Don’t Eat Bees (Life Lessons from Chip the Dog) by Dev Petty and Mike Boldt

Happy Friday! I'm THRILLED to welcome back Dev Petty and Mike Boldt to Watch. Connect. Read. They stopped by to discuss Don't Eat Bees (Life Lessons from Chip the Dog), Mike Boldt's illustrations, story, picture books, and more. I wrote the words in purple, Dev wrote the words in black, and Mike wrote the words in blue. Thank you, Dev and Mike!

Don’t Eat Bees (Life Lessons from Chip the Dog) is maybe the most clear character voice I've ever had in writing. I could write twenty books about Chip. He is earnest and clear of purpose, but not super smart...He's a dog! I tried to bring that sincere quality of dogs to this book. They don't understand sarcasm or slight, they're straightforward.

And this is the first book we've done together since FROG! It's been a long time coming and we've gone from FROG to DOG and it feels absolutely as it should.

Mike Boldt’s illustrations for DON'T EAT BEES are so funny and bright- every page is a total home run (though I have a few favorite spreads). His characters in this book just pop off the page.

The thing I love most about these illustrations, and I say this as somewhat an expert on Mike Boldt animal illustrations, is that you can really tell he was having a blast doing them! I'm not sure how to express that, but when you see the book, you can just tell he was smiling. Honestly, if I write something and it just cracks Mike up, I'm thrilled. My work is done. He's an amazing collaborator, pal, and inspiration.

Story is choosing to observe, to pay attention to what's going on, to what could be going on. Even in a silly, funny book like DON'T EAT BEES, it's about digging into the things that make dogs wonderful, complicated, exhausting, and charming. Story is pointing out the zag to the zig. It's where things go away from a clear path and it's how you find your way back, though it may end at a different point than where it began.

Dev Petty’s manuscript for Don’t Eat Bees (Life Lessons from Chip the Dog) had me laughing before I’d even read past the title. Don’t Eat Bees. That’s all I needed to know I was going to enjoy Dev’s next MS, and I wasn’t wrong.

Dev’s an exceptionally talented writer. There’s just something about her work that brings out the best in me. There’s an instant connection to the characters and jokes she writes, like a good novel, where you can immediately see it all in your imagination. I barely finished reading Don’t Eat Bees before I started doodling ideas down.

Chip the Dog
had me constantly smiling as I was working this book - sometimes even laughing a bit. Thankfully I work at home alone, because I probably looked a little crazy. There’s just something about Chip that I love, and love drawing. There was even a voice that I used for him. Promise it’s just joy, not crazy. Dev knows.

Picture books are my favourite kind of book, and I’m so grateful for every opportunity I’ve had to do something I truly love.

The comic duo that brought you I Don't Want to Be a Frog is back, with Chip the dog, a hilarious new character who's got some "wisdom" to share.

Are you a dog in need of advice? Fear not: Chip the dog is ON IT in this super-silly guide to living your best canine life. Chip is seven; he knows things. Like what to eat (important papers, the fancy bird the humans cooked for the fancy dinner, Grandpa’s teeth), and what not to eat (bees). He won’t get those mixed up, will he?

Pet lovers will see their own goofy fur-friends in Chip's earnest yet ridiculous antics, and readers who love funny animal stories will find their next favorite book buddy with Chip the dog, who's patiently waiting to eat your homework and slobber on your clothes.


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