Monday, March 7, 2011

Review #89: Chuckling Ducklings

My first book, "The Hiccupotamus," came out 5 years ago.  Since that time I've had the pleasure of illustrating 10 additional books for other great authors.  Now at long last, I once again get to wear the author hat as well.  I'm happy to announce the recent release of "Chuckling Ducklings"!  The kids are excited to share the book with you from their perspective.  And we've got a Giveaway as well.  A super giveaway.  In fact, in the first round of entries, one in every five people will win something!  Be sure to read all the way to the end of the review for the details!  And now for a chat with the Z-Kids:

Lily (age 8):  This book is called "Chuckling Ducklings."
Gracie (age 10):  By Daddy Zenz!  It is adorable.  You have the cutest illustrations, Daddy.
Dad:  Well, thank-you my dear.  But perhaps you are biased.
Gracie:  I think it's the cutest thing I've ever seen.  Even if you weren't my dad, I would still say so.
Dad:  Aw, thanks.
Isaac (age 12):  Inside this book you'll find little baby animals.  The book tells kids about baby animals and their names in a cute, fun way.
Dad:  What are some of the baby animal names that most people would be familiar with?
Elijah (age 5):  A baby rabbit is a "bunny."
Lily:  A baby dog is called a "puppy," and a baby cat is called a "kitten."
Dad:  How about some surprising names?
Lily:  A baby llama is a "cria."  I didn't even know that.  I learned something.
Gracie:  I know all the baby names.  Because I memorized the book.
Dad:  Well, what about when I was first working on the book?
Gracie:  I didn't know a baby hare was called a "leveret."
Dad:  My absolute favorite word in the book is "puggle."  It might even be my favorite word in the world.
Gracie:  A "puggle" is a baby platypus.  Our new baby sister Maggie is a puggle too.  We called her Puggle when she was in the womb.  And, well, she also resembles a platypus.  Kind of.
Dad:  Ha ha ha...
Lily:  I like the picture of the cubs stacked up upon each other.
Gracie:  It's a cub tower.  They're adorable.
Isaac:  I like the baby raccoon cub.  He's awesome.
Elijah:  I like the tadpoles.  They look like they are playing tag and having fun.
Isaac:  I changed my mind.  I like the tadpoles.
Gracie:  Evie... there's an owl!
Evangeline (age 3): (gasp!)  Owl!
Isaac:  I changed my mind.  I like the baby eel -- the "elver."
Evangeline:  Owl, owl, owl, owl!  Owl!
Isaac:  I changed my mind again.  I like the big puffy bird.  I don't even know what it is.  Is it a vulture or something?
Gracie:  There are a whole bunch of birds boogie-ing by a tree.
Evangeline:  Owl!
Gracie:  Evie's favorite page is the one in the back.  The page that shows the heads of ALL the adorable baby animals from the book.
Lily:  It's like a chart.
Gracie:  "Giraffe -- Calf.  Goat -- Kid.  Goose -- Gosling."
Lily:  On the top it tells the kind of animal, and on the bottom it tells the baby name.
Gracie:  I like the chart too because you can see all the cuteness of the whole book together on just two pages.
Isaac:  The names are in alphabetical order on the chart.
Dad:  That way if someone is wondering, for instance, what a baby kangaroo is called, they can check the chart and see - "...H, I, J, K - Kangaroo.... Ah, it's called a 'joey.'"
Lily:  My favorite animal is the chuckling duckling.
Dad:  I know...  You are the duck girl!
Lily:  Yeah!
Dad:  What else is special about this book and you and ducks?  You and this book and ducks all come together somehow.
Lily:  I'm dedicated to it.
Dad:  Ha - you are dedicated to my book?  Or is the book dedicated to you?
Lily:  Ha ha ha hee hee... the book is dedicated to me!  I've loved ducks ever since I was little teeny two year old.
Gracie:  Even the lettering is fun in this book!  Most books have just flat sentences in columns.  But this book has bouncy lettering.
Dad:  Yep, that style of lettering was included in my initial mock-up pitch.
Gracie:  It adds to the fun, because the lettering does curves and jumps and is moving with the animals.  It's really active.
Dad:  How is "Chuckling Ducklings" different from "The Hiccupotamus"?
Isaac:  "The Hiccupotamus" is more cartoony and funny.  This one is more "educational" and "cute."
Gracie:  Hey Dad!  There's a purple hippo in this book too!
