Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Werewolf Club #1

These are a couple of sketches for some samples I'm planning based on The Werewolf Club #2 - The Lunchroom of Doom by Daniel Pinkwater.

Mr. Pinkwater used to review children's books on Weekend Edition on NPR. It's been a long time since I've heard him, though, so I wonder if that feature has been discontinued.

The first book of his that I read was the wonderful Lizard Music. I love it when a book surprises me, and this one had something unexpected on nearly every page.

Recently I picked up this second installment in The Werewolf Club at Half-Price. Even though this is a book for a much younger reader, and the story is pretty simple, it is still delightfully unpredictable and a fun read. It's unusual for a book that is supposed to be funny for 9 year olds to also be funny to bit more mature. Just the idea that a school would have a werewolf group along with Spanish club and chess club makes me smile. Lucky for this school, they had a werewolf teacher to act as faculty sponsor. I even enjoyed re-reading this story, and think that it's entertaining enough that young readers would want to look up some of the longer, unfamiliar words. The others in the series are going on my Amazon list, unless I'm lucky enough to find more of them at Half-Price.
One of the speakers at the last SCBWI conference I attended suggested that illustrators expand their scope beyond picture books and consider chapter books as well. Werewolf Club came to mind instantly as a story I'd like to tackle.
There's not a whole lot of character development in this story, but Billy Furball stands out as the comic figure within the comedy. The other kids are united not only in lycanthropy, but in their revulsion over Billy's lunches and hygiene. The villians are evil space aliens, and the fate of the world hangs in the balance!
No spoilers yet. More to come.