Pinkwater Newsflash – The Yggyssey begins in April!

 The latest Pinkwater podcast reveals that the sequel to the Neddiad will begin appearing in serialized form on Pinkwater’s Website in April.
The Neddiad, which should have been at least a Newbery Honor book this year, was a ton of fun.  Not sure where the sequel will go, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we end up with a greater understanding of the whole Pinkwater universe.
You may as well sign on for the Yggyssey right away, because I’ll probably be urging you to read it during the whole serialization.

No Broken Linking Emergency

NPR this morning mentioned something about a public outcry over a broken link to Pinkwater podcasts and audio books. They’ve cleared it up.
I’ve heard his podcasts, but I had missed the books!
Amazing! Lizard Music is available for FREE download! Presumably read by the man himself. Wow. I can’t wait. (But since I have dial-up, I must wait.) To hear Pinkwater in person reading about model airplane glue and irresponsible sisters and late-night lizard TV…
(By the way, you did catch that magnificent pun in the title of this post, didn’t you?)

Skunk with Mustard: The Movie: The Game – Free Flash Game

Just follow this link to play the game right away:
You may need to click on the game with your mouse to start playing. After that it’s all spacebar.
Here’s the backstory:
You know Madge over at the Poop Deck right? She’s a kidlit author, too, and used to work with me at the newspaper. (Where she rocked.)
Anyway, her son Graham has this concept called “Skunk with Mustard” which was turned into a backyard movie recently.
The upshot is that the Skunk sells hot dogs and if you want mustard he applies it — in a skunk-like fashion.
Great movie and a great concept for a video game! So I took Graham’s drawing and gutted out the QWIKPICK Poop Game and made SKUNK WITH MUSTARD: THE MOVIE: THE GAME!

Cece & Sam’s Holiday Funland Day 10 – Sock Monkey’s Online Train Set – Free Flash Game Fun

 At last! You can ride the rails with your favorite toy actor and picture book star, Sock Monkey!

Sock Monkey’s Online Train Set (or SMOTS) is a Flash game, that lets you control the train, build a new layout, create cities, farms and roads. AND you can toot the whistle as much as you want! Yes, it’s a free flash game for kids or adults or sock monkeys.


Above: a pretty busy layout, but Sock Monkey prefers one like that below…


In case you’re wondering… yes, I programmed this myself, but not from scratch. I started with source code for a tile world from a book called Flash MX Game Design Demystified. Also, if you play, you’ll notice that I didn’t check for train and truck collisions. So, no crashes!

While we’re on the subject, don’t forget the first Sock Monkey Flash Game…

Free Fiction: Britney and Paris Save The World

As I mentioned yesterday, snapfiction’s writing challenge was a doozy this week:

Write a story that involves a judge, a hyena, a tuning fork, a compass and six yards of the finest Chinese silk.

The great thing about these challenges is that you sit down with no idea at all and you’re forced into unfamiliar territory and you end up with something you’d have never thought of in a million years.

Mine starts like this:

“That hyena just ran off with our last tuning fork!” said Paris.

“Ding dang, y’all, how are we supposed to tune the piano now?” replied Britney with her usual swagger, as she smashed together the two remaining hyenas, crushing their skulls. 

The piano was long past tuning. The pair of celebrities had turned it on its side to block the spears of the furious tribe of papparazzi that had them pinned down in this remote Czech town.

“Hard to believe my father once owned a ski lodge near here,” said Paris, during a lull in the fighting. “Hard to believe it used to snow around here.”

“Hard to believe it ever snowed anywhere on this gosh-forsaken planet,” muttered Britney. “I’m getting seriously sick of all these hyenas, rats and kudzu.”

More…..(But not too much more.)

Madge’s starts like this:

My earliest memory was not of my mother’s voice but of her tuning fork. Each morning she would strike it against the side of my crib, waving it next to my ears as if she were conducting something — not an orchestra so much as the earliest part of my childhood. She waved the fork right, then left, then right again, holding my chin in her free hand.  more…

I hope to see some more of you rising to this every-Tuesday afternoon challenge soon….

Upcoming appearances for Sam & Cece


Cece signs and adds a sketch of Sock Monkey to a copy of Sock Monkey Boogie Woogie.

Here are some upcoming signings, sightings, availabilities and events for. A few of these are solo, but many are with both of us. It’s so much fun going to these events together. We hope to see some of you there! It’s the best place to get your hands on free Sock Monkey and Qwikpick stuff.
Cece will be at the Blue Ridge Libray on Nov. 15.

Cece Bell, author and artist of Sock Monkey Goes to Hollywood and other books for children, will be coming to the Blue Ridge Library on Thursday, Nov. 15. The program starts at 4 p.m. and will feature a dance contest, yodeling contest, a drawing lesson and maybe even a chance to read some of the books like a play.

Interested adults will also be able to learn how to make a sock monkey. After the program there will be a pizza party with pizza from the Vito’s Pizzamobile.

(I did this library this summer and it was a great time! With free pizza!)

