Posted in Book Review

Big Cat

By Emma Lazell

Book Source: provided in exchange for a review

Book Status: Available July 30, 2019 in US

Dad likes to tell us the story about my grandmother letting an opossum in the house when he was younger. She thought it was their cat. So when I was offered the chance to review a book about a grandmother mistaking a tiger for her cat, I had to say yes!

This book is about a grandma who mistakes a tiger for a cat. They try to return it to their neighbors but it doesn’t belong to any of them. Then some —– SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT!!!!!!!!!!! Grandmother’s new cat is a really a lost tiger! Oops 😬

I recommend this to anyone who needs a laugh!

Oh and my grandmother never got to have a tea party with her opossum

Posted in Meet the authors

Carrie Pearson

Author website/social media:

Website: http://www.carriepearsonbooks.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/carrieapearson
New Instagram author account: https://www.instagram.com/carrieapearson.author/
Instagram personal account: https://www.instagram.com/carrieapear/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/carrieapearson/

Carrie at a recent book signing

 

 

 

 

 

And school visit

1.     When you were my age (10), did you like to read?

I LOVED to read at your age, and still do. When I was ten, I spent as much time reading as I possibly could. I read on my living room couch, at the table during meals (when my mom allowed it), up in a maple tree in the front yard, soaking in the tub, and in bed before lights out. Don’t tell my mom, but I also read after lights out. 

2.     What is a book that made an impact on you?

If I have to select one, it would be Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry, original cover by Wesley Dennis shown here. My heart raced when the Spanish ship carrying beautiful horses is caught in a terrible storm and the horses have to swim for their lives. My heart dropped when Misty and her mother were sold to a different owner than Maureen and Paul. And my heart soared when Misty and the Beebe children built a trusting relationship. This book completely captured me and influenced the name I chose for my first horse which was Daughter of the Wind. Very dramatic, right? J

 

3.     Is it hard to come up with book ideas? You write both fiction and non-fiction – is that hard? 

I usually don’t have trouble with ideas. My family and friends often hear me say, “Hey, what if there was a book about X?” and we debate that idea. The hard part is finding the right way to tell the story that chooses me. I want all my books – fiction and nonfiction – to be memorable and leave a lasting impact on readers. That goal makes me work hard to tell a story in a way that grabs readers, changes them somehow, and makes them want to share the book with others. 

 

4.     What author or book have you read recently that impacted you?
A brand new book called GIRLS WITH GUTS! THE ROAD TO BREAKING BARRIERS AND BASHING RECORDS by DebbieGonzalez rocked my world. This nonfiction picture book introduces brave women throughout history who were instrumental in changing the world of athletics for women and girls. It’s compelling reading, the art is fun, and I learned a lot about the challenges women who came before me faced when all they wanted to do is play sports! Crazy. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.    Is there a new or lesser known author you think kids should be aware of? 

Lindsey McDivitt is an author and editor whose latest book is a picture book biography called NATURE’S FRIEND: THE GWEN FROSTIC STORY. I know children will like Lindsey’s writing because it conjures images in our heads. For example, here is the opening line of NATURE’S FRIEND: “Gwen followed her brothers and sisters everywhere, like a small fawn follows its herd.” I’m particularly drawn to this biography of nature artist Gwen Frostic because like Gwen, I feel the natural world is so important and we should respect and care for it. I’ve recently been honored with the Michigan Reading Association’s Gwen Frostic Award which brings me great joy. But back to Lindsey! I hope you’ll check out her new book and here is her website to learn more: https://www.lindseymcdivitt.com/about/

 

6.     What advice do you have for a kid who wants to be an author?

Read, write, explore, and repeat. It’s really that simple. Read things you know you’ll like. Read things you don’t think you’ll like. Write easy things. Write harder things. Explore places you love. Explore places you think you won’t love. Do these things over and over. Keep trying and reaching and sharing what you learn and write with others. If you do these things, you’ll realize you are an author already. 

 

7.     As an author, do you hear from your readers? What do you like about that?

Because my readers are younger, I mostly hear from them during my school visits or after the visit when they send thank you notes. I love hearing what they learned from my talks and my books. I love knowing that their world has shifted a bit with new information. And I love just hearing their perspectives. One of my favorites is this one from a very young student. J Spoiler alert: the answer is yes. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8.     If you could portal into any book (yours or another person’s), what book would it be?

