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Friday, March 8, 2013

BLOG TOUR: Prairie Chicken LIttle by Jackie Mims Hopkins - Review, Interview + CONTEST!


Hi guys!
Welcome back to the site that aims to please the curious reader in all of us…Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

Today, we are playing host to a stop along another fabulous PeachtreePublishers tour featuring a newly released title that’s sure to ruffle your feathers…in a good way!  It’s a new take on a story of old with a twist at the end that aims to delight and entertain a multitude of generations.  Does it succeed?  In my opinion, that’s a resounding YES…but I’ll let you be the judge.  Please welcome today’s blog tour guest and book of choice…

By
Illustrated by

Think Chicken Little except on the prairie and in lieu of the sky falling, insert an approaching stampede…and of course all the fun little tweaks that go along with those changes.

Mary McBlicken is a mighty fine chicken, prairie chicken that is.  She hears a rumblin’ and a grumblin’ and just knows that a mighty stampede is making its way across the land to trample her, her friends, and her home…but, she’s a resourceful chicken, she’s knows just what to do, or at least who WILL know what to do.  Off she runs to fetch Cowboy Stan and Red Dog Dan and along the way, she ends up with a motley crew of animal friends (true Henny Penny style) that not only add their affirmation as to what’s happening and what ought to be done, but also their own flavor and style.  Funny I mentioned flavor there seeing as how there is a coyote near the end of this tale (it IS the prairie after all), but I’ll let you discover just what happens with him on your own.  *gulp*  Suffice it to say that things may not turn out as intended for all parties on this run through the prairie, but it will definitely keep readers of all ages entertained.

Now, I mentioned the style addition from the cast of animal characters encountered, and purposefully so!  Just try reading this one either to yourself or a group WITHOUT adding different voices for each of the characters as well as the accents associated to their speech patterns.  It provides for a riotous read (as it does in the author’s other works) for one to one hundred…readers numbers or ages.  Mary McBlicken is HI-larious in her starring role as it the actual source of all that rumblin’ and grumblin’ they are running from.  Jeffrey Snog the prairie dog’s expressions are a hoot as it dawns on him the trouble they are in and the same goes for Beau Grabbit the jack rabbit and June Spark the meadowlark.  The final twist at the end that reveals just who (and/or what) Stan and Dan are as well as the fate of one Slim Brody the sly coyote will have you cheering for…someone…~whistles~…

The point is this…if you are among those readers that can appreciate not only a good story retell but a storybook chock full of smile inducing pictures and a bit of edutainment along the way, this book should definitely be on your “to read” list.  No matter if you’re two or one hundred and two, there is something to be gleaned or enjoyed within these pages as it fascinates, educates, and titillates the mind and heart…lickety-splickety.  ^_^

Now, for something somewhat expected if you read the title of this post…my author interview!  Emily over at Peachtree Publishers was kind enough to grant me permission to submit a few interview questions and Ms. Hopkins was equally kind in taking time out of her busy day to respond.  Curious just what I might have asked?  Well, wonder no more…here it is!




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INTERVIEW:  Author Jackie Mims Hopkins
…teller of stories such as The Three Armadillies Tuff, The Gold Miner’s Daughter, and The Horned Toad Prince



You seem to be a fan of classic children's stories, or at least that's what your work reflects.  ^_^  Tell me, of the works you've published so far, which retelling was YOUR favorite and why? 

My favorite retelling is The Horned Toad Prince.  I like the dialog between the characters and the Spanish phrases sprinkled throughout the story.  I love making people laugh and when I tell this one, audiences seem to really like it.












I've gotta ask, why is Mary McBlicken a STRIPED chicken?  *curious*

Mary McBlicken is striped because real Prairie Chickens are striped; I'm sure Henry researched the markings.  Before I read the story to children during my school visits, I show them a Power Point photograph of a real Prairie Chicken.











Admittedly, when I read your work, I end up giving accents to each character...injecting a twang here, a slow drawl there, and what not.  When you write your stories, do you hear the little details of their voices in your head?

I absolutely hear details of the characters voices in my head.  I read my manuscripts aloud hundreds of times when I am writing.






Which would be your ultimate rewrite for a future release and why?

I don't know which retelling would be my ultimate story, but I know that it will be a story that is somewhat well known.  I am finding it more and more difficult to find a story that is not over told, but yet familiar to the readers.  






Not only do you present classic stories for a new generation, but often you give it a new, "friendlier" ending (which by the way, ROCKS!).  Question...why go THIS route in lieu of sticking with the original or the opposite end of the spectrum?

I like my stories to end happily ever after.  In real life we know there are unhappy endings sometimes, but as an author, I have the power to make my stories end the way I want them to.  I also like my endings to surprise my readers in a funny or unexpected way.  I create "friendlier" endings because I think it is a good springboard for teachers to use in their classrooms for discussion.



