Hello, readers! Today I’m keeping it short with a quick look at a funny title from 2022 (Kids Can Press), written by Monica Silvie and illustrated by Elina Ellis.
This cover grabbed me right away. Those eyes, right? This little chickadee could not be more quirky and original. Right off the bat, he lets us know what’s what:
There’s a criminal running amok. And it’s him. This is one of those oh-so-appealing characters with a FALSE BELIEF. Want to know how to do that well? Read this book.
Here’s why he thinks he’s a criminal mastermind. He 1) wears a mask, and 2) operates outside the rules his parents drilled into him as a hatchling. On the second spread, he settles onto a branch and proceeds to tell a group of irresistible forest animals exactly how he fell into this unsavory life of crime. Pretty quickly, we learn that one of his parents’ chief warnings was: “… and don’t you go anywhere near those houses.” But when winter arrives and he’s extremely hungry, and when he spies “a vault of gold” (seeds) hanging in somebody’s back yard, right there for the stealing, how can he resist?
Note: I read this to one of my 5-yr-old grandsons, and I wasn’t sure he’d know what a criminal was, let alone a “criminal mastermind,” as this chickadee claims to be. So let me alert you right off the bat, that could be a problem if you’re a timid reader. HOWEVER, if you can jump into this little birdie’s head and read with gusto and sass and plenty of drama, you’ll be golden. My grand laughed out loud again and again. As well he should, because this is a funny, funny book. (P.S. If a kiddo likes it as much as our grand did, you might even want to think about gifting the book, along with a small bird feeder of some kind.)
One more thing to show you: back matter … to remind us that we authors can add value to even a funny fiction book by including facts like these that show we’ve done our homework. I’ve been doing this myself, and it’s addicting. Heck, if an editor doesn’t want it, they can chuck it, right? It works beautifully here.
Bird and book lovers: If you haven’t yet found this book, give it a look!