Oh, Nuts!


Cutesy, Blinky and Bob live in the zoo. But does anyone pay attention to them? No! All the zoo-goers are too busy gawking at gorillas, clicking cameras at the koalas, even staring at the sloth! That is, until these chipmunks concoct a full-on campaign to become the most popular animals in the zoo. But it won't be easy. No matter what our heroes try, it's hard to upstage exotic creatures like zebras and wallabies and poison dart frogs. And when this fame-hungry trio finally achieves the stardom they've been ...

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Cutesy, Blinky and Bob live in the zoo. But does anyone pay attention to them? No! All the zoo-goers are too busy gawking at gorillas, clicking cameras at the koalas, even staring at the sloth! That is, until these chipmunks concoct a full-on campaign to become the most popular animals in the zoo. But it won't be easy. No matter what our heroes try, it's hard to upstage exotic creatures like zebras and wallabies and poison dart frogs. And when this fame-hungry trio finally achieves the stardom they've been dreaming of, they may discover it's not all it was cracked up to be. Oh nuts!

Rising stars Tammi Sauer and Dan Krall have crafted a hilarious picture book for little attention seekers everywhere - and the zookeepers who love them.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Sauer (Me Want Pet!) and Krall (Absolutely Beastly Children) hang their story of three big-cheeked chipmunks on a longstanding truism about the zoo: most of the time, the animals aren’t doing anything interesting. Cutesy, Blinky, and Bob envy the (undeserved) attention given to their fellow zoo animals, and “when the sloth got groupies,” enough is enough; they come up with one attention-getting plan after another. Sauer uses the chipmunks’ interests as the basis of their efforts: feminine Cutesy suggests that they give themselves makeovers (they dress up as other, more popular animals), and music-minded Blinky proposes a rock concert. Nothing works. An over-the-top sense of humor prevails, driven by Krall’s exaggerated and almost gruesome cartoons. The dead eyes of giraffes and zebras contrast comically with the humans’ excited reactions to them, and when lazy, obese Bob gets his “If you can’t beat ’em...” brainstorm, it’s portrayed as a “miracle,” complete with rainbow and beam of light from the heavens. After all the chipmunks’ planning, the denouement comes across as too quick and easy. Ages 3–6. Agent: Laura Rennert, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Remy Dou
Living at a zoo can be tough, especially for a trio of attention-hungry chipmunks. Though they run, zip, and jump, nothing Cutesy, Blinky, or Bob do get them noticed. The zoo's visitors are too busy photographing lazy zoo animals. Even the sleeping sloth gets more attention than they do. The trio decides to pull out all the stops in hopes of being noticed. They race the cheetah, swim with the piranhas, and even form a rock band! But still, no one seems to care. Fortunately, Bob—who is not exactly known for great ideas—realizes that the trick to getting attention at a zoo is to stand behind bars. Sauer does a great job placing the trio in silly, laugh-out-loud situations while they search for ways to solve their dilemma. Her characters are brought to life by Dan Krall's eye-popping, ridiculous illustrations. Laughing is not an option; it is a result. On the downside, the story's ending is a bit abrupt, with little opportunity offered for readers to process the main characters' sudden desire to go unnoticed again. Additionally, some terminology critical to the storyline would likely be foreign to young children, which stops the flow of the story while they get an explanation, at least during their first reading of this book. But those in the upper age range who are still interested in picture books will enjoy reading about Cutesy, Blinky, and Bob over and over. Reviewer: Remy Dou
Kirkus Reviews
A band of chipmunks discover the pitfalls of stardom in a surprisingly short time. Sauer serves forth three chipmunks: Cutesy (who is cute), Blinky (who has big eyes) and Bob (who, if a chipmunk could be a potato, would be a potato). They live in a zoo, a flea-bitten, Hanna-Barbera–esque collection of zombified creatures that nonetheless steal all the thunder, much to the consternation of the chipmunks. So they try donning costumes and putting on a rock show. No dice. Trying to outdo the zoo animals doesn't work, either. The potato Bob spouts a truism: If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. The chipmunks affect a ratty, odoriferous nonchalance and--voilà--Alvin & Co. never got such attention. But quickly--one two-page spread quickly--the attention grows wearisome, the three revert to their former status, and the paparazzi vanish like smoke. For all their angst over not being in the limelight and travail over getting into it, the chipmunks give stardom very little chance; nothing happens to them that readers see so they can sympathize with whatever was so tribulating. Krall's artwork is suitably wacky, and the color has that amplified and weirdly mesmerizing quality of early color television, but color can't put sense into this story. From the evidence, or lack thereof, these chipmunks protest too much. (Picture book. 3-6)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—Three fat-cheeked chipmunks live at the zoo-tall, skinny Cutesy; short, big-eyed Blinky; and blobby Bob. Although they zip around trying to attract attention, the human visitors only want to watch the koalas, elephants, zebras, giraffes, and other enclosed animals chew grass, flick bugs, and sleep. The chipmunks attempt dangerous stunts, don wacky disguises, and play loud music to get noticed, but nothing works. Finally, Bob comes up with a surefire plan. They squeeze into an animal enclosure and chew grass, flick bugs, and play dead. This, of course, gains them instant notoriety and the public adores them. But as soon as they achieve their long-desired fame, they become "so OVER the paparazzi" and go back to their tree so they can once again live in obscurity. The mildly amusing text takes much of the book to build up to an obvious climax and ends abruptly. The digital illustrations, which look like they came from a Nickelodeon cartoon, feature bug-eyed, exaggerated characters that border on the grotesque and try too hard to inject humor into the story. For more entertaining zoo animals, check out Judy Sierra and Marc Brown's ZooZical (Knopf, 2011).—Martha Simpson, Stratford Library Association, CT
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781599904665
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 9/18/2012
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 1,016,511
  • Age range: 3 - 6 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.90 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Tammi Sauer

TAMMI SAUER is the author of Chicken Dance, Cowboy Camp, and other books for young readers. She has also taught summer school, preschool, and middle school, and served as a library media specialist. She loves to read, ski, spend time with family and friends, go to the movies, and eat out as often as possible. She lives in Edmond, OK, with a husband, two children, one dog, two geckos, and a tank full of random fish. www.tammisauer.com

DAN KRALL is a cartoonist and illustrator whose previous books include Absolutely Beastly Children and Being a Pig is Nice. When he's not illustrating picture books, he works in the animation industry as a producer and art director. www.dankrall.com

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