Monday, March 29, 2010

Chicken Nugget Lemon Tooty

"March" means "Reading Month." 

"Reading Month" means "Author Visits." 

"Author Visits" means a busy schedule for Z-Dad. 

12 school visits and 4 library visits this season (all on top of trying to illustrate 3 books) means I'm a bit behind.  And, alas, this week Bookie Woogie has to take a back seat...

BUT rather than skip a week, I thought we'd raid the kid's other blog for a children's book related post...

Did you know the kids have another blog?  Since 2006, "Chicken Nugget Lemon Tooty" has been a place to capture some of the art that naturally pours out of the Z-Kids.  Last year, to celebrate that site's 3 year Anniversary and 250th post, I wanted to do something special.  The kids had been creating fan art here on Bookie Woogie, and I thought it might be fun to turn the tables.  So I posted an open invitation over there for folks to browse the CNLT archives, find a favorite kid drawing, and do their own grown-up fan art.

The response was overwhelmingly gracious.  I thought maybe we'd get three or four takers.  Instead 73 pieces of beautiful artwork rolled in over the course of a month.  Quite a few pieces were submitted by professional children's book illustrators -- here are a few examples showing the kid's original art and the illustrator's interpretation:

by Isaac (at age 9)

by Nathan Hale:

by Gracie (at age 8)

by Adam Rex:

by Lily (at age 5)

by Renata Liwska:

by Isaac (at age 10)

by Kristi Valiant:

by Lily (at age 4)

by Julie Phillipps:

by Isaac (at age 9)

by Bob Boyle:

On and on it went....  It was incredibly kind of everyone and very encouraging to the kids.  I invite you to check out all 73 illustrations HERE!

(And we'll return to our regular programing next week!)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Interview #5: Amy Young

Every so often while we're out and about, we are fortunate to bump into Amy Young -- author, illustrator, and friend.  You may remember last year we reviewed one of her Belinda the Ballerina books.  Now Amy has a brand new book out called "The Mud Fairy."  Not only was she kind enough to let us chat with her about this great new title, but she also let us stop by for a studio tour!  And she capped the visit by sitting down with the kids at the kitchen table, sprawled with supplies, to make art together!  Thanks to Amy for the truly memorable day!

The portrait of Mrs. Young above was drawn by Gracie.  And we set Isaac loose with a camera during the studio tour, so we have him to thank for all the photographs below...

Dad:  Before we share the interview/studio tour, why don't you guys first tell everyone about "The Mud Fairy..."
Isaac (age 11):  It's about a fairy who wants to get her wings.
Lily (age 7):  There is this little fairy girl... actually she's 100 years old.
Dad:  Little in size, but not in age.
Lily:  Very little in size.  But when fairies are born, they are probably 60 or something.
Dad:  Well, they'd be zero when they are born.  They just live longer.
Lily:  Wow.  She's old.
Gracie (age 9):  Her name is Emmalina, and she has to earn her wings.
Lily:  She needs a talent to earn her wings.  And she doesn't have a talent.
Dad:  What kind of talents did the other fairies have?
Lily:  Rainbow making.  Opening flowers.  Putting dewdrops on spider webs.
Gracie:  Fairies are supposed to be dainty and flit around.
Lily:  But she's the opposite.  She likes playing in the swamps and usually she gets in trouble.
Isaac:  The only thing she really liked doing was getting dirty and playing leapfrog with the frogs.
Gracie:  Then the frogs have babies, and they freak out.
Lily:  They were like, "Help! Help! Our babies are strange!"  But really they were just tadpoles.
Isaac:  She told the frogs what was going on, and she helped them raise the tadpoles.
Gracie:  She helps train them and protect them.  And in the end she gets her wings for helping the frogs.

Thanks guys!  And now it's time to share our visit to Amy Young's studio...

