henchmen. Now we know! We love the asides and informative (or perhaps mis-informative) sidebars.

What does it remind us of?
It reminds us of the many, MANY long hours we have spent plucking burrs from our feathers after going on hikes. But we still like this book.

What is it perfect for?
This book is perfect for young readers who love graphic novels, bugs, nature, non-fiction (which this is NOT) and humor.

What do we think?
The Sticky Burr books are a great diversion for 6-8 year olds looking for a little fun.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wiggens Learns His Manners at the Four Seasons Restaurant

A Three Silly Chicks' Pick

Wiggens Learns His Manners at the Four Seasons Restaurant
by Leslie McGuirk
and Alex von Bidder

Candlewick press
ISBN: 9780763640149

What is it?
A funny guide to good manners co-authored by the co-owner (Alex von Bidder) of the famous Four Seasons restaurant in New York City. Wiggens, a fictional chocolate Labrador puppy who is a "total rascal" in the manners department, stars in this playful picture book.

What do we love about it?
The great Chi-waa-waa, spiritual advisor to Wiggens' parents, and Saint Bernard, the Emily Post-like guru who teaches young pups how to behave at the Four Seasons, won our dog-loving hearts. We also loved the thought bubbles above the puppies-in-training as they nervously surveyed the weird foods served (sea urchin, escargot, frog legs, oh my!).

What does it remind us of?
It reminds us that we are very hungry. Also, that we have never been invited to the Four Seasons restaurant even though our manners are im-peck-able!

What is it perfect for?
Wayward puppies and obedience school drop-outs. Also, parents with kids who could use some fun lessons in restaurant manners.

What do we say about it?
This is the perfect book for dog-loving gourmands. Also, anyone know where can we get a flying carpet with an outboard motor like the great Chi-waa-waa's?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Jamie Allen, come on down!!



Jamie Allen, you are a Hallowinner!

Jamie posted her favorite villain over on our Facebook page. And gosh, we wholeheartedly agree that Ursula from The Little Mermaid is pretty darn great. Who wouldn't want lovely lavender skin? And just think how many candied apples you could eat with all those tentacles! It boggles the mind and stomach!

So Jamie, please email us your address so we can send you your prizes! Congrats, ghoulfriend!

Good Little Wolf

A Three Silly Chicks' Pick

Good Little Wolf
by Kristina Andres
North South
ISBN: 9780735822108

What is it?
A sweet little picture book about a sweet little wolf who sometimes likes to pretend he's big and bad!

What do we love about it?
How nicely the little wolf treats his adorable companions: a giraffe, bunny, sheep and bear who look like small stuffed animals.

What does it remind us of?
Where the Wild Things Are. Sometimes it's fun to pretend you're a monster!

What is it perfect for?
To remind ourselves that it's okay to pretend we're bad guys when we're playing, as long as we're good guys in real life!

What do we say about it?
Read Good Little Wolf to the imaginative preschooler in your life and expect some fun and games to follow!

Monday, October 19, 2009

In the Coop with Tammi Sauer

Three Reasons We Love Tammi Sauer:

1. Feast your eyes on this author photo, peeps!

2. She wrote a rockin' bawkin' book called Chicken Dance, awesomely illustrated by Dan Santat!

3. She and Dan offer dance lessons on their website! Really! Now you can dance the Librarian and the Bellyache like a pro!

The Interview:

First act as Dictator for Life?
Claim Tim Gunn for my very own.

What kids lit character would you like to vote off the island?
Walter the Farting Dog...no explanation necessary.

What kids lit character would you share your last twinkie with?
Ramona Quimby…that girl made me a reader.

What TV family would you like to be adopted by?

I’ve always wanted to go to Eastland with Trudy, Blaire, Natalie, and Jo. Perhaps Mrs. Garrett could adopt me. Bonuses: Blaire could teach me how to do my hair, and Jo could show me how to ride a motorcycle.


Worst job in the universe?
Dead pig pusher. A writer friend of mine once held this title. Rumor has it the position involved a conveyor belt and a meat-packing plant.

Dream job for a day?
A ritzy spa tester-outer.

Marx Brothers or Three Stooges?

The Marx Brothers get my vote based on this quote alone: “Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside a dog, it’s too dark to read.”—Groucho Marx


Clown V. Mime Deathmatch. Pick your winner.
I gotta go with mime. Clowns have always freaked me out.

