Monday, July 6, 2009

ALA appearances and TROUBLE reviews

This weekend, the annual American Librarian Association (ALA) conference is being held in Chicago. That's a stone's throw from here, so Julie and I will be all up in that. We've done our fair share of ALA's, and I do love the librarians (I should hope so... I married one, right?). A super-friendly bunch. If you are reading this, and are planning on attending, I hope you will meet me at my book signing:

Saturday July 11, 11:00-noon. Feiwel and Friends booth (#1813)

I'll be signing copies of MIGHTY CASEY and handing out f+g's of TROUBLE GUM and the super-cool F+F-produced TROUBLE GUM bubble gum packages. Gotta get some buzz going!

Julie will be doing a signing, as well, also at the F+F booth on Sunday, July 12, 11:00-noon. Signing copies of GET WELL SOON and signing/giving away galleys of her forthcoming YA novel, INTO THE WILD NERD YONDER.

We are both guests at a F+F hosted bash from 4:00–6:00 in the Macmillan Children’s Publisher suite at the Omni Hotel. This is an event by invitation for bloggers and librarians who support the world o' kids lit. If you got the invite, I hope to see you there!

Back to some TROUBLE GUM buzz, I just had two great reviews in the inbox this morning from editor and pal, Liz Szabla. From Kirkus and Publisher's Weekly! Read on, if you please...

Kirkus Reviews – 7/15/09

Cordell, Matthew
Illus. by the author

Despite Mom’s sage warnings, piglet Ruben and his little brother Julius wreak havoc with multiple sticks of gum (first proffered by, then filched from Grammy) and a newly knit blanket. Ruben’s purposeful instruction sticks (“This is how the big pigs stretch a piece of gum, Julius”): Even after the boys’ de-gumming bath, it’s Julius who provides both the ultimate laugh and the biggest bubble by far. Cordell mingles retro elements effectively, with a three-color palette of gray, pig-pink and red text typeset in Century Schoolhouse (think Dick and Jane) and myriad ink-and-wash spots that channel Steig, big time. These vignettes are offset by genuinely funny sound effects—“crinkle wrackle crackle” yields to “smik smak smak,” which leads inevitably to “stuuuurch…” The display type in many sizes fills copious white space—in fact, the generous 48-page layout is a bit of a stretch for this tale. There’s much detail to pore and giggle over, though, and the endpapers—front ones sporting bubbles blown to enormous size then bursting impressively in the back—are a hoot. Packs plenty of pop. (Picture book. 3-6)

Publishers Weekly, 7/6/09

Trouble Gum Matthew Cordell. Feiwel and Friends, $16.99 (48p) ISBN 978-0-312-38774-7
Working with a stripped-down palette of black, white, red and bubblegum pink, Cordell's (Mighty Casey) first solo effort evokes irrepressible boyhood with laughs throughout. Stir-crazy on a rainy day, older brother Ruben and his little brother, Julius, two piglets at loose ends, are given some gum by their Grammy, but not without a reminder from Mom about the bubblegum rules (“Don't swallow your gum. Don't play with your gum. And don't blow big, sticky bubbles with your gum”). Unsurprisingly, they can't resist the temptation to do all these things and more (“Fortunately, this wasn't the first piece of gum Ruben had gotten stuck in Mom's knitting,” reads the text as spot art shows Ruben frantically tearing at a gum-smeared blanket. “He knew just what to do”). Dozens of Steig-like pen and ink drawings show the antics of the partners in crime and Ruben's attempts to educate Julius in the ways of acting like a “big pig.” The picture of a loving, unpretentious family sustains the hilarity throughout, while creative onomatopoeia (“SMAK SMAK SMIK SMAK”) provides yet more giggles. Ages 2–6. (Aug.)


Joerg said...

Where do I get that "Touble Gum" pin?

Matthew Cordell said...

Hmmm. No Trouble Gum pins available as of yet. Though, that's not a bad idea! I might have to cook a little something up...

jimmyprell said...

Congratulations on those sweet reviews! You deserve them. I've said it before: If you were a poker hand, I'd be all in.

Matthew Cordell said...

Thanks, man! Will be thinking bout you this weekend at the Chicago CASEY pluggage. Hope we get some of your fans!