Zombie in Love
by Kelly DiPucchio (writer), Scott Campbell (illustrator)
23 August 2011 by Atheneum
ISBN 10/13: 1442402709 | 9781442402706
Children's Picture Book
Children's, zombies, love
Mortimer is a lonely zombie looking for love. He tries everything he can think of to impress the ladies - from a box of delicious worms, a diamond ring fresh from the grave and even offers up a heart (newly deceased), but nothing works. What’s a ghoul supposed to do? Mortimer decides puts a personal ad in the local paper in the hopes that the perfect girl will see it. But does Mortimer’s dream girl show up at Cupid’s Ball or is Mortimer doomed to stalk the earth alone?
I LOVE Zombie in Love
! My friends will all tell you that I have a thing for zombies. I’m not sure what it is but I find them to be endlessly fascinating and zombies seem to be having a renaissance right now with the popularity of The Walking Dead and books like Warm Bodies and Ashes. However, these are all made for and older audience, leaving kids out of the zombie fun (yes, zombies are fun). Luckily for your children (and me), Kelly DiPucchio had the brilliance to write a zombie love story perfect for children and adults alike.
Zombie in Love
is a sweet and funny love story full of quiet humor and visual gags and each page was a delight to read. The story is one that both children a
Young dogs have one thing in common. They are bundles of energy, and very often that energy manifests itself in ways that are less than desirable. One of my dogs decided that chewing the heads off sprinklers was a nice way to pass the time. Another loved to dig up my newly planted flowers or shrubs. There is no doubt that these behaviors drove me crazy, but would I want to have a dog-free - and dog trouble free - life. NEVER!
For ages 4 to 6
Candlewick Press, 2007, 978-0-7636-3316-5
Not long ago Katie and her family adopted two dogs from the Rescue Center. Rosy is very large, soft, and “endlessly patient.” Dave is still a pup, and he is full of energy and unfortunately he does not have any manners. He damages flower beds, steals cupcakes, and tears holes in tights. In short, he is rather out of control.
Katie’s parents decide that they need to get some help, so they call a dog trainer, and the very next day the Brigadier from Pup Breakers arrives. In no time at all he has Dave doing exactly what he is told. Katie and her parents should be happy by the development. But they aren’t.
Most dog owners soon realize that their dogs own them and not the other way around. Dogs, even when they are doing what we tell them to do, are the ones who have the upper hand. This delightful and heartwarming picture book explores the idea that there really is nothing wrong with being owned by a dog. In fact, it can be both wonderful and rewarding.
This book is a sequel to “Let’s get a Pup!” Said Kate.
OCD is a difficult thing to explain to children, but as I've always said, there really is a children's book for everything and if you're looking for a way to explain OCD to your child, STUCK by Rhonda C. Martin will do just the trick.
Narrated by Cinnamon, a little girl who's different in a big way, we learn about all the different ways she gets stuck in certain routines and can't stop until she gets them exactly right. For example, Cinnamon has a certain routine when Mom or Dad leave the house, she often washes her hands over and over again, she needs to have her toys in neat lines, and the trash can is her least favorite part of the house. And even though young readers will learn that OCD can make someone feel like something bad might happen, they'll also learn that Cinnamon gets stuck on many good things.
This book sends the powerful message home that OCD is not a child's fault and there's nothing wrong with a child who has OCD. In fact, most of the time, they're just like other kids and whatever happens, their friends and family love them just the same. This is a wonderful book for kids with OCD, kids who would like to understand more about OCD, and for parents to help initiate discussion with their own children about OCD.
For more information and resources, please visit Stuck's official website
Hardcover: 48 pages
Publisher: Jabberwocky Books (September 1, 2011)
ISBN-13: 978-1935204336Source of review copy: Author
Disclosure: Some of the books I review are received from publishers , PR agencies, and authors, but it does not sway my opinion of the book.
Editor’s note: After finally receiving my long-awaited copy of Tom’s Tweet (Alfred A. Knopf, 2011) in the mail, I found the following book review from my cat, Vince, a few days later.
Because I’ve had to force Vince to review cat-related books in the past, I was quite pleased that he’d decided to give me a holiday break. So, without further ado … VINCE!
Well, it’s that time of year again.
The time when all the humans in my house get together, fill two entire tables with food and sit down and eat — wait for it — a bird.
Those of you who have read my previous reviews may recall that these same humans once stopped me from doing the exact same thing.
OK. The bird I wanted to eat was still alive, but I don’t think that’s such a huge distinction. Living or dead, a bird is a bird is a bird.