Dad:  Thanks for letting us come over!
Amy Young:  I'm so glad that you all came to visit!  I like it when I do a book signing or a reading and you guys are out in the audience... Hey there's the Zenz family!
Lily:  You have a really cool art studio.
Amy Young:  I do have a great studio -- I'm so lucky.  When we were looking for a house, it had to have a good studio area.
Dad:  Great windows... great light... great view...
Amy Young:  In the spring, the water is high and we can canoe around out there.
Isaac:  That's cool.
Amy Young:  I think the mud fairy must live right outside there...  I was very inspired by where I live.  You can't tell now because of the snow, but all the flowers inside the book grow right out there in the spring and summer.
Lily:  What's that on the floor?
Amy Young:  That's one of my dog's bones... one of Sophie's bones.  She keeps me company while I'm working.
Gracie:  You must like bones.  Because you've got a little skeleton person up over there.  You've got a 'bones' book right there.  You've got that big dead thingie on the wall.
Amy Young:  Bones are pretty.  They are the structure underneath everything.  And I have that human skeleton because if I'm having trouble figuring out how somebody moves, sometimes it helps to understand what their bones are doing.  So I'll actually pose this skeleton and make a little sketch from it.
Gracie:  Guess what - I have something like that.  It's made out of wood and you can bend it into poses.  But that skeleton is a little more accurate.
Dad:  Well, who has a question for Mrs. Young?
Lily:  Which do you like more, writing or illustrating?
Amy Young:  I probably like illustrating a little more.  It's a little easier for me.  When I'm writing, I'm making the story up out of the blue.  But when I'm illustrating, I'm drawing what I've already written.  And also, I've drawn all my life.
Lily:  Did you ever take ballet classes?
Dad:  Ah, a "Belinda" question...
Amy Young:  I took ballet for the first time when I was in my 40's.  I did it because I was writing all these books about a ballerina, and I thought, "I really have to find out what this is all about."  So I not only watched kids taking ballet, but I also signed up for a class.  And it was really fun!
Dad:  Did you guys know Mom used to take ballet as a grownup too?
Gracie:  Seriously?
Amy Young:  You guys have seen Belinda's shoes, right?
Dad:  I know I have...  But I don't think the kids have yet...
Amy Young:  Do you remember what is kind of unusual about Belinda?
Gracie:  Her big feet!
(Mrs. Young brings out a bag and unveils... Belinda's GIANT ballet slippers)
Gracie:  GASP!
Lily:  Are those her shoes!!
Gracie:  Oh my goodness!  HA HA Hahh!
Amy Young: (laughing)  You should have taken a picture of their faces...
Gracie:  Are those seriously Belinda's?
Amy Young:  Those are her shoes.  Well... I had them made for Belinda.
Gracie:  Those are awesome!
Isaac:  Are you making any more Belinda books?
Amy Young:  Nope, no more Belinda books.  It's time to move on!  I've told all the Belinda stories I have to tell for right now.
Dad:  Should we turn our conversation to "The Mud Fairy"?
Amy Young:  I thought you guys might want to see these...  For "The Mud Fairy," before I did anything else, I took lots of photographs of flowers.  And I also drew lots of pictures of flowers.  And I put little fairies in these pictures too, so I'd know how big they were in relation to the plants.
Lily: (gesturing)  I think fairies are this big.
Amy Young:  I think there are different sizes of fairies.  I think Emmalina is about this big.
Gracie:  When we saw all the flowers in the book, we thought that you must have done lots of observation.
Isaac:  I try to press flowers a lot.  Then in the winter if I need to see a flower, I usually just look at the pressed ones.
Amy Young:  I worked on this mud fairy book in the winter -- every day I was painting all these spring flowers.  And when I finally finished, it actually was spring.  And the flowers I had been painting all winter started to come up.  And it was really weird because I felt like, "I've just been through spring...  How can it be spring again?"  It was so real in my head.
Dad:  This is a cool drawing...
Amy Young:  It's a little fairy resting place.  My neighbor next door made that for me.
Gracie:  So you actually have one?
Amy Young:  Well I think I have a photo of it somewhere.  But she told me that when she was a little girl, she used to make places for the fairies to sit and play.  And I said, "Really?  I never did that.  What are they like?"  And she said, "Well, let's go do it."  So we did it.
Dad:  Fun!  Maybe you guys could do that.  That totally sounds like the kind of stuff you guys do.
