Creepy Carrots COOKIES!

A Dozen Eggs Bake Shoppe in Vermont has custom created some fantastic sugar cookies to celebrate the release of my newest book, CREEPY CARROTS!

Check out this article on their blog, chock-a-block full of incredibly amazing photos of their finished creepy handiwork!

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Kirkus Starred Review for CREEPY CARROTS!

Well, it’s about 3 months until my newest picture book, CREEPY CARROTS is released (the scheduled release date is August 21).

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I’m really quite excited about this book, and it seems that others are too. Kirkus just put out their advanced review of the book (a starred review!), and their response is lovely!

Here’s the full review. Enjoy!

 

Creepy Carrots

By Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by Peter Brown

(S&S BFYR; ISBN: 9781442402973; August 2012; Summer catalog)

Kids know vegetables can be scary, but rarely are edible roots out to get someone. In this whimsical mock-horror tale, carrots nearly frighten the whiskers off Jasper Rabbit, an interloper at Crackenhopper Field. Jasper loves carrots, especially those “free for the taking.” He pulls some in the morning, yanks out a few in the afternoon, and comes again at night to rip out more. Reynolds builds delicious suspense with succinct language that allows understatements to be fully exploited in Brown’s hilarious illustrations. The cartoon pictures, executed in pencil and then digitally colored, are in various shades of gray and serve as a perfectly gloomy backdrop for the vegetables’ eerie orange on each page. “Jasper couldn’t get enough carrots … / … until they started following him.” The plot intensifies as Jasper not only begins to hear the veggies nearby, but also begins to see them everywhere. Initially, young readers will wonder if this is all a product of Jasper’s imagination. Was it a few snarling carrots or just some bathing items peeking out from behind the shower curtain? The ending truly satisfies both readers and the book’s characters alike. And a lesson on greed goes down like honey instead of a forkful of spinach. Serve this superbly designed title to all who relish slightly scary stories.


Arkansas Diamond Award Selection!

BACK OF THE BUS has been chosen as a 2012-2013 Arkansas Diamond Award selection! Next school year, kids and librarians all over the great state of Arkansas will be reading it and kids will be voting for their top pick among the 12 selections.

Woot! Go Arkansas!


Great School Visit in Springfield, IL!

Hey gang! Author visit season is in full swing and I’ve had the joy of spending my unseasonably warm spring with tons of awesome kids at elementary schools around the country. Here’s a great article about my visit this week to Ball Charter School in Springfield, IL.

http://www.sj-r.com/top-stories/x1830129448/Childrens-author-takes-Ball-Charter-students-to-unexpected-places

 

Enjoy!


Back in the Saddle

Hey everyone!

Well, I’ve been a naughty little blogger and haven’t made many posts in the last several months, but I hope to correct that in the months ahead. Many new books are in the works and I’ll keep you posted about those as news surfaces!

 

In the spirit of that, I’d love to share the cover sketch for a new book that David Barneda and I are developing. It’s called PIRATES VS COWBOYS and will be published by Knopf sometime next year. Here’s the cover sketch:

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The rest of the book is shaping up awesome, with lots of fishy squishy pirates and rootin’ tootin’ cowboys, culminating in an bang-up showdown of epic proportions.

 

I’m also keeping busy doing many school visits this year. I had a fantastic time with the 4th and 5th graders of Sherwood Elementary in Highland Park, IL last week. Thanks to that gang for making me feel so welcome.

 

I’ll report in again real soon! I promise!


Joey Fly Art Contest WINNERS!

Hey gang!

I’m thrilled to announce the winners of our Joey Fly Art Contest! This contest made for some really tough judging…we received hundreds of fabulous art creations and my office was literally infested with all your creepy crawly renditions of Joey, Sammy, Harry, and all their buggy ilk. The other judges (my kids) and I hemmed and hawed forever, but finally had to narrow down the winners. In the end, we had to add an additional winner to the five we planned on, just because we couldn’t decide.

Thanks a million for all your awesome entries!

So…enough of the dramatic build-up. Here, in no particular order, are the six winners to the Joey Fly Art Contest!

Christine Turner - Age 40

We loved Christine’s cool take on the main bug himself, Joey Fly.

Alex Morales - Age 10

Alex knocked our socks off with his fun and funky version of Sammy Stingtail!

Muhammed Jamsheed - 1st grade

We loved Muhammed’s fantastic in-your-face take on the classic Joey Fly. It was imaginative and awesome in all the right ways!

Diana Wegner - Age 8

Diana’s colorful rendition of Delilah and Flittany tra-la-la-ing along the coast on a sun-shiny day can be described in one word. To quote my daughter: “Joyful!”

Samantha Hanley - Age 9

Samantha was singing the blues with her moody noir take on Joey Fly, but the results delighted us completely!

Jack Turner - 2nd grade

Jack cracked us up and left us screaming for seconds with his fun and funny spin on the munchy ladybug Gloria.

Each winner will receive a signed copy of Joey Fly, Private Eye #1 for themselves, a signed copy of Joey Fly Private Eye #2 for their school library, and a custom-drawn bug caricature of themselves, done by Neil Numberman himself! Congrats!

Thanks again to everyone who entered the contest! You all did great!


Joey Fly Art Contest!

As a fun treat for the end of the school year, I’m delighted to announce the JOEY FLY ART CONTEST! I’m excited to see YOUR artwork of your favorite Joey Fly characters. And there are cool prizes for FIVE winners! So get drawing, sketching, and painting! Oh, wait…here are the rules…

WHAT DO I DRAW?

1. Any character from any of the Joey Fly, Private Eye books. It can be from Book #1 or Book #2. Pick your favorite character! It might be Joey, Sammy, Delilah, Fleeago, Harry Spyderson…even a bedbug! They’re all fair game!

2. It has to be an original drawing. No tracing. No coloring sheets. No cutting a picture out from the book and putting your name on it. We’ll know…trust me.

3. It can be in any medium…pencil, watercolors, acrylic paints, marker…you name it!

WHO CAN ENTER?

Anybody! All ages are welcome, from two-years-old to a-hundred-and-two. Drawing Joey Fly characters…it’s not just for kids anymore!

WHAT CAN I WIN?

Glad you asked! Five winners, judged by myself and my kids, will receive the following sweet swag:

1. A hardcover copy of Joey Fly, Private Eye #1, personalized and signed by Aaron Reynolds and illustrator Neil Numberman

2. A hardcover copy of Joey Fly, Private Eye #2 FOR YOUR SCHOOL LIBRARY (or the library of your choice), personalized and signed by Aaron Reynolds and illustrator Neil Numberman

3. A custom-created bug-caricature of yourself, drawn by Joey Fly illustrator Neil Numberman. Here’s the one he did of us (i don’t know who that little bee in the middle is…some kid who walked into the shot):

HOW DO I GET MY AWESOME ARTWORK TO YOU?

Easy. Just e-mail it to Joeyflycontest@aaron-reynolds.com. Make sure to include your full name and age in the e-mail, so we can post it if you win!

Oh, and make sure that the subject of your e-mail is: Joey Fly Contest. That’s it! Don’t send it to any other e-mail, or it won’t get judged and will probably get deleted. Which is sad on many levels.

WHEN IS THE CONTEST DEADLINE?

All entries need to be received no later than Monday, May 20, 2011. Winners will be announced that week. That’s like 3 weeks away!! Shouldn’t you get drawing already?!

ANY OTHER RULES?

Nope. You can enter as many times as you like. You can be a kid, a teacher, a grownup, a moody  teenager…whatever! We take all kinds here. So go get a copy of Joey Fly, Private Eye, pick your favorite character, and GET CREATING!