Funniest dead person you’d like to meet?
In my experience, all dead people are un-funny. They just kinda lie there.

Best use for a book shaped object? (You know, one of those things sold as books but which should never ever have been published.)

Impromptu rain gear or snow shoes, depending on the season.


More info about Tammi:

Tammi's website

Interview with Tara Lazar at Writing for Kids (while Raising Them)

Interview with S. R. Johannes at Market My Words

Interview with Sterling Children’s Books

Friday, October 16, 2009

More Villains, Please!




We love hearing about your favorite villains for our Halloween Contest! (Kelly, we actually agree with your first vote--hee hee.) We want to hear more! Remember, peeps, you can win three books! THREE! All you need to do is tell us your favorite villain. And hey, it's okay if it's already been mentioned. Great minds and blah blah blah, don't ya know.

Points will be given for people who think outside the villain box to include their sixth grade nemesis, mother-in-law or cranky neighbor. We'll never tell!

It's Dictionary Day!





Noah Webster was born on this day in 1758. Oh, Noah, how we love you! So brilliant, so bold, so OCD. Imagine his poor wife's reaction when Noah announced that he wanted to list and define every single word. She probably shook her head and said, "Noah, hun, I love ya, but that's nuts."

In honor of Dictionary Day, make up a new word and post it here! Or perhaps you are feeling a wee bit bromidic? Then hey, just do a crossword puzzle.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Monkey with a Toolbelt and a Noisy Problem

A Three Silly Chicks' Pick

Monkey with a Toolbelt & a Noisy Problem
by Chris Monroe
Carolrohda Books
ISBN: 978-0822592471

What is it?
The further adventures of our favorite handyman monkey. Or is that Handy Monkey? We've always thought having a monkey around would be handy! When Chico Bon Bon hears a strange sound in his house, he sets out to investigate. When he finally finds the source of the noise, he jumps into action with the tools at his disposal (or in his belt as the case may be). And that is saying something!

What do we love about it?
First, we love saying Chico Bon Bon. It usually makes us dance around the house. Of course, we love any monkey who has a plug wrench, a lug wrench AND a pug wrench. (And knows how to use them!)

What does it remind us of?
It reminds us of one of our VERY favorite funny books ever: MONKEY IN A TOOLBELT!

What it's perfect for?
Anyone who knows the difference between their needle nose pliers and their nose. And anyone who doesn't. This book is just plain fun.


What do we think?
We can't wait to see what our favorite handymonkey does next. We LOVE Chico Bon Bon!



Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Superhero School

A Three Silly Chicks' Pick

Superhero School
by Aaron Reynolds
Illustrated by Andy Rash
Bloomsbury USA
ISBN: 9781599901664

What is it?
A picture book about Leonard, a young superhero who's forced to learn math at Superhero School much to his annoyance.

What do we love about it?
The Blue Tornado, math teacher extraordinaire, who has a few "tricks" up his sleeve to convince his young proteges why multiplication, division and fractions are important!

What does it remind us of?
Schoolhouse Rock in a book. (Remember Three is a Magic Number? We often sing this song in the coop.)

What is it perfect for?
Anyone who has ever sweat through the times tables and wondered why.

What do we say about it?
Math never looked so heroic (or fun)!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Contest Alert! Contest Alert!


Calling all Halloweenies! Would you like to win three new Chick Halloween books? It's easy peasy peeps! All you have to do is tell us who your favorite villain is and then we'll pick a name out of our big witch's hat!

As for us, well, we're partial to Cruella DeVille. Seriously, the woman has enough style to make Anna Wintour jealous. And that hair! Do you suppose she uses Clairol to get that look?

We'll choose a Hallowinner at random by next Monday. The lucky person will receive Andrea's Hush, Baby Ghostling and Carolyn's Where's My Mummy? and Boris and Bella.

What fiendish fun! Good luck!

Poodle and Hound

A Three Silly Chicks' Pick

Poodle and Hound
by Kathryn Lasky
Illustrated by Mitch Vane
Charlesbridge
ISBN: 9781580893220

What is it?
An early chapter book featuring two unlikely canine companions whose frustrations with each other never eclipse their friendship.

What do we love about it?
Poodle's fabulous joie de vivre and Hound's earthy sensibility.

What does it remind us of?
The Odd Couple, only furrier and cuter.

