Thursday, June 4, 2009

Teen Rhyme

The Age of Reason

Teenager, teenager,
Why are you so loud?
Why do you freak out?
To things not allowed.

Why do you get whiney?
And make so much noise,
To my “NO!” to a sleepover,
That includes girls and boys.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Kids Book Reviews!

Hey, I love kids books, and as I hope to publish one myself, one day, I've decided to do the odd kids books review in this blog.

Both of the books I have chosen are not only new, but by first time authors. The writers both, however, have backgrounds in the children’s book industry. I think both their authorial debuts are successful enterprises!


By Ann Stott & illustrated by David Phelan
1st Edition, Published by Candlewick Press
Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
Early Picture Book, ages 3 and under

Ann Stott’s background is in book design and so she was likely well prepared for her first book which was inspired by her mischievous youngest son. One day, after a day of reprimands by mom, he asked her “Do you still love me?” The author then realized, “ important it was for him to hear I love him, no matter what he did.”

As a mom who has also dealt with a mischievous child, I can relate to how funny and trying a child can be when testing the boundaries of her parents love. For the child, the story offers up some funny and familiar scenarios that reassures her that she is not the only child, in the world, who has ever been naughty or forgetful. The simple and tender way the author shows that a parent’s love is unwavering, no matter what, is a comforting message to all small children.

As usual, what attracted to me to this book (besides being in the new book section of the library) was the artwork of David Phelan. His warm and simple pencil and water colour illustrations are both sweet and expressive. The interaction with dog and child is very endearing -especially when they sometimes become “partners in crime”. As an aspiring children’s book artist, I look to successful artists like Phelan for inspiration.

Something Wickedly Weird
The Wooden Mile

Written and Illustrated By Chris Mould
Published by Roaring Brook Press, New York
First Published by Hodder Children’s Books, 2007
A division of Hachette Childrens Books, UK
Middle Readers, ages 9-11

Chris Mould, an award winning illustrator, applies his creative talent to his first authorial debut, Something Wickedly Weird, The Wooden Mile. As the title promises, this captivating story takes the reader on an adventure with Stanley Buggles an eleven year old heir to the Candlestick Estate on the weird island of Crampton Rock. Even on the first night of his arrival at Crampton Rock, Stanley’s young mind burns with questions: Why won’t the housekeeper, Mrs. Carelli, explain the strange circumstances of his late Uncle’s death? Why is no one in Crampton Rock allowed out after dark? And did that stuffed pike at Candlestick Hall just actually speak to him? Later, Stanley also has encounters with a werewolf, and some scheming pirates. One is left wondering; will Stanley live out his life to enjoy his inheritance?
This a great book to capture the imagination of even the reluctant boy-readers!

Chris’s accompanying cartoon illustrations are richly rendered with pencil, ink, and possibly other mixed media. I also appreciate Mould’s sharp eye for historical architectural detail that he has somehow cleverly combined with a Dr. Suess-like defiance of gravity. Wickedly Weird makes for a very enjoyable eye-treat! I love the scrappy little crab that appears on each new chapter heading.