“Now Mouse was really, really, really, really mad. Standing-still mad. Mouse did not hop. He did not stomp. He did not scream or roll on the ground. He stood very, very still. ‘Impressive,’ said Hare. ‘What control,’ said Bear.
‘Are you breathing?’ asked Hedgehog.”
— From Mouse Was Mad (Click image to enlarge.)
Jules: Welcome to our weekly meeting ground for taking some time to reflect on Seven(ish) Exceptionally Fabulous, Beautiful, Interesting, Hilarious, or Otherwise Positive Noteworthy Things from the past week, whether book-related or not, that happened to you. Say that seven times fast.
This week we have one illustrator, Mr. Henry Cole (who has worked on more than fifty books and whom Erica Perl calls “a national treasure,” and I’d have to agree), and two authors, Ms. Perl herself and Linda Urban, whose stories Henry has illustrated this year in Linda’s Mouse Was Mad (pictured above) and Erica’s Chicken Butt! Know what? Yeah, I said chicken butt.
If you haven’t seen these titles yet and especially if you live and/or work with preschool children, I’m here to say that if you manage to get yourself copies and take a gander, you won’t be disappointed. Erica (who penned this very funny picture book in 2006) brings us Chicken Butt!, released by Abrams in April. She’s adapted into picture book form the classic school-yard rhyme, turning it into a call-and-response between a frustrated father, just trying to read the newspaper on a lazy afternoon, and his son, who manages to let a tattooed chicken—with, yes, a butt—follow him home. Publishers Weekly describes Henry’s art work in this one as “wryly effervescent as ever,” and Kirkus calls the book’s romp “a powerful piece of cacophony.” As for Linda’s Mouse Was Mad, released by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in May and met with great reviews all-around, well…move over, Sophie. (Okay, so she doesn’t really have to move over. That’s a great book, too.) This is a tale of a wee, WEE—but determined—mouse who is literally hoppin’ mad and trying to find just the right way to vent his anger. Mouse is also painfully adorable, but—as Kelly Fineman’s already put it—don’t tell him, because “being told one is adorable when one is angry is cause for still more rage.” Linda is the author of 2007’s A Crooked Kind of Perfect, and this is her first picture book.
As you can see, I’ve got a bit of Henry-art today. I had wanted to include this in my posts last week (here and here), shining a light on cartoon illustrations, but I knew that Erica and Linda would be stopping by today to say hi. So, here they all are. Let’s get to it — before we go kickin’ . . .
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