What is it perfect for?
Early readers who are eager to try a chapter book but still enjoy fun illustrations on every page.

What do we say about it?
To quote Hound: "Nothing is ever wasted on a friend." Share Poodle and Hound with your favorite pooch-loving friends!

Monday, October 12, 2009

In the Coop with Emily Ecton

Three Reasons We Love Emily Ecton:

1. Just look at her. Is she not adorable? Is her dog Binky not adorable? Can you blame us?

2. She writes books about stylish chihuahuas, undead hamsters, and vengeful lawn ornaments.

3. She is a writer and producer for NPR's hilarious quiz show Wait...Wait, Don't Tell Me!

The Interview:

First act as Dictator for Life?
Silly books for everyone!

What kids lit character would you like to vote off the island?
Ramona's nemesis, Susan with the boing boing curls. That girl has got to go.

What kids lit character would you share your last twinkie with?

I don't understand. Share? A Twinkie? What are you saying? Oh, okay fine, if I have to share my twinkie, I'll probably share it with that mouse from the "If You Give a Mouse a
Cookie" book, just to see what the little sucker demands next.

What TV family would you like to be adopted by?
I was torn between the Keatons from
Family Ties and the Bristows from Alias because the Bristows seemed so much more exciting, but then I realized I'd be much less likely to find a dead body in the Keatons' bathtub. (Well, unless it's Skippy.)

Worst job in the universe?
Cockroach wrangler.


Dream job for a day?
Lighthouse Keeper
and part time Puppy Hugger.


Marx Brothers or Three Stooges?

The Marx Brothers. I understand they have a rubber chicken.

Clown V. Mime Deathmatch. Pick your winner.
Mime. There's only so much damage you can do with a squirty flower
and floppy shoes, but those invisible glass boxes are killers.

Funniest dead person you’d like to meet?
Douglas Adams, if only for the cow in the Restaurant at the End of the Universe.


Best use for a book shaped object? (You know, one of those things sold as books but which should never ever have been published.)
Impromptu dog dinner table complete with removable placemat.


More info about Emily:
EmilyEcton.com

Friday, October 09, 2009

It's Moldy Cheese Day!


Oh my. And just how will you celebrate, hmmm?? We're not sure we even want to think about that.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

The Dunderheads

A Three Silly Chicks' Pick

The Dunderheads
by Paul Fleischman
Illustrated by David Roberts
Candlewick Press
Ages 6-8
ISBN 978-0-7636-2498-9

What is it?
A short illustrated novel in which a rag-tag but multi-talented squad of kids set out to retrieve their treasures from their horrible teacher, Miss Breakbone. And yes, her name says it all! Oh yeah. And did we mention she has an alligator purse? With legs and a snout???? She is BAAAAAAD.


What do we love about it?
The comedy, of course! This is the perfect pairing of Paul Fleischman's humor and David Roberts' funky, smart retro style. This book has it all: gizmos, maps, and a truly wicked villainess! Oh how we love to hate her. Move over Miss Trunchbull! There's a new mighty muscular meanie in town.


What does it remind us of?
This reminds us of all our favorite heist flicks rolled into one with a good dose of Roald Dahlishness tossed in for good measure.


What is it perfect for?
This one is perfect for any kid who ever got into trouble at school and didn't deserve it. (And dreamed of getting even!)


What do we think?
The Dunderheads is smart, sassy, classy and wicked good fun!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Happy Birthday, Andrea!

Happy Birthday, Andrea Chickie!

Yep, it's Andrea's birthday and you know what that means.

You don't? Then we'll tell you.


On her birthday, Andrea gets up early in the morning and sings the Beatles', "Happy Birthday!" at the top of her lungs. If any of you have ever seen Andrea early in the morning. You know that's not a good thing. If any of you have ever heard her sing, you know it's a really, REALLY not a good thing.

For the rest of the day, Andrea demands that everyone she knows bring her cake. Preferably German Chocolate Cake with lots of pecans (her favorite). Still, it's her birthday so who's going to complain?

We would, but frankly, we're afraid of her. (We've heard her sing!!!!)

Still, we love our fellow chick and want to let you know a little more about her. So, we interviewed her.

Here's what our Birthday Chick had to say:


First act as Dictator for Life:
Ship everyone who talks in movie theaters to an island where they don't have any movie theaters. That'll show 'em.

