Quote of the Month

When love and skill work together, expect a miracle. John Ruskin

Monday, April 25, 2011

"Watt" Are You Waiting For?

Melanie Watt....just reading that name makes a giggle start to well up inside that eventually bursts forth in a loud guffaw.  Copies of her Scaredy Squirrel and Chester books are hardly lonely on the shelves of our library media center but are being held in the hands of students who have eagerly waited to check them out as soon as they are returned. 

When I spotted You're Finally Here! in a local bookstore, I knew that my readers would love it.

Book jacket flaps proclaim YOU'RE HERE!  YOU'RE HERE! amidst the carrot crammed endpapers.  The first two page spread oozes happiness as the wide-eyed rabbit cartwheels, sings, plays maracas and an ukulele with joyful abandon only to come to a screeching halt.  Turning to the next two page spread readers are greeted with BUT WHERE WERE YOU? covering the entire left side as a large accusing bunny head with hands on hips partners it on the right.
Yes, you the reader after a hearty welcome are on the spot.  As the tale continues readers are questioned:  Do you know how long I've been waiting in here?...Do you know how BORED  I get when I'm waiting?...Do you know how UNFAIR it is to keep me waiting?...Do you know how ANNOYING it is to have to wait?  Each question is followed by a picture foursome with probable answers, silly as they may be, that clearly call for readers to connect and recall their own frustrations at having to wait. 
Several times bunny backs up to a lesser mode of rudeness trying to gather in the previous glee at having you present, finally coming to a compromise in the form of a contract that concludes with,  And oh yes, YOU, the reader, will provide ME, the bunny, with carrot treats every day.
Is that the end?  Of course not, Melanie Watt (or the bunny) has a twist in her paw.

Watt has stated in interviews that she enjoys and is inspired by the work of Mo Willems, but her style is clearly her own, adding layers to original thoughts that call forth humor prompted by exaggeration. As in her other books the use of bold, bright acrylic color add to the brashness of her bunny character and his mood swings. WAIT! WHERE ARE YOU GOING?  WAS IT SOMETHING I SAID?  No, but this post is finished and I'm getting ready to start laughing again as the pages turn in You're Finally Here!

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