 

Quid Pro Quo...
Favorite color...turquoise
Favorite sound...the sound of a baby laughing
Favorite book (at the moment)...The Baker’s Daughter
An author you'd like to meet and why... Corrie ten Boom.  Corrie is deceased now, but I would have loved to have listened to her stories of God's blessings even in times of suffering.   Corrie was a strong Christian lady who was imprisoned for hiding Jewish refugees during WWII.








Any wisdom to share with future writers out there?

Story ideas are everywhere...you just have to pay attention to what's going on around you.  When something happens that makes you sad...that could become a story.  When something happens that scares you...that could become a story.  When something happens that makes you laugh...that could become a story. 
You get the idea.

Also, read, read, read!  By reading, you will improve your vocabulary, learn writing techniques, and learn what kinds of stories interest you as a writer.




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Well, what’d you think?
I know I for one was thrilled with the results; after all…it’s not every day you get to go inside the mind of a writer.  Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions Ms. Hopkins!

Review copy received courtesy of Emily at Peachtree Publishers.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title as well as their ever growing list of bookish wonders, be sure to stop off at their main site, read up on the latest happenings via their blog, pin them on Pinterest, like them on Facebook, or follow along on Twitter.  This book is available now so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf near you.  Now, today’s stop was the tail end of a week long tour, so don’t be shy, pay a visit to the other bloggy participants (the listing for which can be found HERE)!  You never know just what they uncovered on their reading adventure. 

Now, speaking of reading adventures, how would you like a chance to explore this work for yourself?  What’s that?  Well of course you can go out and buy a copy, that’s what makes the bookish world go round now, doesn't it?  BUT, how about the chance to WIN a copy….sound good?  I thought it might.  ^_^ 



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Thanks to the generous folks over at Peachtree Publishers, I have to supreme pleasure of offering you a chance to win a copy of this very title to call your own!

So, how to add another element of fun to this contest.
Hmm.
*ponders…Pooh Bear style*
I know!




First, of course there’s the little form to fill out with all the standard “free entry”, tweet this, share that, follow here options….be sure to do that please (the form that is), otherwise your entry won’t count!

Second, let’s add a little commenting fun to this shin dig, shall we?
For EXTRA POINTS and let’s face it, EXTRA FUN…share a little bit of YOU with all of US!

What do you love about storybooks the most?
Do you indulge in them yourself or share them with others?
Do you read them in your mind or let your voice echo off the walls near and far?
Just share WHAT YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT STORYBOOKS (fill out the form) and BAM, bonus points coming your way.

So.
Let’s recap…




The prize:


(1) Copy of Prairie Chicken Little by Jackie Mims Hopkins






How to enter:
Fill out the Rafflecopter form below and you’re in!





The rules…
Open to US residents, no P.O. Boxes please.
Entries accepted TODAY through Saturday, March 16th, 2013.  Winner will be contacted by Monday, March 17th, 2013 and have 48 hours to respond with their FULL NAME and MAILING ADDRESS to be passed on to the publisher for prize send out.  If the information is not received within the given time frame, a new winner will be chosen.



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So there you have it!
Another great fairytale redo to explore and another fabulous chance to win.
You’re welcome.
^_^



Until next time…GOOD LUCK…and happy reading!





5 comments:

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

This looks so fun and that poster cracks me up!

DMS said...

This book sounds so fun and I love books with characters that have different voices. Great author interview and I am thrilled to have a chance to win this book! Thanks so much. I love words and stories. I read as many PB as I can! I love the combination of words and pictures. :)
~Jess

Jambo said...

I enjoyed this interview and your review so much. Sue over at Kid Lit Reviews, posted about this book not long ago and it sounds hilarious. I am a huge fan accents and voices when reading to your kids lol.
Jackie sounds so interesting, and I share her desire to meet Corrie Ten Boom. I was recently reminded of her beautiful books after reading Greenhorn by Anna Olswanger, (a Jewish Holocaust Middle Grade Read) I read Corrie's books in my twenties, but I believe its time to revisit them.

I am an Aussie so not up for the giveaway but so happy to share it with my fellow twitterers.
Thanks for linking into the Kid Lit Blog Hop and we hope to see you again next time, cheers Julie Grasso

Renee C. said...

That was a fun post to read! I've been seeing that cover everywhere - it is so fabulous and the story sounds great. I'm in Canada so I can't enter the contest, but I'm happy to share it with my followers. Thanks for linking into the Kid Lit Blog Hop! :)

Maria said...

I love these reworkings of classic stories! Thanks for sharing!

We are definitely lovers of picture books in our house. My 3yo commented today that she had lots and lots and lots of books at her house. I told her she was a lucky girl ;) Would love to add this one to our collection!

maria @novalibrarymom.com

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