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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Poultry Dressing

Thanks to my pal, Kim G., for this lovely shot of her son, Oslo, and his homage to poultry-themed children's literature, not to mention the whole poultry lifestyle, complete with Eames chair and wireless gagetry. Keep on clucking, buddy! Buck buck!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Of Monkey Underwear and Pie

The number one question I get when I finish reading CHICKEN BUTT! with school groups is: "Now will you write a book called MONKEY BUTT?!" To which I always say, "Of course, yes!" But today I went a little farther and talked to a bunch of kindergarteners about what that would actually look like. Since these were unchartered waters, I played it safe and waded into a kindergarten I know quite well - my daughter's class.

Now, kindergarteners, as you may know, love to play with words and rhyme and be silly. So when we started talking about what other rhymes we could use for a monkey book based on the same "You know..." (what/why/how/who/where/when) questions as CHICKEN BUTT!, I got as many nonsense words as real ones. But I also got a lot of real words, including Monkey Flu and Monkey Shoe(for "who"), Monkey Hair and Monkey Bear (for "where") and Monkey Fly and Monkey Pie (for "why"). We made a big list together, then shifted into the illustration portion of our workshop.

I received several absolutely delicious-looking illustrations of Monkey Pie. I also got many, many wonderful drawings of Monkey Underwear (rhymes with "where" and is a bit derivative of CHICKEN BUTT! but I'm not litigious when it comes to kindergarteners), including Olivia's drawing of a monkey in underwear... wearing a pie, with another monkey in it, on his head. Luca drew "Monkey Loo," which appeared to be a jungle equipped with a shower, sink and toilet ("It's British for bathroom," he informed me).

I also received one "Fairy Underwear," one "Whale Underwear" and one truly priceless "Alligator-Sting-Ray... and Underwear" (from Ronan, who did "Whale Underwear"... clearly his imagination knows no bounds). I also really liked Will's drawing of a monkey with "his underwear on fire! and it's shooting hearts like slingshots! everywhere!" And Avery did a graphic-novel-worthy depiction of Super Monkey (in cape... and underwear) fighting the bad guys in a graveyard. Samuel finished his Monkey Underwear drawing, flipped his paper and created an amazing spaceship that appeared to be held together by a giant pair of BVD's.

My daughter, the little rebel, bucked the whole monkey trend and drew a "Dog Pie." Her pal Lucy presented me with a "Monkey Cow" (rhymes with "how") and a "Monkey Cat" and then proceeded to explain why monkey cats make bad pets (they poop on your rug.)

So, now I'm not much closer to finishing my draft of MONKEY BUTT!, but I have a lot more appreciation for the imaginations of my daughter's classmates. I'm going to scan a couple of the illustrations and post them here, but I wish I had room to display them all... they're that good, and funny, and inspired.

I already believed this, but I'm now more convinced than ever that if every kindergartener got a stack of paper, a tub of crayons and an hour a day to draw Monkey Underwear or whatever his or her heart desired, the world would be a better place.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Blogtour Prize Drawing Results!

Well, I'm finally back at the coop, after the very fun and successful New York, er, leg of the No Butts About Reading book tour (starring me and my butt - CHICKEN BUTT!, that is - plus Ayun Halliday and her heinie - ALWAYS LOTS OF HEINIES AT THE ZOO, that is). Here are a couple more fotos of our antics, including hanging out behind Patience and Fortitude (I think this is Patience's rear, but don't quote me) at the New York Public Library:


and reading/signing/drawing-animal-butts at New York literary institutions including Bank Street Books, Books of Wonder, WORD Brooklyn, and The NYPL. We even got to share the stage with Fran Manushkin and Tracy Dockray, author and illustrator of THE TUSHY BOOK. Here's Tracy flexing her artistic muscles:


Sadly, all good things must come to an END (as demonstrated by the back cover of Ayun's book, seen here). But New York City is just a little goofier and a little more buttastic thanks to us.

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Oh, hey, before I forget. Are you wondering who won THE CHICKEN BUTT! BLOG TOUR PRIZE DRAWING? The grand prize winner is: Christine! She wins a signed copy of CHICKEN BUTT! plus a butt-load of bookmarks and tattoos! I've also selected three runner-ups - jennsbookshelf, devourers(dot)books(at)gmail(dot)com, and ya ya's mom - and all will received signed bookmarks and CHICKEN BUTT! tattoos if they simply send me their mailing addresses (email erica[at]ericaperl[dot]com).

And my honorable mention prize - not chosen at random, I confess, but awarded because this entrant wanted to win SO BAD she entered twice - goes to lesly7ch(at)yahoo(dot)com. For her extra effort, she gets bookmarks and tattoos too. Plus Sherry K won a signed copy over at Chicken Spaghetti! Wow! That's a lot of BUTT! Thanks to everyone who entered, and the wonderful bloggers who hosted me. I had a blast!

If you did not win this time, please get yourself a BUTT! anyway. If you find me at BEA or elsewhere, I will happily sign your BUTT! for you, and give you a bookmark or a tattoo or two (I'm rarely without 'em).

Friday, May 15, 2009

Big BUTT in the Big Apple

Here are some fun snapshots of the NO BUTTS ABOUT READING! tour, taking place right now in New York, New York. If you're wondering why I have not picked blog tour book giveaway winners, THAT'S WHY! Stay tuned and I promise I'll pick someone's name out of my chicken butt hat as soon as I get home.

OK, here's me and Ayun at Bank Street Books, showing off our butt-drawing skills:


And here I am at the lucky NYC public school that won (okay, my friend's daughter goes there and she asked really nice) an author visit from me:



Here we are on the CHICKEN UNDERWEAR! page, tee hee hee!

