Monday, May 17, 2010

Hobo Mama Giveaway: SteamPotVille, by Steve Ouch — an imaginatively surreal children's picture book {6.17} CLOSED

This giveaway is now closed. View the winner here! Thank you all so much for entering!

Don't you love imaginative people?

When Steve Ouch contacted me to review his new children's book, SteamPotVille, I had a look at his website with some samples of his work and knew I had to see the full book.



Steve Ouch creates unique photographic collages where elements are meshed together in an enchanting, higgledy-piggledy way. A peacock might be wearing a tie, a goose riding a unicycle with a puppy, and a camel balancing on top of a cow. You never know what to expect with Steve Ouch!



SteamPotVille is a fun read, and the printing is very high quality. The book is hardcover with a nice dust jacket and full-color spreads. I even love the endcaps, which remind me of one of those Magic Eye posters. The images are crisp, and the colors pop. The visuals are really what makes the book, so it's great that the publisher spent so much effort on getting it right. Despite that, the list price is only $15.95 (on sale right now at Amazon for $10.85!), which is great for a hardcover, full-color book like this. As Steve points out in this video, "it's like candy to look at":



And I won't lie — the fact that he has a Lite Brite in his video was one of the deciding factors that won me over!

The story of SteamPotVille is that a topsy-turvy town becomes even topsy-turvier overnight in a child's dreams. Cows stop saying moo and start meowing, penguins wear scuba diver helmets, and bees dig underground. In other words, surreal just got surrealer. My favorite little image is the squirrel holding up a bank, but that's just me. I also enjoyed finding the frog who did not in fact scat.

In case any of your little readerlings are scared, the book ends with a reminder that you're just dreaming, and you can imagine things however you want.



I told Steve Ouch I was looking forward to seeing what Mikko, 2.75 years old, thought of the montage artwork style, where everything's jumbled and upside down and mixed up. Mikko has specific ideas of what is "right" or not, and I wanted to see how emotionally he reacted. So, how did he react? He laughed. He thought it was pretty silly that the goose had wheels and the cat was wearing a frog hat. I think he was a little worried for the safety of the horse that the lion was riding and that the hippopotamus balancing on one measly log might fall down (like Humpy Dumpy), but other than that, he did fine!

I recommend this book to kids or adults who want something new in a children's book. The photography style is stunning. I've heard comparisons to Monty Python, and I could definitely see Terry Gilliam endorsing this book wholeheartedly! I've also seen comparisons to Where's Waldo? and I can see the similarities there, too. There's isn't necessarily one specific item to find on each page, but there are plenty of funny items to spy as your children want to, like a dog dressing up as Darth Vader.



There isn't much of a plot, but that's not a big deal in a visual children's book. I was a little thrown off by the rhymed text not fitting a standard meter (Dr. Seuss makes children's rhymes look deceptively easy when they're really, really not), but Steve Ouch parlays that into a benefit by making it an educational discussion for older readers. The good news is, it's easy enough when reading aloud to force the meter to work out and read in a pleasing way — and aren't children's picture books designed to be read aloud, anyway?

There aren't many people in the book, mostly animals. It makes a little nervous, then, to see a wise Indian who says "Hau," though at least it's spelled right. I wonder if that was put in for the rhyme. I do appreciate that the child is half-hidden under a blanket and so can stand in for either a boy or a girl. I don't know if that was intentional or not, but it's a great touch!

This book is a lot of fun, and the author — oh, I'm sorry, discoverer of the story — has a bright future ahead of him as a children's illustrator. I especially love the little tea-specific touches to SteamPotVille and wonder if an upcoming volume will explore the neighboring town of Espresso Estates. (I get royalties if he uses that. Right?)

Steve Ouch lives in Seattle, too, which never hurts. Woot for a hometown hero!

Another favorite part of the book for me is the closing page, where he shows a portrait gallery of many of the animals seen throughout the pages and invites you to find them in the book. "Name the resident and the sound it makes," he says. "If you don't know, make it up!"

Did I mention I love imaginative people? I really love them when they inspire imagination in others!

BUY IT!

SteamPotVille by Steve Ouch children's bookYou can find SteamPotVille, by Steve Ouch, at Amazon.com, on sale right now for $10.85 and eligible for free Super Saver Shipping on orders over $25, or at your local bookstore or library. If you can't find it at your local bookstore or library, ask them to stock it!

WIN IT!

Steve Ouch reads SteamPotVille children's bookFor your own chance to win a hardcover copy of SteamPotVille, by Steve Ouch, enter in the comments below! Contest is open to U.S., Canada, & England (hooray!).


MAIN ENTRY: Head on over to SteamPotVille.com or SteveOuch.com and tell me something you liked or learned!

