It’s rare that an author gets Cybils nominations in back-to-back years, rarer still that they show up twice in the same year. In fact, there’s only one: the singular Adam Rex.
Last year, he made the short list for his poetry collection, Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich, which he also illustrated. This year, Rex makes two separate finals, in Fantasy/Science Fiction for The True Meaning of Smekday, and in fiction picture books for Pssst!!
So far, no one’s seen a negative review of it. In fact, it’s hard to find even a so-so review. Anyone who’s read it has raved. It’s hard to resist giggles over some aquisitive zoo animals who drive a girl named Zooey batty with their odd requests.
Kelly Fineman, our poetry organizer, is one of those who’s had fun with it:
How much do I love the small details in the pictures in this book? More than I can truly say. For example, there are trash bins with animal heads on them. One for recycling, one for trash, one for "meat" (that last one has a lion’s head on it). And a small sign in the middle of a very large patch of grass says "If You’re Close Enough To Read This, Keep Off The Grass" (just the sort of thing actual zoos sometimes do). The sign by the walrus? "I am the walrus (koo koo kachoo)."
Kelly also interviewed Rex last year, where he talks about his influences, his wacky sculptures, and how he arrived at some of his characterizations.