WOW. This is a HARD question! Any story told well makes me want to enter that world. But, okay, today I’ll portal from my home in upper Michigan into the world of my most recent nonfiction picture book, STRETCH TO THE SUN: FROM A TINY SPROUT TO THE TALLEST TREE ON EARTH. The ecosystem in Redwood National Park in northern California, where my main character lives, is so special. It’s cool, and quiet, and yet completely full of life. It smells green and piney. The coast redwoods found there are astoundingly tall and so grand, they are hard to comprehend. Here is a picture of me taken on my research trip for the book. This isn’t a particularly big tree by coast redwood standards but it had a river of water running from the top to the bottom of the tree which I’d never seen before. 

And another from that trip showing how small a car looks compared to some coast redwoods. Did I mention they are big trees? 
Posted in Illustrators, Meet the authors

Joey Weiser

1. When you were my age, did you like to read? I’ve always loved comics and comic strips. When I was your age I liked to read fantasy and sci-fi novels, especially if they had humor in them, but around that time I was also discovering superhero comics like X-Men.

2. What is a book that impacted you? Jeff Smith’s Bone had a huge impact. Like I said, I liked reading superhero comics and following their adventures, but the kinds of comics that I drew as a kid always looked more like the comic strips I enjoyed, like Calvin & Hobbes or Bloom County. Bone showed me that I could blend the two styles of comics together into one thing, and from then on that’s exactly what I wanted to create.
3.  Is it hard to come up with book ideas? It can be hard to come up with ideas. The good thing about making graphic novels is that it takes so long that you have time to let ideas come to you for what you want to work on next! Ideas can come from all sorts of different places, for instance thinking about your life, or reflecting on the books and movies you like, or just letting your imagination wander.
4. What author or illustrator have you read lately that impacted you? Lately I’ve been very interested in the work of Shigeru Mizuki, like his awesome Kitaro series. Kitaro’s fun but spooky mood was a big influence on Ghost Hog.
5. Is there a newer or less known author/illustrator that people should know about? Mathew New has just announced that his mini-comic series Billy Johnson And His Duck Are Explorers has been planned for publication as a graphic novel in 2020! Those comics are so fun, I highly recommend checking them out!
6. What advice do you have for kids who want to be an author/illustrator? Write and draw as much as you can! Think about why you like the things you like and try to use some of those same qualities in your work. But if you write and draw as much as you can, every day if possible, you almost can’t help but get better!
7. As an author, do you hear from your readers? What do you like about it?I hear from readers a little bit. It’s always very encouraging to know that people are reading my work, because that’s why I create it! I really see my comics being read as the final step in the process. That’s why conventions and school / library visits are nice. I get a chance to see my readers and hear about what they think of my work.
8. If you could portal into any book, which would it be? There are some really cool islands in Eiichiro Oda’s One Piece. I’d love to visit the island made of candy, or the floating island in the sky… except they are always way more dangerous than you’d want in those stories!! I’d want to visit a peaceful version, I guess.
9. Why do you think graphic readers are important for children? Comics are great because they have a hand-made quality that shows that not only can you read the kinds of books you want, you can also create them yourself! This isn’t like a movie that takes dozens or hundreds of people to make. All you need is a some drawing materials and you can tell the story in your head.
Posted in Book Review, Graphic Novels, Reviews by Annoying Little Brother

Ghost Hog

By Joey Weiser

book Source: bought at TCAF

Book Status: available

During free comic book day, we got a copy of Ghost Hog. At TCAF, we met Joey Weiser and got a full sized copy of Ghost Hog. The free comic book day is a little different than the book.

Ghost Hog is a graphic novel about a Hog is also a ghost. It is a girl named Truffles. Her nickname is Truf. The book is about her adventures as a ghost. She has to deal with something that is not so nice (The Hunter).

It was fun to read. I recommend this to kids who like ghosts and kids who like adventures.

Posted in Book Review

The unhappy little pig

By Howard Wong

Illustrated by Adrian Alphona

Book Source: bought at TCAF

Book Status: Available (limited printing)

This book is about an unhappy little pig who tries to be each different animals on the Chinese Zodiac. It doesn’t make him happy. He eventually settles for… spoiler alert… spoiler 🚨…. being himself.