Dad:  I know.  I put him there.
Gracie:  A purple and pink hippo!
Dad:  Not very purple.  He's colored a bit more realistically.
Gracie:  Yeah, but he's cute.  And he's purple all the same.
Lily:  He's the Hiccupotamus' cousin.
Dad:  Do you have any memories from when I was working on this book?
Lily:  I remember going up into your office every morning to see all the pictures.
Dad:  Yes, I work at night while the house is quiet.
Isaac:  Every morning we'd go up there to see what picture you drew while we were sleeping.
Gracie:  I can remember you looking up baby pigeon pictures and trying to find a way to take the ugliest bird in the world and make him cute.  No offense to all you pigeon lovers.
Dad:  Many baby animals are not naturally very cute.  And some animals were more challenging to make cute than others.  The toughest was the baby pigeon.
Isaac:  Baby pigeons are the ugliest things ever.
Gracie:  Everyone... look up a baby pigeon on the internet.  You'll see why.
Lily:  It makes me want to throw up.
Gracie:  But Dad did a good job.  His baby pigeon is adorable.
Isaac:  Didn't you once have a crocodile in this book instead of the porcupine?
Dad:  Yep, but there was a mistake in the book.  I said that a baby crocodile was a "crocklet," but it wasn't true.  I had gotten some bad information.
Gracie:  What is it really called?
Dad:  A "hatchling."  And I already had some other hatchlings in the book - the baby tortoises.  So we swapped the crocodile out for a baby porcupine.  But it had been very cute.  It was a baby crocodile with a ton of baby mice sleeping on his head.
Gracie:  But you can't do a ton of little mice sleeping on a porcupine!  That would hurt.
Dad:  They'd get skewered.
Gracie:  Awwwwahhhh!
Isaac:  I remember when you did the endpapers.  You had to go to the store for colored paper.  And all the paper was bent!
Dad:  That's right!  I forgot about that.  All the yellow paper had big creases in it.  You and I went through every single piece to find the ones with the least amount of wrinkles in them.
Isaac:  And the ones we picked out still had a lot of folds in them.
Dad:  Fortunately it doesn't show in the final prints.  Also interesting, that was the first time I've ever used my colored pencils on colored paper.
Isaac:  And it worked out great.
Dad:  I figured it was safe to experiment with colored paper since it was just endpapers.  Now that I know how it looks, I'll have to do it again sometime.
Gracie:  I bet you would have loved to use colored paper on the pages with underwater animals.  The backgrounds are all blue.  I remember you coloring in all that water.  You were sighing, and you were only one third of the way done.
Dad:  It did take a long time.  But you're right - now that I know colored paper works fine, I'd probably use that instead.
Isaac:  How long did it take?
Dad:  It took one hour just for half a page of blue background.  So for a two page spread...
Gracie:  Four hours!?!
Dad:  Yep, four hours to lay down the blue, and then another hour to touch up the edges around where the animals and background met up.  So five hours just for the blue background.
Lily:  Wow.  I could not stand that.
Dad:  Colored pencil art is a lengthy process.  At least the way I do it.
Gracie:  You did the pictures with Prismacolor colored pencils.
Isaac:  They are better than any other kind of colored pencil.  But they are really expensive.
Dad:  Should we wrap this up?
Isaac:  Please, please buy the book!
Gracie:  So we can afford food!
Dad:  Ha ha ha... Every purchase of a book feeds a Z-Kid for a day...
Gracie:  Hey Dad, can you give us a new scoop on what your next book is going to be?  I already know what it is.  But can you give the readers out there a scoop?
Dad:  Well, "Chuckling Ducklings" is the first book in a series -- at least two more books are coming, hopefully even more after that.  This one was about baby animal names.  The next one is going to be about "daddy" animal names -- like bull, boar, and gander.  And paired with that book will be one about "mommy" names -- like doe, ewe, and hen.  So there's more animal fun coming along!  How's that for a "scoop"?
Gracie:  That's a good scoop!  I was talking like a reporter there.  Gracie Zenz, signing out!

