We went to a book signing at Books of Wonder featuring wonderfully hilarious Jon Scieszka and Mac Barnett, there to celebrate the release of their collaborative novel:
You might recognize Jon Sciezka from his books Stinky Cheese Man, The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs, and Squids Will Be Squids.
Mac Barnett is the author of the middle grade mystery series Brixton Brothers, the Caldecott Honor Extra Yarn, and the innovative picture book Chloe and the Lion
The concept of
Birthday Battle Bunny is this: A boy, Alex, is given a book for his birthday from his Gran Gran, called Birthday Bunny. Alex, who'd rather not read a saccharine book about a sad bunny who gets predictably surprised on his birthday, rewrites the story...transforming it into BATTLE BUNNY, the story of a bunny trying to take over the world. And only Alex can stop him! (with help from the President).
Here's a video of Mac Barnett and Jon Scieszka simultaneously reading from Birthday Bunny and Battle Bunny.
Highlights of the event (paraphrased quotes by the brilliant Mac Barnett and Jon Scieszka):
Situation: When a young reader asks Jon Scieszka why he thought to write Battle Bunny:
Jon: "Everyone knows that experience of sitting in class looking at a terrible history book and just adding things [to the pictures and texts] to make it more interesting."
Situation: Jon Scieszka says that he channeled his inner ten-year-old to write Battle Bunny. The MC asks, "When do you not channel your inner ten-year-old?"
Jon thinks about the question for a moment, and then responds, "For Knucklehead, I channeled my inner nine-year-old."
Situation: Jon and Mac speak of how they were prepared for a lot more scathing reviews or criticism from people who didn't like the idea of a kid writing inside a book.
Jon: "We didn't get any of that negative criticism...except from Mac Barnett's mom."
Situation: Mac and Jon explain the drawings on the back of the book.
Mac & Jon: "Simon & Schuster are even drawn, down by the barcode, in the gutter [of the book]. They're just two guys that grew up in the gutter."
Situation: Mac Barnett says his grandfather gave Battle Bunny two thumbs down. When Jon Scieszka asks which book Mac's grandfather likes, Mac immediately answers "Birthday Bunny."
Jon Scieszka almost spits out his water from laughing.