October 26, 2011
Art © Scott Campbell 2011
Fuzz had the good fortune to
meet with Mortimer before he became too busy with his Halloween
haunting. Mortimer is the star of
Zombie in Love, illustrated by
and published by
2011. Seeing as Mortimer is in the habit of losing body parts,
let's hope he doesn't lose his head before the interview is
Fuzz: The book says you are a lonely zombie. What's a
Let me explain it like this: You are a possum, correct?
Mortimer: You like to play dead. Is
Mortimer: Zombies do the same thing,
only we aren’t pretending.
Fuzz: That's kind of creepy. Anyway, you sure have a lot of
weird stuff in your house - a hand candelabra, a brain lamp, and
lots of worms crawling around. Do you think a nice plant or two
would brighten things up?
Mortimer: Perhaps, but I much prefer a bouquet of crispy, dead
roses to a perky, green house plant. House plants are fussy.
They make outrageous demands for things like water and sunlight.
I can’t be bothered.
Fuzz: You wanted to meet a nice girl, so you even read books
on how to do that. What's some of the advice you found in the
Mortimer: Oh, I found a lot of helpful advice – like how to
catch a girl’s eye (use a baseball mitt), nibble on her ear (and
neck and shoulder), and never, ever spill your guts on a first
Fuzz: When you were working out in the gym, your arm fell
off. How did you get
it back on?
Duct tape, of course!
Fuzz: I hope the duck didn't mind. Well, you finally met
Mildred. What does love feel like?
Mortimer: Love, my fuzzy friend, feels wonderfully warm and
mushy, like a hearty helping of fresh brains. Which reminds me,
I must be on my way. Its lunchtime and my beloved Mildred and I
are going out for a bite to eat. Would you like to join us?
Fuzz:I guess it depends on who
you plan on biting. HAR! Get it? I made a joke.
Dori: [Psst! Say thank you,
Fuzz: Thank you, Fuzz. (And
thanks Mortimer and Kelly DiPucchio!) Happy Halloween, everyone!
Note: All answers are given by either the author or
illustrator of the interviewed character. While Cork and
Fuzz have an endless supply of questions, they rarely
have any answers. They're not all that smart.
October 12, 2011
Art © by John Manders 2007
Cork hurries to his interview
with Jack, the cat with the starring role in
The Perfect Nest,
illustrated by John
Press 2007. Liking things to be perfect as well, Cork
is always eager to hear of others' attempts at perfection.
There's always something new to learn, right?
Cork: I never met a cat wearing overalls before. Where did
you buy them and do they sell overalls for muskrats?
Jack: These are overalls just for cats. I buy them at the Farm
Cat Store. Because cats are the most special animal on the
planet, we get really cool stuff that muskrats don’t get. Sorry.
Cork: You went through a lot of work to build a perfect nest
to get an egg for an omelet. Why didn't you just eat cereal?
Jack: The farmer selfishly keeps all the cereal in her house.
But that’s okay. Eggs are better for you. I need lots of protein
to keep my strength up as I do important cat stuff, like sleep
in the sun, and sleep in the shade, and stretch a lot.
Cork: Would you please give us your recipe for your favorite
Jack: Wait until the
middle of a hot day. Find one egg. Crack the egg open onto the
hood of the farm truck. Mix in three catnip leaves and one mouse
tail. The hood will be so hot it’ll cook the omelet in less than
a minute. Mmmmm.
You did a lot of funny things, trying to get the fowl off the
nest. You yelled, "Fire!" You yelled, "Flood!" You yelled,
"Wolf!" Did you try other things that aren't in the book?
Jack: I tried yelling “The sky is falling, the sky is falling,”
but that didn’t work. Guess they’d heard that already. I tried
yelling, “I am a huge, fierce cat and I am going to eat you,”
but they laughed at me. This proves that birds are not as smart
as people think.
Cork: What was your most embarrassing moment in this story?
Jack: I am known in the neighborhood as a tough guy, so when I
climbed into the nest with those three little babies, I did
worry about my reputation for a second. Luckily the other cats
can’t read. They have, however, noticed I’m followed everywhere
I go by a chicken, a duck, and a goose. I tell them that the
birds are my fan club. They think that’s cool.
Cork: I think you're lucky,
Jack. It seems to me that having little baby birds is much
better than having eggs. Thank you for talking to me! (And thank
you, Catherine Friend!)