I also think it’s funny that my humans brought Tom’s Tweet into the house just as they’re preparing to pig out. It’s a book about Tom, a real cat’s cat. He sees a baby bird on the ground and swaggers over. He’s all set to pounce and gobble it down when he notices how tiny it is. How alone. He pauses.
I almost gave up on Tom right there. I mean, really. Hasn’t he ever heard of an appetizer?
But I guess even the coolest cats sometimes feel all warm and fuzzy. I myself have been known to snuggle down into a pink blanket and let the house’s smallest human surround me with her stuffed animals. But that’s really beside the point.
So I wasn’t surprised when Tom decided to help the baby bird back to his nest by carrying him gently in his mouth. But I was surprised how Tom reacted when the mama bird showed up and started dive-bombing his head. He could have dropped the baby and ran for it.
But no. No-o-o.
Tom runs away with the baby bird still in his mouth and hides in the flowers. The baby won’t stop tweeting, so Tom builds it a nest, lets it sleep under his arm and even — yuck — feeds it chewed-up worm. When the mama bird finally flies away, Tom hustles the baby back to its nest and thinks he’s done with the whole mess.
But no. No-o-o.
Tom misses the baby. And the baby misses him. And the baby must have explained to its mama that Tom took good care of him because the mama has an unexpected proposition for Tom.
Now, I’ve read enough cat books to know what’s what. And this book is worth your time. It’s got it all. Jill Esbaum’s story is funny and sweet and great to listen to out loud. The smallest human read it to me. And, the cat’s natural leadership skills are duly lauded in the end.
Another thing it’s got going for it is that Dan Santat is an illustrator who obviously understands cats. Tom is macho and crusty and frustrated, but a softie at heart. I bet Santat has several cats.
So read this book. Learn from Tom. And, please, try to control yourself this Thanksgiving!
Vince also wanted me to point out that Jill Esbaum and Dan Santat have websites worth visiting. You can find Jill’s here and Dan’s here.
And, I’d like to point out that Vince has reviewed several other cat books, including Where
By: Vonna Carter,
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Here it is the third week of November, and I haven’t wished good luck to all the brave and determined people who are hammering out 50k words for NaNoWriMo. Best wishes to all of you and a Happy Thanksgiving, too! To help everyone around the Houston area have a great Thanksgiving week, here are the author/illustrator events around town:
November 21, Monday, 6:30 PM
Murder By The Book
Marianne Malone, Author
Marianne Malone will sign and discuss her debut middle grade book, THE SIXTY-EIGHT ROOMS. Housed in the deep inside the Chicago Art Institute is a collection of 68 exquisite miniature rooms, each set in a different historic period, and every detail is perfect. Some might even say, the rooms are magic. Imagine—what if on a field trip, you discovered a key that allowed you to shrink so that you could sneak inside and explore the rooms’ secrets? What if you discovered that others had done so before you? And that someone had left something important behind?
November 26, Saturday, 1:30 PM
Katy Budget Books
Sam E. Bromley, Author
Sam E Bromley will sign HUNKA CHUNKA MONKEY SHAPES UP, an early middle grade tale of a curious but sedentary monkey who soon discovers it is refreshingly fun to make a new friend and join him in playful, active adventures of running, jumping and learning the fast paced game of basketball.
November 28, Monday, 5:00 PM
Blue Willow Bookshop
Annie Barrows, Author
Annie Barrows will discuss and sign IVY AND BEAN: NO NEWS IS GOOD NEWS, the latest in the IVY AND BEAN series. Ivy and Bean need some money. Ten dollars, to be exact. Never mind what for. Okay, it’s for low-fat Belldeloon cheese in a special just-for you serving size. Don’t ask why. How are Ivy and Bean going to make ten dollars? Hey, maybe they should write a newspaper about Pancake Court and sell it! Great idea! And easy, too. All they have to do is snoop around the neighborhood. Wow…It’s very interesting what they can find out. It’s even more interesting when the neighbors read about it in the newspaper.
Book: Tiny Little Fly
Author: Michael Rosen
Illustrator: Kevin Waldron
Age Range: 3-8
Be warned! Tiny Little Fly, written by Michael Rosen and illustrated by Kevin Waldron, is a picture book with a snappy refrain that you just might find yourself chanting as you go about your day. But personally, I'm ok with that. It's a fun book about a tiny little fly who buzzes around pestering a string of large animals. The animals use their own particular strengths to try to get rid of the fly (the elephant trying to stomp on him, the hippo trying to roll over on him, etc.). But the tiny little fly bests them all, and flies off into the flowers.
