Fall Mixed Up

(Author) (Illustrator)

Product Details

Carolrhoda Books (R)
Publish Date
9.5 X 11.1 X 0.5 inches | 0.95 pounds

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About the Author

Bob Raczka and his wife Amy are the co-creators of three masterpieces: Robert, Carl and Emma. They live in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, with their dog Rufus, who is also a piece of work. As a boy, Bob loved to draw--especially dinosaurs, cars, and airplanes. He also enjoyed making paper airplanes and model rockets. He's a lifelong Cubs fan. Thanks to good grades (and some help from his high school art teachers) he went to college at the University of Illinois, where he majored in art. On a whim, Bob took an advertising copywriting class and loved it. When he graduated, he became an advertising writer. But when his first child, Robert, was born, he rediscovered children's books and thought, I want to do this. So Bob began sending out manuscripts and collecting rejection letters. Five years later, he sold his first manuscript, a book about art called No One Saw. Little did he know, it would become the first book in his ongoing series, Bob Raczka's Art Adventures.
Chad Cameron's earliest work was rendered in Crayola with a crude overhand technique on his bedroom walls. This expressionist body of work came to include drawings on other clean surfaces, his little brother, and a fair attempt at the family cat. This didn't go over well with the critics.

Eventually, the critics sent him away to college where he received a BFA in Communication Arts and Design from Virginia Commonwealth University. Since then he has endeavored to spend his time with flying pigs, blue space aliens and the occasional levitating cow. In 2005 he received an MFA from Academy of Art University where he is a now a part-time instructor.


"Rhyming, uneven verse enumerates some of the characteristics and pleasures of fall, except that things are a bit topsy-turvy: 'Bears gather nuts / Geese hibernate. / Squirrels fly south in / big figure eights.' Illustrations rendered in warm colors capture the silliness of the brief text. Kids will have fun following the final instructions to 'Go back and find all the / things that aren't right.'" --The Horn Book Guide


"This title, featuring a young boy and his canine companion, offers a witty, wacky take on familiar autumnal activities and elements. Beginning with a somewhat tongue-twisting line, 'Every Septober, / Every Octember, / Fall fills my senses with / scenes to remember, ' the text and art include mixed-up scenarios of leaves flying upward, geese hibernating, squirrels flying south. In this upside-down world, 'Touchdowns are hit. / Home runs are kicked.' Halloween gets a more humorous than scary treatment in shadowy scenes in which winged mummies 'go bats' and 'vampires ride brooms' and kids get trick-or-treats of stuffing and drumsticks. There's plenty to seek and find in the colorful, soft-textured illustrations, which use playful perspectives in more zany, backward scenes, such as 'bonfires that cool off our fronts and our rears, ' and invite revisiting. Bouncy rhymes keep things peppy, and kids will enjoy being in on the jokes and identifying all that's topsy-turvy in this fun romp. A humorous option for seasonal storytimes." --Booklist


"With giddy abandon, Cameron's (A Day with No Crayons) bustling, mixed-media artwork has fun with this story's gleefully wacky premise. Moving from windswept, daytime panoramas to shadowy evenings, the pictures leave no doubt that much is awry this autumn: a boy bites into an orange apple as kids in a hot-air balloon attempt to capture leaves that rise rather than fall from trees. Raczka's (Guyku) merry, rat-a-tat verse reveals that animals' behavior is also askew: 'Bears gather nuts./ Geese hibernate./ Squirrels fly south in/ big figure eights.' Readers will eagerly scour illustrations to decipher the text's ramifications. On a spread in which 'Hats cover hands./ Gloves cover ears./ Bonfires cool off our/ fronts and our rears, ' the children's reversed glove and hat placement is obvious; less so is the ice covering the marshmallows that they (and a snowman) roast over a fire. Even observant kids may not pick up on all of the art's switcheroos on the first read, and will gladly follow Raczka's parting directive to 'Go back and find all the/ things that aren't right.'" --Publishers Weekly


"'Raczka gives a mixed-up version of various Fall scenarios which will amuse youngsters. In this rhyming lyrical picture book, a little boy takes an adventure from Septober to Octember and witnesses apples turning orange while pumpkins turn red. Not only are touchdowns hit and home runs kicked, but hats cover hands, and gloves cover ears. Animals don't escape this mixed-up story either; wolves meow, while black cats say, 'Whoo.' The watercolor illustrations are fun to view as they capture each word explicitly. Children will get the pleasure of correcting each incorrect statement." --Library Media Connection


"This rollicking fall frolic is sure to arouse a chorus of hearty negatives in every audience as children race to point out the mistakes in both the text and the illustrations. Raczka has taken all the quintessential elements of fall and turned them topsy-turvy. From the staple treats of candy corn and caramel apples to the antics of the animals, nothing is sacred (or correct), including the holidays of Halloween and Thanksgiving: 'Neighbors give stuffing and / drumsticks for treats. / Families give thanks / for a bounty of sweets.' But silly as the rhyming verses are, they need Cameron's zany illustrations to truly make them come alive. After all, some of the mix-ups defy even the most active of imaginations: 'Bears gather nuts. / Geese hibernate. / Squirrels fly south in / big figure eights.' Digital paintings with photo-collage elements draw readers' eyes through the scenes, in which bears bend trees down to the ground with their heavy weight and squirrels with balloons tied around their waists soar through the sky. But the laughs don't stop there--Cameron includes at least one wrong thing on each spread that is unrelated to the text. Observant readers just may spot them all. A true celebration of fall certain to be a winner with teachers and children alike; here's hoping that the rest of the seasons will follow." --Kirkus Reviews