New reviews: Monster’s Monster and Pirateria

January 23, 2013

Last week, I reviewed The Monster’s Monster by Patrick McDonnell on Brain Burps About Books. I really love the use of color in this book: In the beginning of the book, when the three little monsters are trying to be bad, the colors are all grey and dark and gloomy. And then, when they build their own monster (who’s supposed to be big and bad but turns out a bit different), the colors lighten and get sunnier.

You should also listen to this review to hear a cameo from Dave as the voice of the monster.

You can go here to listen to the episode (or you can subscribe in iTunes).

Then, this week, I review Pirateria: The Wonderful, Plunderful Pirate Emporium by Calef Brown. I love Calef Brown. His art makes me so happy. His nutty, loopy world is populated by lovable oddballs. People might have green or purple skin: what of it? Sometimes I just poke around on his Etsy shop, pretending I live in CalefBrownlandia.

Oh, and guess what? He can write, too. Not only write, but write in rhyme. Seriously, I’d read a Calef Brown book if it was just his illustrations and, like “GUY. OTHER GUY.” written underneath. ┬áBut he writes, in rhyme, and the poems are funny and interesting and perfectly complement the wacky illustrations.

Yeah, Julie, could you get to this book, please? Ok: So Pirateria is a book about a store for pirates, who need to load up on pirate gear. Why has no one written a book about a pirate store before? I don’t know. I’m glad Calef Brown is the one that did it. This book rocks.

You can listen to the episode here.


New review on Brain Burps: Stay: The True Story of Ten Dogs

January 10, 2013

Today on Brain Burps I review Stay: The True Story of Ten Dogs. This is one of those books that I grabbed without reading it first, because Ramona insists that a certain percentage of our library haul is made up of dog books. We were all completely charmed by this story, and every photo is cuter than the last. The story is such a powerful (and sweet) one, about second chances, patience, and perseverance.

You want to see Luciano Anastasini and his circus dogs? We did too! Here’s a video of their act.

I also have to say that books like Stay and stories like the one in today’s New York Times about the woman in North Carolina who has hundreds of cats do nothing for my repressed desire to have three dogs, nine cats, a goat and some chickens.

Katie interviews Eric VanRaepenbusch today (of the Happy Birthday Author blog) about how he used social media to drive tons of traffic to the site for his Three Ghost Friends books.

You can see more about this episode here, or go subscribe in iTunes.


So loud you can’t hear it

January 8, 2013

bullet points

I found this list while I was cleaning today. My thoughts (other than: Henry needs to work on his handwriting) are that there is a quiet poeticism going on in my 9-year-old that I only find out about when I find discarded papers under the couch. Secret poetic tidbits.


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