This weeks selection comes from Canadian artist/illustrator Jen Appel, one of my very own students from Pikaland Bootcamp, who also just completed her own short story, I'm so proud, tear in eye!
Find more out more about Jen and her eccentric sense of humor via her blog Jennifer Appel Illustration
Jen's pick: Alligator Pie
poems by Dennis Lee
pictures by Frank Newfeldpublished by Key Porter Books, ltd., 2001
Here's what Jen has to say:
Actually when I got it as a kid, it kind of freaked me out - the same kind of freak out that you get looking at an accident scene. It disturbs you, but you keep looking, trying to piece together what you see.
There are poems about having to eat your meat - a big theme in my life at that age - even the illustration resembles my father at that time (in Tricking), monsters running off with mothers (Billy Batter) and eating human body parts (in In Kamloops). The language is great as Lee likes to play with words and make new words and silly rhymes.
This book was originally published in Canada in 1974. It is a great example of (tongue in cheek) Canadian content, with lots of Canuck references. Also, the illustrations have a wonderful 1970s Electric Circus feel to them. The book was rereleased as a collector's edition in 2001 and is still available in stores.
Chick's kind of edgy around Alligators, 15 of his brood were inhaled in one bite, he narrowly escaped a big tooth! Good thing he lived to tell the story, but he always gets sweaty when he sees a picture of an alligator... As far as alligator pie goes, he still prefers meatballs, whether eating or being eatin he still avoids alligators!
Thanks for the contribution Jen!