September 7, 2011
Art © Mike Lowery 2011
is Cork's first interview with a cookie. Well, not exactly a
cookie, but a gingerbread man from
brand new book,
The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School, illustrated by
G.P.Putnam's Sons, 2011. Fuzz wanted to do the interview,
but... we all know Fuzz has a sweet tooth, and well... I don't
think we need to sink our teeth into that outcome.
Take it away, Cork!
Cork: You had a very
unusual beginning. You weren't actually born. The children mixed
up a bunch of sweet things and baked you. At what point did your
brain start to work?
Gingerbread Man: I just remember feeling all warm and cozy,
puffing up on a pan. I could even wiggle my fingers and my toes.
Then I heard a “DING” and all of a sudden a hand pulled my pan
from the toasty oven. I looked around the room at all the
smiling faces and thought, “What a busy, fun-looking place - I
want to stay!”
yummy candies, I think one of the sweet ingredients I must have
been made with, was love. It seems like a little bit of love can
help anyone come alive!
Cork: The class left you
behind when they went to recess.
GM: At first, I didn’t know what
in the world recess was. But if the class wanted to go, then I
wanted to go too. Later on, I finally found out that recess is
this awesome time of the day when everybody gets to play
outside. We can climb, swing, run, skip, play ball, and play
games. Our teacher says that recess is a good place to get all
our wiggles out. Except, I usually have a few wiggles left over
that escape in the classroom too.
Cork: When you were
running after your class, you got stuck to the side of a ball.
What did it feel like to roll around the school?
Have you ever done something that was fun and scary at the same
over and over with a ball was super fun, but my cookie toe
getting lost along the way was a little bit scary… because I
my toes and I want to keep them. Luckily, the school nurse knew
just how to fix me up! She had a special bandage that stuck even
after a few crumbs jumped on it too.
Cork: When you ended up in
the art teacher's lunch bag, weren't you afraid he might eat
When I looked
up and saw those two big eyes looking down at me, I thought I
was a goner. But the art teacher was one smart cookie too; he
knew I was more than just a sweet treat. Thank goodness!
Cork: Can you tell us a
good cookie riddle?
GM: What does a Gingerbread Man
put on his bed?
Cork: I give up.
What's the answer?
Cork: Hahahahaha! I'll tell that one to
Thanks so much for chatting with me Cork!
You are a
Cork: Thank you, Gingerbread Man. And
thanks to Laura Murray! But before you go, what's a cookie
August 24, 2011
Art © Jackie Urbanovic 2008
|Cork is excited to meet Max,
the culinary duck from Jackie Urbanovic's
2008. To Cork's surprise, Max arrived with a
few friends, who were eager to meet Cork and insisted on tagging
The more the merrier! So, settle down, everyone, and
let's get started!
Max, where did you get your passion for soup making?
Once I tasted
her French onion soup I was hooked. Tasty, tasty, tasty!
wild onions before but nothing like this! AND MELTED CHEESE!
We never had
that in the wild.
Ooh, la la!
that stringy cheese got wrapped all around your beak?
Hee, hee, hee.
Oooo... that must have been a sticky situation.
Max, what's the worst soup you ever made?
My soups are
None of them
How about the
Cracker Barrel Cheese and Marshmallow soup??
that was a REAL winner!
Or that soup
with curry and lemon?
Or the jelly
This is MY
If you had met Julia Child, what would
you have asked her?
How to cook?
STOP IT, YOU
I would ask
How to STOP
How to bake
Cork: Uh-oh. Let's be civil. Max, you were making your very own
What were you planning on naming it?
DON'T EVEN THINK OF SAYING IT, SCRAPPY!
I was going
to call it Max's Supremely Delightfully vegetable-y soup.
Could you make up a soup recipe for me
using things I can find at my pond?
with some wild onions.
to find in shady places along riverbanks.
gently then add water and a bit of fish.....or maybe some worms?
add nice color and texture.
Then add in
the tender stalks from cattails.
even serve your soup in clam shells!
As Julia says
"Be fearless and have fun."
as Julia says
No, no, no!
When Max is
cooking be afraid!
You're a real
Cork, but I need to get my big soup spoon and use it to chase my
crazy family out of here.
talking to me, Cork!
Cork: Thank you, Max! (And Jesse Bear, Scrappy,
Brody, Dakota, Bebe, and
Jackie!) I will try your soup recipe,
Max. Someday. But now I think I need to lie down for awhile. We'll look forward to reading more of your adventures
in your other books, like this one!
|July 20, 2011
Art © Matthew Myer 2011
would never have guessed that one day he'd interview a machine.
