superdumb supervillain: Sterling Children's Books

Friday, September 11, 2009

Sterling Children's Books

The folks at Sterling Children's Books are apparently totally insane. In a good way, though. Rarely do you see offices full of publishing types donning chicken hats and dancing around in support of a new book but witness this spectacle:

I was dying to check out Chicken Dance before I even saw its gloriously illustrated cover, with its preening star, Elvis Poultry. (I had a roommate in college - hi, Kels! - who was such an Elvis devotee that he would actually watch the entire movie marathon that played over his birthday every year. Later, when I lived in Memphis, I developed a deeper understanding of the cult of Elvis and now whenever I see a bedazzled jumpsuit I smile. Even if that jumpsuit is on a rooster.)

The adulation is infectious throughout Chicken Dance, which melds fandom with the farmyard. It's funny and engaging for kids and adults. Plus the dynamic duo behind the book have some stylin' moves. Check out author Tammi Sauer shake a tailfeather:

And illustrator Dan Santat might not be quite as light on his feet but he wins bonus points for the headband…

If Chicken Dance inspires you to "reach for the stars," you should definitely enter the Chicken Dance Video Contest. All you have to do is create your own music video inspired by the book and you could win some original artwork by Dan Santat or gift certificates to Barnes and Noble. Oh, and fame and adoration, of course!

If your kids are a little too young and grabby for Chicken Dance, you might want to check out two new books in Sterling's Touch the Art series of interactive board books that introduce art history to young'uns.

Catch Picasso's Rooster features artwork showing animals with the added bonus of tactile manipulatives: the reader can feel feathers on Picasso's rooster or the whiskers of Rousseau's tabby cat.

Tickle Tut's Toes showcases the wonders of ancient Egypt with touchable textures representing sand and smooth stone and mummy wrappings.

Sterling Children's Books definitely have a sense of whimsy to match their employees'… and did I mention their selection of Richard Scarry titles? Bestill my heart.

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