Leave an email address in at least one of your comments if it's not clearly visible on your profile or linked web page so I can contact you if you win. (You can write it like this to foil spambots: mail (at) hobomama (dot) com or similar.)

BONUS ENTRIES, to increase your chance of winning (leave a separate comment for each so I can count them all):
  • Tell me which animal(s) in the illustrations reprinted above you like best! (You can see them bigger at SteamPotVille.com.)
  • Tell me who would enjoy this book if you won.
  • Subscribe to Steve Ouch's blog.
  • Follow www.HoboMamaReviews.com publicly through Google Friend Connect, or subscribe to the Hobo Mama Reviews RSS feed in a reader or by email.
  • Follow www.HoboMama.com through Google Friend Connect, or subscribe to the Hobo Mama RSS feed in a reader or by email.
  • Follow @SteveOuch on Twitter and leave your Twitter name in the comment.
  • Follow @Hobo_Mama on Twitter and leave your Twitter name in the comment.
  • Tweet this giveaway. This may be done once daily for still more entries. Leave the direct URL, which can be found by clicking the time stamp under your Tweet. You can create your own text or copy/paste this: Win the fantastically surreal children's book SteamPotVille from @SteveOuch and @Hobo_Mama! http://bit.ly/bYdlgc #giveaway {6.17}
  • Like (become a fan of) Steve Ouch on Facebook.
  • Like (become a fan of) Hobo Mama on Facebook.
  • Follow Hobo Mama on Networked Blogs on Facebook.
  • Enter another of my current giveaways (1 extra entry per giveaway — check back later for more).
  • Subscribe to Steve Ouch's YouTube channel and leave your user name in the comment.
  • Do something lovely for this post, a post on SteveOuch.com, or a post on Hobo Mama (StumbleUpon, Twitter, Facebook, Digg, etc.) and let me know what it was and which post in your comment. There is a Share button below each of my posts. You can gain 1 extra entry per share, up to 3 extra entries total.
  • Put my Carnival of Natural Parenting button on your website for 2 extra entries. The HTML code is in the sidebar. Leave your site URL in the comment.
  • Include this giveaway in a post on your own blog for 3 extra entries. Leave the direct link in your comment. Feel free to use this code or craft your own (and here's a tutorial on pasting html code into a Blogger post and one for WordPress):


RULES:
  • Contest open to U.S., Canada, & England, because Steve Ouch and Running Press rock hard.
  • Leave each entry as a separate comment so I can count them all.
  • For actions like following and subscribing, if you already follow or subscribe, just let me know in your comment.
  • For tasks that garner you multiple entries, say something like "I blogged [link here] #1," "I blogged [link here] #2," etc.
  • You don't have to do any of the bonus entries, but you do have to complete the first mandatory one.
  • I will pick the winner through random.org after the contest closes and send an email notification. Leave an email address in your comment if it's not clearly visible on your profile or linked web page so I can contact you if you win. If I can't reach a winner or don't hear back within a couple days, I'll draw a new name.
  • Any questions, let me know: mail {at} HoboMama.com

Contest closes June 17 at 11:59 p.m. PDT.


Disclosure: I received a free copy of SteamPotVille
for my review but no other compensation.
Amazon links are affiliate, because I need to pay the bills, yo.
I try to seek out only products I think you would find
relevant and useful to your life as a natural parent.
If I don't like a product, I won't be recommending it to you.
That's how I roll. See my full disclosure policy here.

95 comments:

Ryan said...

I learned that he was born and raised in Montana and is new to writing children's books.

Domestic Diva said...

I learned that in his book: "Cows say meow and cats say moo on a hysterical adventure that will make parents and kids laugh out loud." What fun! My little one would love a copy.

Erin H said...

I love that the book has many uses as a teaching tool!

aprettkitty84@yahoo.com

Erin H said...

I like the first illustration. HOW is that hippo doing that!?!?! LOL

aprettykitty84@yahoo.com

Erin H said...

My 5 year old daughter Fiona would be the one that would be interested in the book right now, not to mention myself! I have 2 younger daughters that will love it when they get older!

aprettykitty84@yahoo.com

Erin H said...

I subscribe to Steve Ouch's blog via RSS

aprettykitty84@yahoo.com

Erin H said...

I follow you publicly with Google Friend Connect!

aprettykitty84@yahoo.com

Erin H said...

I subscribe via RSS to your blog!
aprettykitty84@yahoo.com

Erin H said...

I follow Steve Ouch on Twitter
aprettykitty84

aperttykitty84@yahoo.com

Erin H said...

I follow Hobo_Mama on twitter
aprettykitty84

aprettkitty84@yahoo.com

Erin H said...

I like Hobo Mama on FB!

Erin Boxell Hull

aprettykitty84@yahoo.com

Erin H said...

I like Steve Ouch on FB!

Erin Boxell Hull
aprettykitty84@yahoo.com

Alice said...

