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How This Book Was Made Hardcover – September 6, 2016
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From School Library Journal
K-Gr 4—The creators of the metafictional romp Chloe and the Lion return with another picture book all tangled up in the story of its own creation. After introducing the two cut paper-and-pencil protagonists, Mac and Adam, the narrative proceeds with the steps of Mac's writing process: dozens of drafts, revisions with the editor, Adam's illustrations, and even printing and shipping from Malaysia. But from the mixed-media cover art to the closing tiger-print endpapers, Barnett and Rex's surreal digressions and visual humor ensure that the tale will not follow a straightforward course. (At one point, illiterate pirates hijack the story for a single spread before vamoosing because they don't read.) Rex's artwork features paper models and a painted globe in addition to the pencil-drawn figures, lending the work the three-dimensional texture of a puppet play. Some of the metafiction will befuddle most audiences, but the joke density in a volume that includes an arm-wrestling tiger and Ben Franklin scaling Philadelphia's city hall like King Kong will keep many readers flipping the pages. Barnett and Rex round out their absurdist look behind the scenes with a librarian-friendly reminder that finding a reader is what really makes a book. VERDICT This quirky exercise in self-reflexiveness offers a nugget of truth about the laborious process of producing books. Fans of these wacky creators will eat it up.—Robbin E. Friedman, Chappaqua Library, NY
About the Author
Mac Barnett is the New York Times best-selling author of over twenty books for children, including Count the Monkeys, illustrated by Kevin Cornell; Chloe and the Lion, illustrated by Adam Rex; and Extra Yarn and Sam & Dave Dig a Hole, both illustrated by Jon Klassen, and both winners of a Caldecott Honor and the E.B. White Read Aloud Award. He also writes the Terrible Two series with Jory John. Mac lives in Berkeley, California. Visit him at macbarnett.com.
Adam Rex is the New York Times best-selling author and illustrator of Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich. His other books include The True Meaning of Smekday, which was made into the animated hit movie Home; Moonday; Fat Vampire; and Cold Cereal. He also illustrated the Brixton Brothers series, Billy Twitters and his Blue Whale Problem, and Chloe and the Lion, all by Mac Barnett, and Chu's Day by Neil Gaiman. He lives in Tucson, Arizona. Visit him at adamrex.com or follow him on Twitter @MrAdamRex.
Top customer reviews
Any book by Barnett and Rex is going to be wonderfully surprising and funny. This book is no exception. Barnett immediately makes sure that this book is not taken too seriously by starting it with him arm wrestling a tiger. The tiger then returns at important moments in the book, sometimes to be scared off and other times with a posse. The editor’s role is also depicted in the book with a lot of tongue-in-cheek but also honesty too. Throughout there is real information on how books get made with plenty of imagination added as well. Just like any book.
Rex’s illustrations are done with pencil on paper combined with photography. Some of the illustrations have cotton clouds and others are 3-d objects or 2-d objects photographed. This gives a great sense of space and distance, shadows lengthening across the page. Throughout the art is as clever as the words, which is a compliment to both.
A funny and imaginative look at the making of this book, both unique to this book and universal to the process. Appropriate for ages 4-6.
Most recent customer reviews
Mac Barnett and Adam Rex have created yes another winner of a book with 'How This Book Was...Read more