Rosen's text is quite bouncy. Like this (across 2 page spreads):
"Great Big Tiger winks one eye, says to herself, "I'm going to catch that fly!"
Great Big Tiger
winks the other eye.
SWOOP! SNATCH! SWOOP!
But off flies the fly."
You kind of want to sing it, instead of just reading it. Not that it's annoyingly sing-songy. More like it would make a decent song for singing with toddlers (something I am generally on the lookout for these days).
Kevin Waldron's illustrations (done in pencil, painted in gouache, and digitally enhanced) are large in scale, and jungle-themed in palette. The animals are sized so large that they don't even fit on the pages, with just a portion of each animal visible at one time. Each animal's encounter with the fly carries across several pages, however, so the reader gets multiple chances to piece together what the animal looks like. The animals aren't quite realistic, but they are imposing. The tiger is quite beautiful, too, I think.
Waldron often shows the fly's trajectory, making it easier for young readers to find him (the fly is a little bit oversized relative to the animals, otherwise he'd be lost completely).
Tiny Little Fly is a nice, substantial book, too, in terms of construction. A little oversized, with thick, smooth pages. Near the end there's a page spread in which each folded page opens out from the middle, resulting in one illustration four pages wide. In my library copy, the fold-out pages are pretty crinkled (nearly a year after the book's publication date), but it's still a fun device for engaging visual interest.
Tiny Little Fly would be a good choice for preschoolers. It's fun to read aloud, and has bold, active illustrations of several jungle animals. And the small creature wins the day, which is probably an encouraging thought. I think we just might pick up a copy of this one to keep. Recommended!
Publisher: Candlewick (@Candlewick)
Publication Date: November 9, 2010
Source of Book: Library copy
Nominated for 2011 Cybils in Fiction Picture Books by: Debbie
© 2011 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. This site is an Amazon affiliate, and purchases made through Amazon links may result in my receiving a small commission (at no additional cost to you).
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Tomorrow, November 22nd, is Antarctic Day! This is a day to celebrate our neighbors way way south where the penguins and icicles play. This may be a nice place to visit, if you can handle the extreme cold, but I think it’s safe to say that none of us would want to live there. Since we won’t be unpacking for good any time soon in the Antarctic, how about we give it its own special day and celebrate!
Here are some interesting and fun facts to get you and your kids excited about the Antarctic:
- To avoid confusion, the Antarctic is the region around our Earth’s South Pole, while the Arctic region opposite it is around Earth’s North Pole. Now which one does Santa fly from again?
- Did you know that that there are no polar bears in this southern region? They only live in the Northern Hemisphere. Penguins, on the other hand, are abundant in the Antarctic.
- The very first human to be born in the Antarctic was named Solveig Gunbjørg Jacobsen (have fun pronouncing that one!). He was born on October 8 of 1913.
- This region had no indigenous people living in it when it was first discovered
- There are more tourists that visit the Antarctic each year than people who actually live there!
Well there you go! To find out more about the Antarctic, keep an eye out for our new title coming in February of 2012, called “The Penguin Lady,”by Carol A. Cole. In this picture book, Penelope Parker lives with penguins! Short ones, tall ones; young and old—the penguins are from all over the Southern Hemisphere including some that live near the equator! Do the penguin antics prove too much for her to handle? Children count and then compare and contrast the different penguin species as they learn geography.
In the meantime, however, you can learn all about the Antarctic’s rival region, the Arctic, by checking out our wonderful title, “In Arctic Waters,” by Laura Crawford. While reading this book, you and your child can follow polar bears, walruses, seals, narwhals, and beluga whales while they chase each other around the ice in the Arctic waters! It is a pure delight to read aloud, and the “For Creative Minds” section helps children learn how these animals live in the cold, icy arctic region.
This summer I made friends with a wonderful lady. I treasure our friendship, and we have a splendid time when we get together. The funny thing is that in many ways we are not alike, and no doubt some people are surprised that we are friends at all. I cannot really explain it, but for some reason, our differences don't seem to matter, just like they don't for the two characters in today's picture book.
Rebecca Kai Dotlich
Illustrated by Aileen Leijten
For ages 5 to 7
Simon and Schuster, 2009, 978-0-689-85616-7
Bella lives in a neat little brick house at the base of tree, and every day she sits at her desk beneath a window and she writes poetry. Writing poetry is what she loves to do, and when her friend Bean turns up and starts to talk about her new hat, Bella is not amused. How can a mouse focus on creating poetry when someone is talking to her about hats? Bella makes it clear that she wants to be left alone to work on her poems.
