News & Reviews
One of my favorite things about living in New York City was the chance to have wonderful small, funny, bonding moments with strangers on the streets, in buses, on the subway. Like my book, HOW DO YOU WOKKA-WOKKA?, TAP TAP BOOM BOOM is a tribute to the best aspects of big-city living. Plus, lightning!
The inimitable G. Brian Karas has illustrated TAP TAP BOOM BOOM, perfectly capturing the glorious chaos and community of thunderstorms in cities. The book will be on shelves in 2014, so stay tuned!
Great news! DOGS ON THE BED will be issued in paperback in September! This is the book that flies out of every book festival I go to. There are just so many dog people out there, who are alllllll too familiar with the way those pesky, beloved furballs like to take over the whole bed.
The fabulous Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia announced that WOKKA won its 2010 Kid' Choice Award! What an honor. I was particularly excited to hear that this year's kid judges attend the Overbrook School for the Blind — for a picture book author to learn that her words have really reached kids, well, that's why we do this. Thanks, Please Touch Museum and Overbrook Students!!
School Library Journal, August 1, 2009 — Starred Review!
*BLUEMLE, Elizabeth. How Do You Wokka-Wokka? illus. by Randy Cecil. unpaged. CIP. Candlewick. Aug. 2009. Tr $15.99. ISBN 978-0-7636-3228-1. LC 2008027715.
PreS-Gr 1–In an infectious burst of movement, rhythm, and rhyme, a multiethnic cast of children in an urban neighborhood strut their stuff and celebrate their uniqueness. In answer to the call, “How do you wokka-wokka?,” the youngsters demonstrate their moves–a flamingo, a mariachi, a clock, a fish–all to the sound of giddy nonsense rhymes and exuberant dancing (“I wokka-wokka/like flamingos/in a flocka–/croakie-yocka/leggy-longy/pinky-hoppa-hoppa”). The sketchy, full-color oil illustrations in muted colors feature cartoon children cavorting alternately against stark white backgrounds or cityscapes as they join a giant block party. This bouncy book is a joy as a read-aloud whether in a group or one-on-one, and kids and adults won’t be able to resist making their own nonsense rhymes and dances as they “wokka-wokka” through the book.–Marge Loch-Wouters, La Crosse Public Library, WI
Booklist Review, September 2009:
How Do You Wokka-Wokka. Bluemle, Elizabeth (Author) , Cecil, Randy (Illustrator) Aug 2009. 32 p. Candlewick, hardcover, $15.99. (9780763632281).
"Some days you wake up / and you just gotta wokka . . . wammy-lammy-wotcha-hoo. / Do your funky wokka, /get your dance on." In this playful, lively read, a young boy asks kids in his city neighborhood, "How do you wokka-wokka?" and he receives creative responses. A basketball-playing youth replies, "I wokka-wokka like a clock go ticka-tocka," and, with a headstand and posed limbs, mimics a clock’s hour-hands placement. A jump-roping girl pauses to lie on her belly, waving feet and hands "like a fish flop on a dock-a." As kids progressively join in, it becomes "a party on the blocka" that brings families together in the street. The peppy prose incorporates wordplay, repetition, and bouncy sounds, and it periodically invites listeners to participate and "wokka in your own way." The colorful, detailed oil paintings show energetic children, in varying skin hues, in their urban neighborhood of brownstones and street vendors. An exuberant read-aloud that will get kids moving.
