Written by Daisy Bird – Illustrated by Marianna Coppo
Published by Tundra Books
A trip to the zoo turns into a very silly discussion about poo, as two siblings wonder what sort of poo each and every creature would do.
One day, Daddy Rat announces to his baby rats that he’ll be taking them to the zoo . . . but only if they’re good, which means no talking about poo! And yet, before the family can even leave the house, the two rascally siblings can’t help but wonder . . . what sort of poo would an astronaut do? Shiny, silver, space-age poo! Rocket-powered, weightless poo, and it spins round and round like a planet does, too!
Head chefs, balloon sellers, blue whales . . . everyone and everything must have a unique poo, and the siblings simply have to stop and imagine each and every one (much to the chagrin of Daddy Rat, who is getting increasingly irritated with all the poo talk). Once the rats finally reach the zoo, things escalate, because of course each and every animal in the zoo must do a special kind of poo! Finally, Daddy Rat has simply had enough, and is forced to sit down and explain the facts to his curious kids. And when he thinks he may have gotten through to his youngsters, he encounters a surprising (and smelly) twist which will have little rats everywhere laughing out loud!
by Marianna Coppo
“Readers who love Petra are in for a treat […] With his tiny smiling face and rosy cheeks, Ray emits a Kawaii cuteness that will send a jolt of affection through readers, just as soon as they flip on his light switch […]. Ray is an unexpected, endearing hero who shines brightly in this tale.”
Booklist Starred Review
Coppo (Petra) has returned with another lovable new character in Ray, who reminds readers that all it takes is a little change in perspective to open up a whole new world.
“This is a book with a minimalist tone but a maximalist message about the limits of flexibility. […] A fable, a cartoon, a hymn to nature and to all the stuff we have accumulated indoors; Ray is an unforgettable and stellar addition to Coppo’s quirky universe.”
“Seeing life from a lightbulb’s perspective reminds us how extraordinary a place the world truly is. Imaginative and fun, Ray will surely brighten up story time at home, the library, or school.”
Meet Buzz the dog. He’s such a good boy. Buzz seems to have a perfect life… and a lot of very well-behaved friends. Buzz would never dream of being anything other than good.
“An unusual, thoughtful tale exploring the canine call of the wild.”
“Pairing a deadpan narrative with analogously wry, spare tempera and pastel art, […] Coppo brings her droll story to an open-ended finale.”
“(…) a thoughtful, existential story that raises questions about what makes dogs happy. Kids will be delighted, inspired, and challenged.”
Booklist Starred Review
World: Chronicle Books, February 2020
For foreign rights inquiries, please contact Chronicle Books.
“Meta picture books, in which characters know (or find out) they’re in a book, can be overbearing, but this one brings a light, clever touch to the conceit. […] A head-spinning yet easygoing lesson in finding your own voice, and your own fun”
Maria Russo, The New York Times – Standout New Picture Books
“Coppo’s simple storyline is reminiscent of (a slightly less absurd) Waiting for Godot; the pink rabbit’s innovative, crayon-based illustrations reinforce the importance of creating your own stories rather than waiting for them to happen. A playful, self-aware picture book that has a lot of read-aloud potential.”
Kirkus Starred Review*
“Drawings by Coppo (Petra) appear childlike, but her subtle ability to control readers’ attention is polished. Life involves a lot of waiting, as Samuel Beckett knew—but why wait for someone else to deliver your story, Coppo asks, when you can write it yourself?”
World English: Flying Eye Books, May 2018
France: Seuil Jeunesse
Canada: Comme des Géants
Italy: Terre di Mezzo
World Spanish, Portugal, Catalan, Basque, Galician: Kalandraka
Brazil: Edições SM
Korea: Ttalgi Books
For foreign rights inquiries, please contact debbiebiboagency.com
by Marianna Coppo
“Coppo accomplishes a lot with a little. Her illustrations—a mixture of tempera, pastels, and digital collage—are simple but emote mountains. Petra’s facial expressions mirror the text elegantly, often with the subtlest shift of pupil orientation or a minor change in the shape of the mouth. The result is a book that will work in both large storytimes and intimate lap reads. Lending itself to a range of readings, from perspective to an exploration of identity, this Italian import is a pleasingly intelligent book.”
Kirkus Reviews Starred Review*
“Italian author-illustrator Coppo keeps her spreads simple, smooth, and stylish, painting pared-down forms on clean white backdrops. (…) Change may be the only constant in Petra’s peripatetic existence, but her bubbly optimism is as solid as a Gibraltar.”
Publishers Weekly Starred Review*
“You’ve never seen a cuter rock (…) Petra’s unmitigated confidence in an unpredictable world make(s) it a keeper.””
Booklist Starred Review*
“Marianna Coppo‘s subtle and understated illustrations are full of character and texture and you can’t help but take this inanimate object to your heart from the first glance at the cover. A simple yet powerful story clearly illustrating the power of perspective and the strength of our imaginations.”
Picture Books Blogger
“Marianna Coppo racconta l’esistenza come un’avventura, dove il cambiamento – anche inatteso – crea un movimento positivo di sorprese e incanto.”
“Un albo che riempie di meraviglia gli occhi dei bambini con una tenera protagonista di cui innamorarsi al primo sguardo.”
Libri per bambini e ragazzi
“Petra s’adapte à toutes les situations avec le sourire sans en faire des tonnes. Et ça, que ce soit en littérature pour enfants ou pour adultes, c’est assez rare pour que ça interpelle. Une leçon de résilience tout en poésie.”
La vie est un roman
★ Shortlisted for the English 4-11 Best Picture Books of 2017
★ Kirkus – Selected among the Best Picture Books of 2018
★ One of Brooklyn Public Library’s Favourite Books of 2018
★ Top 5 Finalist for Goodreads Choice Awards 2018
★ One of Book Riot’s 38 Children’s Book Gift Ideas for Clueless Grown-Ups
★ Nominated for Kate Greenaway Medal 2019
★ Nominee for 2020 Beehive Award for Children’s Picture Books
Italy: Lapis Edizioni, May 2016; Chinese; Korean
Denmark: Jensen & Dalgaard, April 2017
UK/Commonwealth: Thames & Hudson, October 2017
USA/Canada: Tundra Penguin Random House, February 2018
France: Seuil Jeunesse, March 2018
Spain: Editorial Juventud, October 2019
Poland: Wytwornia, October 2019
Netherlands: BBNC Uitgevers, March 2019
Turkey: Nesin Yayınevi, October 2019
For foreign rights inquiries, please contact debbiebiboagency.com.
For Asian rights, please contact Lapis-Atlantyca.