After Bean leaves to walk down to Spoon Pond, Bella come up with some wonderful words, and she writes a poem. She is not left in peace for long before Bean is once again standing outside her window. This time Bean shows Bella her toes. Bean says that someone has told her that she has the “cutest toes.” Bella is not interested in Beans toes, and Bean soon leaves.
Bella is working on yet another poem, when Bean comes over and she is carrying “something big and green.” Bean invites Bella to come to Spoon Pond to help her plant her snow bush. Bella declines and she shuts her window. She has poems to write, and she has no time to talk about hats, admire toes, or plant snow bushes. Or maybe she does.
When readers meet Bella and Bean they will think that these two very different mice cannot possibly be friends because they are so very unalike. The funny thing is that they would be wrong. With a delightful text that is sprinkled with poems, and cunning illustrations, the author and illustrator show readers how people (or mice) who are very different can still be friends. They can share the things they love to do and find a common ground that allows them to have a close and meaningful relationship.
Blog: Children's Book Reviews and Then Some
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For those of you who already know and love (because, to know this book IS to love it) The Mysteries of Harris Burdick by Chirs Van Allsburg, first published in 1984 and beloved by teachers of all grades as an indispensable collection of creativity-inducing writing prompts, please skip this first paragraph for my review of The Chronicles of Harris Burdick: 14 Amazing Authors Tell the Tales. If you
by Jodi Moore
It’s okay to write a 2,000+ word picture book.
*braces self for screams of disbelief, coffee cups dropped, any chance of securing another book deal/agent/critique opening vanish, my own editors paling in shock, possible angry mobs at my doorstep and Tara questioning why-oh-why did she ever ask me to guest blog for PiBoIdMo?*
Now, hold up. I didn’t say it would be publishable. I just said it’s OKAY to write one. In fact, sometimes it may be necessary.
As picture book writers, we are challenged to deliver big ideas in as few words as possible. We are expected to fully develop our story, our characters, our plotline; captivate our audience; fashion a fabulous first sentence and create a satisfying end.
All while leaving room—and extending faith—for the illustrations.
It’s no easy task. So I ask…why would you limit yourself in the beginning with a word count?
Perhaps it may help to look at this in a different way. Let’s say I want to build a perfect sandcastle. If I only look at a finished product, say, one of my husband’s illustrious creations, and size up the amount of sand comprising the castle itself, I may decide I only need a few large buckets of sand to complete the task.
But that’s not what he starts with. Larry begins with an entire sandy beach. Using a large shovel, he piles on tons of sand. He sifts through bucket after bucket of the grainy particles. He packs it high as a mountain, scraping up more sand than he could possibly need.
That proud hill is his main idea. It’s the structure. The mass from which he will carve out his masterpiece. It’s his 2000+ words.
And then, he sculpts. He edits. He revises until he can see the more subtle nuances of the castle. Sometimes, a wall will cave or a doorway will be in the wrong place. But that’s okay, because he still has plenty of sand left. He can add. He can rebuild. My husband hasn’t limited himself to a few buckets of sand.
Why should you?
From your comments and posts on both this forum and Facebook, I know that you’re all busy creating your own pile of ideas. Embrace them…and write what’s in your heart. Use every word that’s necessary and a few that – you may find out later – are not. Restricting your words too early on may constrict your idea, choking the very life out of it. Let it breathe; let it swell. Let those words FLOW.
There will be plenty of time to revise—and reshape!—later.
Writing picture books can be a DAY at the beach. Shed those limitations and dig in!
Jodi Moore is the author of WHEN A DRAGON MOVES IN (May 2011, Flashlight Press) and the soon-to-be-published GOOD NEWS NELSON (Story Pie Press). She writes both picture books and young adult novels, hoping to challenge, nourish and inspire her readers by opening up brand new worlds and encouraging unique ways of thinking. You can visit he
You've probably heard that November is Picture Book Month. For many of us, our earliest reading memories involved a favorite story read by a parent, grandparent, or school librarian. Books that became favorites were requested over and over, until the grown-ups in our lives finally memorized the words.
A few of the fiction staff members shared their favorite childhood picture books with me recently:
For me, it was definitely Lon Po Po by Ed Young. My mom said it scared me every time she read it, yet I kept asking her to read it to me again and again and again. It’s kind of fun to think back on, because to this day I love wolves and comics (and this book was one of the few picture books to have sequential art in the form of panels). Second place has to be The Story of Ferdinand. I’ll never forget the way Ferdinand looked back at me with his sad, timid face. For whatever reason, it captivated me as a kid.
