|For details on the full tour, please go to www.albertwhitman.com|
Thursday, September 26, 2013
BLOG TOUR and GIVEAWAY: Super Schnoz and the Gates of Smell by Gary Urey
Today I am pleased to be a part of the Blog Tour for Super Schnoz and the Gates of Smell, a new book by Gary Urey. Gary has graciously composed a post for my readers today. Enjoy!
Triumph of the Reluctant Reader
Hello, everyone! My name is Gary Urey, author of SUPER SCHNOZ AND THE GATES OF SMELL (Albert Whitman), and I am thrilled to be making an appearance on Bring on the Books! Like Jaymie, I am a book lover. A great quote about kids, books, and reading comes from one of my favorite writers, Kate DiCamillo—“Reading should not be presented to children as a chore or a duty. It should be offered to them as a precious gift."
Unfortunately, reading is a chore or a duty for some kids. And I am qualified to address the subject because I was one of those kids. I grew up in the late 1970s and early 1980s in a house without books. My main source of entertainment was comics and Saturday morning cartoons. I couldn’t get enough of the Fantastic Four, Hong Kong Phooey, Super Friends, Johnny Quest, Bugs Bunny, Land of the Lost, the Flintstones, and dozens of other comics and cartoons. If I’d had a laptop, Direct TV, and Netflix way back then — forget about it! A book (other than a comic) would have been as foreign to me as a moon rock.
Yet, I grew up to be a children’s book author.
My only reading pleasure as a kid came from super hero comics. I gobbled them up like sugary Pixy Stix. I was well past high school before I discovered my love of real books and writing. But a childhood full of quick blasts of goofy, visual entertainment had already wired my brain. Hence, SUPER SCHNOZ AND THE GATES OF SMELL, about a boy with a giant-sized nose who becomes the unlikely hero when a criminal organization plots to destroy his school. The hilarious illustrations are from Daytime Emmy-award nominee and Geisel Award winner, Ethan Long. The book’s inspiration came straight from my thousands of hours of reading comic books and watching cartoons.
As a child, there was no way I would have read a Newbery Medal-winning book about a girl living in a small Kansas town during the depression. However, I would have picked up a book like SUPER SCHNOZ AND THE GATES OF SMELL. That book may have led me to other books in the genre. And then as the feel of a hard cover book in my hands became less of a chore, I just might have checked out that book about the Kansas girl set during the depression (when my friends weren’t around, of course) and probably would have thoroughly enjoyed it.
A reluctant reader is really just a kid who hasn’t found the right book for them. I cringe inside when I see books like CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS and the DAY MY BUTT WENT PSYCHO banned from school libraries. With so many electronic distractions designed to steal our kids away from reading, books like those mentioned above and SUPER SCHNOZ AND THE GATES OF SMELL could be the bridge from the computer screen to the printed page. A lifetime of reading pleasure awaits the reluctant reader!
Thanks, Gary! I completely agree about the power of ONE book to open the door for kids who think they hate to read. We just have to try to get a variety of books into their hands so they can find the one that will click. I posted my review of Super Schnoz and the Gates of Smell earlier today; you can read that here if you haven't already. If you are interested in a copy of Super Schnoz and the Gates of Smell for a reader in your life - or for a classroom or library - physical copies are available from the publisher, Albert Whitman and Company. Electronic copies are available from Open Road Media.
Please follow the tour to http://ncteacherstuff.blogspot.com/ tomorrow for the next stop!
The folks at Albert Whitman and Company have graciously offered to give a signed copy of Super Schnoz and the Gates of Smell to one of my blog readers today. Please leave a comment here - or on the Networked Blogs post on my Facebook page - by Sunday, September 29th, 2013 at 11:59pm Eastern for a chance to win. You must live in Canada or the United States to win. Winner will be chosen at random and posted on Facebook and here on Monday the 30th.