I was lucky enough to attend a book preview this morning at Simon and Schuster. Some wonderful books were discussed including Nikki Grimes' and Bryan Collier's Barack Obama Son of Promise, Child of Hope, My Dad, John McCain, by Meghan McCain, and Hillary Rodham Clinton Dreams taking Flight. Bryan Collier spoke passionately about his project, and showed us some amazing original art from the book. Other highlights were Chains, by Laurie Halse Anderson, Must Love Black, by Kelly McClymer and A is for Art, by Stephen T. Johnson.
But the book that stole my heart is none other than Chalk and Cheese, by Tim Warnes.
Chalk and Cheese are as different as, well, chalk and cheese! Cheese has come over to NYC from the British country side to visit his buddy Chalk, and he can't wait to see the sights. Readers are treated to a two page spread of postcard exchanges where the personalities of Chalk and Cheese are laid out. Cheese is ready to see skyscrapers, King Kong, and is hoping for a Stuart Little sighting! Chalk is certainly ready to play tour guide.
From riding the subway and befriending a cockroach (named Cutey Pops!), to seeing the Empire State Building, Chalk and Cheese are in it together. Even a little disagreement can't stop them from being friends.
The illustrations are made up of sequential panels complete with speech bubbles, and the art made me do a bit of a happy dance, because after opening up this book at the back of the presentation room, I just knew that I had to include it on my list of books that I will be presenting at LREI's Annual Family Book Night. This year our theme is graphic novels (sequential art etc), and this is simply perfect for the younger spectrum of our list. We have some FANTASTIC authors/illustrators coming to present, and I am so pleased to place Chalk and Cheese on the list for our attendees!
Do yourselves a favour and pick this one up in late October. I know that I will be getting multiple copies!