Synopses & Reviews
Chu is a little panda with a big sneeze.
When Chu sneezes, bad things happen.
Will Chu sneeze today?
"No wolves in the walls or button-eyed parents in this story about a baby panda named Chu. Yet Gaiman builds suspense from the enigmatic opening sentence ('When Chu sneezed, bad things happened'), which frames a portrait of the roly-poly protagonist, decked out in a striped T-shirt, aviator cap, and goggles. Gaiman maximizes anxiety by having Chu visit a tranquil library ('There was old-book-dust in the air') and a crowded diner ('There was a lot of pepper in the air'). Twice, Chu's anxious parents ask, 'Are you going to sneeze?' and itchy-nosed Chu snapping his goggles over his eyes in preparation does not follow through. That evening, under a big top whose performing animals echo the menagerie in Rex's Tree Ring Circus, Chu cannot resist, and his true power is revealed. Gaiman's comic timing gets a boost from strategic book design and from Rex's hyperreal paintings, which emphasize Chu's round, fuzzy form and apparent harmlessness. Gaiman and Rex deliver a classic one-two-three punch, making hay from the notion that a cuddly baby panda is not to be trusted. Ages 4 – 8. Agent: Merrilee Heifetz, Writers House. Illustrator's agent: Steven Malk, Writers House." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Neil Gaiman has written award-winning books for children and adults, including the Newbery Medal-winning novel The Graveyard Book
, and Odd and the Frost Giants
. His picture books include Instructions
and Blueberry Girl
, illustrated by Charles Vess; The Wolves in the Walls
, The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish
, and Crazy Hair
, illustrated by Dave McKean; and The Dangerous Alphabet
, illustrated by Gris Grimly. A baby giant panda once sat on his lap and ate bamboo in Chengdu, China.
Adam Rex grew up in Phoenix, Arizona, the middle of three children. He took a lot of art classes as a kid, trying to learn to draw better, and started painting when he was 11. Later he got a BFA from the University of Arizona, and met his physicist wife, Marie (who is both the smart and cute one).
Adam and Marie live in Tucson, where Adam draws, paints, writes, spends too much time on the Internet, and listens to public radio. His first picture book, The Dirty Cowboy by Amy Timberlake, was published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in 2003. His picture book Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich, a collection of stories about monsters and their problems, was a New York Times bestseller. The year 2007 saw the release of his first novel, The True Meaning of Smekday. His second, a book for teens and adults called Fat Vampire, will be published in July 2010.