But that's just what he's doing today. He's talking to
Clink, a pleasant
little robot from the book by the same name, written by
DiPucchio, illustrated by
Children's Books 2011. Bring a spare oil can if you have one
and join us!
Fuzz: You are a robot who plays music and makes toast. You
were made in 1939. Do robots turn gray like people who are your
Most new robots are manufactured shiny and gray.
As they age, they often develop flattering shades of
rust. My eyes
compute that you are fuzzy and gray.
Are you a newer model of possum or an older one?
Fuzz: I'm pretty old. I'm six! Have you ever met the Tin
Man? And if you could, what is one question you'd ask him?
Clink: My memory board indicates I have never met the Tin Man.
However, further data suggests we were both built in 1939. If I
could ask the Tin Man one important question, I would ask him if
he prefers white, wheat, or rye.
Fuzz: What was it like to live in a robot shop?
Clink: I processed many happy times in the robot shop. I had
multitudes of friends there. Zippy, Blade, and Penny were my
best friends, but I had other friendly acquaintances like
Millibot, Gort, and the Granny Kisser.
Fuzz: What do robots eat for breakfast?
Clink: Different models ingest different materials. I am a
vintage “Toast ‘n Play”, manufactured by Roboco, so I always
start my day with a stack of toast and a large cup of motor oil.
Fuzz: Of all the music you play, what are your favorites,
and what song did you play when the boy took you home with him?
Clink: I have been programmed to play polkas and swing numbers.
I played my favorite song for the boy, Milton. The song is
called Roll Out the Barrel.
Humans enjoy the tune very much. I think life forms like
possums and muskrats would derive much pleasure from the song as
Fuzz: I would like to roll the
barrel! I'll put Cork in it first, then roll it down that hill!
Thank you, Clink. Thank you, Kelly! Cork! Come here!
I have a plan!
July 6, 2011
Art © Keith Graves 2010
Cork is used to seeing little
fluffy chicks no taller than his knees, so it's an unusual
experience to meet a big humongous fluffy chick who towers high
over his head. Being careful not to be stepped on, Cork
interviews Big Humongous Chick from
Chronicle Books 2010.
Take it away, Cork!
(The interview, not the chicken.)
When you were a baby chick you came out of an egg. Do all babies
come out of eggs? Did I come out of an egg?
Big Humongous Chick: I am pretty sure all chickens come from
eggs, but I don’t think elephants do. I think they come in big
wooden boxes. You should ask your mom if she remembers whether
or not you came from an egg.
But I'm not an elephant, I'm a muskrat. The smallest chicken
were an elephant. Didn't she know that elephants aren't yellow
BHC: Do you mean elephants aren’t yellow and cute? Huh.
You ate the acorn that fell on the smallest chicken's head. I've
never had an acorn. What do they taste like?
BHC: They taste sort of like worms, but crunchier.
When it started to rain, all the chickens ran for their lives.
Why were they afraid of rain. Rain is nice.
BHC: The rain came on a Tuesday. The flock only takes baths on
This story is sort of like Chicken Little, but much funnier.
Have you ever met Chicken Little?
BHC: Actually, the smallest chicken in my story is an awful lot
like Chicken Little. Hint, hint.
Right. Like, he wasn't the sharpest
egg in the carton. Thank you, Big Humongous Chick! Thank you,
(Hey, readers! Go get this book!)
June 22, 2011
Art © Michael Townsend
While Fuzz has never had a serious
fight with Cork, he's fascinated to hear from someone who has
had such a fight with a best friend. So, with notebook in paw,
he's meeting Monkey from
Michael Townsend's new book
Monkey and Elephant's Worst Fight Ever,
Alfred A. Knopf
2011. Welcome Monkey! [Elephant will be staying home today.]
Fuzz: You and Elephant are best friends, then you got into a
fight and did all sorts of funny things to each other. Was it
Monkey: In the moment it was fun... Like when I painted a face
on Elephant’s rump I was totally enjoying myself but after that
I still felt hurt and angry.
Fuzz: How did you and Elephant become best friends in the
Monkey: Well, it’s a long story that involves seven apple pies,
an oak tree, four baby opossums and a mud pit but Elephant has
asked me to never speak of that day again...
Fuzz: You helped Elephant collect smells for his smell
collection. What's the best smell you collected? What's the
Monkey: The ‘Worst Smell’ and the ‘Best Smell’ happen to be one
and the same! We captured it on a dark and stormy night when our
friend Mr. Dog got all wet and then a skunk sprayed him... It
was a horrible smell to begin with but then we decided to see if
we could make it worse. So, we asked him to eat an onion and
hold a few fish (Elephant’s dinner) under his arms... He was a
good friend so he did what we asked. It was an amazing yet
horrible smell that to this day is my most cherished possession.