Gracie:  Yeah!
Lily:  Did you ever see real fairies?
Amy Young:  Not yet.  Not yet.  Did you?
Lily:  No.
Amy Young:  They are very hard to see.
Lily:  They are really tiny.
Amy Young:  And they are very good at hiding.  They stay really still.  You don't even see them even if they are right in front of you.
Gracie:  What are these?  Are they the thumbnails for the book?
Amy Young:  It's one step beyond the thumbnail.  See - most kids have no idea what a thumbnail is.  But you guys know it all, don't you...  These are the rough sketches.
Gracie:  This sketch looks like the picture on this page of the book, only it's really teeny.
Amy Young:  Yep, but sometimes things change.  Let's see if anything changed...  This fairy's name was "Violet" first, and we changed it to "Indigo..."
Isaac:  Are you going to make any more mud fairy books?
Amy Young:  I don't know...  Nothing in the works yet...  we'll see...
Gracie: (running across the room)  What is THAT thing???
Amy Young:  That's an airbrush.  I put ink in a little cup that attaches to this...  And it sprays out here...
Gracie:  Is that how you did the awesome backgrounds?
Amy Young:  Yeah!
Gracie:  Oh cool!
Amy Young:  And you know what, I had never done airbrush before.  I wasn't sure I could do it.  So I had to practice for two weeks before I did it on the book, because I was so afraid I would ruin it.  I didn't want to have blobs...
Isaac:  So that's how the colors are so smooth.
Gracie:  The colors all blend in so good!
Amy Young:  That's because I practiced so hard.  I knew I wanted the backgrounds to be soft and atmospheric.  And I couldn't do it with my regular washes.
Dad:  You guys saw how the airbrush just sprays over everything...  So how do you think Mrs. Young kept paint from getting all over the characters?
Isaac:  She did the characters afterward over top?
Amy Young:  The problem with that -- if you try to paint over the airbrush -- it gets muddy looking.  The ink underneath makes it look too dark.  So there's a special technique called "frisket."
Gracie:  Frisket!
Amy Young:  Frisket!
Gracie:  Frisket!
Amy Young:  I take this big sheet of see-through stuff, and I put it on top of the drawing.  Then I take a knife, I cut out the shapes, and can I lift off everything but what covers the characters.  And then I spray the airbrush.  And then I take the shapes off.  And then I paint the characters on the white paper left behind.
Gracie:  That's awesome!
Amy Young:  And I had never done it before, so it was cool to learn something new.
Gracie:  Your books say you use gouache to paint...  Why do you mostly use gouache?
Amy Young:  Well, I used to use oil paint a lot when I did big paintings.
Gracie:  Oh - we have oil paints.
Amy Young:  But for the smaller size, I thought oil paint was hard to use.  And it smells kind of bad.
Dad:  You just learned that, didn't you Isaac...
Isaac:  Oh, yeah.
Amy Young:  And we don't really like having it in the house because the turpentine isn't good for you to smell.
Gracie:  And you can barely wash oil paint out of things.  We learned that a few days ago, and now we're not allowed to use them.
Amy Young:  Ha ha ha!  That's interesting...  Is there a story behind this?
Isaac:  I was trying to wash oil paints off a palette...
Gracie:  It got all over the table, all over the sink, all over the counter, on the floor!
Amy Young:  Oh, oil paint!  That's really bad!
Gracie:  It was horrible!
Amy Young:  Usually if you do oil paint, it's better to have a studio that's completely away from your house.
Dad:  We're holding off until the summer, and then you guys can oil paint outside...
Gracie:  We are not allowed to use glitter either.
Lily:  Once Gracie spilled glitter all over Mommy's bed.
Amy Young:  I'm kind off messy when I do my art.  I'm not a neat artist.  I'm like Emmalina that way.  In fact, it's good you guys came over because my studio was a total mess.  I didn't even want to go down there.  But I thought, "I'm having company!  I have to clean up!"
Gracie:  Dad makes us clean our room whenever we have company too.
Isaac:  I should take a picture of my desk and send it to you.  It's where I keep all my wire and springs and stuff.  Like... I took apart a hair dryer and a digital camera...
Dad:  I went up there to help him clean his room once, and I started laughing out loud.  His desk looked like it belonged to a mad scientist.  Strange bits and parts and pieces and tools piled everywhere.  I can't imagine a typical 11 year old's desk looking like that.
Amy Young:  Not very many.
Isaac:  I'm glad I haven't electrocuted myself doing something yet.
Amy Young:  That would be bad.