bear cub, tortoise hatchlings, hummingbird chick, lamb, and duckling; by Lily

oyster spat and tortoise hatchling, by Isaac

humming bird chick, cub tower, and pinky; by Gracie

seal pup, by Elijah

Author/Illustrator:  Aaron Zenz
Published, 2011:  Walker Books
Like it?  Here it is!!!

Time for the Great Chuckling Duckling Giveaway!

It's not every day that your second authored book comes into the world!  To celebrate the release of "Chuckling Ducklings" and to thank our great readers, we're giving away some one-of-a-kind prizes.  To be entered, just leave a comment.  Easy-peasy!

Within that comment simply mention your favorite animal.  Each randomly selected winner will receive an original sketch by Aaron Zenz depicting a baby version of your animal!  Make sure your contact email is accessible (either by clicking the link back to your own profile page, or included in your comment.)  One entry per person/email.

We'll select a winner out of every 5 comments.  Yes!  One in five!  So... one person from comments 1-5 will win some original art.  One person from comments 6-10 will also win.  On and on, every five comments.  If by chance we get up beyond 100, at that point the count will continue on at one out of every 10 comments.

On top of that, we will randomly select THREE people to win a signed copy of "Chuckling Ducklings"!  The Giveaway will end on March 20 with an announcement of the winners.  Good luck!  Spread the word!

Update: see the winners here!


Boni Ashburn said...

Great post guys! Can't wait to read the new book Aaron- it looks adorable :)

Majeki said...

My favorite animals are koalas.

I really enjoyed reading the review.


Lalani said...

I had seen this book on your site and was interested - now even more so. My favorite animal is an elephant. istarlan at gmail dot com

Cindy Eyre said...

Oh my goodness I love your blog! My daughter's favorite animal is a giraffe -- dixeee at yahoo dot com!

Beth said...

My favorite animal is a pig. I collect piggy banks all over the house; they make excellent book ends.

Hmm, usually I show my kids your page when we read books at night, but is it cheating to have them comment too? I guess we'll identify them as part of my family.

Three Turtles and Their Pet Librarian said...

Puggle! We've been trying to name baby-to-be, I'll have to run that one past my husband.:) My favorite animal would have to be a manatee, though - now I'm going to have to look up the baby name. Probably calf, and I already feel too much like a cow these days...

Three Turtles and Their Pet Librarian said...

Oh, and good call on keeping the TURTLE and dropping the croc. Turtles are always the way to go.

jonnyboyle said...


Jennie said...

Congratulations on the new book!!!!

When I was young, my favorite animal was the lion. It's still my favorite!

Lizardbreath McGee said...

I know it's cliche, but I really love horses. :)

Also, I really love this blog. Keep it up, Bookie Woogie Family!

R.G. said...

My two year old was cooing over all the cute animals on the computer. Her favorite animal is a bunny.
My kids are sending out a big THANK YOU for the reviews, they have led us to some favorite books!

pambelina said...

I wonder if my favorite baby animal is in your book? I love swans and a baby swan is called a cygnet.

Laura said...

Your interview made me laugh out loud. Congratulations on the new book!

AverageAndi said...

I loved the interview. So cute! I caught the link to your other blog, Chicken Nugget Lemon Tooty, and ended up here after spending awhile over there. The Z-Kids are so talented in their artwork and so intelligent, from what I can tell!

Congrats on your new book and the illustrations are adorable. Zenz family - keep doing what you're doing. There is so much talent in your family!


Ben Clanton said...

The book looks absolutely darling! And Adam Rex is correct . . . you are an awesome dad. I love these conversations you do with your kids.

Oh, and geese are my favorite.

Meagan said...

My favorite animal is a manatee!

I just started following your blog and it is amazing. Your reviews are wonderful and your kids are adorable.

I plan to teach Pre-K Special Ed in a few years and some of these books will definitely be useful (especially more educational ones, like yours!).

Thank you so much for doing this! :)


ElizT said...

Do children count as animals?
I like babies and sometimes call them "Pet".

ldsjaneite said...

Wonderful post! This book looks adorable!!

I have a bit of a tie for my favorite animal: turtle, kangaroo, and seahorse. Considering I have a little sea turtle who goes with me on my travels and is well-known among my family and friends, I should probably pick turtles.

Heidi Noel said...

I love kangaroos and a baby kangaroo is called a joey. (Mentioned above so probably in your book.)
On a side note I looked up baby pigeon. They are not attractive. They kinda reminded me of a vulture, so I looked up baby vulture and they are kinda cute. Interesting. I am also glad to hear your dad sighs when doing monotonous work. At least it is not just me. ;)

Bethany said...

Hooray for more Zenz fun! I'm so excited for your new book and even more so after reading the review and seeing some of the art. Thanks for sharing with us.

My favorite animal would be a dolphin (they feel so neat and I though I might be a marine biologist because I liked them so much!) and my e-mail is

Anemone said...

Oh my me congratulations! I will be sure to spread the word on this wee gem.

Between bats and Bactrian camels, it is hard for me to choose... but between the twain, I'll go for flying foxes, for certain!

Much obliged, and congrats again,

Andie and Jacob Miller said...

I am so excited about this book!!!! My favorite animal is an orangutan. You gotta love the hair!!!

Alysa Stewart said...

The book sounds both adorable and nerdy! We're partial to baby monkeys around here.

Tina Lee said...

I agree with Evie, owls are the best!

I love the book, will definitely be picking up a copy for my library!

kristina26101 at crossed for luck!)

(my first comment didn't seem to post, sorry if this appears a second time!)

Will Strong said...

My favorite animal? Most likely it is a platypus.

Will Strong said...

