Skip to main content

Big Mean Mike written by Michelle Knudsen, illustrated by Scott Magoon

Big Mean Mike by Michelle Knudsen and illustrated by Scott Magoon takes a pretty common premise - the tough guy who might not be that tough - and has fun with it. Big Mean Mike reminds me of a cartoon I loved as a kid and still adore, the Looney Toons masterpiece, Feed the Kitty with Marc Anthony, the vicious bulldog and the tiny kitten he adores. Knudsen and Magoon have a ton of fun with this premise and go out of their way to show us just how big and mean Mike is, from his bark, to his spiked collar and his big bad car and brand new combat boots, this is clearly a dog you do not mess with.

Then, when going to put his new boots in the trunk, Mike discovers something next to the "big, tough spare tire." It's a "tiny, fuzzy bunny" who blinks up at him sleepily. And I am sorry, but I could not find an image of Magoon's bunny that does justice to just how darn cute it is in the book. Take my word for it when I tell you that Magoon draws his bunnies in an entirely different style from the rest of the book and they pop off the page with fluffy cuteness! Really!

How Mike handles the bunnies, who seem to increase like Tribbles, popping up is various places in his big, mean car, is hilarious, but the best part is when Mike gives in to their adorableness and they find away to be big and mean and cute and fluffy together!

BIG MEAN MIKE. Text copyright © 2012 by Michelle Knudsen. Illustrations copyright © 2012 by Scott Magoon. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA.

Source: Review Copy from Publisher

Some other things Michelle Knudsen has done...

The Library Lion, illustrated by the wonderful Kevin Hawkes

And some other things Scott Magoon has been up to...

Mostly Mosnterly by Tammi Sauer.

If Waffles Were Like Boys by Charice Mericle Harper

Spoon by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and the follow-up, Chopsticks.


Popular posts from this blog

Made by Dad: 67 Blueprints for Making Cool Stuff - Projects You Can Build For (and With) Kids! by Scott Bedford

On his personal website, Scott Bedforddescribes himself as an "Award Winning Online Creative Professional" working within the advertising and design industry. What is more interesting (and applicable here) is how hisWhat I Made website came to be. While sitting in a Starbucks with his restless young sons, trying to enjoy his latte, Bedford created something out of coffee stir sticks that ended up keeping his boys entertained, finishing his coffee in peace and sparking (re-sparking, really) his creative drive and reminding him of the "enormous joy gained from making things, even simple things, and that this joy is not the complexity or quality of the finished project but in the process of making itself. On Bedford'sWhat I Made website, he even shares Six Cool Coffee Shop Crafts for Kidsthat you can try out next time you want to enjoy your coffee and your kids are making that difficult. I've shared two below - be sure to check out the website and see the rest!


POP-UP: Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book, paper engineering by Ruth Wickings, illustrations by Frances Castle RL: All ages

POP-UP:  Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book with paper engineering by Ruth Wickings and illustrations by Frances Castle is THE COOLEST BOOK EVER!!!  I know that I haven't dedicated much time to pop-up books here, but they have always held a special place in my heart, and the phrase "paper engineering" is a favorite of mine. Although I didn't know what it was at the time, I did go through a paper engineering phase when I was ten or so. I would sneak off to the back of the classroom during independent work periods and go to town on the construction paper and glue and make these little free-standing dioramas. A huge fan of The Muppet Show (the original), I reconstructed the all-baby orchestra from an episode, drawing and coloring each baby and his/her instrument then gluing them onto a 3D orchestra section I had crafted out of brown construction paper.  I also made a 3D version of Snidely Whiplash throwing Nell off a cliff with Dudley Do-Right wa…

The Seeing Stick, written by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Daniela J Terrazini

The Seeing Stick is an original Chinese fairy tale written by the prolific (and prolifically award winning) Jane Yolen. First published in 1977 with illustrations by Remy Charlip (author and illustrator of the brilliantly fun picture book Fortunately and friend and muse to Brian Selznick, who asked him to pose as George Méliès while he was working on the Caldecott winning The Invention of Hugo CabretThe Seeing Stick was reissued with new illustrations by Daniela J. Terrazini in 2009. I have not seen Charlip's version, but Terrazini's is a beautiful work of art and the book itself is yet another magnificently packaged book published by Running Press, the house that brought us Steven Arntson's The Wikkeling, yet another superbly and uniquely packaged children's book with artwork by Terrazini. Interestingly, both The Wikkeling and The Seeing Stick were designed by Frances J Soo Ping Chow.

The Seeing Stick begins, "Once in the ancient walled citadel of Peking there l…