After the interview and studio tour, Mrs. Young sat down and and drew with the kids for a good hour or so!  Dad swiped the camera from Isaac and got a few shots:

Thanks again to Amy Young for such a great visit!

leapfrog, by Gracie

Emmalina and a frog, by Lily

the mud fairy, by Isaac

Author/Illustrator: Amy Young
Published, March 2010: Bloomsbury
Like it?  Find it

Monday, March 15, 2010

Review #63: The Cinder-Eyed Cats

Lily (age 7):  "The Cinder-Eyed Cats."
Dad:  What is the first thing you think of when you look at this cover?  Does it give you any certain feelings?
Isaac (age 11):  The cats are looking at you strangely.  You can't take your eyes off them.
Gracie (age 9):  You get nervous.  Their eyes are disturbing.
Dad:  I love the eyes.
Lily:  Me too.
Isaac:  They have flaming yellow eyes.
Gracie:  They are looking at me!  The cats are waiting for me to blink so they can do something to me.
Lily:  The illustrator draws cool.
Gracie:  Very realistic.
Lily:  He draws the coolest of the cools.  It is so so so so so so so realistic.
Dad:  Do you know what other books Eric Rohmann made?  You will be shocked.
Gracie:  What?
Dad:  There's another one of my favorites.  He did "My Friend Rabbit."  You know the one where the rabbit throws the plane and it gets stuck in a tree?
Isaac:  Huh!!!  He did that?  That's a linocut one...
Dad:  Yep - wood cut.  So Eric Rohmann is good at more than one style.
Lily:  The pictures are just so awesome.
Gracie:  I love the pictures.
Dad:  Tell us what "The Cinder-Eyed Cats" is about...
Isaac:  There's a boy who gets into this flying boat, and he goes to an island.
Gracie:  The Wondrous Island of Cats.
Lily:  They are big, giant, puma cats.
Isaac:  I think they are mountain lions.  No - ligers!  They're ligers!  Don't they look like ligers?  They've got to be ligers.
Lily:  Gracie doesn't know what a liger is.
Isaac:  A liger is when a lion and a tiger get... married... and have ligers for kids.
Dad:  I don't think they get "married."  But we don't need to go into that now...
Gracie:  Yes we do.  We need to know this.
Dad:  What we need, is to keep this review rated "G."
Isaac:  Isn't there such a thing as a Zorse too?
Lily:  Yeah, there are zorses.
Dad:  A zebra-horse mix...
Gracie:  Everyone needs to know the story of ligers and zorses.  It's just like a Golden Doodle.  A golden retriever and a poodle mixed.
Dad:  Why "Doodle"?  It should be Golden... Roodle?
Gracie:  Nope.  Doodle.  Julia has one.
Dad:  Anyway -- back to our book...
Gracie:  It's about a boy, and he went to an island... the Magic Island of Liger-ness.
Isaac:  Then he builds this giant fish out of sand -- it looks like a huge salmon.  Then at night, the sand fish salmon opens his eyes and starts flying.
Lily:  The cats make the fish alive by their eyes.
Dad:  You think it was the cats that brought the sand fish to life?
Lily:  Yeah!  Their eyes.
Dad:  They do look like magic eyes.
Lily:  Yeah, they seem strange.
Gracie:  Their eyes just keep staring at you!  It freaks me out.  Here... (turns book) ...stare at Lily.
Isaac:  Then at night all these other fishes start flying!
Lily:  They do it at night because that's when the pumas are awake.
Gracie:  They are ligers.
Lily:  Whatever.
Gracie:  The fishes dance in the air on the Magic Island of Liger-ness.
Isaac:  There are dancing tunas and sardines.
Lily:  They circle around and around.
Gracie:  They all dance around the fire.
Lily:  Even big giant whales fly, which looks really cool.
Dad:  The boy in this book seems to be friends with the cats.
Gracie:  Well, why would he come to the island if he didn't know the cats already?
Dad:  So you think he's been to the island before?
Gracie:  Oh yeah.
Lily:  They are friendly cats.
Gracie:  They are not dangerous.
Lily:  This cat should be named "Lemon."
Gracie:  I think the boy goes to the island every night.
Isaac:  Every night he'll have different adventures.
Gracie:  Maybe the next time he could build a sand turtle, then all these turtles could come alive and fly.
Isaac:  I would build a sand dragon!
Dad:  Did you guys know this book changed my life?
Isaac:  It did?
Dad:  I saw this cover years ago, and it was at that moment I knew I wanted to be an illustrator.  I was in a library, reading a magazine -- I looked up and those cats were staring at me from across the room.  I looked down, then back up, and they were still staring at me.  I had to walk across the room and pick up this book.  I had to look at it.
Gracie:  Like they were saying "Open it, already!"
Dad:  And I was smitten by the children's book bug.  These cats were screaming at me with their eyes.  And everything changed.  That was the moment I knew -- this is what I want to do.
Isaac:  I love that front cover too.  I'd like to have that picture hanging up in my room.

