Today is the launch day for Fox and Crow Are Not Friends, my Random House Step Into Reading title. Color me squee! I had an immense amount of fun writing this book. It begins with a retelling of Aesop’s fable about a fox, a crow, and a piece of cheese, and continues from there with new adventures in enmity. I thought it would be fun to explore what happened after that first famous encounter. And I know how much kids like a good fight. I had such a good time writing characters who were pretty much at each other’s throats the whole time.
The art is by the talented Sebastien Braun. He captured all the humor, whimsy, and furious glaring I was going for. I’m thrilled to bits.
Today is also launch day for my pal Anne Marie Pace‘s delightful picture book, Vampirina Ballerina, illustrated by LeUyen Pham. It’s been racking up the great reviews. You can get a sneak peek of the interiors on LeUyen’s blog.
Pham and Pace are entirely in sync in this sweetly goth “how to” for vampirettes under the spell of something more powerful than anything the dark forces can muster: ballet….”The road to ballerinadom can be bumpy,” Pace reminds readers, and it’s not any easier when one is alarming to one’s classmates or occasionally turns into a bat. The underlying messages are familiar: there are no shortcuts to achieving an ambitious dream, and persistence and a sunny outlook (even when one is a creature of the night) pay off. But seldom have these lessons been expounded with so much charm.—Publisher’s Weekly
Blog: Here in the Bonny Glen (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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The familiar fable about Fox and Crow, retold for new readers.
Youngsters will quickly understand the word “outfoxed” after reading these tales of flattery, greed and cheese, told as three connected short stories. Fox and Crow are enemies, fighting over one hunk of cheese as if it were the last morsel of food on the planet. It won’t take long for readers to giggle at just how far these two will go for the cheese. Fox gets the best of Crow in the first story, in which Fox flatters Crow into dropping the cheese directly into Fox’s mouth. Next, Crow dreams of ways to get the cheese back and spends every waking moment constructing a cunning trap, with stew-covered Crow as the lure. Success! Fox retaliates in the final chapter, but both critters are outsmarted by the watchful Mama Bear. Humorous watercolor illustrations are punctuated by thought bubbles showing the animal’s plans; other playful details include the owl’s eyes watching the shenanigans from a safe distance and the eventual sheepish looks when the enemies are trapped in the same net, with Mama Bear chastising them from the side.
Funny chapter titles will amuse adults, and subtle visual details make this a fable book that new readers will return to. (Early reader. 3-7)
Yippee! Oh, you guys, I can’t wait for you to see Sebastien’s art in this book. He did a marvelous job—so much humor and energy in his work. I’m over the moon.Add a Comment
Blog: Read to Me! (Login to Add to MyJacketFlap)
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We’ve started taking Scarlett to the library. With mixed results. I have such rose-colored memories of the church that books built, it didn’t occur to me that two year-olds aren’t yet aware of the library behavior policy. It all went fine at first. We stopped at the front to get Scarlett a library card since there is no longer a minimum age requirement. She had insisted on wearing her ladybug fairy wings for the occasion, so it all seemed magical. For about five seconds. The moment we stepped in the children’s section, the darling little fairy everyone was fussing over turned into Destructo Girl with me chasing like a maniac behind. She whipped through the shelves, pulling books off as she went, expressing her naughty delight at the top of her impressive little lungs. In seconds, I gave up trying to make this a “teachable moment”--getting at her eye level, using a calm voice, explaining expectations in simple language (you know, the touchy-feely stuff our parents think is ridiculous)-- and concentrated on surviving it without being banned from the library for life. Hurricane Scarlet roared through the stacks, seemingly unstoppable, until one book caught her eye and she stopped dead in her tracks. Melissa Lagnegro’s Sealed with a Kiss, from Disney’s Step Into Reading series, is for beginning readers, not toddlers, but Scarlett doesn’t know any better. Either way, it was enough to get her to settle down and look quietly at the pictures. A welcome lull in the storm.