Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Happy Book Birthday to My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish: The SeaQuel!

I'm celebrating My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish: The SeaQuel's book birthday by premiering a video chat with author Mo O'Hara. Press play. 

Wasn't that an interesting interview? I'm looking forward to sharing it with my students later today. 

Tom and Frankie are like a modern day Lassie and that kid that Lassie hung out with. (I’m not very good with names.)

Tom and Pradeep are best friends and they just also happen to have an undead zombie goldfish as a pet/ bodyguard.  (Seems pretty normal to me.)  Anyway, My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish is a  book about friendship and, whether that’s between two kids or between a kid and his pet, being there for your friend is always important.

Marek Jagucki’s cover illustrations make books fly off the shelves towards unsuspecting passing readers.(I’ve seen it happen.)

His internal illustrations make me laugh every time I open one of the books.  All I have to say is look for the pigeon in book one. He’s in there twice. Every time I see his expression I crack up.

When I was a kid my brother and I actually did resuscitate our pet goldfish. ( I would like to say for the record that my brother is neither a scientist , nor evil.) We found him (the goldfish that is, not my brother) floating belly up in his bowl when we got home from school one day and knew we had to help.  Obviously we had seen way too many hospital TV shows because we decided that shocking him back to life with a 9vt battery was the way to go. (Please don’t try this at home) Anyway, it worked, and he had a very happy life after that swimming around in his bowl in my brother’s room. (If our fish turn into a zombie though he was a very polite one and never tried hypnotizing anyone… unless…. Hey maybe that’s why I don’t remember him being a zombie…. Hmmm? ) 

Funny books are necessary in life. To me they are as important to my survival as oxygen, water and brownies. I have a quote from ‘Matilda’ that I keep above my desk which reads, “Do you think that all children’s books ought to have funny bits in them,” Miss Honey asked.

“I do,” Matilda said, “Children are not so serious as grownups and they love to laugh.”

The “What If?”-ing Your Way Into a Story” workshop is a fun way to spend an hour with kids exercising their creative brains and coming up with the most bizarre things on the planet. (Seriously, you would not believe the characters that have been invented in these things.)

It’s based on writing, acting and  impro exercises that I’ve used over the years for idea generating. It seems to really click with kids as a way of turning off the sensor in the brain so that you can unlock new ideas.

Reading is fun, informative, painful, engaging, hilarious, magical, scary, enthralling, occasionally dull, mind expanding, giggle making, heart rending and sometimes challenging. It can be fat or skinny, tall or short, light or dark, (sounds like I’m talking coffee here, but please go with it) bad or good, up or down, big or small.  It’s shared and it’s secret, it’s read aloud in class or squinted at with a flashlight under the covers, it’s the thing you have to tell someone or you’ll burst and the thing that you know is burned in your heart but you’ll never tell a soul.  That is the power of reading. It has the potential to be anything and everything.

Having said that, life is not reading so go out and run around and climb trees a bit too.    

Mr. Schu, you should have asked me about my pet iguana. Actually, I don’t have a pet iguana, but wish I did. That would be cool. I do have pet kittens, which inspired me to write a kitten character into book 3 of My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish.

Thank you so much for your sentences Mr Schu.  It was a pleasure finishing them for you.  

Thank you, Mo! Happy book birthday! 

I am giving away a copy of My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish: The Seaquel. 

Rules for the Giveaway 

1. It will run from 3/11 to 11:59 p.m. on 3/13. 

2. You must be at least 13. 

3. Please pay it forward. 

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