LUG, DAWN OF THE ICE AGE is the first book in a new satirical series about the world’s inaction on climate change from debut author David Zeltser.
In Lug’s Stone Age clan, a caveboy becomes a caveman by catching a jungle llama and riding against the rival Boar Rider clan in the Big Game. The thing is, Lug has a forbidden, secret art cave and would rather paint than smash skulls. Because Lug is different, his clan’s Big Man is out to get him, he’s got a pair of bullies on his case—oh, and the Ice Age is coming.
When Lug is banished from the clan for failing to catch a jungle llama, he’s forced to team up with Stony, a silent Neanderthal with a very expressive unibrow, and Echo, a girl from a rival clan who can talk to animals and just may be prehistory’s first vegetarian and animal rights activist. Together they face even bigger challenges—Lug discovers the Ice Age is coming and he has to bring the warring clans together to save them not only from the freeze but also from a particularly unpleasant migrating pride of saber-toothed tigers. It’s no help that the elders are cavemen who can’t seem to get the concept of climate change through their thick skulls.
“My aim with Lug, Dawn of the Ice Age was to launch a gripping and funny book series that would get kids, parents and educators to enjoy focusing on climate change and the perils of ignoring it,” says Zeltser. “The impacts of global warming are devastating communities around the world. Lug is dedicated to ‘all the kids brave enough to speak up,’ and I have a ‘Giving Back’ section on my website pledging that 20% of my proceeds from Lug will go toward organizations that help such communities, with an emphasis on children and families.”
DAVID ZELTSER emigrated from the Soviet Union as a child, graduated from Harvard, and has worked with all kinds of wild animals, including rhinos, owls, sharks, and ad executives. He is the author of Lug, Dawn of the Ice Age, the first book in a satirical series about the world’s inaction on climate change, for ages 8-12. He also has a forthcoming picture book, Ninja Baby, with Caldecott Honor illustrator Diane Goode (Chronicle Books). David lives with his wife and daughter in Santa Cruz, California. He performs improv comedy and loves meeting readers of all ages. His second book about Lug is scheduled to publish in Fall 2015. Visit David’s website at www.davidzeltser.com. He’s also on Twitter: @davidzeltser
What is your preferred genre?
Anything with a strong visual element. LUG is an illustrated middle grade book series where the main character is a cave painter. My first love is picture books. No matter what, I always try to write so that both kids and adults experience and enjoy the book on different levels.
Tell us your latest news?
LUG: DAWN OF THE ICE AGE is being published in the US and, next year, in Europe and Asia. LUG book 2 will be out in 2015 from Egmont USA. Chronicle Books is publishing one of my picture books, NINJA BABY, in 2015, with elegant and hilarious art by Caldecott Honor-winning illustrator, Diane Goode. Also, I’m completing my own artwork for a picture book I wrote. It’s in the same cut paper style as my website.
Can you tell us a little bit about your latest work?
I’m very excited about LUG: DAWN OF THE ICE AGE, which is out in bookstores now. It’s received great early reviews from Kirkus and School Library Journal, and strong advance praise from New York Times bestselling authors Gordon Korman, Peter Lerangis, Patrick Carman, and many other wonderful authors I admire.
Here’s the synopsis:
In Lug’s Stone Age clan, a caveboy becomes a caveman by catching a jungle llama and riding it against the rival Boar Rider clan in the Big Game. The thing is, Lug has a forbidden, secret art cave and would rather paint than smash skulls. Because Lug is different, his clan’s Big Man is out to get him, he’s got a pair of bullies on his case—oh, and the Ice Age is coming.
When Lug is banished from the clan for failing to catch a jungle llama, he’s forced to team up with Stony, a silent Neanderthal with a very expressive unibrow, and Echo (a Boar Rider girl!). In a world experiencing some serious global cooling, these misfits must protect their feuding clans from the impending freeze and a particularly unpleasant pride of migrating saber-toothed tigers. It's no help that the elders are cavemen who can't seem to get the concept of climate change through their thick skulls.
Tell us about your cover. Did you design it yourself?
No, my publisher, Egmont USA, did a great job with all aspects of the book. They brought in JP Coovert to rock the cover. And Jan Gerardi tried to channel a cave boy to create the fun interior illustrations. A great way to see those come to life is in the Lug trailer: http://davidzeltser.com/books/lug-dawn-of-the-ice-age
Coffee or Tea?
Tea. I was born in the former Soviet Union and my parents have a samovar.
White Chocolate, Dark Chocolate or Milk Chocolate?
Yes, please. J
Winter or Summer?
Need both. We live in Santa Cruz, California, but seek out snow in the winter.
Are you a technology buff?
I have a mixed relationship with technology. I definitely see its value, but often wish I lived in a less frantic time. The most high-tech thing in my life is probably my website www.davidzeltser.com. I value my personal connection with readers and worked really hard on the site. I’m also pretty proud of the trailer: http://davidzeltser.com/books/lug-dawn-of-the-ice-age