We’ll both be at B&N in Roanoke on Sat. Nov.. 24. at 10:30 & 2:30. (One or the other of us will be there. If you need to know which at what time give me a holler.)

Then I have some library appearances I’m excited about:

“An Evening with Tom Angleberger”
November 26, at 7:00 pm at the Blacksburg Library.
November 27, at 7:00 pm at the Meadowbrook Public Library, Shawsville
November 29, at 7:00 pm at the Christiansburg Library
Tom, author of The Qwikpick Adventure Society, “Roanoke Times” columnist and former children’s entertainer, will liven up the library with talk about his book, juggling and a “poopy poetry” contest. Copies of the book will be for sale.Did you catch that? An “evening” with me. That sounds pretty fancy.

Then Dec. 1 we’ll be at the High Point Coffee Shop in Roanoke at 2 p.m.

On Dec. 8 we’ll be at B&N again at 10 p.m. until ?

I’m also headed back to the supercool Stewartsville Elem. soon with Cece for career day!

(If you’re thinking of coming, shoot me an email so we’ll can make sure the event is still on schedule!)

Make your own READ poster!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I found this because I’m looking for a new Website name and wanted Wigflip. Somebody cool already has it….

REALLY COOL! And he has given us what we’ve long dreamed of! A READ poster generator!!!!!!!

First I found this…..LED sign. (which may take a minute to load up)


Then I found this … street sign generator.


(he’s got other toys, too, including a speech bubble maker)

Then I found the holy grail! I almost missed it. Because he calls it a motivational poster generator. But if you use a vertical picture of someone reading a book. And choose READ as your motivational word:



Now you just have to decide what book to hold. (I highly recommend holding The Qwikpick Adventure Society.)

Chik-Fil-A delivers again… with Jane Bull this time.

At Burger King the other day we got a miniature football jersey. Stink. What the heck are the kids supposed to do with that? Oh, hang it on a car window. Double stink.

We left that junk at the BK. more recently we were at the Chik where we got another great jubilationmeal prize. (You’ll recall my love of the Amelia Earhart Plane I got a few weeks ago.)

This time it was a Jane Bull book. Bring it!

Jane Bull is the bomb. And her crew of Photoshop wizards could put a clipping path around a charging buffalo. Her kids Cooking book is absolutely right on as far as what kids want to look at. Dumptrucks and yellow loaders making cakes! Moon men, razzle dazzle, rainbow sprinkles.

The book we got was “The Party Book,” but it’s not the same as this book:

Rather, it has a smiley frog mask on the front. (Along with the requisite frolicking children.)

The mini 24 page party book  covers party cooking, costumes and decorations. It is off-course all eye-popping, order-giving, mess-inducing fun to look at.

Sometimes the instructions are a bit much. Cutting out butterfly wings from cardboard, requires that you make a paper stencil and cut it out. Then use the stencil to mark a piece of cardboard. And cut that out. Then cut two more sets of wings from construction paper. And cut THOSE out. how about if I just hack out a vague shape from the cardboard and then slosh some paint on it?

It lacks the little miniature elements, like toy dumptrucks, that made the Cooking book an all-time favorite.

but what am I complaining about? This mini-book is a keeper, unlike most Happymeal toys. It’s actually a worthy addition to the home library (which is carefully stored in piles strewn throughout the house.)



Warty’s styling in his new Qwikpick T-Shirt. Where’s yours?

Here’s a recap on how to get a shirt:

I am expanding the free T-shirt program. Now all it takes to get a beautiful Qwikpick T-shirt is this: Ask your local library to buy the book. If they do, you get a shirt. If they don’t, you still get a shirt. If they buy one for all 17 branches I’ll come up with something grander.

Here’s a recap on how to get a hog to wear a shirt:

Qwikpick News & NEW Free T-Shirt offer. (No purchase necessary)

qwkcovertiny1.jpgThis is small news to the rest of the world, but big news in Crickenburg.

I was at a conv. store the other day and hit the jackpot. I found something in there so amazing, so perfect, that I knew no one would ever believe me if I put it in the Qwikpick sequel.

Then I remembered. The great part about the Qwikpick book is that it uses real photos. I mean without a photo who would have believed that there was a 50-gallon drum of banana puree in downtown Crickenburg? And some doubters might not have believed in the fried baloney biscuit without a photo either. (It’s real and delicious!) There’s even a photo at to prove that there really is a Crab Creek Road and a Sewage Command Center:

So anyway, I luckily had my camera in the car and got a picture of this mind-blowing thing in the conv. store. It just fits in with the Qwikpick so perfectly. Lyle, Marilla and Dave are going to love it! I’d share it here, but that would spoil the surprise.

First, I’ve got to get more people to read the first book, so I can publish the second one.
With that in mind I am expanding the free T-shirt program. Now all it takes to get a beautiful Qwikpick T-shirt is this: Ask your local library to buy the book. If they do, you get a shirt. If they don’t, you still get a shirt. If they buy one for all 17 branches I’ll come up with something grander.