I learned that Steve Ouch is infactuated by the letter Q.
Alice
alicecann@yahoo.co.uk

Alice said...

I like what I initially thought was a hippo, but may be a dog!
Alice
alicecann@yahoo.co.uk

Alice said...

If I won, I would enjoy this book. But more importantly, I think my son would enjoy it when he's older (he's only three months atm!).

Alice
alicecann@yahoo.co.uk

Alice said...

I'm now subscribing to Steve Ouch's blog via RSS feed (bloglines).

Alice said...

I'm now subscribing to Hobomamareviews.com via RSS feed (bloglines).

Alice
alicecann@yahoo.co.uk

Alice said...

I made a request to follow you on twitter @alicecann

Alice
alicecann@yahoo.co.uk

Alice said...

I now 'like' hobomama on facebook.

Alice
alicecann@yahoo.co.uk

Tami said...

i learned that this guy is pretty funny! his website is really cool :)

tamipearson at gmail dot com

Tami said...

i love the sheep!

tamipearson at gmail dot com

Tami said...

this would definitely be for my daughter, but i know my hubby would love it also!

tamipearson at gmail dot com

Mikki said...

I like the vibrant pictures; my son would love staring at this I know it!

rmglaughlin at gmail dot com

Mikki said...

The monkey is my favorite. We call my son monkey all the time because he loves to climb!

rmglaughlin at gmail dot com

Mikki said...

My son would enjoy this book, he loves reading and looking at pictures.

rmglaughlin at gmail dot com

Mikki said...

I follow Steve Ouch on Twitter - @michrick8185

rmglaughlin at gmail dot com

Mikki said...

I follow you on twitter - @michrick8185

rmglaughlin at gmail dot com

Mikki said...

Tweet! http://twitter.com/Michrick8185/status/14369070174

rmglaughlin at gmail dot com

Mikki said...

I am a fan on Steve's FB page

rmglaughlin at gmail dot com

Mikki said...

I am a fan of Hobo Mama on FB

rmglaughlin at gmail dot com

Mikki said...

The link you provided for Networked Blogs doesn't work, but I found it by searching. I follow!

rmglaughlin at gmail dot com

Mikki said...

You don't have any other active giveaways to enter, or I would love to do so!

rmglaughlin at gmail dot com

Nadia said...

You have such cool contests on your site. keep up the great site, great work, cool contests.

http://pridelifepridegirl.blogspot.com For FREE CANADIAN CONTESTS

Mikki said...

Tweet! http://twitter.com/Michrick8185/status/14627325635

rmglaughlin at gmail dot com

Mikki said...

Tweet! http://twitter.com/Michrick8185/status/14778419751

rmglaughlin at gmail dot com

Mikki said...

My daily tweet! (Is there an echo in here?)
http://twitter.com/Michrick8185/status/14836191541

rmglaughlin at gmail dot com

stroker881 said...

I like all the colorful pictures!
stroker881@hotmail.com

stroker881 said...

I like the Monkey!
stroker881@hotmail.com

stroker881 said...

If I would win I would give this to my 3-year-old son. I think he would really enjoy this!
stroker881@hotmail.com

mrs_o said...

1.randiowsley@gmail.com
I love that they include ACTIVITIES for you to do with the book!
2.The Hippo is my favorite animal
3. Like Steve Ouch on FB
4. Like Hobo Mama on FB

janasmama said...

I liked you on Facebook.

carrie.russo (at) gmail (dot) com

janasmama said...

I am now following you via RSS feed. :)

carrie.russo (at) gmail (dot) com

janasmama said...

I now like Steve Ouch on Facebook.

carrie.russo (at) gmail (dot) com

janasmama said...

I have three children and although they would like this book I think I would love it the most. I think this is really important though because I tend to involve myself in reading to them and looking at books when I actually like them myself. I think it is hard to find a truly original and intriguing children's book and I am excited to have the opportunity to win this one.

carrie.russo (at) gmail (dot) com

janasmama said...

I created a post on Hobo Mama's Facebook page thanking you for the review and linked to this page.

carrie.russo (at) gmail (dot) com

janasmama said...

I shared this post on my facebook wall. Carrie Russo. I'm not exactly sure how I am suppose to tell you how I shared it though??

Pam said...

I learned that he loves the letter Q - interesting choice of favourite!

melacan at hotmail dot com

Pam said...

Love that sheep!

melacan at hotmial dot com

Pam said...

My son would love this book.

melacan at hotmail dot com

Mikki said...

Tweet! http://twitter.com/Michrick8185/status/15041332545

rmglaughlin at gmail dot com

Linda Kish said...

Steve has a fun website..so many fun pictures. I loved Heemo kills beelzebub and of course his friend Mac's self portrait.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Linda Kish said...

I love the flying hippo

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Megan said...

