Highly Commended for the 2013 Charlotte Zolotow Award (presented annually to the best picture book text by the Cooperative Children's Book Center)
Fan Base Given this backstory, I knew I wanted to write about the axolotl, but was convinced I would find a glut of children’s books on Amazon. Here’s what I found:
They have more than 9,000 fans on Facebook!
A Mad Magazine connection: “Axolotl” was one of the odd words Mad frequently used in comic strips, along with words like “potrzebie,” “furshlugginer” and “veeblefetzer.” Mad also published a poem about axolotls —a take-off on William Wordsworth’s “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud.”
An Adult Short Story: Like the narrator in Julio Cortázar’s “Axolotl," I was transfixed by this little guy.
So, I started writing. You might wonder why Spike is “a mixed-up monster.” The name “axolotl” comes from the native Aztec language (Nahuatl) and means “water monstrosity,” “water sprite” or “water dog” after the Aztec god Xolotl.
And, if that wasn't fascinating enough, wait until you read (and see!) what illustrator Melissa Sweet has to share: "Susan and I had worked together a long time ago when I did illustrations for Nick Jr. When I got the call that she had written this book, I wasn't at all sure I could fit it in, but I was intrigued.Then I read the story, saw the picture of the axolotl, (who was preposterously cute!) and I was smitten with both.
Usually I do quite a bit of research for picture books, especially one with a nonfiction slant.
Check what reviewers are saying: EarlyWord, Kirkus, 5 Minutes for Books, Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, Booklist, among many others.
FYI: ALL THE REVIEW COPIES FOR THIS BOOK HAVE BEEN SENT. CHECK OUT THE "COMMENTS" LINK TO READ WHAT YOUR COLLEAGUES HAVE TO SAY.