Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Next Big Thing: A Global Blog Tour

There's this thing going around the blogospheres right now where one illustrator sorta tags another to answer a series of questions about her/his next book. I was just asked by the muy talented Renée Kurilla who'd just been asked by the muy talented Mike Boldt, and so on and so forth. Read on to the end of this blog post to see who I've tapped on the shoulder to take over from here.

Now I shall attempt to answer said questions about my forthcoming picture book, WHAT FLOATS IN A MOAT? with author Lynne Berry. The book comes out July 9 from Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers. In fact, I just got my first bound copy yesterday and it looks slammin! In fact, I just got wind the other day that it got a starred review in Publishers Weekly! Hoo boy that's good stuff!


What genre does your book fall under? Well, it's a picture book. Other than that, I'd say it has a medieval science-y feel to it. It's about a goat and a chicken who try to cross a moat to deliver to a queen (who happens to be a pig) her several barrels of buttermilk. There's a lesson in here about buoyancy and flotation with a neat little addendum at the back. The goat's name is Archie, and I'll leave it up to you to get the historical pun there.

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition? Since they're animals, I reckon they'd have to be voice actors. I could see them being British since the book has this whole royal vibe to it. So for Archie the goat, I'd go with Ricky Gervais who's one of the best. For Skinny the hen, I'd have to go with Ashley Jensen who was his fine counterpart in EXTRAS. The queen would, for sure, have to be Dame Maggie Smith who kills it in Downton Abbey and anything she does.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? Archie the goat and Skinny the hen must solve the puzzle of how to cross a castle moat to deliver several barrels of buttermilk to the queen but it's not as easy as it sounds because Archie has some weird ideas about how to float across the moat that involves skinny the hen having to drink massive quantities of buttermilk to build ships out of the barrels and will any of it ever work and will Skinny stay skinny after drinking a ton of buttermilk and check out the knight's helmet on Archie, wow that's cool!

Who is publishing your book? That'd be Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers!

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? It has an old world, old school timeless feel and appeal, not unlike the books of my heroes William Steig and Quentin Blake. But I just looked online and was told that those who viewed WHAT FLOATS also viewed BULLY by Laura Vaccaro Seeger and my bigtime pals Tom Anglegerger's and Cece Bell's new one CRANKEE DOODLE. I have no idea if it's anything like those, because I still need to be seeing those stat!

What else about the book might pique the reader's interest? The language is very sharp, clever, and funny, and witty, the characters are standouts, the design of the book is tip-top (cheers, Chloe Foglia!) with nice heavy boards and printed on a bee-yootiful uncoated paper. In fact, thanks much to Chloe, Julia Maguire, and early-on-the-job Kevin Lewis. And of course cheers to Lynne Berry if you're out there reading this. I hope to meet you someplace, someday.

Thanks to Renée for the invite here. I will be handing it off now to the most excellent Mr. Frank Dormer, who will be dishing about his forthcoming book THE ADVENTURES OF JO SCHMO: SHIFTY BUSINESS. Take it away, Frank!