Chris Monroe's humor and intricate illustrations draw high praise from reviewers and bloggers alike. Chris is also the author and illustrator of Totally Uncool and the comic strip Violet Days, which has been in print for more than 20 years. She lives in Duluth, Minnesota. Chris Monroe's humor and intricate illustrations draw high praise from reviewers and bloggers alike. Chris is also the author and illustrator of Totally Uncool and the comic strip Violet Days, which has been in print for more than 20 years. She lives in Duluth, Minnesota.
"A polka-dot dog, ants on a log, an 'athletic pickle, ' a smiling nickel, a bear eating honey, and a skateboarding bunny are among the characters that join a festive cavalcade led by a helmet-wearing ladybug on a bike. Each eagerly falls in line, following the leader up and down hills, across a river, and through a forest, wondering where they are headed: 'Where are they riding/ on such a nice day?/ They asked the bug--/ But he just wouldn't say.' Monroe's (Cookie, the Walker) cumulative verse reveals a penchant for nonsense and non sequitur, while her wispy cartoons have a manic energy that matches the text's quirkiness and showcases amusing transportation-related details clams travel in a boat with wheels, a cat and a fez-wearing monkey ride along on roller skates, while the aforementioned pickle opts for a skateboard. The story's energy continues full tilt after the travelers reach finally their surprise destination--the bug's extravagant birthday party, which is chock-full of activities, snacks, and food. This boisterous outing works well as both a read-alone for beginning readers and a readaloud for story time." --Publishers Weekly--Journal
"A fun-filled and humorous picture book about friendship and sharing. When the bug on a bike stops by to pick up Lizard Mike, who is baking pies, readers will know they're in for a silly treat. The bug and Lizard Mike also invite Randy the Toad and scores of others during the course of the story (including carpenter clams in boats, an athletic pickle, a skateboarding bunny and, hilariously, ants on a log) to go on a biking, skateboarding and rolling journey to no-one-but-the-bug knows where. Monroe's rhyming text builds as she adds various critters to the journey. As entertaining as the text is, however, it is the illustrations that steal the show. Singularly absurd in their renditions (the lizard wears madras shorts, the snake dons a tubular blouse), the menagerie all nonetheless manage to look determined and earnest as they follow the bug on a bike--who himself has the endearing focused look of a toddler just learning to ride a two-wheeler. As the journey continues, tension builds--where the heck are they going? As it turns out, it is to the bug's birthday party. Further silliness ensues as the author details the cavorting (the clams eat 'buckets of nachos, ' and the pickle break dances) at the party. Snappy and exuberant, this rhyming picture book is sure to be a hit in a read-aloud." --Kirkus Reviews--Journal
"This is a fun book about a nameless bug who asks his animal friends to follow him on a trip. The animals go in a straight line, on bikes, rollerblades, a log, a wheeled boat, and skates; some fly, slither, or walk. What awaits them at the end of the journey is a big surprise. Children will identify with the love of surprises, and with the curiosity of excited animals following their friend, without knowing where they are going. The pictures are vivid, the dialogue is in speech bubbles, and narration is in bold letters. Unfortunately, the illustrations are too small for large group sharing, but this book can be a good read-aloud to a few children or for independent reading. [Editor's Note: Available in e-book format.] Recommended." Library Media Connection--Journal