And here's my hostess herself! Thanks for having me visit your class, Alexa! I had tons of fun. Wish I could have visited Emma's class, too. Next time, I hope!

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Saturday, May 09, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to:

Grandma Elly (my mom)

Grandma Maryann (my husband's mom)

Grandma Dearie (my grandma)

Aunt Emily and Aunt Sue (my aunts)

Anna (my brother's wife and mom to my adorable nieces)

Rachel, Lucy, Helen, Valerie, Sarah, Becky (and all the rest of my mom-cousins)

and ALL my beloved mom-friends, far too numerous to list here (including my going-to-be-a-mom-soon friends like Maria!)

Hope you all get out and enjoy the day. Buy yourself a present, paint your toenails all sparkly, go for a run, have a mojito (or several), do all of the above. Park yourself on the cough and read CHICKEN BUTT! with your kiddos. Or better yet, you know what? Let them read it to you!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Welcome to My Nest

Today, the blog tour takes me to visit KIMBERLY WILLIS HOLT, one of my favorite writers (and winner of the National Book Award, how cool is that?) at her lovely blog A PEN AND A NEST.

Here are some fun facts about the pictures of me and my world that you'll see there.

1. The Nest I am seen posing in is not, in fact, my nest. Sesame Street fans will recognize that it is Big Bird's nest and I am just visiting it.

2. The CHICKEN BUTT! cookies, however, are my cookies (baked with a little help from one of my daughters and her pal, Nellie). They were consumed by CHICKEN BUTT! fans at Wellesley Booksmith. Yet another reason to come to my events - sometimes I bring cookies!

3. The marshmallow Peep diorama (depicting a scene from Mordecai Gerstein's Caldecott-winning book The Man Who Walked Between The Towers) was created by me and my family but did NOT win the Washington Post Peep Diorama contest this year... or even come close. Those who feel we were robbed should complain to The Washington Post, which is solely responsible for this eggregious error in judgement.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Mother Reader!

Today's blog tour post comes from the inimitable MOTHER READER.

How fitting, as we get close to Mother's Day!

The CHICKEN BUTT! blog tour chugs on... next stop, A PEN AND A NEST!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

On Top of Mount Rushmore

Wow, am I logging a lot of frequent-flyer blogtour miles. Today I am visiting Tales from the Rushmore Kid, which is based in California but is the home of Tina Nichols Coury, who has written about Mount Rushmore (hence the blog name).

Here's Tina's wonderful post:


Keep those comments coming, folks! When it comes to prize drawings, gotta be in it to win it.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Maw Books Blog!

Smooth sailing on the CHICKEN BUTT! blog tour so far. Today I'm visiting Maw Books, where they welcomed me with this wonderful video:

Couldn't have said it better myself.

Thanks to the whole Maw Books blog family!


Sunday, May 03, 2009

Chicken Butt! Blog Tour

Announcing the CHICKEN BUTT! blog tour!

Featuring exclusive interviews, behind-the-scenes peeks at The Making of The BUTT, and incredible give-aways including CHICKEN BUTT! tattoos, bookmarks and - drumroll, please - signed books!!!

The CHICKEN BUTT! book tour will be taking place from May 4th - 14th, 2009 at the following fabulous chicken's - er, I mean children's - literature blogs:

5/4 = Natasha Maw's MAW BOOKS BLOG

5/5 = Tina Nichols Coury's TALES FROM THE RUSHMORE KID

5/6 = Pam Couglan's MOTHERREADER

5/7 = Kimberly Willis Holt's A PEN AND A NEST

5/8 = Terry Golson's HEN BLOG

5/11 = Elizabeth Bird's FUSE # 8

5/12 = Shelly Burns' WRITE FOR A READER

5/13 = Susan Thomsen's CHICKEN SPAGHETTI

5/14 = Andrea Beatty, Julia Durango and Carolyn Crimi's THREE SILLY CHICKS

To register for the prize drawings, all you have to do is visit any or all of the blogs I'm touring and then log a comment here at CHICKEN FEED (the blog you're reading right now!). You can also purchase a copy or several of CHICKEN BUTT!, which is not required for participation in our prize drawing, but is just a fun thing to do if I do say so myself.

At the end of the blog tour (and perhaps at some point in the middle... we'll have to see how this goes) I'll award prizes and give-aways by weeding out entries from my relatives - sorry, mom - and pulling some of the remaining names out of my wonderful CHICKEN BUTT! hat (knitted and crochet by the talented Sara Moses aka Ibbyskibby).

Okay, CHICKEN BUTT! fans. See y'all on The Internets!

And at the BETHESDA (MD) BARNES AND NOBLE Saturday, May 9th at 11:00 a.m. IN PERSON!



Saturday, May 02, 2009

No Butts About Reading! Booktour

Well, the No Butts About Reading! Book Tour is off to a great start. Ayun Halliday and I visited Charlottesville, Richmond and Fredericksburg, making friends and shaking our tail feathers as much as possible.

Highlights so far have included:

1) visiting Joan Kindig (and her family and friends, some of who took the trouble of sculpting "butt cupcakes" - as you can see - to resemble the animals in our books),

2) visiting Narnia, the wonderful bookstore in Richmond, where the staff is so lovely and the window display includes the rear view of many animals and storybook characters (including Clifford the Big Red Dog's big red butt!), and

3) visiting Jabberwocky, the amazingly chock-a-block children's bookstore in Fredericksburg, which also boasts fabulous sales staff and dedicated customers.

There are more events here in the DC area coming soon. And if you are in NY, check out our NYC gigs.

Plus, starting Monday, I will be visiting a blog a day for two weeks. Should be fun! Stay tuned....

Friday, May 01, 2009

Chicken Butt! Book Trailer

Guess what?! It's the brand spankin' new book trailer for CHICKEN BUTT!

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