Posted in Book Review

The Stratford Zoo Midnight Revue Presents Macbeth

by Ian Lendler

Illustrated by Zach Giallongo

This is a very funny story about what happens at the zoo at night. The animals put on plays. This time they are doing Macbeth (Bridget note: Mom says it is a Shakespeare play). At first you think Macbeth is a good guy but it turns out he is not.

This is so funny, not just the play, but the audience comments. It is done as a graphic novel so easy to sneak in funny moments. There are some monkeys who come up regularly and are very funny. Keep an eye out for them. The illustrations are well done and help the funny moments be even funnier. I definitely need to get the second book where they do Romeo and Juliet.

This would be a great summer read. You will laugh and learn Shakespeare at the same time.

 

Posted in Book Review

Vordak

 

This is a review of all four books because they are super funny. Vordak is a really bad super villain. He is trying to take over the world but keeps failing. The books are how to be a super villain with him. Four days after reading this, I still haven’t taken over the world.

These books are laugh out loud, pee your pants funny. (Mom note: there were lots of giggles heard while reading this) There are tests in the books. I am Vordak’s sidekick, Zordak, because I scored really evil. 

I recommend this book to people who want to rule the world. I think this would be good for kids who aren’t into reading yet. They won’t want to put this down.

I met Vordak the other day. He is awesomely evil.

And Vordak, I am having my minions work with your minions for an interview but you know how minions are. They aren’t too reliable, especially my monkey minions. All they want is electronic bananas.

Posted in Illustrators, The Illustrator Says

Meet Steve James


Website/social media: http://stejdesigns.wixsite.com/mysite @SteJDesigns

Tell me a little about yourself: Hi I live near the vibrant City of Leeds in the UK with my partner Vicky and little girl Rosanna, I also live very close to the countryside which we all love to explore whenever we can. There are lots of arty people in my family and I naturally had a love of drawing from an early age, inspired by comic books and Warner Brothers and Disney cartoons. I’ve worked in the creative industry for over 10 years mainly working in greetings cards (with a highlight being illustrating a range of Star Wars cards) and only recently had the pleasure of illustrating childrens books. I like to keep up to date with the latest cartoons and children’s books, and adapt my style by introducing elements from new sources of inspiration. When I’m not illustrating I like spending time with my family and friends, music, films, video games, walks in the countryside and attempting to play guitar.

How long have you been illustrating books? It’s been about a year and a half, I remember because that’s the age of my daughter and I was first asked to illustrate the Super Happy Party Bears a week before she was due to be born (it was a very busy time in our household) so far there’s been four Super Happy Party Bears books published and four more due out pretty soon so it’s all happened very fast but it’s been a really fun experience and I love working in this industry.

How did you become a book illustrator? iMPRINT Macmillan Publisher’s saw some of my work and contacted my illustration agent at Advocate Art who asked me if I’d like to be involved in the Super Happy Party Bears books. The piece of artwork I think they particularly liked was originally from a page in a calendar I illustrated which was very in tune with what they were looking for.

How do authors pick their illustrators? In this case it was iMPRINT Macmillan Publisher’s who came up with the idea for Super Happy Party Bears then they contacted Marcie Colleen to write the books and me to illustrate them, it’s been a team effort.

How do you know how to illustrate a story?For the Super Happy Party Bears I was originally given notes on the story outline, characters and setting and then drew sketches of how I thought the characters should look, I thought to have the party bears look as colorful and fun as possible like a rainbow and the grumpy woods towns people to be more drab colors but still keep all the characters looking different from each other so they are instantly recognizable, this then partly influenced how the books were written by Marcie. From that point on for each new book I get a list of characters, objects, scenery then draw everything separately so that there is a library of images then the artists at iMPRINT put everything together with the words and they design how everything goes together on the pages.


Do you have a favorite book you have illustrated? My favorite Super Happy Party Bears book so far is ‘Going Nuts’ as I like the Goonies style adventure Marcie has written and the Chipmunk cops, I also really enjoyed drawing the punk characters in Bat to the Bone which is due out this August.

Do you illustrate by hand or by computer? I do a bit of both, I usually draw everything in my sketch book first then redraw the characters in color on computer.




Posted in Book Review

Julia’s House for Lost Creatures


By Ben Hatke

Julia’s house arrives in town by the edge of the sea (spoiler alert: it’s on a turtle).  It is a really nice house but it is lonely. Julia makes a sign and soon it’s not lonely anymore. Then there is more trouble and another sign. That fixes most of her trouble but she needs one more to fix the last issues.

I like that is a very kind story. It is a very pretty story. I like the creatures that come to live with Julia. I would like a mermaid to come live with me. 

I recommend this to kids who are lonely. It shows you can make friends. Also people who need to learn to ask for help because nice things come from that. Kids with silly imaginations will like this too.

Hey readers: what creatures do you want to live with you?

Posted in annoying little brother reviews, Book Review

DinoTrux

By Chris Gall

DinoTrux are trucks that are dinosaurs. There is a tv show based on these books.  I like dinosaurs and trucks so this is awesome.

There are people in the books but that isn’t real. It’s funny though. The book talks about the different DinoTrux. My favorite one is Cementosaurus and Blacktopadon. 

I like that the dinosaurs cause trouble. The pictures are funny. 

I can read some of this by myself. Everyone who likes Dinos and trucks will like this.
~Annoying Little Brother