[I received a review copy of this book from the publisher. No other compensation was received.]
This picture book is 12 chapters and 96 pages of awesome! Are you ready? (Because you need to be ready for this.) Here we go! This book contains: a bear, Mars farting, aliens eating lava rocks, people NOT going to the bathroom, edible snowmen, cows, people being eaten, lions throwing up, the Wondrous Man, second graders, grownup zebras that smell weird, Water People — being led by a Snake, a trip to Niagara Falls, rabbits turned into frogs, a bad witch, a princess, a shark, a fairy godmother, a game of Marco Polo, and morals — oh, there are morals!
But that’s all I’m going to tell you about what’s in this book. I don’t want to ruin it for you by telling you too much. I’d like to think that when I write reviews it’s mainly, “Here’s this wonderful book and my son and I had so much fun reading it and here’s what we liked about it. I hope you get a chance to check it out.” But this book is different — this book is crazy and wonderful and really, truly, you need to read this book. It will make you laugh and instantly make you want to have more fun and be more creative.
I *wish* I hadn’t known who had written these stories beforehand. I wish someone had just said, “Oh, this is by Blah Blah who is a big-creative-genius person and they’ve decided to write a picture book.” I would have read it and said, “Wow, this is amazing!” Then they could have said, “No, actually, I was lying! This is by a group of six-to-ten-year-old children in Detroit! They wrote this in their after-school writing program!” And I would have said — nothing — because my brain wouldn’t have been able to compute that. So, let me do for you what I wish had been done for me: This book is written by several big, creative, amazing, hard-working, and inspired writers that you haven’t heard of until now — because they’re in elementary school. They’ve written a picture book I know you’re going love.
Dave Eggers did the illustrations. Yeah, Dave Eggers. He took a black Sharpie marker and did a remarkable job of complimenting and capturing the brilliance that is Where Is It Coming From? His illustrations add a wonderful quirkiness and humor to the students’ stories.
My four-year-old son was gobsmacked! The first time we read it through he immediately, and with great urgency said, “We need to read ‘The Wondrous Man’ again!” And again and again did we read. He was completely engrossed with the stories and the illustrations. He would make me read each chapter to him four or five times before we moved on. He was hilarious. He would laugh when it was funny and then get really serious. If I turned a page too quickly he would hold the pages down and say, “Just wait!” I’d wait while he’d stare at the page absorbing it — who knows what was going through his brain — and then he would tell me I could go on. He now has the whole book memorized.
Go read Where Is It Coming From? You’ll laugh and be dazzled and amazed and breathe a little easier — because creativity is alive and well. These kids aren’t just kids — they’re remarkable storytellers and authors. They warrant our attention.
Ages 0 – 10+/All ages. 826michigan. November 2014. 96 pages. ISBN: 978-0-9827293-8-0. Fiction.
Where to Get it:
- Literati Bookstore — both online and in Ann Arbor.
- Source Booksellers — will carry it in Detroit.
- Liberty Street Robot Supply and Repair — will carry it in Ann Arbor.
You Should Read Where Is It Coming From? because:
- It is absolutely hilarious! It had me, my son, and my none-too-easily-amused husband laughing hard.
- It’s inspiring! It makes you want to write your own stories. My son started making up stories based on “The Wondrous Man” while playing.
- The simple, black-and-white illustrations and short stories make it enticing for everyone — baby on up through grandparents (and beyond).
- I’m fairly sure you’ve never read a picture book like this one.
- It’s whimsical, quirky, and brilliant. (I try not to overuse the word brilliant just so I can save it for special occasions like this.)
- Did I mention it’s hilarious? Because it’s really, really funny.
More About this Book and 826michigan:
- An Interview with Dave Eggers about Where Is It Coming From? in the Detroit Free Press
- An Interview with Dave Eggers about 826michigan.
- TED Talk about the 826 Valencia Writing Program
Where Obtained: I received a review copy from the publisher. No other compensation was received. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”