When Chu sneezes, bad things happen . . . A gorgeous, funny, friendly picture book from the brand-new combo of dazzlingly award-laden Neil Gaiman and fabulously talented illustrator Adam Rex
Neil Gaiman, author, scriptwriter and creator of graphic novels, is British and lives in the USA. He is the only writer to have won the Newbery and Carnegie Medals for the same title - The Graveyard Book. His diverse catalogue of books includes Stardust (now a major feature film), the bestselling novel for young readers Coraline (now a major 3D-animated film), and the picture book The Wolves in the Walls, which was shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal. He is also the only writer to have written an episode of Doctor Who and to have featured in an episode of The Simpsons as himself. http://www.gaimanbooks.co.uk/ @neilhimself Adam Rex grew up in Phoenix, Arizona and now lives with his wife inTucson. His first picture book, The Dirty Cowboy by Amy Timberlake, was published in 2003. His picture book Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich, a collection of stories about monsters and their problems, was a New York Times Bestseller. He has also written books for teenagers and adults including Fat Vampire and The True Meaning of Smekday. Adam received the Jack Gaughan Award for Best Emerging Artist in 2005. http://adamrex.com @MrAdamRex
No wolves in the walls or button-eyed parents in this story about a baby panda named Chu. Yet Gaiman builds suspense from the enigmatic opening sentence ("When Chu sneezed, bad things happened"), which frames a portrait of the roly-poly protagonist, decked out in a striped T-shirt, aviator cap, and goggles. Gaiman maximizes anxiety by having Chu visit a tranquil library ("There was old-book-dust in the air") and a crowded diner ("There was a lot of pepper in the air"). Twice, Chu's anxious parents ask, "Are you going to sneeze?" and itchy-nosed Chu-snapping his goggles over his eyes in preparation-does not follow through. That evening, under a big top whose performing animals echo the menagerie in Rex's Tree Ring Circus, Chu cannot resist, and his true power is revealed. Gaiman's comic timing gets a boost from strategic book design and from Rex's hyperreal paintings, which emphasize Chu's round, fuzzy form and apparent harmlessness. Gaiman and Rex deliver a classic one-two-three punch, making hay from the notion that a cuddly baby panda is not to be trusted. Ages 4-8. Agent: Merrilee Heifetz, Writers House. Illustrator's agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
PreS-K-A sweet, playful tale about a small panda with an extraordinary knack for inadvertently causing trouble. Chu's parents take him on several outings one day, frequently pausing to check that the youngster doesn't have to sneeze because, as the narrator warns, "When Chu sneezed, bad things happened." Though the dusty books at the library and pepper-infused air of a restaurant don't bring on a sneezing attack, the circus results in one that not only brings down the big-top tent, but also causes pandemonium throughout the town. Despite the simple story and unembellished text, there's more than enough in the art to keep readers engaged. A roly-poly panda in aviator glasses and a green-striped T-shirt, wide-eyed Chu cuts a comically endearing figure as he contorts his body and facial expressions in anticipation of a sneeze. The locations depicted in these richly saturated painted spreads have an old-fashioned flavor, and vintage touches are visible throughout: the pillbox hat his mother sports, card catalogs at the library, a gumball machine at the diner. These prim, orderly settings are the perfect setup for the chaos that Chu introduces, and there's a mischievous sense of humor that results from placing exotic anthropomorphic animals (squids, narwhals, giraffes, wombats) onto these decidedly conventional backdrops. While children will delight in seeing such a tiny creature wreak havoc, the story still concludes on a reassuring note, with Chu's parents gently tucking him in. A small but delightful dose of fun.-Mahnaz Dar, School Library Journal (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.