Books by Herm Auch

THE BUK BUK BUK FESTIVAL by Mary Jane Auch
CHILDREN'S
Released: May 1, 2015

"This one should fly off the shelf frequently and will be eminently useful in author-visit prep. (Picture book. 5-7)"
The latest pun-filled poultry parody from the Auchs (Beauty and the Beaks, 2007, etc.) explores the travails and triumphs of a hen who strives to be a published writer.Read full book review >
BEAUTY AND THE BEAKS by Mary Jane Auch
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 15, 2007

Leaving no yolk uncracked, the Auchs strut their stuff once again with this Thanksgiving tale of an arrogant turkey and the goodhearted hens who take him under their wings. "Wattle I do?" wails Lance the turkey, upon discovering that he's about to become a main course. Because flying or even climbing the fence are not options, it's up to Beauty and her feathered cohorts at the Chic Hen salon to save his drumsticks—by disguising him as another hen. This requires a makeover of the most eggstensive sort. Constructed from modeling clay and various sorts of brightly hued sewn and felted fabrics, the stylish all-poultry cast clucks and flutters its way through scatterings of Photoshopped beauty supplies and farmyard details. Not only does the subterfuge work, it turns Lance into a regular, cross-dressing customer of the Chic Hen. Readers will cackle endlessly. (Picture book. 6-8)Read full book review >
CHICKERELLA by Mary Jane Auch
ANIMALS
Released: April 15, 2005

Another eggceptional addition to the oeuvre of this feather-brained duo unfolds as in the traditional tale: Mom dies (fox in chicken coop), stepmother moves in with two daughters (Ovumelda and Cholestera), father sent away ("wild goose chase"), Chickerella's life goes downhill. Chickerella wants desperately to attend the Fowl Ball. Not to nab a husband, but to see all the fabulous gowns (sewing is her specialty). The Fairy Goosemother saves the day, but midnight has Chickerella fleeing, leaving behind a glass egg that just could not be kept inside (blame it on the magic water). Reunited, the Prince and Chickerella find that they both attended the ball only for the gowns and decide to start their own fashion business. No wedding, but still a happily ever after. Wordplay and visual details will have adult readers laughing aloud, from the "Chickenstock" sandals to the "eggstravaganza" of a fashion show in "New Yolks." Most amazing is the artwork. A note explains that Mary Jane made posable chicken mannequins, also creating all their clothes and accessories. Herm took photos of all the set objects, scaling them by using a computer. The result is a cast of 3-D characters reminiscent of Jim Henson's "Dark Crystal." In a market stuffed with fairytale remakes, this one is a must-have for collections. (Picture book. 3-10)Read full book review >
CHICKERELLA by Mary Jane Auch
ANIMALS
Released: April 15, 2005

Another eggceptional addition to the oeuvre of this feather-brained duo unfolds as in the traditional tale: Mom dies (fox in chicken coop), stepmother moves in with two daughters (Ovumelda and Cholestera), father sent away ("wild goose chase"), Chickerella's life goes downhill. Chickerella wants desperately to attend the Fowl Ball. Not to nab a husband, but to see all the fabulous gowns (sewing is her specialty). The Fairy Goosemother saves the day, but midnight has Chickerella fleeing, leaving behind a glass egg that just could not be kept inside (blame it on the magic water). Reunited, the Prince and Chickerella find that they both attended the ball only for the gowns and decide to start their own fashion business. No wedding, but still a happily ever after. Wordplay and visual details will have adult readers laughing aloud, from the "Chickenstock" sandals to the "eggstravaganza" of a fashion show in "New Yolks." Most amazing is the artwork. A note explains that Mary Jane made posable chicken mannequins, also creating all their clothes and accessories. Herm took photos of all the set objects, scaling them by using a computer. The result is a cast of 3-D characters reminiscent of Jim Henson's "Dark Crystal." In a market stuffed with fairytale remakes, this one is a must-have for collections. (Picture book. 3-10)Read full book review >
POULTRYGEIST by Mary Jane Auch
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 2003

In the Auchs' eighth "poultry parody," the noisy farmyard animals ignore requests from Clarissa the cow and Sophie the pig to pipe down, until a tall, ghostly figure drives everyone out of the barn the night before Halloween. The animals don't nerve themselves to return until after the next night's parade—whereupon the "ghost" rises again, but turns out to be only Sophie, standing atop Clarissa and covered with feed sacks. Mixing occasional photos into digitally produced farmyard scenes, the Auchs use dark backgrounds to brighten colors, and outfit their furred and feathered cast in amusingly altered costumes. Clarissa finally brings temporary peace to the barn by sitting on the noisiest offenders, rival bantams Rudy and Ralph. Predictable, and a bit thin, but good humored throughout. (Picture book. 6-8)Read full book review >
SOUPERCHICKEN by Mary Jane Auch
ANIMALS
Released: April 15, 2003

What do you call a chicken who saves her aunty chickens from the soup factory? That's right, one "souper" chicken. At first it appears that young Henrietta's reading habit gets her into trouble in the Auchs's (The Princess and the Pizza, 2002, etc.) latest poultry parody. Henrietta reads anything she can get her wings on and neglects her egg-laying duties. But since her aunties aren't laying many eggs either, their farmer schedules a "vacation" for them. Being the youngest of the bunch, Henrietta is kept behind and regretfully bids goodbye to her aunties, who think she's being punished for all that silly reading. As the truck pulls away, Henrietta reads the back of it—"Souper Soup Company"—and realizes that her aunties are going on a one-way trip. Using her trusty reading skills, she finds the address to the soup company and manages to save some pigs and cows from a similar fate along the way. In a hilarious climax, the chickens end up at a vegetarian farm and Henrietta's aunties finally understand the importance of reading. Though the writing is a bit heavy-handed and borderline preachy, the energy and humor can't be ignored. The brightly colored collage-style illustrations demand attention—especially Henrietta's big tortoise shell reading glasses. Reading teachers and vegetarians alike will appreciate the message and young readers will find lots to laugh about. (Picture book. 4-8)Read full book review >
I WAS A THIRD GRADE SCIENCE PROJECT by Mary Jane Auch
ANIMALS
Released: April 1, 1998

Brian, the class brain, has come up with a unique science project to execute with his best friend (and the narrator), Josh, and class "moron," Dougie; he'll hypnotize his dog, Arful, into acting like a cat. Unfortunately, Josh is the one who begins to act like a cat, revealed in a few subtle clues that go unnoticed until Parents' Night, when they present their projects on stage: Josh encounters catnip for the first time, with hilarious results. Most of this frequently amusing story consists of Brian making notes of the nonexistent changes in Arful's behavior while Josh and Dougie (who is not as dumb as he acts) make smart-aleck remarks. The biggest surprise is the ending, which may hint at a sequel: Brian restores Josh to boyhood, but accidentally hypnotizes Arful—who asks for a pizza, with anchovies. A glib, funny novel. (b&w illustrations, not seen) (Fiction. 7-10) Read full book review >