Monday, September 9, 2013

Candy and The Cankersaur by Jason Sandberg

Hello my little sunflowers!

Now, my long-time readers may know that I never post reviews of picture books. However, I was approached by this author and the book was just so adorable that I had to say yes.

For my readers who have children, this will be a fantastic book for you to consider reading to your little one.

An interview with the author is also included if you just scroll past the short little review.

Candy and the Cankersaur
by Jason Sandberg

Title:  Candy and the Cankersaur
Author:  Jason Sandberg
Genre: Children's Picturebook
Publication:   June 17, 2012
Pages:   32

  This is the sweet and funny tale of a young girl named Candy and a Cankersaurus Rex! Candy receives a dinosaur as a gift and is determined to train him to be a good pet.

This was such a sweet little book filled with quirky fun that any kid would go gaga over! Candy gets a rare and thought to be extinct Cankersaur! Her nextdoor neighbor and playmate is jealous! He's always trying to outshine Candy, to have BIGGER and BETTER things.

So he STEALS the Cankersaur and sells him to a Circus! My my!

This is an adorable story of what it really means to be friends. Your kids will learn that envy can be damaging, that friendships are about sharing and love, and that problems can be fixed if everyone works together.

The art is appealing and the writing style engaging. Your kiddos will like to be read this tiny little book of fun or to eventually read it on their own.

This book is wonderful for children ages 0 (or whenever you start reading to them) to 8.

I absolutely give it a 5 out of 5!

About the Author

Jason Sandberg, born in Minneapolis in 1971, discovered the artwork of Jacob Kurtzburg in 1977 and soon acquired a love of drawing. He received a Scholastic Art Award before studying History and Studio Arts at the University of Minnesota from 1989 to 1993. Sandberg has had several exhibits in Minnesota and his drawings and paintings were published in various national indy art magazines throughout the 1990s. PREVIEWS magazine described his Pop Art as "base alternative art on mescaline." Critic and historian Scott McCloud classified his art as "uncategorizable," and Alternative Press Review described him as a talented artist who defies expectations.

Sandberg specializes in acrylic painting and his work has been purchased by collectors in Europe and Asia. A one man exhibit of his realist paintings was held in Manhattan in September of 2004. Sandberg's work has appeared in PREVIEWS, NEW YORK QUICK GUIDE, JUPITER and NEW ART INTERNATIONAL. His primary influences are J.M.W. Turner and Edward Hopper.


Author Interview

When did you begin writing?
When I was 6 my grandmother took me along while she was running errands.  At the drugstore she bought me a comic book by Jack Kirby and the images jumped off the page.  I knew that I was holding inert newsprint in my hands but his drawings seemed to move and vibrate, it was akin to seeing a magic trick and wanting to figure out how it was done!  That inspired me to draw habitually and make up disjointed short stories surrounding the characters I was cooking up.  My first complete story didn’t come along until I was about eleven.  I wrote a 30 page story about a world where the clouds were made of floating jelly.  The world was inhabited by elves that spent all their time trying to invent flying machines in order to get at the jelly.

How in the world did you come up with Cankersaurus Rex?!
I had fond memories of reading Syd Hoff as a kid.  When my daughter was born I purchased as many of those classics as I could find.  She pretty much memorized “Danny and the Dinosaur,” “Oliver,” and “Sammy the Seal” before she could actually read the printed words.  I wanted to honor that happy Syd Hoff feeling but replace Danny with a girl and make the presence of an actual dinosaur a non-scary logistical problem for the kids.  I wanted to come up with a dinosaur name that evoked nuisance, a bit of sting… and then “Cankersaur” popped into my head.  It might not be brilliant but it still makes me chuckle.

Have you always wanted to be a children's book author?

If you look at my website you’ll notice that I paint in a variety of styles, I have a restlessness.  I’ve principally been a painter, so I’m usually depicting a frozen moment in time.  I had the unfulfilled desire to create art that flowed through time.  I wanted to depict a beginning, middle and end.  I was lured to Picture Books because they provided the opportunity to combine that storytelling with illustration.  

Are there more children's works to come from you?
“The New Crown” is available now.  My daughter is in the midst of her Disney Princess phase.  So I set out to make a book that would impress her before she got older and realized that her dad was an unhip square.  With her in mind I asked myself "what would I do if Disney came to me and asked me to invent a new character?"  The result was "The New Crown."  “Doodled Doggy” is also currently available.  “Baby Julia Feeds the Moon” and “Mister Fumbulgrumbul” will be coming out in the Fall.

Was there a particular book or author that inspired you to begin writing?
A few years ago I came across “Zoom” by Istvan Banyai.  It’s a wonderfully imaginative book.  It feels like a quality indy comic book.  It gave me a jolt and showed me another way to combine storytelling with illustration.

What was your favorite children's story as a kid?
It would be so wrong if I didn’t say “Danny and the Dinosaur.”
Until Next Blog, 
Read On! 

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