Wait a minute, a baby platypus is called a puggle? Now it is definitely my favorite.

Unknown said...

I'm looking forward to the dad book. My studies push me toward Nordic stuff, so I'm torn between a wolf and a raven (I'd love to see a baby version of Odin with his ravens and wolves, but that's probably unrealistic).

I'm guessing a baby wolf would be much less of a challenge.

Andy said...

My google account is being annoying. I just commented about ravens, wolves and Odin. Should I win, please contact me at

Kacey Nielsen said...

A friend just turned me onto your books and this new one looks adorable! Your children sound almost as adorable as your baby animals :)

jonandkacey at hotmail dot com

Jo-Ann said...

Congrats on your second book. I am looking forward to sharing it with bunches of kids. Like Evie, my favourite animal is an owl. In fact one of my fav storytime books is Owl Babies, by Martin Waddell.
Keep up the great reviews, they are one of the high lights of my week!

Unknown said...

Could this book - and your family - be any cuter?? I submit it could not! =) Well done! Thank you for solving my next round of gift-giving...

Current fave animal? Megapode bird! They are amazing!

roxannegebauer at gmail dot com


Katy England said...

I very much like the Praying Mantis.

Nina Crittenden said...

Congrats on another lovely book, Aaron! It looks fantastic! What a fun giveaway, too! A favorite animal would be hard to pick... I guess I'd have to choose a frog!

Boysnberries' Brambles said...

Hooray! My favorite animal is a puffin...

Amy Wise said...

Aaron, we are huge Hiccopotamus fans in the Lamoreaux household. You are not only a wonderful artist, but a fantastic storyteller.

My favorite animal is a wood duck.

Mary-Esther said...

Visiting your blog is like visiting the Casson or Penderwick family! Your kids are wonderfully insightfuI. Love their drawings too!

My favourite animal is the puffin.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Aaron! We can't wait to get our hands on your new book!
The Wattersons!

Jennifer said...

My favorite animal is a kangaroo.

AverageAndi said...

Sorry for the double post, and I am not doing so in order to double my chances of winning (although I'd LOVE to win a beautiful drawing of yours!). I just wanted to, in case I win, leave my email address ( and my favorite animal:

,, // \\
(_,\/ \_/ \
\ \_/_\_/>
/_/ /_/


*crossing my fingers* thanks again for the entertainment, Zenz family! (P.S. - I'm from the home of the Falls too - as I saw on Dad Aaron's website the work he did for JSO caught my eye :) )

faith said...

hmmmm, my favorite animal? maybe birds--like a bluebird :-) I have never had the pleasure of enjoying one of your books--but i love all the artistic talent in your darling family.

Michele said...

So now puggle is my new favorite word I love it and I love how you put all the comments from your children on the website. Congratulations on the new book.

aubrie said...

I love the elephant. All of your animals are so stinking adorable I can hardly stand it! aubs610 at gmail dot com

Unknown said...

I am going to tell my daughter's favorite animal - that would definitely be a horse...or a unicorn!

Congrats on the new book! Can't wait to purchase it for my kids. They love the Hiccupotomus!

Unknown said...

Congrats on the new book! We love the Hiccupotomus - especially now that it's a teething baby friendly board book. My favorite animal would be the hedgehog, and Audrey likes anything that will let her chase it.

katie said...

Just found your blog from a link from Shannon Hale. Your book looks really cute and I think my boys would love it and I would love having an educational book.

Our favorite animal right now might be a monkey. Thanks!

Surfer Jay said...

Dolphins are rad. I am particularly fond of them because they always share the waves with me when I go surfing.

kstroess said...

Fabulous interview!! I wish we could all meet the Z-kids :)
My favorite animal is the elephant.
karinstroessler @ gmail .com

Reena said...

Hi all! I really love your blog and cannot wait to read it every week.

I can't really decide what my absolute favorite animal is right now but I think I'd really like a baby fox -or better said, a kit :)

Thank you for making me smile every week!

Mercurial Muse said...

The baby animals are heart-meltingly cute.

Anonymous said...

Hi! My favorite animal is the Panda, they are soo cute.

marinush54 @ yahoo dot com

Lisa Watson said...

I can hardly wait to get the book into my hands. I love lots of animals but I would pick either baby polar bear or the platypus.

**If I win you can contact me through FB.

**off to order it for work (which I think I already did, but I am going to double check)

prayaroundtheworld said...

I have a 13-year old dog sleeping on my lap as I write this, so I'm going to go with her as my favorite animal.

Loved the review. The book sounds great!

signingcharity said...

Can't wait to get my hands on this book and very excited to hear it will be a mini-series!

signing_charity at yahoo dot com

Chels said...

