Friday, April 16, 2010
Party Animals by Kathie Lee Gifford illus Peter Bay Alexandersen
Normally I am wary of any celebrity book. In all my years in the book business I have seen many a celebrity children's book come and go. I have seen good books from such celebrities as Jaime Lee Curtis, John Lithgow or Henry Winkler ~to name a few . I have also seen some bad....which I am not going to name.
All week long I have been watching the Today show talk about Kathie Lee Giffords new children's book. I was very skeptical ~which is my nature. I thought I had better check it out (basically I was curious-which is also my nature). Anyway I stopped by a local independent bookstore where Ms Gifford had just done a signing. Needless to say I was pleasantly surprised.
Party Animals by Kathie Lee Gifford & illustrated by Peter Bay Alexandersen is actually very good. It is not overly wordy and it has a great read aloud sensibility. She got it right~it isn't a vanity piece but a story for kids to enjoy. I also like that she plays to her strengths and makes it a song. I liken it to John Lithgow who didn't write his first children's book, The Remarkable Farkle McBride, as a book but rather as a way to teach the orchestra to children. I always admired him for that. Party Animals has that same quality about it only this time it is teaching children about accepting our friends for who they are. Which is always a good lesson. The illustrations are a great match to the words. Mr Alexandersen really captured the characters he has drawn. Again ---it is nice to be pleasantly surprised....