Wednesday, January 7, 2015

SILLY ME + Prize

by Jan Godown Annino

There was a young woman said, ‘Howww..,”
my mother would sing in the kitchen.
My aunt would chime in with,
can I flee from this horrible cowww?”
And my other aunt would trill,
Shall I sit on a stile and continue to smile...”
so that my mother would finish,
which would frighten the heart of the cowww?"
thereby completing their own particular cracked
take on Edward Lear’s rhyme.

Aunts Singing Chants

This trio left me in stitches, ladies in flowery ruffled kitchen aprons,
cutting up meat and veggies, cutting up in words and songs. (Not that
the gals couldn't argue stridently but that's a different genre of story...)

When at their best they performed Lear, Lewis Carroll, Gelette Burgess,
& the word of others with a knack for nonsense. Their making silly,  impromptu at 
holidays, directly lopes to my seeking out fun poems and hilarious picture books 
to read with BookPALS.

 If you want to read silly stories or create picture book laughs, as I attempt to, I’ve listed a few
p.b. titles & one beloved author to be daffy with. Most are newer - but not all. Beyond the books, find
resources here to explore writing with a punch line mind or,  a punch line in mind.

Silly Me Books

DUCK, DUCK, MOOSE written by Dave Horowitz (also DDM ON A PLANE)
DUCK, DUCK, MOOSE! written by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen (artist, James Burke)
No, this is not a joke. Each DDM author has set up a giggle game very different
from the other. 
Quallen, who is the co-conspirator of the popular blog Nerdy Chicks Rule, with 
Kami Kinard, puts a birthday spin & unexpected moves in her inter-species story.
Horowitz sets his characters tripping from New England to Florida & hilarity hiccups 
down the coast, so each story leaves kids feeling duckie.

Titles in this genre are silly on their face. A trick of writers & artists of these sort of picture 
books is crafting the title. It’s so crackedly perfect, it sells the story. In this list when the author isn’t
the illustrator, the artist is indicated.  The list is unruly - in no order.  It is sooooo incomplete. A taste.

Silly Me Book Lists

Nonsense! He Yelled - Roger Eschbacher (artist Adrian Johnson)
I Know A Wee Pig – Kim Norman (artist, Henry Cole)
Scaredy Squirrel  – Melanie Watt (a silly series)
Double Trouble in Walla Walla –Andrew Clements (artist Salvatore Murdoca)
Say What? Angela DiTerlizzi (artist Joey Chou)
Barry The Fish With Fingers – Sue Hendra
Parts – Tedd Arnold
Silly Sally – Audrey Wood
abundant # of titles from Theodor Seuss Geisel, Dr. Seuss
Cowboy Camp – Tami Sauer (artist Mike Reed)
Cook-A-Doode Doo! Janet Stevens/Susan Stevens Crummel (artist Janet Stevens)
Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs – Mo Willems
The Bed Book - Sylvia Plath (yes, the adult poet) (artist Emily Arnold McCully)
Uncles and Antlers – Lisa Wheeler (artist Brian Floca)
Z is for Moose - Kelly Bingham (artist Paul O. Zelinsky)

Bad Kitty! - Nick Bruel (a silly series - I'm cracking up with kids over Bad Kitty! above)
The Quangle Wangle's Hat - Edward Lear (artist in this edition, Louise Voce)
The Monstore – Tara Lazar (artist James Burks)

These titles that tickled my tendons were pulled from my shelves, found in our public library, a school library, a bookstore, shared by Mandy Yates at TeacherPayTeachers who I was introduced to by Mira Reisburg & also, I turned to the resourceful blog of someone I think of as the Letter A Lady, Allison McDonald.

For emerging titles to tickle your tonsils, read Mallory McInnis on forthcoming ridiculously wonderful picture books of 2015. Bring 'em on!

If you poem-make as many of us are,  share silly titles such as Vile Verses or Really Bad Rhymes from Roald Dahl or Bruce Lansky's If Pigs Could Fly.  Illustrated poem collections in which a bug & jumping flea are medicine merit their own article, so I'll be back with that. And for chapter book & middle grade-novel writers, I'm all smiles while collecting a chuckle novels list - additions invited.

How To Do Humor?