This is an exciting post! Congrats on your second book! We love♥ Hiccupotamus at our house and even have extra copies for birthday gifts! I would love to win an adorable copy of Chuckling Ducklings! The conversations you have with your kids are great!

My favorite animal when I was just little was a seahorse but it changed to a koala in my school years and I was an avid collector for many years after.

Heather Zundel said...

Consider a copy sold!

Um... panda or platypus.

(and I didn't know a platypus was called a pugget! I have a baby animals picture book called A Pinkie is a Baby Mouse and it ends with a platypus having no name! I felt so bad for the little guy).

And I'll post about this contest on my blog today. You know I love you guys!

Kelly said...

Hurray for another Zenz book! I checked it out at A and B's the other day - it's VERY cute. Our copy is on the way from Amazon!

Anna said...

Anna says her favorite animal is a penguin.

Joel said...

Joel says his favorite animal is the great white shark.

Bawbeese said...

Bawbeese says his favorite animal is the grosbeak.

Wills said...

Wills current favorite animal is his stuffed elephant.

Elisabeth said...

Libby says her favorite animal is a duck. She is a teeny two year old. <3

Simeon said...

Simeon says his favorite animal is a chipmunk.

Megan said...

Wow, the illustrations are adorable! I'm going to have to look at the bookstore next time I'm there!

My favorite animal is a cow! I love them. :)

Jennifer said...

I am so excited! I can't wait for a new book. Is Chimpansneeze still on the back burner? I am still looking forward to that, too. You really are an amazing and seriously underrated author & artist. I remember how much I laughed when I first read Hiccupotomas and my daughter & I still laugh! You also were so generous when I contacted you about the possibility of getting a copy of your then out-of-print book. You not only sold me two from your own stash, you also personally autographed them with drawings, included a poster of Hippo and drew a cool picture on the mailing box,which I then also had to save, lol!

My favorite animal is a monkey. My e- mail is

Kyle said...

Awesome, creative interview :)

rissatoo said...

The review was adorable, and I think I really *must* buy this book for my soon-to-be 3-year old niece!

Our favorite animal is a koala. (Unless she is watching Dora the Explorer or Go Diego, Go, in which case she loves the baby jaguar.)


Anonymous said...

i relly like your art awsome drawlings this is awsome im going to see if your books are on goodreads

my favrite animal is the whale

kilgore said...

Oh wow, I am absolutely enamored with you and your children! The interview was priceless. What lucky kids to have such a cool dad.

kilgore said...

Oh, and my favorite animal is the turtle. Go me for not following instructions. :)

Jenny S. Morris said...

Love, Love, Love your posts. You guys make me laugh. You're book looks so CUTE! We call my son our little racoon because he's always getting into cupboards and the refrigerator stealing food. He would love a pic of a baby racoon.

Steph's Passions said...

My daughters love elephants, ladybugs and unicorns (but they are not real, are they?). :).

If they had to choose one it would be the elephant.

I think this is great and I love the sound of the new book. Congrats.


Amanda and Nolan said...

My sister-in-law just told me about your site and she didn't realize I just gave my daughter 'Hiccupotamus' for Christmas this past year! It's a great story! I would love a copy of your new book!
My daughter's favorite animal is a giraffe.
Looking forward to looking more on your site! I can't get enough of children books and I'm always looking for ones to share with my daughter!

MrBibleHead said...

Hey Aaron! My wife and I had a blast reading your conversations and admiring your adorable illustration! God bless you and your wonderful family and your new book! It is definitely on my “to get” list :o) Great illustrations by the kids too... I see a colorful future for you guys!

Unknown said...

Congrats on the new book! And I loved the interview!

I love way too many animals, but I would have to go with a giraffe!

It's hard not to fall in love with them when you've had one slobber in your hair!

meggie858 at gmail dot com

Melissa said...

Oh, my goodness! I looked up baby pigeon like you said, and you're right! They are ugly, poor things. Giraffes (my favorite animal), on the other hand, are so graceful and not at all ugly.

Can't wait to read the book to my nephew!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the generous giveaway and for putting all the work you do in this fabulous blog. It is one of my favorites.

And favorite animal? Hm, I'm going to go with my youngest child's favorite and say dolphin.

Wendy Jones
joneswa208 at msn dot com

Maddie said...

Great giveaway! I love your blog! My favorite animal is a buffalo! Thanks so much!

Dave Miles said...


Congratulations Aaron and kids on the new book! You guys are an inspiration I gotta tell you :).

My favorite animal is a Giraffe! They are the most alien things I've ever seen on this earth!

Thanks for the great giveaway. My fingers are crossed for a win!

beautiful pieces said...

