Chloe and the LionReaders know from the very beginning that this picture book will be a bit different. "This is me, Mac. I'm the author of this book," waves a sweater-clad clay figure on the first page. Turn the page and you'll see Mac's friend Adam putting the finishing touches on Chloe, the main character of the book.
by Mac Barnett
illustrated by Adam Rex
NY: Disney / Hyperion, 2012
ages 5 - 10
available at your local library, favorite bookstore and on Amazon
One day, Chloe ends up wandering through the dark forest, lost on her way home from the park. Just then, "a huge lion leapt out from behind an oak tree." But children will quickly see that the picture shows an enormous purple dragon, not a lion. Mac becomes very angry that Adam won't follow his directions:
"Well, look. The fact is I don't really care what YOU think. I'm the author of this book. You're the illustrator. That means I'm in charge of what happens, and you draw whatever I tell you."Mac fires Adam, but runs into trouble finding the right person to illustrate his story. Children will laugh at Mac's attempts to draw his own pictures for the book, at little Chloe's attempt to talk some sense into Mac, and the many fractured fairy tale references. But most of all, kids will love the bickering and final resolution of these two friends as they create a truly funny story by working together.
|Clay figures of Mac Barnett and Adam Rex|
As in the best picture books, the words and the pictures work together in perfect harmony, building off of one another at each step. Rex combines clay figures, acrylic paintings, drawn sets, and photographs to create the artwork. Throughout, the artwork heightens the humor just perfectly, helping readers feel the separation between the artists and the story.
You'll definitely get a sense of how much fun Barnett and Rex had making this in their book trailer:
For other reviews, definitely check out Betsy Bird's review at Fuse #8. Also check out Teacher.Mother.Reader and MediaMacaroni. I especially love how MediaMacaroni talks about this as a perfect book for kids who think they may be too old for picture books.
The review copy was kindly sent by the publishers, Disney / Hyperion Books. If you make a purchase using the Amazon links on this site, a small portion goes to Great Kid Books (at no cost to you!). Thank you for your support.
Review ©2012 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books