Today at Kids’ Book Capers, creator Judy Horacek and I talking about Judy’s hilarious and insightful new book, If you can’t stand the heat.

Judy, what inspired you to write this book?

If you can’t stand the heat is a collection of cartoons that I’ve done over a number of years.  Some of them will make people think, others are simply silly jokes.   I love making people laugh.

What’s it about?

It’s a collection of diverse cartoons, so it’s not about anything in particular – there are ants, aliens, furniture, penguins, reindeer, the list goes on and on.  People too.   I am very worried about the environment and climate change, and so a lot of the cartoons are about that.

That would be the biggest single topic in the book, but there are lots of things.

Is there something that sets this book apart from others?

It has 133 cartoons in full colour, and an introduction by me where I talk about being a cartoonist.  And it’s very funny.

(I can vouch for that. Not sure if that has something to do with me being a ‘closet Elvis fan’ and his appearances throughout the book are hilarious.)

What did you enjoy most about creating this book?

I liked going through all the cartoons I had done and seeing which ones I thought would be good for this book, and then arranging them into what I thought was a good order.

What was the hardest thing about creating If you can’t stand the heat?

I always find it hard to think of the title.  Until you have the title you’re not 100% sure what cartoons should go in and what should stay out.

My favourite cartoon in the book ( I’m showing my age here…and the fact that I have a teenage son) is Folk Song Mama strumming her guitar and singing “Your undies my friend, are blowin’ in the wind…” and her  son responding with “Can’t you just ask me to get the washing off the line like other mothers?”

I can’t give any more away because I don’t want to spoil it for you, but if you can’t stand the heat is full of funny and insightful cartoons about issues that are so important.

If you can’t stand the heat is a great book for good readers and kids who have an interest in environmental change and what’s happening in our world. Although this book was created for adults, it engages with kids as well and my twelve-year-old really enjoyed it.

I think we shared a favourite The Hysterical Penguins on page 7.

Published by

Dee White

Dee White lives with her husband and two sons in a small rural country town which has more kangaroos than people. She has worked as an advertising copywriter and journalist and has had numerous career changes because until recently, writing wasn’t considered to be a proper job. Letters to Leonardo, her first novel with Walker Books Australia, was published in 2009 to great critical acclaim.