Congrats on the new book, Aaron!! Can't wait to get my hands on it. My favorite "animal" is a frog. Well, at least whimsical cartoon-like frogs... not real frogs.

Ann Murray

mike r. baker said...

Wonderful, Aaron! Congrats on your book! My favorite animal is a hedgehog.

Jophardt said...

The review with the Z-Kids was adorable! We still read The Hiccupotamus and cannot wait to read Chuckling Ducklings!
Favorite animal is Sea Otter. Although, from just the few sketches I've seen on your review, I think it would be hard to pick a favorite from the book!
Thanks for sharing this!
J. Ophardt

Unknown said...

I think you are an awesome author and artist; what talent! My favorite animal is the koala bear, so much cuter in cartoon form that real life :)

Doug said...

to borrow a phrase from "Despicable Me"... your little animals are "so cute I could die!" ... nice work!

Kristi Valiant said...

Love your leaping lamb, Lily!
My favorite animals are monkeys. Dancing monkeys especially.

Lindsay said...

This is the best book review site on the internet :)

Also, my word verification was "pitieste" which I will assume is the kid way of describing your book!!

I asked my barely-three-year-old what his favorite animal is; he said he didn't know (he doesn't exactly know what "favorite" means). I asked if he liked any animals, and he replied "No, animals are stinky." Okay then!

So the little one's favorite animal is a sheep. :)

Thanks for the chance to win!!
lindsay-facebook at thedrehers dot net

Lindsay said...

seriously.... the next word verification that popped up was snersome. I think you could probably work THAT into a book review too.

Anonymous said...

OMG, they are all so cute, but I'll have to go with the Puggles. Or the Seal Pup. Or Tadpole. Ahhh! So much cuteness I can't resist!

Heidi Noel said...

So, I was talking to a friend. She works at a bird preserve and they have a wall of names. The names are for groups of birds. I think that would make a great book, animal group names. I mean a murder of crows, parliament of owls and Lily should like this one; a raft of ducks! Just thought I would share. Thanks again. Ya'll are awesome!

Stephanie said...

Aaron, congratulations on your newest book! It looks adorable! And I really enjoyed reading the review of it by you and the kids. Great stuff! You guys are such an adorable and loving family. :)

Since we already have an amazing Aaron Zenz original hanging up in our house, we will pass along the opportunity to win a sketch from you to another one of your fans. :) Happy sketching!

Rebecca said...

It's a panda day for me!

Amy said...

Congrats on the new book! The hiccupotamus is a favorite with my nieces and nephews (and some older relatives, too. :) )

My favorite animal is a hummingbird.

Zoe said...

Wow, what a giveaway! Congratulations on the new book - it looks like a lot of fun. As to an animal? Let's plump for a puffin!

Melodye said...

Aaron, I'm a Hiccopotamus fan--love the artistry and the story!

My favorite airborn animal is the hummingbird. On land (and in my household), we're partial to kitties.

Mei-Ling Kersey said...

Mei-Ling says "Aaron, animals appeal to the child inside all of us." Love the animal world and all it's occupants. Kind of partial to sea creatures. Otters, seals , dolphins and such. Love the artwork. I do not have that kind of talent so enjoy it from others VERY much!!

melissa said...

The book looks amazing! I googled a baby pigeon, weird looking things...
My favourite animal are meerkats!
copemanmelissa at hotmail dot com.

Anonymous said...

Wow! What an awesome book! So adorable and educational - a great combo! We are so happy for you Aaron! It is so much fun to see the conversation between you and the Lil' Zenzes. Love it!

Of course, you know Matt's favorite is a snake (ball python or green tree python) but we just got a hedgehog who unexpectedly blessed us with three little hedgehogs and they are absolutely adorable. So, whichever is fine!

Give Amity my love!

Kat said...


I'm an avid reader of your books (with my baby cousin!) , and I am writing to invite you to join, which is the largest community of book lovers online. Because you are a published author, you already have a profile on Goodreads:

If you join Goodreads, you can claim this author profile and make it your own!

Here are some of the ways you can use Goodreads:
- Connect with your readers and build a following of fans
- Participate in an online Q&A session with your readers
- Blog about anything and everything
- Publicize upcoming events, such as book signings and speaking engagements
- Share excerpts of any upcoming publications
- Post videos about your books or anything you choose
- And, of course, share your list of favorite books and recent reads with your fans!

To become a Goodreads Author, follow this link:



Brimful Curiosities said...

Congrats on the release! Can't wait to read the book with my kids.

My son loves owls, too, like Evangeline! Must be a three-year-old thing. So, we'll go with owl for this one.

Mike DeBrosse said...

I love koala bear's! They love to sleep and have big ears :)

I can already see is going to be a childrens favorite! Gracie could be a great reporter someday.

karen mcclelland said...

