Jane Wattenberg love + Dog Parade review

April 11, 2012

First of all, I have a new review of Barbara Joosse’s Dog Parade on Katie Davis‘s Brain Burps About Books podcast today. It’s a great book, with the best illustrations by Eugene Yelchin. Ramona, in all her dog-loving-ness, went crazy for this one. You can check out the details of the episode here, or you can listen to it directly by clicking here.

SECOND: The episode features Katie interviewing Jane Wattenberg. She wrote and illustrated the amazing and hilarious Henny Penny, and was kind enough to contact me when her new book, Mrs. Mustard’s Beastly Babies, came out in February. I’m sure she heard me screaming, “YES! PLEASE! SEND IT TO US!” all the way across the country, because she gave us a little extra giftie of a new copy of Mrs. Mustard’s Baby Faces. Which we desperately needed.

Here is Ramona, holding what was left of our old copy of Baby Faces:

Can you tell that it’s in pieces? It’s been loved to bits.

Let me tell you a little about these books. They are large, bright, accordion-fold board books, with baby heads floating against fun and wild backgrounds. Baby Faces has happy babies on one side and sad babies on the other (all adults immediately say, “Awww!” when they see the crying baby with the snot bubble…which is cuter than it sounds). Beastly Babies shows babies next to animals — a cow, a monkey, a cat — to which they bear a striking resemblance. The brilliance of the accordion fold is that kids can lay it out long on their lap, flap it around, use it as a wall to build a little fort, and many other things that make them feel like they are masters of enormous yet portable books.

Plus all babies like to look at other babies. Always. The new Mrs. Mustard books are already getting tons of daily reading in our house. Here are Ramona and Zuzu with the new books:

So, this is all to say that I’m very excited about Katie interviewing Jane Wattenberg, because she has been so incredibly gracious by sending us these awesome books, and also is clearly the nicest person ever. Besides that, I’m interested to hear her tale of self-publishing Beastly Babies. Go listen! And read!

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CATEGORIES: books

Poetry Month Happenings

April 3, 2012

First, I love that Portland changed the Time & Temperature building message for National Poetry Month.

Of course, because of space limitations, it sort of reads like Cookie Monster yelling at you, but still, it made me smile.

Second, the boys were so inspired by Alan Katz’s video on Katie Davis’s blog (though they have also been on kind of an Alan Katz kick lately anyway, but the video gave them a push). Here’s Henry’s Alan-Katzian poem:

He said he spelled Crash with a K because “it’s more sound effecty.” (If you can’t tell what’s going on in the poem/picture: the boy has sawn the house to bits, including, as Henry told me with a mite more enthusiasm than I was comfortable with: “Sawing off the banister and spindles and using that as a ladder!”)

Eli’s poem isn’t written down yet, but he’s repeated it 50 billion times, so I have memorized it and can tell you what it is:

My mom went bananas,
My dad blew his stack,
Because I threw my baseball
At his new Cadillac.

Happy Poetry Month!

CATEGORIES: books, Eli, Henry