Friday, February 27, 2009

Tough Chicks

Crazy lady's sister, Cece Meng, is a children's author. Unlike crazy lady, Cece doesn't write about death, sex and destruction. Like her older sister, however, Cece does write about strong, independent females who have fun living their lives. Her new book, Tough Chicks, is a wonderful story for all ages:

"From the moment Penny, Polly, and Molly hatch from their eggs, the whole farm knows they are truly tough chicks. They wrestle worms, rope roosters, and are often found under the hood of the tractor. All the other animals and even the farmer himself tell Mama Hen to make her chicks good. "They are good!" Mama Hen replies. But could her chicks be too loud, too independent, and too tough? Lively language and bold illustrations capture all the fun and humor of this delightfully different farmyard romp that's also a resounding endorsement for letting girls be girls (even if they're loud and tough and like to play with tractors.)"

According to Kirkus Reviews (a very big deal in the publishing world), Tough Chicks is "sublime and original":

"Mama Hen's three new chicks just won't be cute--or good, much to the dismay of all the barnyard residents, except their proud Mama. They race the bugs, rope the rooster and dive off the fence for fun, running around the farm with an unusual series of un-chick-like cries: "Peep, peep, zoom, zip, cheep!" They won't learn how to cluck, scratch for grain or build a nest. They even poke around under the hood of the big red tractor. Even the hyper-supportive Mama worries that their differences might get them into mischief or, even worse, make them outcasts. One day, Farmer Fred has some trouble with his tractor; it careens out of control and lands in a mud hole, and it's Penny, Polly and Molly to the rescue. Suber's bright acrylics fit the broad strokes of Meng's delightful tale, investing each yellow, droplet-shaped chick with an individual personality. Comfy, round shapes dominate her compositions, which tile and veer off-kilter with the chick's energy; taking a cue from the cartoons, she depicts the chicks' running feet as a blur of tiny orange strokes. Sublime and original."

Crazy lady suspects that the chicks in Cece's new book are a lot like the girls in her own family. Whenever a neighbor would complain about crazy lady and her three sisters, their mom would always say, "What? My children? They would never (insert insane moment here)." Did they steal the neighborhood garbage can lids to act as shields during food fights? Did they pummel the neighborhood kids with rotten fruit from their compost heap, giving new meaning to the phrase "food wars?" Did they convince their only brother-- poor, sensitive, kind soul-- that he could fly off the garage roof, like Superman? Never...(uh huh, right).

You can order Tough Chicks here.

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