Mr. Dog had to shower for seven days straight to get rid of
it... and Elephant could not eat his fish.
Fuzz: One time Cork got mad at me and called me a beaver
butt. What would be some good names to call the person
you're mad at?
Monkey: Lately, I have been using a formula for my name
calling... It involves repeating, repeating, repeating, and then
adding the word ‘pants’ and the letters ‘Mc’ to any words you
can... Here are some examples... If somebody is stinky I would
say, “You sir, are a Stinky McStinky Pants” If somebody has been
rude I would say, “You sir are a Rude McRude Pants” It works for
now but I like to invent new formulas all the Mctime.
Fuzz: When you and Elephant finally made up, all your
friends yelled, "HUZZAH!" What does HUZZAH mean and when would
it be a good time to say that?
Monkey: I don’t know what Huzzah means but my friends and I love
to yell it when something good happens and it just kinda caught
on... I personally would prefer that we yelled something like,
“TOILET!!!!” Or, “Hairy Armpits!!!!” whenever something good
happens but sadly this never caught on... although I did try for
Well, I like HUZZAH. HUZZAH!
for Monkey! HUZZAH! for Elephant! HUZZAH! for
Michael Townsend! (And thank you!)
|June 1, 2011
Art © Sophie Blackall 2011
Cork is on his best behavior when he
interviews Spinster Goose. He's heard that she's a very strict,
no-nonsense old bird who often travels with a paddling board.
She comes straight from
Spinster Goose: Twisted Rhymes for Naughty Children,
illustrated by Sophie
Books 2011. Fuzz has wisely decided to stay clear of this
Cork: Why did you start your school for naughty children?
Spinster Goose: While visiting my sister, Mother Goose, I
noticed that some of the children in her care were completely
villainous! Knowing that she is far too kind to punish the
little brats. . . excuse me. . .what I meant to say is that she
is much too gentle to give the misguided children the structure
that they crave, so I opened my school for the little darlings.
Cork: How would you deal with a child who makes loud
slurping noises when eating his soup?
Spinster Goose: At Spinster Goose’s School, the children are
never served soup. Soup is too sophisticated for those messy
little urchins. Actually, I find that green gruel is much better
suited to their needs. Mr. and Mrs. Sprat make the gruel thick
and lumpy so it cannot be slurped. One must chew it. Problem
Cork: Is it bad manners for a possum to burp when he's done
Spinster Goose: No bodily functions are allowed at my school!
Show me who this possum is and I will deal with his
Cork: Well, maybe the possum could be your mascot. Does your
school already have a mascot?
Spinster Goose: We had one once. Unfortunately, he misbehaved.
Cork: Oh! That's not much fun to think about. Just one more
question. What should I do if someone calls me a bad name?
Spinster Goose: Do you mean like Percival or Mergatroid? Those
are two horribly bad names! But your name is Cork. Speaking of
which, is Cork actually a name? I thought a cork was something
that stops up a bottle and floats on water. Perhaps Cork is
short for Cornelius or Coriander? Hmmm. . .I shall have to give
you a proper name. Come to my office at 3 pm –Sharp! Tardiness
will not be tolerated.
Where are you? I'm coming
to find you!
Spinster Goose: Just one minute,
young man! Have you forgotten your manners?
Oh. Sorry. Thank
you, Ms. Goose. (And thank you, Lisa
|May 9, 2011
Art © Brian Lies 2010
Little Bat's Grandbat brought him for the interview with Fuzz
to talk about the story
Bats at the Ballgame, written and
illustrated by Brian Lies,
2010. With Fuzz comfortably sitting on a big rock and Little Bat
hanging from a nearby tree branch, let's play ball!
Why doesn't your baseball cap fall off when you hang upside
Little Bat: I didn’t actually get a baseball cap until my
Grandbat gave me his, after we won. It probably WOULD have
fallen off! The slits in the sides of caps grip big bats’ ears,
and there’s something scratchy lining them which seems to hook
onto fur. My ears are too little to hold a cap on, unless my
head’s right-side up. But I did see somebody else’s cap
fall off during the exciting parts of the game. It fell
onto the field, and he had to fly down and get it.
Everybody yelled and laughed at him!
