A Chip Off the Old Block is filled with puns, clever wordplay, important themes, geology, geography and beautiful illustrations.
Jody Jensen Shaffer’s word play is laugh out loud funny. Many of the jokes may go over a young child’s head, but the story is so much fun, that it’s nice to have the puns for the parents who are read and re-reading.
I loved the messages of persistence, self worth, and the importance of family. Despite Chip’s small size, he doesn’t give up on his dream to do something big. The idea that young people can do big things will resonate with kids.
The book is replete with real facts of geography and geology. I especially like the back-matter where rock types are explained. This would be a great book for schools–it makes geography and geology fun!
Daniel Miyares does a beautiful job of rendering Chip and his adventures. Who knew rocks would be so expressive?
This is a rocking read! So I’m thrilled to welcome Jody Jensen Shaffer to Writer’s Rumpus to answer a few questions!
Kirsti Call: What was your inspiration for A CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK?
Jody Jensen Shaffer: I wanted to write a story about an unlikely hero, and I was inspired by Kate DiCamillo’s mouse main character in The Tale of Despereaux. I thought having a rock as a hero would be pretty unlikely, so I began brainstorming when the opening line “Rocky loved his rock star relatives” popped into my head. I loved the pun and the idea that Rocky valued his family. I knew he was going to try to be a rock star in his own way; I just needed to write the story to find out how.
KC: What is your favorite book that you’ve written?
JJS: Oh, that’s a hard one! They’re all different and special in their own ways. May I pass, please? 🙂
KC: What is your advice for aspiring authors?
JJS: Read, read, read current books in the genre you want to write. Immerse yourself in that literature. Learn all you can about your genre. Then, pick up your pencil and get busy!
Jody Jensen Shaffer is an award-winning poet and the author of more than 30 books of fiction and nonfiction for children, including PRUDENCE THE PART-TIME COW, A CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK, and IT’S YOUR FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL, BUSY BUS! When she’s not writing, Jody can be found watching baseball or walking her rescue dog, Sophie. Visit Jody at jodyjensenshaffer.com or on Twitter @jodywrites4kids.