Publishers Weekly (July 6, 2009)
How Do You Wokka-Wokka? Elizabeth Bluemle, illus. by Randy Cecil. Candlewick, $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7636-3228-1
“Some days you wake up/ and you just gotta wokka” says the upbeat narrator of this infectious rhyme. As the boy dances along, he and a growing entourage ask neighboring children the recurring question, “How do you wokka-wokka?” and the kids demonstrate their distinctive walks: “I wokka-wokka/ like flamingos/ in a flocka—/ croakie-yocka/ leggy-longy/ pinky-hoppa-hoppa.” Cecil's cheerful city dwellers ride skateboards, play hopscotch and eat cotton candy, while dogs, cats and pigeons mill about, until the entire neighborhood has joined the boy's “wokka-wokka party.” With unflappable enthusiasm, art and text underscore the message that “Nobody wokkas/ in the same wokka way.” Cecil's animated oil paintings of city life are full of enough details for second and third readings. After Bluemle kicks things off with a prose intro, her rhymes, which are divided into verse- and chorus-like sections, quickly settle into a strong and catchy beat. Children will respond with glee to Bluemle and Cecil's (My Father the Dog) wacky wokka rhythms and playful language that invite each reader to “wokka in their/ own crazy way.” Ages 3–5. (Aug.)
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School Library Journal (January 1, 2009)
BLUEMLE, Elizabeth. Dogs on the Bed. illus. by Anne Wilsdorf. unpaged. Candlewick. 2008. RTE $15.99. ISBN 978-0-7636-2608-2. LC number unavailable.
PreS-Gr 3—Even readers who don't share their bed with a half dozen dogs will love this charming story about a family and their unusual sleeping arrangements. As bedtime begins (appropriately after storytime) everyone—Mom, Dad, two kids, and six dogs—falls asleep in the same big bed. Throughout the night, the pets do what they do best: sleep sideways, bark at things no one else can hear, and whine to go out, and then in (and then out, and then in, etc.). In the end, they are rearranged into more manageable groupings, and finally canines and people alike get some much-needed sleep. The exuberant, rhyming text delights the ear as the hilarious illustrations engage the eye in this kid- and dog-friendly tale. Fun for sharing with a group or one-on-one.—Piper Nyman, Brookmeade Elementary School, Nashville, TN
FLYING PIG BOOKSTORE NEWS!!
This isn't about me as an author, but about me as a bookseller. Our bookstore, The Flying Pig, won the 2008 Lucile Micheels Pannell Award for best children's bookstore in the country! It's a huge honor, and we couldn't be more thrilled. We won the children's specialty division; the wonderful Kepler's (in California) won the general bookstore division. Wahoo!!
Published by Candlewick Press. Image copyright Randy Cecil, 2006.
BACK TO AUTHOR NEWS
My Father the Dog is now also available in paperback. Who *wouldn't* want to spend $6.99 for laughs aplenty?
Wanda Gág Read Aloud Book Award
Minnesota State University Moorhead has given me the biggest thrill of my authorly life thus far: the 2007 Wanda Gág Read Aloud Book Award (for ages birth to age 8) for My Father the Dog.
Winner, 2007 Wanda Gag award for Best Read-Aloud (ages birth to age 8)
Book Sense Children's Picks List Selection
"A hilarious comparison of dad and a dog -- wow, what a resemblance! You can't help chuckling when you read this one." --Janet Bibeau, Storybook Cove, Hanover, MA
"Tail-wagging hilarity that's simply doggone funny - and a perfect Father's Day gift."
School Library Journal
The clean, yet warm oil paintings are the perfect accompaniment to the understated and almost deadpan delivery, and they enhance the humor of this doggone good tale. It’s ideal for storytimes or one-on-one sharing.
–Piper L. Nyman, formerly at Fairfield Civic Center Library, CA
"Appealingly flippant. . . . Young dog lovers will lap this up."
"The charm of the characters, particularly the dad and the pooch, is perfectly conveyed. . . . Children will appreciate the humor in this view of a dad in an ordinary, but cozy family."
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2006 Fall
Using a dry, spare poetic voice, the narrator of this comical book is a serious young girl who doesn't miss a thing. She explains that her father shares many habits with the family dog, including napping, scratching, and fetching. The text is accompanied by humorous oil-painted illustrations that have a scratchy, textured look. Copyright 2006 Horn Book Guide Reviews.