Monday, December 30, 2013

50 Below Zero - board book

Quote of the Day:  

"There is no friend as loyal as a book."

                               - Ernest Hemingway

Title:  50 Below Zero
Author:  Robert Munsch
Illustrator:  Michael Marchenko
Ages: 2-5

This book is a re-release for toddlers presented as a board book.  Some of the text and pictures have been updated but the hilarious message is still the same and ready to be unpacked to a new group of lucky kids.

Jason hears funny noises in the middle of the night and when he gets up to investigate he finds his dad snoring....laying on top of the fridge.  He shouts, "Papa wake up!" and that's when the fun begins.  Jason goes back to bed only to be woken up time and time again finding his dad in very strange places indeed - like the top of his car and even outside in 50 below zero weather.  Jason has a huge responsibility rescuing his dad over and over and trying to keep him safe.  He finally uses his brain and concocts a plan to keep his dad safe by tethering him in one spot where he can't escape and keep walking off. You will love the ending, a special little twist that only Robert Munsch can pull off....let's just sum it up by saying...the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

This delightful zany book will have your kids laughing out loud.  The re-vamped illustrations are classic and Michael Marchenko is a storyteller in himself with what he produces visually.  I know your child will be asking for this often. You will hear the shout coming from the bedroom..."Papa wake up and read me that story one more time!"

About the author:

Robert Munsch

Robert Munsch is one of North America’s best-selling children’s authors. His books are staples of any child’s library. All together they have sold over 30 million copies, and have been translated into over a dozen languages.
“I got into it backwards!” is Munsch’s reply to questions about how he became a children’s author. That’s because he makes up most of his stories on the spot, and tells them over and over before he writes them down. Munsch is bursting with ideas-though he says it sometimes takes him years to get a good story.
Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Munsch studied for seven years to be a Jesuit priest before deciding to work with children instead. For the next five years he taught in a variety of nursery schools and daycare centers while he earned an M.A. in early childhood education. In 1975, Munsch and his wife, Ann, moved to Guelph, Ontario, where he became an associate professor of family studies and teacher at the University of Guelph’s preschool. During this time his reputation began to grow.
Munsch has gained wide international recognition for his books and records.The Paper Bag Princess became the kids’ book of the ’80s, and Murmel, Murmel, Murmel won a Juno Award in 1985. In 1986, Thomas’ Snowsuitwon the Ruth Schwartz Award, and Munsch himself won the Canadian Booksellers Association’s “Author of the Year” in 1991.
What do people like about Munsch’s stories? They’re contemporary and zany, reflecting “a jaunty belief in the power of children,” says Horn Book. To celebrate the publication of The Paper Bag Princess twenty-five years ago, Annick Press released The Paper Bag Princess 25th Anniversary Edition(2005) which has the complete storybook, how the book came to be, and never-before published original sketches.
Every year Munsch receives thousands of letters from young fans. He likes to meet the children who send him mail, which sometimes leads to another story. Of his hectic touring schedule, he says simply, “I love it! One of the nicest things about my job is traveling across North America and meeting all kinds of people.”
The Munschs have three children: Julie, Andrew and Tyya.
Robert Munsch may be available for storytelling concerts, keynote speaking engagements, and school visits. Please write to Robert Munsch directly, at www.robertmunsch

About the illustrator:

Michael Martchenko

“I try to give the kids in my illustrations spunk and make them a bit defiant; they’re always sticking out their chests and standing up for themselves. Did you notice how in Thomas’ Snowsuit Thomas causes the school principal’s hair to turn whiter in frustration as the story progresses?” asks Michael Martchenko in a Quill & Quire interview.
Michael is recognized as one of the fastest illustrators in the country. According to an interviewer in Applied Arts Quarterly, “Such rapidity seems to suit the artist’s joyful sense of spontaneity.” Michael immediately breaks down a manuscript into a storyboard. He explains: “As I read, I get all these great pictures in my mind. I think about funny situations, and then start sketching.” After he has completed a rough, it takes approximately another four hours to create a finished drawing. For most of his books, Michael likes to use watercolor and pencil, as well as a generous dose of his own visual humor.
Before he became a children’s book illustrator, Michael had already launched a successful career in advertising. Fortunately for fans of children’s literature, the Annick Press publishers and Robert Munsch saw Michael’s work—a scene in a park featuring pigeons equipped with landing gear—at a graphic arts exhibition, and felt that anyone with such a playful imagination should illustrate children’s stories.
Since 1980, the year he worked with Robert on The Paper Bag Princess, Michael has illustrated over 30 books for children and has exhibited his work throughout North America. He won the Ruth Schwartz Award for Thomas’ Snowsuit in 1986, and has won additional awards for design and illustration.
To celebrate the publication of The Paper Bag Princess twenty-five years ago, Annick Press published The Paper Bag Princess 25th Anniversary Edition (2005) which has the complete storybook, how the book came to be, and never-before published original sketches.
Michael’s has also collaborated with Loris Lesynski on Shoe Shakes (2007), a zany blend of story-poem and toddler-friendly rhymes. They also worked together on “I Did It Because...”: How a Poem Happens (2006), a unique collection that blends “best of” with “how to.”
Growing up in a small town north of Paris, France, Michael loved comic books and learned a lot about visual humor from watching cartoons. He moved to Canada when he was seven. By high school Michael knew that he wanted to make art his career. Upon graduation from the Ontario College of Art in 1966, Michael began working in commercial art. He was the creative art director for TDF Artists in Toronto until 1993. Michael’s other love is aviation art. He spends most of his time illustrating in his home studio.
Michael lives in Toronto with his wife, Patricia.

            Book Review Rating:  9 ( Close to perfection!)

Read on and read always!  Have an awesome day everyone.

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