Interviews with favorite storybook stars
Cork and Fuzz get the scoop!
..and other silly things.)
Page 2


April 13, 2011
Big Bunny cover art
                                        Art © C.S.W. Rand 2011

With Easter approaching, Cork meets a big bunny, star of the book Big Bunny, written by Betseygail and Colleen Rand, illustrated by C.S.W. Rand, Tricycle Press 2011. Cork has seen all shapes and sizes of rabbits in his woods, but never one this big!

Cork: You certainly are a big bunny. You're a big, big, BIG, GIANTIC, GIANT bunny! How did you get so big? Do big genes run in your family?

Big Bunny:  No one knows why I grew so big.  I ate the same bunny food and drank the same bunny water as everyone else in my family.  But WOW! It was simply amazing.  I just grew bigger and bigger.  No one in Bunny History has ever grown so big.

Cork:  All the little bunnies learned to paint eggs. Why did they paint eggs?

Big Bunny:  We always paint eggs to welcome Spring.  Zillions of painted eggs are needed to fill Easter baskets and for Easter egg hunts.

Cork: You were sad when you accidentally broke some eggs and sat on some baskets, so you ran away. Where did you go?

Big Bunny:  I hopped and hopped and hopped.  When I got too tired to hop anymore, I stopped.  I was in a forest, all by myself.

Cork: When the little bunnies missed you, they formed a 'bunny circle.' Why did they do that? Was that a magic circle?

Big Bunny:  Bunny circles are magical. When bunnies come together in a circle we twitch our noses and wiggle our ears. Then something special happens.

Cork: The little bunnies made a giant basket for you, then filled it with eggs. How many eggs did it take to fill that basket and where do all the eggs come from?

Big Bunny: I think it takes about a zillion eggs to fill the giant basket.  All Fall and Winter special chickens lay eggs. Bunnies gather the eggs every day and bring them home to be painted.

Cork: Thank you, Big Bunny. I hope you bring an Easter basket to my house. And if it's not too much trouble, please bring one for Fuzz, too. (And thank you, Betseygail and Colleen Rand!) Happy Easter, 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.

March 30, 2011
Welcome Home Mouse
                                                     Art © Elisa Kleven 2010

Cork meets Stanley, the somewhat accident-prone, but caring little elephant from Elisa Kleven's picture book, Welcome Home, Mouse, Tricycle Press 2010. Cork loves Stanley's colorful world, done in an assortment of media set against collage backgrounds. He found the details so much fun to explore!

Cork: You live in such a nice house, with a teapot, and a mom, and a recycle bin. Do all elephants live in such pretty houses?

Stanley: I hope so!  I wish for every elephant in the world to be as happy and comfortable as my Mom and I are. Mom loves art, so you will see some lovely paintings on our walls. As for our recycle bin, Mom raised me to respect our beautiful planet, Earth, and not to be wasteful.  

Cork: How did you feel when you smashed Mouse's house by accident?

Stanley:  I felt terrible, Cork.  Can't you see the  tears I shed?  I felt really badly for Mouse, and embarrassed as well.

Cork: I thought elephants were afraid of mice. What are you afraid of?

Stanley: I am afraid of being laughed at , shamed (for being clumsy), and teased.  I am also afraid of hunters.   Mom WAS afraid of mice, but once she got to know Mouse she lost her fear.

Cork: You had a lot of good ideas about a surprise for Mouse. Where do ideas come from?

Stanley: I suppose they come out of my imagination.  Just looking at the interesting objects or sights all around me gives me ideas!   When I looked at the bottle cap from my juice bottle, for example, it reminded me of a little plate for Mouse.  It's kind of like looking at clouds and seeing shapes in them.  

Cork: What is the best thing about doing something nice for someone else?

Stanley: It makes me happy. I am an empathic creature, so when someone else is sad, I'm sad as well.  And when they are happy, I'm happy, too.  

Cork: Well, I'm happy right now to have met you, Stanley! Thank you! (And thanks, Elisa!)


March 16, 2011
Monster Princess
                      Art © Alexandra Boiger 2010

Cork meets Lala, a lovely little rugabee monster who wants to be a princess, from D. J. MacHale's book The Monster Princess, illustrated by Alexandra Boiger, Aladdin 2010. Cork has never met a rugabee before so he has lots of questions because Cork wants to know everything about everything!

Cork: I've never met a rugabee monster before. You live way under the ground and dig up krinkle nuts. What do krinkle nuts taste like?

Lala:  Krinkles are my favorite food!  They are salty like peanuts, sweet like watermelon and crunchy like popcorn.  They’re dishlish!

Cork: You wanted to be a princess, so you went to the castle where you met the real princesses. What was the best part about being with them?

Lala: I LOVED trying on the pretty gowns and sparkly jewelry.  It made me feel so special.  Best of all, their room smelled like sweet flowers.  I’m not used to that because my cave smells like wet fur.

Cork: But the princesses weren't really nice at all. Why do you suppose they were so mean to you?

Lala:  I think maybe they were angry because I snuck into their room and tried on their gowns without asking permission.  I should have asked first but I was afraid they would have said “no” because I’m a rugabee and people don’t like rugabees much. I’m not sure why.  Rugabees may be monsters, but we’re very friendly.

Cork: When the wiffle monster caught the princesses and was ready to make lunch out of them, you saved them. Did it ever occur to you to  just let the wiffle eat those naughty girls?

