Friday, January 13, 2017

A Greyhound, a Groundhog - a bookwrap


Unwrapping some ravings...

“This delightful story is a feast for the eyes and ears, and it will hold up well to repeated demands from eager young listeners.”— Kirkus, starred review

From a heavyweight author and illustrator duo comes a delicious tongue twister of a picture book that features a little round greyhound and a little round groundhog. 

With very spare, incredibly lively language, this is an entertaining read-aloud, with two amazing—and oh-so-adorable—characters at its heart.

When a greyhound meets a groundhog, wordplay and crazy antics ensue. The two animals, much like kids, work themselves into a frenzy as they whirl around and around one another. (Around, round hound. Around, groundhog!) The pace picks up (Around and around and astound and astound!), until they ultimately wear themselves out. 

“Jenkins’s masterful text is deceptively simple.” —NPR on Toys Meet Snow by Emily Jenkins

“Appelhans, whose career up to now has been in animated films such as Coraline, is a revelation.” —Booklist, Starred, on Sparky!, illustrated by Chris Appelhans

“Appelhans makes an auspicious picture book debut with strikingly beautiful watercolor and pencil illustrations. His style, reminiscent of Jon Klassen’s, incorporates a muted color palette, but with a slightly softer, rounder quality, while also weaving in visual deadpan humor.” —The Horn Book


"A Greyhound, a Groundhog"

Authored by Emily Jenkins
Illustrated by Chris Appelhans

Ages 3-7

Unwrapping some whimsical illustrations to enjoy...

About the book...

Friendship can be such a wonderful thing and friends can come in all shapes and sizes.  This delightful picture book oozes fun and games and demands to be read aloud to get the full impact of its frivolity.  It's truly friendship at its best.  Both the reader and the listener will be entertained (and trust me out of breathe) when the simple words, as well as the action-packed illustrations, are blended together to make a perfect playtime experience.  

An energetic round greyhound meets a rolly-polly groundhog and together they romp and gallop together enjoying the creative spirit of play.  

As you read it aloud, the speed of the words (and the illustrations) increases until the two friends (and your tongue) are all topsy-turvy. 

“A groundhog, a greyhound,
a round little

A greyhound, a groundhog, 
a brown little 

And so it continues, around and around, the greyhound chases his tail, then he chases the groundhog.  Finally after much running and dashing they collapse in a heap on the ground and drift off, both exhausted from a very rigorous, exhilarating workout and both very happy. 

The words rhyme and weave around their free time encounter. The brilliant intervention of a kaleidoscope of butterflies slows the pace down - a beautiful pause of wonder - and then sets the stage for  their well-earned snooze.  

The watercolour illustrations are masterfully done to portray non-stop action and because of the white background it's only the characters and their movement that are portrayed.  Chris Appelhans has captured spot on the joyous act of motion plus comradery.   "A Greyhound, a Groundhog" will not disappoint... it is simply magical and I know read over again many times.  I highly recommend this book.   

Storywraps rating... 5 Hugs!!!!!


About the author...

I was born in New York City, grew up in Cambridge, MA and Seattle, WA, studied English at Vassar, and then came to New York to get my doctorate in 19th-century English literature at Columbia. My dissertation was called "The Reading Public and the Illustrated Novel, 1890-1914," and a chapter of it can be found in the first issue of the journal Book History.
Tongue First, a book of essays, was published in 1998. A novel, Mister Posterior and The Genius Child was published in 2002. It was a Barnes and Noble "Discover Great New Writers" pick.
My father is playwright Len Jenkin, and together, he and I wrote a novel for children called The Secret Life of Billie's Uncle Myron (1996). Subsequently, my first picture book, Five Creatures was awarded the Charlotte Zolotow Honor and the Boston Globe/Horn Book Honor. 

About the illustrator...

CHRIS APPELHANS has worked on several films. He was an illustrator and production designer for Coraline, an environment designer Fantastic Mr. Fox, and a visual development artist for The Princess and the Frog. This is his first picture book.

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