Books by Lorie Ann Grover

Books by Lorie Ann Grover
Kirkus Starred Review, Firstborn: "A fantasy that reads like a lost history tome and deftly examines issues of gender...An engrossing story with welcome depths."

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Critique Partners and Knuckleheads

One of the highlights of being a writer is getting to critique other authors' works before publication. In the past I have worked with:
Susan Uhlig,
Margaret Chodos Irvine,
Leslie Patricelli.
and Laura Kvasnosky.

Currently my critique partners are:

Dia Calhoun,
Joan Holub,
and Justina Chen Headley.

Each of these ladies has poured into my work, and I've learned much from critiquing their pieces. So what brought everyone to mind is that this amazing book just came in the mail from Joan. She actually wrote this piece years ago. Knuckleheads!

Joan sent me a copy this week to thank me for believing in this work from the start. I did! Even back when she was taking photos of her hands in socks, I knew there was a unique story here. Her dedication sweetly reads:

"A high five to author and friend Lorie Ann Grover"

How sweet is that? It probably discounts my following review, but I have to say what I think! It's been such a long wait to hold this work, and Chronicle has executed a beautiful job. From the texture of the book cover to the endpapers, it is gorgeous! Brava, design team!

Michael Slack is the perfect partner to illustrate Joan's text. I would buy plush figures of his oddball characters in a second! I especially love his color pallette, and whimsical quality of line. Michael's layouts carry Joan's humor so well from one spread to another.

This work contains Joan's humor at its best. Me, the slow draw on the pun, is still finding puns! Here is one of my favorite portions of Knuckleheads:

"Thumbelina was tiny.
She was no bigger than a walnut,
or maybe a thimble, or kind of
like a stick of gum, but a little more
the size of a thread spool, only sort of
caterpillaristically inclined, but not
fuzzy or anything..."

These fractured fairy tales are sure to win the admiration of picture book lovers, and I've always said there's potential for college students to champion this work. Be ready for a laugh, a giggle, and a fun ride with the witch who weaves her way through Handsel and Gretel, Handerella, Thumbelina, and Nose White. This is a classic for all bookshelves.

I'm so privileged to have seen this picture book from Joan's first dummy to this final work. And now, I really must go read it again!


Little Willow said...

That sounds cute. Nice caterpillar twist. :) Congrats to her on the book, and you on the dedication! That's so special.

JoanHolub said...

Knuckleheads was Elizabeth Byrd's review of the day today on her Fuse8 blog at

She mentioned that it's dedicated to you, Lorie Ann. Woo hoo!