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Stanley & Morris Florida Bound!

2011 May 6

Hi Chatters!

Poor Morris.  He’s been suffering and struggling with spring allergies so his fabulous dulcet tones are a bit more nasal than usual. With so many achoos and the challenge to keep him in tissues, we’ve been unable to get into the studio and record a new episode of RAT CHAT.  But, undaunted by swollen sinuses and a touch of laryngitis, we’re heading down to Orlando for some warm sun, less pollen and the IRA Conference. We give thumbs up for “The Power of Literacy”. (Of course, we don’t exactly have thumbs … but you know what I’m saying here.)

As we read our way down to Florida we’d like to share what’s in our book bags with our RAT CHAT audience: Morris is reading and enjoying — on his ipad — the Kirkus starred review brand new mid-grade novel, Cinderella Smith. Written by debut author Stephanie Barden and illustrated by one of our personal favorites, Diane Goode, this particular ‘Cinderella’ already has a sequel signed up at HarperCollins. Girls in grades 2-4 will have fun reading what PW calls a “clever slice-of-life” novel — and we agree. A little bit of mystery, a lot of laughs, a bright character full of spunk, and delightfully engaging illustrations make this book a winner.

The spot illustrations throughout the book are wonderful companions to the bright and breezy text. Read an excerpt!

One of you lucky CHATTERS can win a copy of this book — signed by both the author and illustrator, Stephanie and Diane —  by just leaving a comment! (No magical salacadoo or fairy godmother intervention necessary.)

Morris and I hope we can convince this modern-day ‘Cinderella’ to stop by for a future CHAT and maybe give us an ‘exclusive scoop’ about the next book, Cinderella Smith and the More the Merrier coming out in 2012.

I’m doing some ipad reading myself, enjoying the very funny and entertaining graphic novel, Attack of the Fluffy Bunnies. Anytime you have text by Andrea Beaty and illustrations by Dan Santat, you just know that means you’re going to be up to your cotton-tails in hilarity. And you were thinking summer camp was just bunk beds and s’mores?  Oh really? Try seven-foot fiendish fluffy alien rabbits invading Camp Whatsitooya and the world! Lucky that twins Joules and Kevin, who btw are insomniac devotees of scary late night movies, know how to deal with these out-of-this-world sugar-addicted hares. (Whew. It’s a nail-biter, all right — but with loads of chuckles.)

Morris has been having fun with the ‘Official Bunny Mask’, although, I notice a couple of folks down the aisle are … shall we say … not amused. (Of course, Morris has also been telling a lot of ‘butt’ jokes to anyone and everyone who will – or won’t listen … so that may have something to do with a couple of the grouchy receptions to his attempt at stand-up.  What can you do? Some people have no sense of humor.)

Morris loudly chuckled through the Perl and Cole sequel, Chicken Butt’s Back, and naturally, hasn’t missed an opportunity  to yuk it up with all the flight attendants as well. I finally had to take the book away from him for his own — uh … safety. However, I just didn’t have the heart to pry that chicken butt doll out of his arms. (Morris looks so cute when he’s asleep.)

Hey! We’re giving away a Henry Cole signed copy of this book! Just leave a comment, and you could be the lucky winner!  (To keep it all fair and square, Morris will wear his bunny mask and close his eyes when he makes the selection.) Cole’s other new book this season, Three Hens and a Peacock , by Lester L. Laminack, looks like another good book choice with its humor, lively dialogue, and engaging illustrations. We noticed that Mr. Cole will be at the conference, so Morris and I decided we must stop by one of his many scheduled signings to say hello. We’re big fans of his A Nest for Celeste. (We have that one on our ipad too.)

Besides the new Erica Perl and Henry Cole ‘butt’ book, Morris and I have both been enjoying a stack of other new picture books by some of our favorite authors and illustrators: An additional offering this season by Andrea Beaty, this time a counting book called Hide and Sheep, with illustrations by the very talented Bill Mayer. (Morris says Mayer’s illustrations remind him of the art and design from the Push Pin Studios. I agree.  Good stuff.) Check it out!

Kelly DiPucchio’s Clink is the story of a once-top shelf robot now finding he’s passed up in favor of newer snazzier models. There’s plenty of Dipucchio’s trademark humor throughout and charming illustrations by Matthew Myers.  Don’t miss the book trailer!

We always love anything and everything by the uniquely talented Mini Grey.  Her newest, Three by the Sea, is about a dog, cat, and mouse whose friendship is challenged by an outsider and ‘The Winds of Change’.  This sophisticated, but totally relatable tale, will intrigue readers of all ages, and lead to some thought-provoking discussions.  Don’t miss this one.

Katie Davis and her husband Jerry have created a darling new picture book for the very young reader entitled Little Chicken’s Big Day. With colorful, bold, graphic, ‘signature Katie’ illustrations, the book is funny and sweet. Ms. Davis also has a very cute ‘Little Chicken’ onesie available for your own little chick. (Personally, it’s so cute, I’d wear it myself!) We hear you cluckin’ you adorable little chicken! And CHATTERS, you must watch the super cute book trailer!

We love Kate Feiffer’s delightful new book, My Side of the Car, illustrated by her dad, Jules. We will be CHATTING about this book on a future RAT CHAT episode in June to celebrate Father’s Day  –  so stay tuned!  

And don’t miss our very next CHAT coming up later in May on the Carolyn Crimi/David Roberts new book — Dear Tabby. We’ll keep all of you CHATTERS posted about its air date.

I hear Morris snoring. (That nose of his is still all stuffed up.) Hmmm. Maybe I’ll put in the ol’ ear plugs and try to get in a short snooze myself before we land.

Keep reading — and we’ll see all of you CHATTERS next time on … RAT CHAT!


5 Responses leave one →
  1. djstrait permalink
    May 7, 2011

    Dear Morris & Stanley, I hope you recover from allergies in Florida. Thanks for the review about Cinderella Smith. As a teacher of first and second grade students, I am always looking for new, great early chapter books for my students. I love Diane Goode’s illustrations in so many of her other picture books. Someone with the same first name has to be great! :)

  2. Yvonne J permalink
    May 22, 2011

    Did I read correctly….one comment….two books..Cinderella Smith and/or Chicken Butt’s Back? I love to win either….or better yet….both. I love your reviews because the are so ( ummmm, what’s that word I’m looking for) ….. unique……yes, that’s it, unique, just about sums it up. Thanks.

    • May 22, 2011

      You are correct, Yvonne — two books for one comment! And what delightful books they are –
      the positively engaging CINDERELLA SMITH and the wonderfully sheer silliness of CHICKEN BUTT’S BACK. You are in the hopper!

  3. Lorelie permalink
    May 29, 2011

    You guys are amazing! I can’t wait to share you with my kids at school! Keep up the great work. Is it too late to win the books? One can never have too many books :0)

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