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January 03, 2009

"Chicken Cheeks" Comes Out In Three Days!

My long-awaited anthology of animal butts finally hits the bookstores in three days! Praised by one and all as "the funniest book in the world" (not a real quote), "Chicken Cheeks" is the "triumphant" (my word) debut of a "glittering new children's book author" (again, my words). "Readers young and old will delight in this whimsical compendium of tushies and patooties" (nobody wrote this except me) from "America's favorite Vh1 commentator and soda pop pitchman" (if I am America's favorite anything, it's news to me because I wrote that last quote). "This zany zoological crack-up" (clever wordplay by me) "amuses while it instructs" (truth be told, you'd be an idiot to write that about this book because it might be the least instructive children's book ever written). "A fabulous romp through an imagination by turns ecstatic, cunning, despairing and resilient." (This is an ACTUAL QUOTE by Publisher's Weekly, although it's about "The Life of Pi," not my book.)

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And while every single one of the above quotations is totally fake (except for the one about "The Life of Pi"), two new reviews just came out that are actual honest to goodness reviews. What's sad is that the text for each of the reviews is longer than the text of the book. Even sadder, I probably spent less time writing the book than it took for them to write the reviews. (Again, not true. Well, maybe true.)

This is from today's New York Post:

"CHICKEN CHEEKS" by Michael Ian Black, illustrated by Kevin Hawkes (Simon & Schuster, $15.99, ages 3 to 7)

Butts are the joke in this first picture book from Black, a VH1 contributor and screenwriter ("Run, Fat Boy, Run"). A bear, eager to grab what's high atop a tree, drafts an army of birds and beasts to pile on. One by one, they bring up their rears - a duck tail, a flamingo fanny - until the nutty totem pole of tushes reach the bear's end: a beehive filled with honey.

The rhymes are brief and breezy ("duck-billed platypus gluteus maximus") and Hawkes' art is apt, right down to the swarm of bees that causes the whole pileup to topple.

And this is from the School Library Journal (SPOILER ALERT: THIS REVIEW TOTALLY GIVES AWAY THE WHOLE STORY!!!)

BLACK, Michael Ian. Chicken Cheeks. illus. by Kevin Hawkes. unpaged. CIP. S & S Jan. 2009. Tr $15.99. ISBN 978-1-4169-4864-3. LC 2007016872.

PreS-Gr 1—As every parent and teacher knows, little kids giggle over rear ends-and Chicken Cheeks is sure to keep them laughing. It features the hind quarters of animals, complete with silly names for them, from beginning to—well—end: "rhinoceros rump," "penguin patootie," "polar bear derriere," "turkey tushy." The close-up, color-saturated illustrations—which are at the same time obviously hilarious and sneakily deadpan—tell a story. A brown bear stands poised atop a ladder, gazing thoughtfully up the skinny trunk of a tall, branch-free tree. He grabs a duck and sets it on his head. As he does, readers get an eyeful of the duck's rear; the accompanying text merely says "duck tail." Somehow a huge moose finds itself perched on top of the duck's head: "moose caboose." When a chicken precariously clasps the moose's antlers and proceeds to lay an egg on its nose, only the bear is smiling. Credibility is suspended by the time the moose sits on the duck without squashing it. Sixteen animals later, children can only laugh helplessly at the absurd ladder of animals balanced parallel to the tree trunk. By then they're able to see what the bear was trying to do-and how it backfires. Filled with visual jokes and amusing details, Chicken Cheeks is a lot more than a list of words for kids to snicker at.—Susan Weitz, formerly at Spencer-Van Etten School District, Spencer, NY

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Comments

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Christopher Flannery

congrats, hope is a complete succass

Jaime

I did not read the second review because I did not want to get spoiled, but I can't wait to read your butt book to my boy so we too can crack up. (clever wordplay by you, yes it is :) Congrats Michael Ian Black -- yay!!

Camille

This really looks like the perfect children's book. At least for my children. Can't wait!

cat

Life of Pi was a great book.
"Chicken Cheeks" kind of reminds me of "Everyone Poops," but instead of feces there's your witty repartees.

Looking forward to reading it.

Julie

I'm totally going to buy this for my niece!

Reen

Clever. (true)

Congratulations to you. (truly)

And the best to you always. (albeit over-used, this is also a true sentiment)


Susanna

I received my copy on Tuesday (Yay Amazon!) and I have already shared it with some of my nieces and nephews (ages 5, 8 and 10). It was a complete hit!

Jenny

Aww yay! The bum book will be a smash hit! Congrats! Shall we delightfully rampage through Amazon reviews again??

Zane

I tried to write a short little review on Amazon this morning but it doesn't seem to have shown up, either I did something wrong, it takes a day or two, or it wasn't meaty enough for them to bother posting. So, to those of you with much better writing skills than I, have at it!! I think you may review the book as long as you have ordered it through Amazon, I only ordered it the other day (along with all my little daughter's beloved Daisy Meadows fairy stories, so if you find yourself linked up with her, oops.) Either way, Michael, good luck!

Tee

Flamingo Fanny???!!!?

You DO know that fanny means 'vagina' in England, right?

This might impact on the sales over here, unless it was cunningly changed for the International market... although it'll probably boost sales rather than dent them, if there's one thing English kids love more than butt jokes, it's cooter jokes.

I can't wait! Get your finger out and post my book already, Amazon!

Michelle

Well, apparently the publishers spent the entire budget on your chicken suit, but perhaps there can still be a book tour...and you can wear your chicken suit throughout the entire thing!

Bailey

I love it already! I'm going to read this book for my next book report!

Ani

I don't have kids, because you have to have sex to reproduce, but maybe i'll buy it in case one day my eggs gets fertilized.

Nickel Jean

My 2-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter will love this book! I can't wait to read it to them!

Ryalye

Okay, I don't know what that Weitz lady is smoking, but it is perfectly plausible for a moose to sit on a duck without crushing it. Maybe she should step outside or watch some Animal Planet before she goes and writes nonsense like that.

Reen

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0qCQLCOeOu0

Oh man, this killed me!

And SUCH annoying background music - just adds to the whole "Mr. Rogers" feel.

(The book really does look cute).


Levi

Even sadder, I probably spent less time writing the book than it took for them to write the reviews

Free Shipping

very good posting. I liked it. thanks

dreamy gift house

Amazing race today shame Hamilton didn't win
Button again shows he is got a brain for changeable conditions, although i feel he got somehow lucky with ham being the 1st of the two to pit.

wedding dress

Dont worry and worry doesnt help. The voice from the public is actually influence the government decision. when this issue getting worst and worst, sure public will make some noise and government will take some action on it.

Perlen Großhandel

The article is worth reading, I will share with my friends.

Perlen

Okay, I don't know what that Weitz lady is smoking, but it is perfectly plausible for a moose to sit on a duck without crushing it. Maybe she should step outside or watch some Animal Planet before she goes and writes nonsense like that.

pearl jewelry

Aww yay! The bum book will be a smash hit! Congrats! Shall we delightfully rampage through Amazon reviews again??

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