My house was among the first stops in Susanna Hill’s fabulous book tour: http://susannahill.blogspot.com/p/phylliss-world-tour.html
It’s not the Susanna herself that’s going on tour though, just the book. All of the publicity, and none of the jet lag. So we reviewers are all signing our names, locations, and weather coordinates to the book. I’m also going to make sure Phyllis mails Susanna a postcard before she Priority Mails (cheaper than flying coach, plus no hassles from TSA!) to Los Angeles.
In April Fool, Phyllis! we meet again with Punxsutawney Phyllis, the first female weather groundhog from a very long line of Punxsutawney Phils.
Sensing a blizzard coming on April Fools’ Day, Phyllis tries to let her family know – they need to cancel the Spring Treasure Hunt so people can stay safe inside! But they all laugh at her “joke”, which inspires a few more April Fools’ pranks of their own. Then while out on the treasure hunt, the blizzard hits! Will the little groundhog kids make it home on time?
Of course they will; this is a children’s book after all. But Ms. Hill gives the reader just enoguh time to get worried before Phyllis saves the day (in a way that could inspire a more inquisitive child to want to learn more about trees). The groundhog children get home in time to enjoy a sweet surprise, and Phyllis’s real April Fool’s joke.
Kids will also like the section at the end talking about the history and international traditions of April Fool’s day. (And by “kids”, that can mean “adults who’ve been 28 for a few years now, who submit a fake doctor’s note to their boss, stating they’re now to bring their notoriously ill-behaved cats to the office as service animals”.)
The pictures are the best sort -detailed enough that they could double as wall art and/or tell the story themselves. Jeffrey Ebbeler is the sort of artist who makes me wish I’d paid attention in Art class, so I could have the proper terminology to describe how great his drawings are. See if you can spot the Bilbo Baggins homage in the background, the bundled-up bees exhaling “smoke” into the snow, or the bespectacled, mustached goldfish.
All in all, Susanna (and Jeffrey!) get a 5/5 for not only a great story and pictures, but a fabulously creative book tour idea.