cinder-eyed cat, by Isaac

cinder-eyed cat riding a flying fish, by Lily

Gracie visits the island and brings a sand panda to life,
by Gracie

Author/Illustrator: Eric Rohmann
Published, 1997: Knopf
Like it?  Find it

Monday, March 8, 2010

DVD Review: What's in the Bible

Dad:  This is a bit of a departure for us...
Gracie (age 9):  What is a "departure"?
Dad:  It means this is different from what we normally do.  We usually review children's books on Bookie Woogie.  But today we are making an exception in order to highlight a great new DVD series.
Isaac (age 11):  We should start another blog called DVDeegie Woogie that just does DVD reviews.  Although, we do not have time to do two blogs...
Dad:  But these DVDs do sort'a fit here.  Because they are for children.  And they're about a book.
Gracie: (singing)  The B - I - B - L - E...
Lily (age 7):  The DVDs are called "What's in the Bible - with Buck Denver."
Gracie:  Buck Denver - man of news!
Isaac:  It is made by Phil Vischer.
Gracie:  He's awesome.
Dad:  How much do we love Phil Vischer?
Lily:  Lots!
Gracie:  He's stinkin' awesome!
Lily:  Phil Vischer is a puppet... guy.  I mean, he likes to do puppets.
Dad:  Puppeteer.
Isaac:  He's also the guy who made VeggieTales.
Dad:  And how much do we love VeggieTales?
Gracie:  VeggieTales is also stinkin' awesome!
Dad:  Tell us what VeggieTales is...
Isaac:  I think everyone in the whole world knows about VeggieTales.
Dad:  Well just in case, why don't you tell us about it.
Gracie:  VeggieTales is a show about a bunch of vegetables and fruits that can talk and dance and sing and tell you stories from the Bible.
Lily:  And Phil Vischer also made JellyTelly.
Gracie:  JellyTelly is stinkin' awesome!  Everything he does is stinkin' awesome.
Isaac:  It's hilarious.
Dad:  Do you think there are people who haven't heard about JellyTelly?
Isaac:  Yes.  I think it would be new for pretty much everybody.
Dad:  Although, we've been watching it from day one -- from the very first day it launched in November 0f '08.
Gracie: is an online show about the Bible.
Dad:  And each day there is a new episode.
Isaac:  There are stories and songs.
Lily:  And they are funny!
Dad:  Are there any talking vegetables on JellyTelly?
Lily:  No.  There are people puppets!
Isaac:  With extremely skinny arms.
Gracie:  Like Buck Denver -- man of news!
Dad:  And these new "What's in the Bible" DVDs feature characters from JellyTelly.  Did you know it's always been my fantasy to do Bookie Woogie with puppets someday?
Isaac:  It is?
Dad:  Instead of recording and typing reviews, we could build our own puppets and film them talking about books...
Isaac:  We've got to do that!
Dad:  Maybe we'll surprise our readers with puppets in some future installment.  But for now, tell me about some of the puppet characters on "What's in the Bible"...
Lily:  My favorites are Clive and Ian.
Gracie:  Ian!  He is absolutely hilarious.  He's the little short one with the round head.
Lily:  They are funny.
Gracie:  They are the funniest guys on there!  Ian should have his own show called "The Funniest Things Ever."  Think about it, Mr. Vischer.