This is a story about being happy with yourself or what you do and what you have. This is something kids struggle with – we feel like we need to be better, cooler, popular. We will still struggle with being happy with ourselves but books like this help.

This book was limited printed for the Hong Kong International Young Readers Festival. Mine is copy 197/200 (Howard brings a stack and you can pick your number). I don’t know how many he has left but I hope this gets reprinted so more people can have it!

BTW I think his dedication is funny!

Posted in Behind the Scenes, Meet the authors

Howard Wong

Author website/social media: howard-wong.blogspot.com

1.     When you were my age (10), did you like to read?

I loved reading at a young age. The library was my favorite place to visit and still is. 

2.     What is a book that made an impact on you?

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I borrowed a well-read copy from the library with a cover that had seen better days during a summer when I was ten. I read the whole thing in one afternoon while visiting my grandparents. I just couldn’t put it down. The whimsical adventure that Charlie took me as a reader inspired my imagination. 

3.     Is it hard to come up with book ideas? 

Sometimes it is. Inspiration for ideas can come from anywhere at any time. I tend to collect some ideas that come to me that aren’t ready to be a full story yet. I like to revisit these unfinished ideas to see if I can mold them into a story. 

4.     What author or book have read recently that impacted you?

Rick Remender’s Black Science series, which isn’t a book. It’s a comic book series which has been one of my favorite stories I’ve read in a while. It has all kinds of adventures set in a world where we travel through multiple dimensions with different versions of the world we know, interesting character development and many twist and turns. It’s not fit for young readers though. 

Is there a new or lesser known author you think kids should be aware of? 

Oliver Jeffers is one that I point out to friends when we talk about picture books we love. Lost and Found is one of my favorites of his. His stories and beautiful art compliment each other perfectly to tell funny stories with heart. 

Why do you think graphic readers like yours are important for kids?

I think all kinds of books are important for kids. Having grown up as a reader, books for me then and now are the magical gateway to incredible worlds, adventures, mysteries, and self-discovery! I wrote The Unhappy Little Pig from the inspiration of how we try to be like other people we feel are better than us, but it’s really not the way to find happiness. By the end of the story, we discover what makes the unhappy little pig truly happy. This is something that I hope kids will find true for themselves too. 

7. What advice do you have for a kid who wants to be an author?

Read different genre of books. Even ones that you think you don’t like just to try them out. Like trying new types of food, you never know if you like it until you give it a go. 

Write every day, but don’t worry about it being perfect the first time. When we write we make mistakes, come up with better ideas, and more. We go through many drafts before we get to the version we like most, which is the one you’ll see in a book. So don’t worry about changing things in your story. We do it all the time. 

Share your stories with your family and friends. Ask them what they like and don’t like about your stories. This will let you see what works well and what parts of your story you’ll need to work on a bit more. 

8. As an author, do you hear from your readers? What do you like about that?

I have readers who’ve commented on my work on social media and in person like at TCAF. I like readers sharing their thoughts, feelings, and opinions of my stories with me. I get to know what that like about my writing, but I also get to share stories of how I came up with certain things like using an old photo of our first dog as one of the characters. 

9.If you could portal into any book (yours or another person ’s), what book would it be?

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The whimsical world alone would be fun to experience, but of course there’s also all that chocolate and candy too!

Posted in Book Review

Clyde

By Jim Benton

Book Source: provided in exchange for review

Book Status: Available

I met Jim Benton at a book event last year and it totally didn’t occur to me I had been reading his work for years. I didn’t expect to meet the Jim Benton and him to be so nice. I just reviewed Catwad by him and was excited when his pr person reached out about reviewing Clyde! So here we go…

This book is about a bear who is named Clyde and wants to be a bad guy. I think he is like me and wakes up on the wrong side of the bed a lot. When he goes to a town where everyone is mean, he meets a butterfly named Melisa Sue, who beats Clyde up. She’s a second grader. She also beats up some guys at the town. When the go back to Clyde’s home to save his grandma turtle from fish jail. She’s in jail for splashing a fish. They get there, and about 900 other animals are there to, including a PENGUIN AND A KITTY!!!!!!!

I recommend this book to people who want to be an tough and people who are bully’s.