Your grandbat bought you some snacks at the game. What does a
mothdog taste like? What kind of prize did you get in your
box of Cricket Jack?
Little Bat: Mothdogs are the BEST! They’re a little dusty
on the outside, and kind of creamy on the inside. I
brought some here to this interview—want one? My Cricket
Jack prize was really cool—I got a pocketknife with two blades,
a screwdriver and a magnifying lens. I hear that humans’
Cracker Jack prizes are really boring—just pieces of paper with
stuff printed on them!
When a batter bat bats the ball with the bat and flies around
the bases, does he have to touch down at each base?
Little Bat: [swallows a bite of mothdog] Of COURSE a base-flyer
HAS to touch the base as he or she flies past, or his run
doesn’t count! My Grandbat says is that’s one of the
toughest things about base-flying: timing wing-flaps to be
on a down-beat as you go by. Otherwise, you’ve got to loop
back and touch the base, and might not have enough time to go on
to the next one.
In the seventh inning stretch everyone sang the famous bat-ball
song, "Ohh... hang me up in the rafters. Hang me up by the toes!
Buy me some beenuts and Cricket Jack..." What's the rest of the
Little Bat: The next line is “I don’t care if I never fly
back,” but I’m not supposed to tell you the rest of the song.
It’s a bat thing. Besides, most humans know only the
chorus to THEIR version of the song, not all the rest of the
stuff about Katie Casey being baseball-mad. So I don’t
think they’d bother to memorize anything else I told you.
It was the final out, with two bats down and one on first. If
the pitcher was a southpaw, do you think the runner would lead
off, or hold tight and hope the batter goes yard?
Little Bat: Whaa?!? This was my very first baseball
game! I’ve got NO IDEA what you’re talking about!
I don't either, Little Bat. I
just made that stuff up because it sounded good. I don't
know anything about baseball.
Little Bat: In
any case, I don’t think the pitcher WAS a southwing. . .
…did I say that I really like mothdogs? I still have this
one here. Want it? Mfrurph. . .[chomps on the
remains of his mothdog as he holds the other one out in one
Mfuruph.... [Fuzz chomps on the
offered mothdog with a happy sigh.]
Thanks, Little Bat! That was de-liscious! [And thank you,
April 25, 2011
Art © Laura Rankin 2010
Fuzz meets Isabel, an inventive and
charming little porcupine who is able to teach Fuzz a few good tricks!
A Balloon for Isabel,
2010. Whether or not Fuzz will now be inspired to solve his own problems
remains to be seen.
The raccoons, the skunks, the rabbits,
and all the kids in your class were going to get balloons for
graduation. But your teacher said that you and the other porcupine kids
couldn't have balloons because your quills would pop them. What's so
special about balloons anyway?
Isabel: EVERYTHING’S special about balloons! They’re colorful and shiny
and they do all sorts of things. They float. They thump on the ceiling.
They hang in the air. After a few days, they shrivel up under your
finger wherever you touch them. I thought everyone liked balloons! Don’t
you like them, Fuzz?
I think I would like them. I've just never had one. What's a
Isabel: It’s when your family comes to school and you put on a blue hat
(no pulling your neighbor’s tassel) and you march in a line (no pushing)
and you sing a graduation song (no yelling or slouching) and you get a
balloon and then you’re not in kindergarten anymore. Frankly, I find it
all a bit puzzling.
I like the balloon part. Can balloons be made out of something that
wouldn't pop? Like wood, or French fry wrappers?
Isabel: That’s a good idea! Wood might be tricky, because if the balloon
fell out of the air, it could bonk you on the head. But if you have a
lot of French fry wrappers, let’s try it. At least the balloons would
Your friend Walter always brought candy for lunch. What does candy taste
Isabel: It’s yummy! Sometimes it’s chewy and chocolaty, and sometimes
it’s hard and smooth. But it’s
always sweet. The nice thing about pop-proofing your quills with
gumdrops is that after your balloon shrinks, you get to eat the
gumdrops. That cheers you up.
I like the gumdrop part. You had a good idea on how you could get a
balloon for graduation. Do you have any good ideas on how I can get some
of Walter's candy?
Isabel: Just ask him! He has so much candy, he doesn’t know what to do
with it. But if you want to be extra-nice, offer him some broccoli in
Fuzz: Broccoli? That's a veggie, isn't
it? That's Cork's department. I'll ask him if he could give Walter some
broccoli. Meanwhile, I'll just wait for the candy.
Thank you, Isabel! Thank you, Deborah Underwood!