I learned that the author has worked for Ford and Intel
mearley1979 (at) gmail (dot) com

Megan said...

I love the cow in the picture.
mearley1979 (at) gmail (dot) com

Megan said...

If I won, my daughter would love this book.
mearley1979 (at) gmail (dot) com

Megan said...

I subscribe in Google Reader.
mearley1979 (at) gmail (dot) com

Mikki said...

Tweet! http://twitter.com/Michrick8185/status/15174256680

rmglaughlin at gmail dot com

Kristen said...

I learned His accomplishments as a media innovator and online digital strategist has awarded him prestigious work with companies like Ford Motor Company and Intel.

kristen_yeh (at) yahoo (dot) com

Mikki said...

Tweet! http://twitter.com/Michrick8185/status/15269616706

rmglaughlin at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

The colors are great for little kids!

toleahjoy "at" hotmail "dot" com

Mikki said...

https://twitter.com/Michrick8185/status/15774059590

rmglaughlin at gmail dot com

Megan said...

I love the activities suggestions and the fact that the book is well-used in the classroom!

We posted about your giveaway at Winning Readings.

inspiredbyfiction[at]gmail[dot]com

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

This book looks awesome! I love the illustrations! Thank you for the contest!!

inthehammockblog (at) gmail (dot) com

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

If I win this book, I am going to be the one reading it! I really enjoy children's books and illustrations :)

inthehammockblog (at) gmail (dot) com

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

Following hobo mama through google friend connect

inthehammockblog (at) gmail (dot) com

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

following steve ouch on twitter (in_the_hammock)

inthehammockblog (at) gmail (dot) com

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

following hobo mama on twitter (in_the_hammock)

inthehammockblog (at) gmail (dot) com

thank you!

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

my favorite animal is the sheep jumping over the fence :)

inthehammockblog (at) gmail (dot) com

very married said...

ms(dot)verymarried(at)gmail(dot)com

He says:

I’m nervous about SteamPotVille. I know it’s a great book, but I am a first time author and everything that is happening is new to me. I have no way of knowing how well book sales are progressing or if Amazon ranking means anything. For now surprises like this make me feel successful and that’s good because it was a lazy Saturday.

very married said...

ms(dot)verymarried(at)gmail(dot)com

I like the gorilla hanging there!

Becka said...

I absolutely LOVE the bright colors!

Becka said...

The flamingo are my favorite, I love flamingos!


gingerbirdgirl @ ...gmail.com...

Becka said...

The entire family would love this book. My 3yo likes seek-and-find books and I think this would be a great tool for observation skills for my 7yo too!

gingerbirdgirl @ ...gmail.com...

Becka said...

I subscribe to www.HoboMamaReviews.com RSS feed in a reader


I subscribe to www.HoboMama.com RSS feed in a reader

Becka said...

I subscribe to Steve Ouch's blog



gingerbirdgirl@ ...gmail.com

Becka said...

I follow Steve Ouch on Twitter


I follow Hobomomma.com on Twitter



username somber_angel

Becka said...

On Facebook, I follow

Steve Ouch

Hobo Mama

Hobo Mama on Networked Blogs

Becka said...

I entered the contest for the Smart Mom teething jewelry.

Becka said...

I have subscribed to Steve Ouch's YouTube channel


deanj200

Becka said...

I have posted the contest on my blog.

http://www.beckadean.com/2010/06/steve-ouchs-new-childrens-book/

Kowanda said...

I learned that he blended his childhood experiences, photographs and digital images to the creatcrate the whimsical world of SteamPotVille!

kowandamcbride at yahoo dot com

Kowanda said...

I like the hippo the best.
kowandamcbride at yahoo dot com

Kowanda said...

My son would enjoy this book. So, would I.
kowandamcbride at yahoo dot com

Kowanda said...

I follow HoboMamaReviews.com publicly through GFC
kowandamcbride at yahoo dot com

Kowanda said...

I follow HoboMama.com through GFC
kowandamcbride at yahoo dot com

Kowanda said...

I follow steveouch on twitter as Kowanda
kowandamcbride at yahoo dot com

Kowanda said...

I follow Hobo_Mama on twitter as Kowanda
kowandamcbride at yahoo dot com

Kowanda said...

I like Steve Ouch on Facebook
kowandamcbride at yahoo dot com

Kowanda said...

I like Hobo Mama on Facebook
kowandamcbride at yahoo dot com

Kowanda said...

I follow Hobo Mama on Networked Blogs
kowandamcbride at yahoo dot com

Kowanda said...

I subscribe to Steve Ouch's blog
kowandamcbride at yahoo dot com

tina reynolds said...

he was born in montana cute website thanks for the chance to win eaglesforjack@gmail.com

tina reynolds said...

I would give it to my son jack thanks for the chance