I just found this site. Love the kids comments and art work. Our family just finished The Goose Girl. Our favorite animal (for now) is a goose.

Personalized Sketches and Sentiments said...

HI!!!! LOve,love, love this post(has to be a favorite review), love, love, love this book! Your images are the sweetest here and your children are amazing artists too!!! (Agh!!! I dont usually check my emails and such until my day off, so I am #101! I didnt make it under the 100 comments.)

Your books are I had mentioned before I love your first book, cuz for some reason...I have always loved hiccups! haha
I would love your books to keep at my house too (for future grandbabies :o)
Thank you for this wonderful, wonderful, wonderful giveaway! (I tend to repeat myself when I am excited!) Oh...and what great ideas to the "continuation" of this book! Daddies and mommies!

Blessings & Aloha!

Connie Z. said...

I'll choose a tiger. See, I'm pregnant, and when my husband first saw the sonogram he called our little one a tiger because the baby was moving around so much.

Wiley said...


Anonymous said...

My favorite animal is the elephant!

Jennifer said...

I am a sucker for cute and squishy animals! I am most definitely ordering this book for my school library, my students are going to love it!

I can't say that I have a favorite animal, but I'm currently very fond of penguins. However, that adorable puffball of a baby owl is pretty darn cute!


Meghan said...

My preschoolers love when I read The Hiccupotamus. Mostly because it gets me all tongue tied!

This book looks adorable.. I'll have to keep my eye out for it!

sassypants said...

So adorable! Hiccupotamus has always been my favorite kids book but this one might come in for a close second! My favorite animals... GOATS!!!!!!!!!

gabrielle said...

what an amazing family!

Anonymous said...


I would love to have a baby pony!

crisitnel_027 @ yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

Oooops sorry I misspelled my email address

here I go again

cristinel_027 @ yahoo dot com

Bridget R. Wilson said...

Love your newest book, Aaron. I've already ordered several copies for my libraries. I would love to have my own personal copy.

My favorite animal is a Boston Terrier. I own one named Chester.

Congrats on publishing Chuckling Ducklings!


woody said...

This book looks so great, and after hearing your kids glowing reviews I will have to get my copy asap:) I love that little baby croc!... But I have to say, Monkey's are my fave! woody at woodymillerart dot com.

Ellz said...

I am adding this to my list for baby shower gifts, too cute!

Love turtles!

n22673 said...

My favorite animal is the panda. You review makes the book look perfect for a young friend of mine.

n22673 (at) gmail (dot) com

Jen said...

I love the premise of the new book. Can't wait to pick up a copy for my kids and add to our Zenz library.

Turtles are my favorite.

jenniemennie (at) comcast (dot) net

Amber said...

Wow - one in 5?? Those are incredible odds. And Aaron is such an amazing artist. My favorite animal is a horse!
Thank you for the giveaway :)

McKim said...

Cute book! My favorite animal is a bear.
kimkmc at

mverno said...

love to win for my grandson my favorate animal is the horse

Lou said...

This book looks so adorable! I love the little baby owl! I actually linked to this site through your kid's website after reading about the terrific street art! I absolutely love those little rocks! I makes me want to do a street art project of my own! Good luck with the new book!

slb3334 said...

My favorite is the sheltie.

crystletellerday said...


Corey Schwartz said...

OMG, how cool! I hope I win! :)

Stephanie said...

Aaron looks great!! My son loves the hippo book and I can proudly say I know the author. Congrats on another great book!!

Stephanie said...

forgot the animal and e-mail...Love a baby turtle...and my e-mail is I'm still fixin computers...

Chris Kennett said...

Looks like I'm in the 1 in 10 draw, I had handle that I'm feeling lucky.

Favourite animal would have to be the Chinchilla. Not only does it have a cool and funny name, it has the densest fur in the animal kingdom. Apparently.

Book looks great Aaron :)

Amanda T said...

I asked Brooke what her favorite animal was. She said a pig.

Kerry Aradhya said...

Wow. You are getting a lot of comments! This book looks great. My favorite animal....hmmm. Well, when I was much younger, my favorite animal was a tiger. Even had a tiger poster up on my wall as a teenager. Your book looks like so much fun. The baby animals are so cute :) karadhya at gmail dot com

Olea said...

I would love some art, but I'm not from the US - I live in Australia. So, if I win and you can't send it to me, that's okay. If you can send it over, my favourite animal is a t-rex. Does that count? If it has to be an animal that exists today, it would have to be a sugar glider. Or a jaguar. It's too hard to choose a favourite!

Alice@Supratentorial said...

Beautiful book! My kids would love it.

Favorite animal is hard but an unusual one I like a lot is a sting-ray. They are such beautiful graceful swimmers.

