Wednesday, May 15, 2013

One of the best ... Crankee Doodle has arrived!!!

                                           Quote of the Day 
                 "To read or not to read...That is a silly question"

Title:  Crankee Doodle
Author:  Tom Angleberger
Illustrator: Cece Bell

First off, let me confess, I loved this book a lot.  I looked at the cover, giggled, and loved it.  I read through the book, laughed and double loved it.  I then closed the cover and said, "I don't want to review this book and put it on my blog."  Why in the world would you do that you may ask if you loved it so much?  I did not want to review it because the book evoked in me a "two year old" mentality that did not want to share, a mentality that said this is too good and I want this book all for is mine, don't look and certainly don't read it.  After I came to my adult and responsible senses (Sigh!) I got on the computer and ladies and gentlemen here is the review of "Crankee Doodle", a book I know you will love too.

The book is a quirky twist on the old beloved song that most people learned as a kid, Yankee Doodle.  The original lyrics are:

Yankee Doodle went to town,
Riding on a pony,
stuck a feather in his hat
and called it macaroni....

What the heck does that mean?  Sounds like he had had quite a night on the town....

First of all let me address the "pony."  His character is by far my favourite and quite a hoot.  His expressive face and sublime buck teeth makes him very endearing to me.  He so badly wants to go to town, shop and spend quality time with his friend but his Yankee colonial counterpart will have none of it.  The poor pathetic pony hints, suggests then blatantly asks his friend to come along.  The pony tries to inspire him to buy a feather for his hat,  give his hat a name, and as a final plea even offers to give him a ride there.  Nothing moves this stubborn, complaining guy.  He won't budge.

Now let's look at the Yankee the Cranky guy.  Well the definition of cranky is irritable, annoyed, testy and yes, Mr. Yankee is by definition, cranky.  He has a rebuttal for every suggestion and proves to be a negative nelly indeed.  The line is crossed when the little pony offers that ride and Mr. Crankee pants quips back, "No way! You smell terrible!  Using horse talk...that was the last straw!  I do not want to spoil the ending so you need to get a copy and find our how the book ends.   The book is clever, witty and the valuable lesson you can take away is that cranky people.... well....suck!  But do not despair because redemption is possible.

The illustrations are brilliant, vibrant color pallet used to perfection, and the characters enhanced by the expressive faces and body language.  The pictures and text are a perfect marriage.

Can you tell I like the book?  The pony still cracks me up every time I do a re-read. I want a pony just like that and I will go shopping and romping with him. The release of this book is June 4th so be sure to pre-order today and be sure to share this info with your friends.   Yea for Crankee Doodle!!!!!!

About the author:

Tom’s BIO

I have no particular interest in forcing you to hear about me, but I am getting So many requests from kids writing book reports that I’ve finally decided to write a bio…
Tom Angleberger NOT Anglebooger!!!!!!!!
Age: secret
Birthday: Oct. 24
Location: secret
Toothpaste: secret
Home state: Virginia
Security Clearance: AlphaShadow1
Pen of Choice: Pilot G2 gel roller! 1.0 used for everyday doodling, .7 used for illustrating the Origami Yoda books.
Previous occupations: newspaper reporter and columnist, juggler, weed boy, lawn mower part assembler, biology research assistant (bug larvae and plant diseases)
Current occupation: author and illustrator, keeper of (with Webmaster Sam)
First novel: Begun in 8th grade, never completed.
Published or about to be published novels: Qwikpick, Stonewall, Origami Yoda, Horton Halfpott, Darth Paper, Fake Mustache, Secret of the [[top secret]].
Spouse: author and illustrator Cece Bell!
Tom sez: “I’m not necessarily all that creative. I’m more of a puzzle putter together. I take all these little puzzle pieces — Yoda, middle school problems, Cheetos — and I fuss and fuss with them until I fit them together.”
Inspirations: Star Wars, Fumiaki Kawahata, Daniel Pinkwater, my own personal social disasters…
SuperPower: Aspergers!


Cece Bell

As a child

I was born in Richmond, Virginia, in 1970. I have an older brother and an older sister who drew a lot, so I learned a lot from watching them. I was a pretty competitive little kid, and was always trying to draw better than they did. In 1975 I got really sick with meningitis and had to be in a hospital for two weeks. I drew hundreds of pictures of the same thing: a green-faced little girl standing under a rainbow. During that two weeks, I lost most of my hearing, and soon after had to be outfitted with hearing aids. Soon after, it was time to go to Kindergarten, so I went to a school in Richmond that was for deaf and hearing-impaired students. I did well enough that year that when we moved to Salem, Virginia the next year, I got to go to first grade with kids who did not have any hearing loss. I had to wear an enormous, and powerful, hearing aid, and my teacher wore a microphone that amplified her voice. The great thing about it was, I could hear the teacher no matter where she was in the entire school – in conferences, smoking in the teachers' lounge, using the bathroom! Lots of material for my twisted imagination. In the end, I probably focused on drawing because it was a visual thing. I didn't have to be able to hear to get good at it. I still remember the books I received during this period of illness and recovery, and they are a couple of my favorites still: Our Animal Friends at Maple Hill Farm, by the Provensens, and The Meanest Squirrel I Ever Met, by Gene Zion and Margaret Bloy Graham. Good stuff! GREAT stuff!

As an adult

I studied art at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA. I met my future husband there, the writer Sam Riddleburger (The QwikPick Adventure Society, and Stonewall Hinkleman and the Battle of Bull Run). I got a Master's Degree in Illustration and Graphic Design from Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. I then worked in packaging and advertising for a small company that made pet supplies, and then became a freelance illustrator and designer for local and national clients (my favorite being Binney and Smith, the makers of Crayola crayons). I sort of stumbled upon writing accidentally: I had too good a story about my own sock monkey that I really wanted to illustrate, so I wrote it up myself. My life as a writer and illustrator just kind of took off from there. I have two sons, aged 5 and 3, and four crazy dogs. I can't believe I have four crazy dogs.

As an artist

I have published 6 books with Candlewick, and a seventh comes out in June. I work in a small barn that I purchased from Home Depot a few years ago. I hired a very nice man to wire it and finish it for me. It's a great place to work, mostly because the space belongs to me, and me only. No boys allowed!

Things you didn't know about Cece Bell

  1. She really likes interesting pickles.
  2. She can whistle the Andy Griffith theme song fairly well.
  3. She is terrified of airplanes.
  4. And riding on elevators.
  5. She lives in the country, across from a river and the train tracks.
  6. She does not like taking pictures, or having her picture taken.
  7. She is a terrible square dancer, but enjoys it anyway.
  8. She likes the way dogs smell.
  9. She likes throwing parties, and making punch.
  10. She tries to like winter, but it is too long                 
                                           (Walker Books)

                        Book Review rating:    9  (close to perfection!)

Read on and read alway

(Review copy courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company with thanks.)

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