Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Cracker/Kiddy Lit Connection

Guess what? Our beloved Camper Van Beethoven/Cracker poster artist Michael Wertz has just published his first children's book!

Franco, Betsy, and Michael Wertz. A Curious Collection of Cats. Berkeley: Tricycle Press, 2009. ISBN: 9781582462486.

The critics love it! Check out the reviews:

Words don’t lay on these pages like listless slugs. No, they dance, curve, leap, and twist. If a cat is a creature prone to impossible flexibility then Wertz has taken it upon himself to replicate that with Franco's words.
-Elizabeth Bird, School Library Journal Review of the Day

Each page + poem is almost a stand alone mini-poster. Wertz’s art and design make the poems pop and his very graphic approach suggests retro 1960’s silk screen art in drenched pinks, blues, purples, and oranges.

When felines fight, the position of the words mirrors their furious screeches, howls, and pouncing, and biting. Cat lovers will recognize the standoffs with arching backs, the cozy touch of the "purrfect" scarf on their shoulders, and the tech-savvy cat who walks across the keyboard to add her own note to an e-mail to a friend.

Here's a video from a book signing and singing event at Diesel Books in Oakland, California:

To see more of Michael's work, please visit You will like it!