Monday, May 6, 2013

Review #123: "I Love Ewe" and "Hug a Bull"

Dad:  Today we’re celebrating two new books:  “I Love Ewe” and “Hug a Bull”!
Elijah (age 7):  I want to tell everyone something.  These books are written by my dad.
Dad:  Does that seem strange?
Gracie (age 12):  It seems normal to me.
Elijah:  Lots of dads make books.
Dad:  They do?
Gracie:  These books would be good for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.
Dad:  Thanks, “Marketing Department!”
Gracie:  You’re welcome.
Isaac (age 14):  These are also “learning books.”
Elijah:  They are about Daddy and Mommy animals.  The books tell you their names.
Dad:  So, animal moms and dads have names.
Elijah:  Of course they have names!
Dad:  Names like “Mac” and “Thorin” and “Darleen”?
Elijah:  No those are just the names of my fish.  My fish that died. 
Dad:  You’ve had a lot of fish that have died.
Elijah:  Yeah.  Also my fish Bob.  And Bob 2.  And Bob 3.  And Burp.
Dad:  So what kind of names are in these books then?
Lily (age 10):  I know!  I know!  Boy and girl names.  They teach you lots of animal names you never knew before.  And some of them are fun to say – like “Gobbler.”  And “Peahen.”
Dad:  Let’s all say “Peahen” together.
Elijah:  And a mommy octopus is called a “Hen.”
Gracie:  The little baby octopus on this page is the cutest little thing ever!  He’s adorable.  And I’m falling in love with that little crab.  I love all the little underwater babies!
Lily:  I know another name!  Guess what a mommy cow is called?  A Rhino!  Wait – I mean a mommy rhino is called a Cow.
Dad:  Yeah – it doesn’t work in reverse.
Lily:  Hee hee hee!  A mommy cow is just called a Cow.
Dad:  Simple and confusing at the same time.
Isaac:  Is a girl goat called a “Hootin’ Nanny” or just a “Nanny”?
Dad:  Nanny. 
Isaac:  Because “Hootin’ Nanny” sounds awesome!
Dad:  Well, a hootenanny is like a southern… music… party… thing.  See, I made it into a pun for the book.  There's lots of puns and wordplay.
Gracie:  I hate puns.
Dad:  Oh!  A glowing endorsement for these books!
Gracie:  I do like the puns in these.  I only hate annoying puns.  Like when they are on Valentines cards.
Lily:  I just made up a rhyme: “The Mayor of Horse / is the Mare of course.”
Gracie:  Dad, you had to draw a horse for this book.  You hate drawing horses.  Which do you hate more?  Drawing horses or cows?
Dad:  Cows.
Gracie:  And you had to draw cows twice.  For the Ewe book and the Bull book.
Dad:  I had to do both of them twice.  A cow and a horse for each book.
Gracie:  Actually even more!  Parent cows and baby cows for both books.
Dad:  Four of each.  Wait – and then there are cows on the cover too.  And in the charts in back.  And on the title page.  Even more!
Gracie:  Poor Daddy.
Dad:  Six horses and nine cows all together.
Gracie:  Nine cows!!!
Lily:  I like drawing horses and cows.
Dad:  Well, I’ll have you do it next time!  I paid my horsie due.
Gracie:  Horsie doo?  That sounds disgusting.
Elijah:  I never noticed that it’s called “Hug a Bull” and there’s a Bull on the cover!
Lily:  You just thought it was because cows are huggable?
Elijah:  They hug and snuggle.
Dad:  How do you think cows hug each other?
Gracie:  They just rub together awkwardly.
Dad:  I had wanted to put an elephant Bull on the cover because it could hug with its trunk.  I think cows might just stab each other with their hoofs if they tried.
Lily:  Ouch.
Dad:  I almost put a turkey on the cover and called the book “Wobbly Gobbler.”  That’s what I originally wanted to do first.
Gracie:  That would not have been as good as “Hug a Bull.”
Dad:  But it’s so fun to say!  Imagine… “Here’s my book, “Wobbly Gobbler.”
Gracie:  It does match the title of your “Chuckling Ducklings” book better. 
Lily:  (flipping through the pages)  Kangaroos!  Boinggie – boinggie!  They are so cute!
Gracie:  Oh my word!  I love the little possums.  Every time I see your tiny animals, my heart melts into little possum puddles. 
Lily:  And this page has a baby mole!  We actually saw a little tiny mole once.  He was so cute!  Even though he was dead.  Remember when you ran over one with the car in the driveway?
Gracie:  The little donkey baby is adorable.
Lily:  He’s got Elijah-hair!
Gracie:  He does!  He does!  You made the donkeys look like Elijah!  The little donkeys have his hair and the same expression he gets all the time.
Elijah:  “Ee-honk!  Ee-honk!”
Gracie:  That is NOT a donkey noise!  I don’t know what that was.
Lily:  It’s more like a squeaky rocking chair.
Dad:  So now I’ve done a book about Baby animals, one about Moms, one about Dads…
Elijah:  Next you have to do Grandmas!
Dad:  I’m sure there’s a big list of grandma animal names out there.
Kids:  Ha ha ha!
Dad:  Well, thanks for the review, guys!
Lily:  (Starts rapping) 
  Pssh -- pssh -- pssh…
  This is a book
  Which is about
  Lots of fuzzy animals
  And they love to shout!
  It tells all the names
  In poems and rhymes
  And I love to read them
  All of the time!
Dad:  Word.
Lily:  It’s about Dads and Moms and such
  And barely any of them…. are… Dutch!
Kids:  Hah ha ha hah…
Dad:  How about:  Cows can’t hug
  But their heads can touch!
Gracie:  Yeah!

"Ee-honk!" by Elijah
 bull and calf, by Isaac

vixen, kit, and tod; by Gracie

vote Mare for Mayor, by Lily

Author/Illustrator:  Aaron Zenz
Published, 2013: Walker Books
Like them?  Here they are!

This week, some wonderful blogs have highlighted "I Love Ewe" and "Hug a Bull."  I'm so very thankful!  I invite you to stop by and leave these folks some thoughtful comments:

Mon May 6:  Bookie Woogie
Tue May 7:  Reading to Know
Wed May 8:  Playing by the Book
Thu May 9:  Sharpread 
Fri May 10: City Book: Hug
and Ewe
Sat May 11:  From the Mixed-up Files

Also very cool news!  "I Love Ewe" and "Hug a Bull" were featured on my favorite NPR program "A Way With Words"!  You can listen to the episode's intro below...

And now time for a Giveaway!  Thanks for your support over the years!  Just leave a comment on this post and you'll be entered to win one of three prizes:

Prize Pack #1:  signed copies of "Hug a Bull" & "I Love Ewe" + three other books I've authored/illustrated: The Chimpanseeze, The Hiccupotamus (new in boardbook!), and Chuckling Ducklings (new in boardbook!)

Prize Pack #2:  signed copies of "Hug a Bull" & "I Love Ewe" + three other books I've illustrated:  Nugget on the Flight Deck, Skeleton Meets the Mummy, and Five Little Puppies Jumping on the Bed

Prize Pack #3:  signed copies of "Hug a Bull" & "I Love Ewe" + an original piece of artwork - crafted specially for you - depicting the animal of your choosing!  for example:

To be entered, just leave a comment here!  
The Giveaway will run through the end of the month, May 31, when we'll randomly select three winners.  Best of luck!