Dad: Alright, who's excited?
Dad: Oh for the love...
Kids: We got a new book! We got a new book for Bookie Woogie!
Dad: What does it say on the package? It says "Gerstein." Do you remember who Mordicai Gerstein is?
Gracie (age 8): "How to Paint the Portrait of a Bird!"
Dad: Do you remember what Mr. Gerstein said in the email he wrote to you?
Gracie: He liked our review, and he would send us his new book! This must be it!
Dad: Let's see what it's called... (opening package) It's called...
Isaac (age 10): "A Book."
Dad: Of course it's a book.
Lily (age 6): It's called "A Book."
Gracie: It has a whole bunch of crazy guys on the cover.
Isaac: A clown, a goose, a parrot...
Gracie: ...the "I'm-late-I'm-late-for-a-very-important-date" Rabbit.
Dad: Alright, let's read it!
Dad: So what do you think?
Gracie: This is a funny book. I liked it a lot!
Isaac: The story is a story of a girl finding a story in her story!
Gracie: That's a lot of "stories."
Dad: A family of characters lives in this book, and each person has their own story.
Gracie: But the girl didn't know what her story is. So she tries to find it.
Dad: She visits different kinds of stories to see if any of them are a good fit. What kinds of stories did she check out?
Isaac: Fairytales, a pirate story, a mystery story, a historical story, a science fiction story with aliens...
Lily: The aliens are funny.
Isaac: One of them says "Pipick" and the other one says "Pupick."
Lily: I like the pink one -- it's a girl.
Isaac: They look like little suns and they have one eyeball.
Dad: Do you know what a "historical" book is?
Isaac: From a long time ago. Like "Little House on the Prairie."
Gracie: Like me!
Dad: Like you! I think you belong in the historical story. Tell everyone how you were dressed when the book arrived.
Gracie: I'm wearing a dress that looks like it's from olden days, and an apron, and a bonnet!
Isaac: Try jumping into the book!
Dad: It's cool because the characters know they live in a book. How did the girl find out that there are people reading about her?
Isaac: The goose said to look up.
Gracie: And the girl screamed "Ahh! What's that big blobby thing that looks like a face!"
Dad: You almost started crying when she said that!
Gracie: I'm not a blobby thing...
Dad: Maybe she was looking at Lily.
Lily: No, you!
Lily: Yeah, because you were reading it!
Dad: True enough. I probably have the blobby head. Besides, if she had been looking at Gracie she would have said, "What's that thing in a baby bonnet?"
Gracie: It's a Little House on the Prairie bonnet!
Isaac: She couldn't see me - I hid behind the book.
Lily: I don't want to be seen.
Dad: What do you think about the illustrations?
Isaac: The pictures in this book are cool! They look like 3-D popping up.
Lily: The people look like they are walking on the pages.
Isaac: One of the ways he makes it look like 3-D is with shadows.
Dad: ...cast shadows.
Isaac: And he kind of makes the people look like they are tilted, coming up at you.
Gracie: And when he makes speech bubbles, he makes them look like they're popping up too.
Dad: If our family lived in a book, who do you think the main character would be?
Gracie: All of us. Or... probably Lily. She's the one who is most interesting in our family.
Lily: I am?
Isaac: She is?
Lily: I would like to be in the story of Cinderella because there was a prince in there. All those kinds of stories are princess stories, so I would be a princess.
Gracie: I want to be in a comedy story. About candy.
Isaac: I want to be in a book about cool stuff like how to build tree forts and how to make bows and arrows.
Dad: You guys are kind of in a story every week through Bookie Woogie. And you have Readers. We just can't see them. Or their blobby heads.
Gracie: I know what story we are in. We are in a story about an artist family. A family where everyone is an artist - except Mom.
Mom: I want to be in a book about a clean house.
Dad: Anything else you want to say?
Gracie: Thank-you Mordicai Gerstein!
Isaac: We really love the book!
Dad: "A Book" hits shelves in April. Be on the lookout!
Author/Illustrator: Mordicai Gerstein
Published, April 2009: Roaring Brook Press
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