Sean Tulien, Editor
When I sat down to read Phyllis Root’s latest picture book, Scrawny Cat (Candlewick Press, 2011), to a class of second graders, they were all excited.
They had lots of stories to share about their pet cats, cats that belonged to friends and neighbors, and cats looking for homes.
So, they were very interested to hear the story of a lonely, little, lost cat looking for a home. They were sad when people told the cat to “get out of here.” They were worried when a mean dog chased him. And they were scared when the dinghy the cat hid in floated out to sea in a storm.
But just when it seemed all was lost, the dinghy landed on an island and Scrawny Cat met Emma who was just as lonely as he was.
And when I finished the book at the kids saw Scrawny Cat happy, safe and loved with Emma, they all said, “Awwww …”
Now, let’s hear from today’s guest reviewer, Aria, one of the students in the class. She’s never had a cat, because her sister is allergic to them, but she says that someday she’d like to have one.
Today’s reviewer: Aria.
Things I like to do: Climb trees, color and paint.
This book was about: A cat named Skipper who was a stray. His owners must have lost him. And he hides on a boat to get away from a mean dog and the boat sails away to a girl named Emma.
The best part was when: Skipper got his home and family — a new owner.
I smiled when: Skipper met Emma and she scratched his ears.
I was worried when: The boat drifted away in the big storm. And when the cat was being chased by the big dog.
I was surprised when:The girl picked him up and took him home and the cat was so worried that she would toss him out the door.
This book taught me: If a friend doesn’t want to be your friend anymore, that’s OK. Because you can find another friend who will like you, too.
Three words that best describe this book are: “Kindness.” “Nice.” “Friendly.”
My favorite line or phrase in the book: “Now, everyone called him Get Out of Here. But the scrawny cat knew his name was not Get Out of Here.
Other kids reading this book should watch for: “The big, growly dog.”
You should read this book because: It’s nice. People who have cats might like this book, too.
Thanks, Aria! You did a marvelous job.
This book’s author, Phyllis Root, has written more than 30 children’s books. If you’d like to learn more about her, you can visit this website, or read this question-and-answer interview.
If you’d like to learn more about illustrator Alison Friend, who made scrawny cat look so pathetic and scared I just wanted to pick him up and give him a hug, you can visit her website.
by Wendy Martin
“Everybody walks past a thousand story ideas every day. The good writers are the ones who see five or six of them. Most people don’t see any.” ~ Orson Scott Card
Five things to do to see new ideas:
- Make up songs. Sing them loudly and off-key.
- Wear clothes that don’t match. Top the outfit off with a funny hat.
- Climb a tree and hang upside-down.
- Splash in mud puddles.
- Reach for the big box of crayons. The one with the sharpener in the box.
If you’re at all like me, you have a lot of ideas swirling around in your brain almost constantly. They wake you up from a deep sleep, or make you lose count when you’re measuring the 3 ½ cups of flour into that cake recipe.
The trouble with a brain awhirl in ideas is sifting through the crowd to find the ones that will make a good picture book. We’re grown-ups. We think grown-up things like obeying the speed limit, who to vote for in the next election or whether we remembered to lock the front door. Sometimes I wonder about other things, too. Like if I can save money by installing solar panels, or what it would be like to live in a house underground.
In order to come up with ideas, really fun, child-like ideas that will appeal to the picture book crowd, we have to put our adult brain on the shelf. Kids don’t care about the speed limit, who’s running for office or if the house is locked up tight when they leave it.
That list above? Each one of the suggestions will help you get in touch with your inner 4-year-old. You know you want to! Just pick one and do it until you stop feeling silly and start enjoying yourself. Then take a refreshed look at the world around you. What do you see/hear/think now?
Did you see the hidden message in the image above? Take another look if you didn’t. Do you see now? Leave a comment below for a chance to win the original watercolor! A winner will be selected randomly in one week.
Wendy Martin is the illustrator of 5 picture books, 3 of which she also wrote. Her first book was chosen as a finalist for the best children’s book of the year during the 2009 Coalition of Visionary Resources annual international COVR awards. Her latest book, The ABCs of Lesser-Known Goddesses: An Art Nouveau Coloring Book for Kids of All Ages was released in June. She is a founding member of both the middle-grade book blog, From the Mixed-Up Files of Middle-Grade Authors, and the initiative to make November International Picture Book Month. Visit her on the web at WendyMartinIllustration.com, Twitter @WendyMartinArt or Facebook.
10 Comments on PiBoIdMo Day 19: Wendy Martin Has Five [Silly] Things To Do (plus a giveaway!), last added: 11/19/2011