If you would like to delve more into humor and children’s literature:
Mark Twain House (sponsors a writing award & classes)
Kami Kinard "Humor Cells" article & "Tell Your Tale With Humor" (with links to the 2014 Greenhouse Funny prize - stay tuned for a 2015 contest post)
Tara Lazar's NJ-SCBWI humor writing report
Jan (no relation) Fields “Spoonful of Humor” tips from the vault of the popular
Institute of Children’s Literature (verify editor/publisher details for current contacts)
List of funny words, thanks to Leigh Ann Jasheway/Writer's Digest Books
Hot topic: see Scholastic’s humor-preference graphic (thanks to Jen Robinson for my 1st alert to it.)
And not specifically about children's lit., but see the Erma Bombeck Writing Workshop/Contest.

Silly Me Prize + Update!

By midnight Tues Jan. 13, 2015 your comment below can win a funny book for your school, local library, family or your own humor-worthy bookshelf. If you aren't a frequent commenter here let me know how to reach you when you comment & save today's blog title & URL, to quickly return HERE the Jan. 7, 2015 post, on Wed. Jan. 14, 2015, to see if you won. Good Luck!

And please feel free to comment if you don't want a prize; just say so.

The great give-away picture book title is by Edward Lear, THE OWL & THE PUSSYCAT, a favorite of the cat below. This edition is exquisitely illustrated by Jan Brett.
Contest note: Winner to be selected randomly by Ginger, fuzzy Rafflecopter substitute (with back to camera, perfecting a selection technique) & yes, Ginger is male; that's another story.  Dogs not eligible to enter. Mice afforded top consideration.

Contest Update: Ginger promises to be back with results by Wed. Jan 15, if not tonite, Jan. 14, 2015 EST.  Other good news is that for those who comment between today & next Wed. Jan. 21, there is also a prize, to be announced on Thurs Jan 22, 2015. How cool (or hot) is that?


  1. Oh, what fun! Thanks for this great list and the resource links. Everyone needs to laugh every day!

    1. Hi Jane, Your welcome & thanks for being the first comment!!!

  2. I love DDM - both varieties - and all Seuss and Sheep in a Jeep and all other nonsense. We need to laugh. Especially now, because laughing cracks the ice (outside the windows and inside our hearts).

  3. Oh what a wonderful list of great books (and links! Gotta love the links!). I think the Owl and the Pussycat was one of my absolute favorites as a child- probably was the longest 'poem' I memorized at the time! Hmmm.... I wonder what happened to my copy? I think it was actually a Little Golden Book, but I'm not sure. or you can reach me at my blog :)

    1. Carol, I am tickled to know you memorized Lear's famous ditty. I did too!

  4. Love GROG, thanks for all you do! ~lindsayfouts

  5. Wow. I can see I'm going to be spending a lot of time at my library! Thanks for the great lists and links. You can reach me at rosihollinbeck (at) yahoo (dot) com. Thanks for a chance to win.

    1. Rosi, Always eager to funnel folks thru those library doors - thanks.

  6. Jan: What a hilarious poem that you *hooked* me with right away. How clever are you! You have shared an excellent list of silly, fun books, even if you think it is incomplete! Sure, there are many more, however, this is a great start. I recognize many of them. Thank you. ~Suzy

  7. I just put so many of your suggested titles on hold. Thank you! I'll keep laughing all the way, ha ha ha

    1. RaChelle, So glad to know this. Hope they are a giggle.

  8. Dear Readers & Writers,

    These are important comments - thank you & I hope to reply to each one.

    Today's update is - Ginger the Cat, our prize selector, expects to get to work on his task.

    Also, to accommodate readers joining us later, there will be a 2nd prize awarded a week from today on Wed. 21, for comments shared here between now & then.

    Thank you everyone & please stay tuned.

  9. And the 1st winnah is CAROL FEDEROFF.
    With apologies from a tardy Ginger for his delay in cooperating with this blog.

    The 2nd prize will be announced near the end of next week, for posts left thru next Tues at midnite Jan. 20.

    Ciao, miao & wow - these are such great comments, everone.

    1. I WON!!!! I received the beautiful copy of The Owl and The Pussycat by Edward Lear. The illustrations are so lovely! I have always been a fan of this story and just as big of a fan of Jan Brett's illustrations! Thank you so much Jan and Ginger :) What a beautiful pussy you are! ;)

    2. Fuzzy Rafflecopter sub Ginger accepts the compliment!

      Glad you could play Carol.

  10. Love this emphasis on funny and silly! You've gathered some great resources. Thanks so much for including some of mine.

    Kami Kinard (Don't know why it says Anonymous!)

    1. You're welcome, Kami Kinard & so fun to see you here, posted perfectly. Smiles!