Lily:  I want to tell you about the Scat man.  Brother Louie.  He tells things through body language while he goes "Wassa Bah Doosie Pah! Vabadoo Voo Dadada!"
Dad:  Lovely scat, Lily.
Gracie:  Every time the Pastor Paul puppet comes on, our little brother Elijah says, "Look! A Jonas Brother!"  But he doesn't look anything like a Jonas Brother!
Elijah (age 4):  Yes he does!  He has black hair.
Isaac:  Rhett and Link are on here too!
Gracie:  They play the amazing Bentley Brothers.
Dad:  And how much do we like Rhett and Link?
Gracie:  They're stinkin' awesome!  (singing) "Genesis begins it alllll...."
Isaac:  I also like the Popsicle Stick Theater.  They draw these little pictures and stick them on popsicle sticks and do little shows.
Dad:  So it's like puppets performing puppets.  Which is weird...
Gracie:  No it's not.  It's stinkin' awesome!
Dad:  So Gracie, if you had to describe these DVDs in two words, would you say that they are "awesome" and that they "stink"?  Is that what you are telling me?
Gracie:  NO.
Lily:  They are not really stinky.
Gracie:  "Stinkin' awesome" means better than awesome.  It's like, Double-Awesome.
Dad:  So, besides puppets, what else is on these DVDs?
Lily:  Songs.
Isaac: (singing)  "Hallelujah, look what God can do..."
Gracie: (singing)  "The Bible is a book, it's a bunch of books, sort of like a whole library..."
Dad:  Pause.  Pause.  I need to hit your "pause" buttons.  Okay, since you are quoting me whole episodes after just watching them once, I assume the songs are catchy?
Isaac:  We like them so much, we can memorize them easily.
Gracie:  And they are funny!
Isaac:  You can usually remember stuff that's funny.
Gracie: (singing)  "The Bible is a book with about a billion pages, don't read it all at once, you're better off in stages..."
Dad:  Do you only remember funny stuff, or do you remember any facts as well?
Gracie:  Over 40 people wrote the Bible over 1600 years.
Dad:  And why are these books all bound together in one cover?
Gracie:  The canon.
Dad:  And what's the "canon"?  There were lots of other writings floating around in the first century...
Isaac:  And there were people who decided which books they wanted in the Bible, and which ones were just interesting.
Dad:  Yep - interesting vs. inspired.  And what does the word "inspired" mean?
Gracie:  Jesus talking through the guys' heads, and the guys choosing the words?
Dad:  Uhhhh... that sounds very close to... making sense...
Gracie:  "Inspired" means God giving the writers of the Bible the ideas, and then they chose the actual words to put down.  God's ideas, and people's words.
Lily:  The shows teach you about words that you never, never knew.
Dad:  So did you learn anything new, Lily?
Lily:  I learned that the cover of the Bible is made out of cow.
Dad:  Leather?
Gracie:  Ha hah ha!
Dad:  Did anyone learn anything else?
Gracie:  I learned that in the back of the Bible there's a book that talks about the end of the world.
Dad:  The book of Revelation.  You didn't know that?
Gracie:  No, I didn't.
Dad:  So are you going to skip to the back of the Bible and read it yourself?
Gracie:  I'm going to wait for the DVD.

