With Star Ship Reviews, our goal is to bring attention to some of the wonderful independent authors and illustrators out there. For this week's entry, we'll be looking at "This Book Is on Fire" Written by Ron Keres and Illustrated by Arthur Lin.
This Book is on Fire! Ron Keres
Ron Keres is husband to Jen, and father to three silly boys and one sweet little girl. Ron is the award-winning author of "The Scariest Story You’ve Ever Heard," "This Book Is Perfect!," and "This Book Is On Fire!" All of his books are illustrated by the very talented and whimsical artist, Arthur Lin, from San Francisco.
“Life with kids is an amazing adventure—one I would not trade for the world. One of my favorite times of the day is when my kids snuggle up on my lap to read a few books before bed. I absolutely love how picture books capture their imagination, make them laugh out loud, and bond us closer together. To be able to provide those moments for other families with my own books has become one of my greatest joys in life.”
Ron was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago but his family currently lives in Northwest Ontario where they serve as missionaries.
Arthur Lin is a San Francisco native with a Masters in Illustration at the Academy of Art San Francisco. He has had multiple books and projects published to his credit and always finds inspiration through his childhood. His recent clients include Houghton Mifflin, National Geographic, Highlights, Random House, among others. He is currently being represented by Shannon Associates.
"Finn the Frog loves to cook. He thinks he's a great chef. There's only one tiny problem -- he's cooking for a kid."
"Will his froggy flavors lead to culinary chaos?"
I really enjoyed 'This Book Is on Fire!' from beginning to end!
From the very first page, the book is a super fun and interactive experience. We're introduced to Finn the Frog who wants nothing more than to cook something for us! Throughout, Finn proceeds to prepare several dishes, including his world-famous pasta, his grannie's meatloaf (with a twist), and even his specially marinated, flame-grilled Brazilian Ribeye with whipped potatoes (Yum!). But the child in the story (the reader) finds something they dislike about each dish, a problem that surely almost any parent can relate to. Finn finally concedes and agrees to make a basic grilled cheese, ultimately leading to a fun and creative climax to the story (And leaving the kitchen in quite a mess). This is followed by Finn learning a valuable lesson about communication, oh, and some dessert of course.
The illustrations work extremely well for the story and the way the text isn't just laid in, but carefully calculated, leaves each page feeling extraordinarily unique and interesting.
The Mini Interview:
To wrap things up, we've asked Ron to answer three quick questions for us!
What was your inspiration for the story?
I am a dad of four and my kids are always leaving a mess. I wanted to bring humour to the potentially frustrating situation by sharing from the perspective of a neat-freak frog named Finn. (My third son's name is Fin) I wanted parents and kids to see themselves in this story.
What was your favorite book growing up?
The Stinky Cheese Man!
What piece of advice would you give to aspiring children’s authors?
Study the most successful children's books (including your favourites) and figure out what makes them great. Then, replicate them with your own story.
If you'd like to grab your own copy of the book, it can be purchased here:
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