Terrible things seem to happen on Thursdays. At least that’s how 2015 is going so far. Thus I’ve decided to alter my blog post day to Fridays, and refer to it as “Funny Friday,” Sad to say there will no longer be a Thrilling Thursday. Check CNN for further details about this under the “Entertainment” banner. But enough about that. In my first post I just wanted to be slightly funny, and as you can see, I slightly succeeded. Why the Halloween theme? Who knows?! Well I do. You don’t. So I’m the one who knows.
I’ll give into the TBT craze for one week so I can show off my failed Halloween (safety tip) Children’s book pitch from Last week. Remember way back last week? It was Halloween! As you can see below, my book was going to be called:
Hilarious, right?! I was either going to call it that or “Look Witch way?” or “Being safe is all about the my ‘NEWT’ details” or “Always Ask Mummy For Help” or “Simply place the Furniture Over the Blood Stains On the Rug.” Oh well. back to the cutting board.
My blog has sat unused and rusty for a few weeks as I’ve traveled to Kenosha WI and gave a talk to a gaggle of plucky middle school students, drank some micro brew at Public Craft Brewing Co. (716 58th St. Kenosha, WI- Give them a visit if ever in town!), sat on a panel with the ever interesting Dennis Kitchen, and signed about 300 copies of “Fahrenheit 451 the Graphic Novel.” While I plan to write about that and arriving at the airport only to find that air traffic control was down due to a fire, today I’m getting into the Halloween mood by sharing a peek at something I’m working on. As you can see, this peek gives away nothing as to whom that skeleton is, and no I can’t tell you. Also, I can’t seem to choose a side on this Oxford comma debate.
After a few summer weeks off from posting, September arrives like a monkey and finds my new book reviewed in The School Library Journal! If you don’t subscribe to that magazine (or only read it for the pictures) you can read the review below. Or not. But…you’re already here and have invested THIS much time in my blog…
HAMILTON, Tim. But! illus. by Tim Hamilton. 32p. Holiday House. 2014. RTE $16.95. ISBN 9780823430468; ebk. $16.95. ISBN 9780823432172.
K-Gr 2–By the rickety, ramshackle houses of Halibut Bay, pelicans hug themselves for warmth. Actually, so do cats, mice, and all humans, for everyone in Halibut Bay has a cold head, as hats are hard to come by. Eddie and his dog Phil have been given the unenviable task of taking care of his Aunt Sue during her recovery from a broken leg, and the two sail forth with a strong headwind into the cold, keeping an eye out for pirates. Eddie first struggles with the loss of his fishing day, then gamely attempts to complete Aunt Sue’s extensive list of chores, highlighted in a background of zany perspective and detail—from the top of three stories looking down, inside a darkened room looking out, and as viewed through curved lens. Among the items on the scrolled to-do list are the instructions to throw a birthday party for Sue’s pirate friend, Captain Rugbeard—and “get him a good present.” Eddie’s initial choice appears to be a disaster until quick thinking not only gives the Captain what he needs but also appears to be a solution for a common problem of every hatless resident. This title has much to engage readers: frequent page-ending pauses of the title conjunction “but”; humorous plot twists; quirky, cartoon characterizations; and friendly, neighborhood pirates. An entertaining addition.–Mary Elam, Learning Media Services, Plano ISD, TX
BUT! My next children’s book has been released to the world (ISBN 978-0-8234-3046-8 if you needed that info). When you ask for it at book stores, be sure to use your best Katharine Hepburn accent as you say, “Yes, it’s called But!, with ONE T.” I will be that proud author who teaches very young giggling kids the difference between spelling “but” with one “T” or two.” But! has lived in my head since WAY back when Nickelodeon Magazine was around. Back then I would send one page pitches to editor Chris Duffy and he would then call me up (this was before email and texting), and ask the butler if I was available to talk to him. Ten minutes later when I got to the phone, Chris would do his best Peter Lorre impersonation and inform me that I was NOT funny. I told him that the cartoon I had submitted about two pirate birds and a birthday party was a sure hit, but he was having none of it. I told him his Peter Lorre impersonation stunk, and he has since cut me out of his Will. Well, I turned that cartoon into a rough book called “Pirate Birthday” that was rejected several places due it’s complicated sub plot involving cowboys, space men and how to kill off the adult in the story. Always have to get rid of the adult in the story. I was ready to set my rough book on fire and leave it on Chris Duffy’s door step. And ring his bell and run. After I put dog poop under it. On Christmas Eve. And Christmas morning. But then the good people at Holiday House showed a bit of interest.
“We like it,” they said cautiously. “BUT…”
“But?” I asked.
“But… it needs something.” They said with a cold stair.
And with that, one of those light bulbs went off inside my head. And then it went on again. My book was born agai…er, yet once more. A painful birth at home in one of those birthing pools. But… enough about that. If you have kids, run out and buy my book! Remember, BUT with one T! In the meantime, have a look at the cover and some inside art above and below.