With good humor, Christelow (The Great Pig Escape, 1994, etc.) effectively marshals accessible, kid-pleasing drawings with cartoon balloons of dialogue and a straightforward narrative to give youngsters an understanding of how a book gets from writers to readers. She begins by charting the parallel experiences of next-door neighbors who just happen to be authors--a male African-American writer of chapter books and a female picture book creator. The first big question--how do authors get their ideas?--is answered inventively. The man's dog (Rufus) and the woman's cat (Max) get into a tussle and both authors draw inspiration from the event. Much of the pleasure of this information-packed book lies in the warm, unique way it addresses such problems as what authors do when they get stuck, how long it takes for a book to be illustrated, or to get through production. It even includes words on the review process: ""Some reviews are wonderful! Some are not."" This book is wonderful.