What kids' lit character would you like to vote off the island?
Can I vote them onto the island with annoying people who talk in movie theaters?

Either way, I'd vote Pippi Longstockings off the island. Seriously. I know I can be banned from the Secret Society of Kids' Authors who Plan to Dominate the World. (And yes, there is such a society, but I obviously can't tell you about it.) But I don't care. If Pippi Longstockings was my neighbor, I'd get a doberman.

I really like her fashion statement and I love her anti-gravity braids, but honestly. She makes EVERY. DANG. THING. SEEM. SO. EXCITING. IT. MAKES. MY. BRAIN. EXPLODE!!!!!!


My runner up would be Amelia Bedelia. Because, while her character is lovely and she is kind and many good things, hearing the phrase Amelia Bedelia more than 200 times in a 30 page book is too much for me! Still, if Amelia Bedelia wanted to come clean my house, I'd be cool with that. I'd just pop in my earphones and crank some tunes on the old I-pod and ignore her. Ah. Bliss.

What kids' lit character would you share your last Twinkie with?
Winnie the Pooh because he'd probably share his honey with me. He's kind and gentle and oh so funny we'd have such a lovely time visiting friends in the Hundred Acre Wood.

What TV family would you like to be adopted by?
The Simpsons. I've never met a funnier family (except maybe my own) and anything is possible in Springfield. Plus, I look great in 2-D.

Worst job in the universe?
Picture taker at Sears Photo Gallery in the mall. Or hostess at Chuck E Cheese. Tough call.

Dream job for a day?
Broadway star. But I've been told very recently that maybe singing isn't my strong suit. Hey Chicks! You think I don't read this blog? Eh??? Just remember, my fine feathered friends. I know where you live!!!!!!

Marx Brothers or Three Stooges.
Marx Brothers. First and forever!!!! They are the smartest and funniest bunch.Masters of wordplay and slapstick. Smart and silly at the same time. I love them. Sadly, my daughter and I went out on Halloween a couple of years ago as Groucho and Harpo. And so few people had a clue who we were supposed to be! How sad is that? And no, we did NOT get confused and go as the lesser loved Marx Brother, Karl.

Clown V. Mime Deathmatch. Pick your winner.
Mime. Invisible box of death trumps big shoes every time.

Funniest dead person you'd like to meet.
The guy who invented Baba Ganoush. Anyone with mad naming skills like that had to be hoot!

Best use for a book-shaped object? A book-shaped object (or BSO) is one of those things sold as books but which should never ever EVER have been published. We've all seen them!

I think a BSO would make a great deadly weapon in a Bond film. Thrown frisbee-style from a helicopter, it could be lethal. And if that didn't work, it could simply be read to the victim!!!

Links to interviews for people who want to know other things about Andrea. Also good reading for insomniacs and people with lots of work to avoid.

Happy Birthday, Chickie. Here's a song to show just how much we care!


Tuesday, October 06, 2009

The Delicious Bug

A Three Silly Chicks' Pick

The Delicious Bug
by Janet Perlman
Kids Can Press
ISBN: 9781553379966

What is it?
A picture book about two chameleons who get their tongues tied over the same delicious bumblebug.

What do we love about it?
The comic way the chameleons' anger rapidly escalates while the other animals look on in growing disbelief. If you've ever been in a bloodbath with your siblings over the last pop-tart (um, not that we have or anything), this scenario will ring frighteningly true.

What does it remind us of?
A modern day Aesop's Fable.

What is it perfect for?
Talking to kids about the consequences of greed without their eyes glazing over.

What do we say about it?
A fresh, fun take on a morality tale that uses humor to instill its message rather than a sledgehammer (ouch!).

Monday, October 05, 2009

Thanks, USBBY!


The chicks had a fabulous time at the Illinois Authors' Roundtable this week-end at the Where Worlds Meet conference sponsored by the United States Board on Books for Young People (USBBY). Many thanks to Natalie Ziarnik and crew for organizing a great reception! We saw many friends there, made several new ones, and generally had a blast, even though Andrea looks like she's about to give someone a knuckle sandwich. (She's just silly that way!)

Thursday, October 01, 2009

It's Self-Promotion Month!




Let's all celebrate by doing the braggy pants dance! Is there something you'd like to promote today? A new book, blog, website or hairstyle?

If so, say it LOUD and say it PROUD, Peeps! We'd love to hear about it!