cover image What Do Authors Do?

What Do Authors Do?

Eileen Christelow. Clarion Books, $16 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-395-71124-8

Alternating informative commentary with humorous, action-filled cartoons, Christelow (Five Little Monkeys Sitting in a Tree) light-heartedly explains how books are created and produced. ``Authors get ideas for books at the strangest moments!'' announces the headliner text; below, cartoon panels show neighboring authors watching their pets chase each other into a pond. After the authors take notes, make lists or outlines, read and research, and ``listen and watch,'' the man ends up writing a chapter book about ``a dog and a cat who travel around the country on a freight train'' and the woman ends up writing and illustrating a picture book about a ``dog-chasing cat who ends up a hero when he rescues a family from a fire.'' As the two deal with rejection, revision, working with editors, printing and production, deciding on a dedication, and even taking author photos, their cheerful pets react: ``That's me!'' says Rufus as his master writes; ``Dumb magazine!'' says Max as his mistress reads an unfavorable review. As its title suggests, this book emphasizes the author's role--for a more in-depth look at production, see Aliki's How a Book Is Made (1986), also for this age group. Although not every author follows the exact path Christelow outlines, she clarifies a sometimes complicated process--and makes it seem full of fun. Ages 5-8. (Aug.)