My email is acjhs at With the at obviously really a @.

Amy @ Hope Is the Word said...

Hmmmm. . . my favorite animal. A giraffe, maybe. I love the Andy Griffith show, so I always remember that "Giraffes are selfish," at least according to Barney.

I love this post! Thank you so much for linking up to Read Aloud Thursday, and a huge CONGRATULATIONS on your book! What an accomplishment!

Karen said...

I love animals! Giraffes are fun.

This is a great blog! I love reading the reviews and seeing the drawings! And, I'm a Z person too!

Jenn said...

I think I would have to go with elephants. Or giraffes. Or a platypus. Or an okapi. Or an echidna. Now there's a weird animal.

But, for a picture, I would have to say... okapi.

Great job with your book! I can't wait to see it! It's so fun how you do this with your kids!

Jacelyn said...

Congratulations on the new book! I am loving the artwork. My favourite animal would have to be a tiger, the little cubs are adorable!

Thanks for all the fun reviews!

Kate* said...

What a nice artwork!
And your kids are amazing artists! Can't believe they're drawing like that while still so young..Big up Kids!
Hmm..I kinda like all the sweet creatures ;) But i'll go for the sweet cute
Need to show this site to my 3year old boy this evening! :D

Becky Perry said...

What awesome illustrations! I am glad I found my way to your blog.

Annette W. said...

These illustrations are adorable! Can't wait to read your book!

I love hearing about what your children remember from years ago...

marianne said...

Aaron, Hiccupotamus is one of my favorite children's books, so I can't wait to read your new book! I love your illustrations and clever rhyming stories... so cute and funny! And it looks like your kids are taking after their dad!
I like bears, particularly pandas. Thanks for your awesome giveaway!

Madison said...

This is an absolutely amazing giveaway!! My favorite animal is a baby pig :)

Unknown said...

Love the drawings by the Z-kids. Maybe you can also add one the series and do baby mythical and cryptic a baby Bigfoot is a footie.

Emmy Coffee said...

Your children have GREAT art skills!

Kitty Cardero said...

Seeing all those cute animals makes it hard to choose just one favorite but since I have to, I will choose a beagle.

Anonymous said...

we love elephants and dogs cats hippos oh heck all of them
willdebbie97 at yahoo dot com

LitLass said...

We love your first book, and this one looks awesome as well! And I love the kids' pictures.

My 5-year-old says his favorite animal is a "wild panda."

Unknown said...

I stumbled across your blog because Shannon Hale recommended it on hers, and it's absolutely delightful! I love reading about these books (some of which I've loved for years) through your children's eyes.

My favourite animal is a squirrel!

candy said...

This book looks so cute and very interesting. I love your illustrations. I must tell my niece about this book she is a teacher and would love it for her classroom. My favorite animal is A giraffe for my grandson who loves them and who would love this book too. wilcarvic

Hbomb said...

super cute! i'm a huge dog fan, i love my corgi :)
xbeautifulcoma at yahoo dot com

Pamela S said...

Fun to read your interview. A porcupine is cuter anyway!! Thanks so much! pamelashockley(AT)netscape(DOT)net

cman said...

Those pictures are too cute!
I love birds of all kinds, especially african greys and amazons.

Tony said...

I think my favorite animals are little fat and fluffy birds..they are so cute. I love anumals in general thouhg..nature is so amazing and wonderful..Humans could take a clue from the animal world.
Thanks for the wondeful contest.

Melissa B. said...

My favorite animal is a hedgehog.

Z-Kids said...

Thanks so much to everyone for your interest and for the kind, kind comments! I hope you all get a chance to check out Chuckling Ducklings soon :)

Raising a Happy Child said...

How exciting! Congratulations on your new book.

Ugly Animals said...

I must agree with Beth. I love pigs too and I have a mad collection of piggy banks all over my room in all possible creative shapes.

Jennifer said...

Thought this was cute and wanted to share:

We finally got your book in with our last library order. I hadn't had time to read it but it was on hand when I had some extra time before checkout with my kindergarten class. The kids were oohing and aching and having fun and then we got to the puggles. We all assumed that the second one was a porcupine and were promptly confused when we saw the porcupette on the next page. Thank goodness for your cheat sheet in the back! None of us knew what an echidna was so a library aid looked it up in the encyclopedia. Now we knew it was a spiny anteater, but there was no picture. Our aid found one on the internet and showed it to each child as they checked out. One kid looks at it and yells across the library, "Wow! He's a good artist because that is not a cute baby!"

Adam said...

I love this blog! And all of your artwork! I'm just starting to get into the industry of children's books, so this is really cool to see! I love that your kids seem very involved as well :]