Sunday School Lady in a canoe & Buck Denver man of news, by Lily

Clive & Ian (and a pony), by Gracie

Rhett & Link as the Fabulous Bentley Brothers, by Isaac

Creator: Phil Vischer
Published, March 2010: Tyndale
Like it? Find it

Here are a few more links for good measure:

What's in the Bible
Clive and Ian
Rhett & Link
The Bentley Brothers

And here's a fun preview:

Time for a Giveaway!  Tyndale provided us with our preview sample, and they've also sent us certificates to pass out here on Bookie Woogie.  The certificates entitle one lucky winner to redeem free copies of the first two episodes: "In the Beginning" and "Let My People Go."  To enter the drawing, simply leave a comment below.  A week from today, on March 15, we'll randomly select one person to receive the free DVDs!  Good luck!  Spread the word!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Review #62: The Three Pigs

Lily (age 7):  "The Three Pigs."
Dad:  We all know the story of the Three Little Pigs, don't we?  So... is this going to be a boring review?
Gracie (age 9):  No way!  I've never heard the Three Little Pigs story expressed quite like this.  I've never seen, in my whole lifetime, a book as awesome as this.
Isaac (age 11):  And it has a big golden sticker on it.  So that means it's not going to be boring!
Dad:  Yep, David Wiesner gets lots of Caldecott Awards.  Well deserved ones.
Evangeline (age 2):  Sticker on there... (pick, pick)
Isaac:  Don't pick it off, Evie!
Dad:  So this is not the plain old story of the Three Little Pigs?
Gracie:  Ohh, no!
Isaac:  They escape.
Dad:  Escape from what?
Gracie:  The pigs escape their story.  They jump right out of the picture panel.  And they have an adventure.
Isaac:  The wolf blew them out of the panel and into the real world.
Elijah (age 4):  He's out of the picture!
Evangeline:  Piggy!  Piggy!
Isaac:  Outside of their story, there are all these panels from other stories lined up.  It's a place where all the pictures are -- all the pictures from every story ever created.
Lily:  They must be in the library...
Elijah:  When they got out of the pictures, they made an airplane and flyed all around, and then they crashed!
Lily:  They made a paper airplane out of a panel from their story.
Gracie:  A piece with the wolf in it!
Isaac:  It's a wolf-mobile!
Dad:  Have you ever heard the expression "When Pigs Fly?"
Isaac:  Yes... Once I cleaned my room, and I got it done in a certain amount of time.  I told Mom, and she said, "When pigs fly."  But then she looked, and it was true.  So pigs must have flown.
Dad:  So what happens next in the book?
Gracie:  The pigs walk outside around the stories, and then they go inside the other stories and make lots of new friends.  Like the cat from "Hey Diddle Diddle."
Evangeline:  Cat!  Cat!  Meow!
Gracie:  And they met a dragon from another story.
Isaac:  That's a cool dragon.
Dad:  What happens to the pigs as they pop in and out of stories?
Gracie:  When they are in the stories, they look cartoony, and when they come out they look realistic, because they are in the real world now.
Isaac:  On some pages the pigs are still halfway inside the picture, so they are half-realistic and half-non.
Gracie:  That's awesome.
Isaac:  His snout looks like it's popping out.
Lily:  I like how there are a whole bunch of styles.  In each story, the pigs turned into the style of that story.  In the nursery rhyme it was all kidsy, cartoony.  And when they went into it, they turned into that cartoony style.
Gracie:  That was my favorite style.  They look all cutesy and simple.
Isaac:  They get all nursery-rhymey-colors.
Lily:  And in the dragon story, they turned into black and white lines because that's how that story was drawn.
Dad:  So the pigs know that they are in a story.  Did you know there's a word for that?  When you are reading a book, and the characters know they are in a story, it's called "Metafiction."
Isaac:  That sounds like a superhero name... "Metafiction!"
Dad:  So, what if you guys could pop out of our world?
Isaac:  Where do you think the opening is?  I want to run as hard as I can and slam right into it so I fall out of it and see other worlds!
Dad:  If you could go into one story that we've reviewed on Bookie Woogie, which one would you want to visit?
Isaac:  I want to go into "I Spy."  It would be cool -- there would be life-size toys, and you could build forts and stuff!
Lily:  I think I would go into "Scribble."
Dad:  What would you do in there?
Lily:  Draw pictures that come to life.  And visit Scribble Kitty.
Dad:  That book was kind of like metafiction too, wasn't it.  The pictures were aware of being pictures...  Actually, over our 62 reviews, we've looked at quite a few books with self-aware characters, haven't we.
Gracie:  Like "A Book."
Dad:  Yep.  And "Inkheart."  And "The Book that Eats People."
Gracie:  "Babymouse" is metafiction.
Dad:  Because she has conversations with the narrator?
Gracie: (grabs a nearby Babymouse book and reads)  "You're a winner in my book, Babymouse."  Then Baby mouse says, "Actually it's a graphic novel."  See, she knows she's in a story.
Dad:  So what book would you want to go into Gracie?
Gracie:  I would want to go into "The Book That Eats People..."  Actually - never mind, never mind!  I changed my mind!
Dad:  Yeah, if he ate you, that would be a very different way to go "into" a book!
Gracie:  I do not want to be digested.
Dad:  What other books could we visit?  "A Wrinkle in Time..."
Gracie:  I want to go into "A Wrinkle in Time"!
Dad:  "Anne of Green Gables..."
Gracie:  I want to go into "Anne of Green Gables"!
Dad:  You're just saying every book I say.
Gracie:  No I'm not.
Dad:  "Babymouse..."
Gracie:  Aww!!!  I want to go into "Babymouse!"
Dad:  What about "Crazy Hair"?
Gracie:  Eeeeeeeeeeeeeak!
Dad:  Ha ha!  I guess that's a 'no.'

the pigs escape their book, by Isaac

a pig visits Go Diego Go, by Elijah

pigs visit "The Hiccupotamus" and get new colors, by Gracie

pigs fly an airplane, by Lily

Author/Illustrator: David Wiesner
Published, 2001: Clarion Books
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