Lala:  Nope.  The princesses were mean to me but I didn’t want them to be a wiffle-snack.  That would have been horrible!  Wiffles are scary but not very bright.  We rugabees have no trouble outsmarting them.  But princesses don’t get out much and don’t know how to handle them so they really needed my help.         

Cork: Your book is written in rhyme.  I love rhyme!  Can you write a rhyme about me?

Lala:  Sure.  Here’s a rhyme for both you and Fuzz.

Soda is fizzy and tickles your nose;

Fuzz is a possum that everyone knows.

Fuzz isn’t fizzy but laughs quite a lot;

While playing with Cork, the best friend he’s got.

By Lala the Rugabee

There you go, Cork!  Nice talking to you!

Cork: Nice talking to you, too, Lala!  Thank you.  And thank you, D. J. MacHale!


March 2, 2011

Go to Bed, Monster
                                                Art © Sylvie Kantorovitz 2007

Fuzz meets and interviews a creative young lady named Lucy to learn about the monster she drew... a monster who came alive and jumped off the paper to play until Lucy got tired and wanted to go to bed. But the monster didn't want any part of going to bed! Lucy and the monster are the stars of Natasha Wing's book Go To Bed, Monster! illustrated by Sylvie Kantorovitz, published by Harcourt, 2007.

Take it away, Fuzz!

Fuzz: When you were supposed to be going to sleep, you dumped out your crayons and drew a monster.  Then the monster came alive! Do you have magic crayons? Or did you say magic words? How did that happen?

Lucy: Squares, circles, triangles and rectangles alone are just shapes. But when you put them together – magic! That’s what being an artist is all about.

Fuzz: That magic made your monster looked pretty scary. Why weren't you afraid?

Lucy: Because I made the monster and I think he’s silly. Besides, no one’s the boss of me.

Fuzz: Well, you took good care of your monster. You drew a mountain of meatballs when he was hungry. What could you draw for me to eat?

Lucy: I heard you love to snack on crunchy beetles, so I would draw a pile of beetles with red dots and squiggly legs. And for dessert, chocolate ants.

Fuzz: Oh! Oh! Oh! That sounds so good! But I'm wondering, what happened to the monster in the morning?

Lucy: I drew him a tree house and a purple, fuzzy monster friend so he could play outside.

Fuzz: You have good ideas. What are you going to draw at bedtime tonight?

Lucy: A rocket ship and stars so I can explore outer space.

Fuzz: But first, can you draw me those beetles so I can fill my inner space?

(Say thank you, Fuzz.)

Fuzz: Thank you, Lucy. And thank you, Natasha Wing!


February 16, 2011
Three Scoops and a Fig
                   Art © Susan Kathleen Hartung
Today Cork meets Figaro, a friendly little cat who lives with Sofia and her family above their Italian restaurant, in the book Three Scoops and a Fig, by Sara Laux Akin, illustrated by Susan Kathleen Hartung, Peachtree 2010. Figaro doesn't have much to say in the book, but is very expressive with Cork. Meow! Ciao!

Cork: What is it like living with Sofia and her family above a restaurant?

Figaro: Mamma mia! Living above a restaurant is the best! It smells squisito 24/7, and I can prowl for snacks day and night! Cork, have you seen the movie, The Lady and the Tramp? Remember the scene where Lady and Tramp slurp noodles? That pretty much sums up my life at the, friends, and lots of pasta!

Cork: Yum-yum-yum! Sofia made lots of messes in Papa's kitchen. What's the worst mess you ever made?

Figaro: Mamma mia! If you think Sofia had a few kitchen mishaps, you should see the mess I made creating my specialties: Figaro’s micearoni and Figaro’s spaghetti and furballs! What can I say? Life can get a little messy sometimes but that’s the fun of it. Out of chaos comes creation! (Sofia’s family has yet to put my dishes on The Fig Tree’s menu. And they say cats are finicky!)

Cork: What does Mamma mia! mean?

Figaro: Mamma mia can mean a variety of things. It’s an expression of surprise like: Oh my goodness! Or holy macaroni! Or yowza! It’s super fun to say. You should try it, Cork. Mamma mia! Mamma mia! Mamma mia!

Cork: Okay! Mamma mia! That does feel good in your mouth! Everyone works hard in the restaurant kitchen. What do you do to help?

Figaro: I’m definitely the Chief Taste Tester. It’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it!

Cork: Sofia made a special dessert. What does gelato taste like?

Figaro: Gelato is Italian ice cream. It’s the dreamiest, creamiest, yummiest sweet you’ll ever taste! It comes in all kinds of flavors.

Cork, we should have a sleepover sometime! We could build a fort in the fig tree. I could make cattail and root pizza, and a batch of beetle gelato, just for you and Fuzz! Mamma mia! That would be fantastico!

Ciao for now!

Cork: A sleepover in a fig tree sounds like fun!  Thank you, Figaro! (And thank you, Sara!) Ciao!


February 1, 2011
Perfect Soup Cover Art
                                                       Art © Ben Mantle
You can be sure if a book is about food, Fuzz is the first to jump in and grab up the interview. Today he's interviewing Murray, a busy little mouse who has a recipe for Perfect Soup and is determined to make it, even if it means he has to go through all sorts of challenges to do so. Murray is the star of Lisa Moser's book, Perfect Soup, illustrated by Ben Mantle, published by Random House 2010.

Put down that soup spoon, Fuzz, and greet  your guest!


Fuzz: Murray, you like everything to be perfect. What happens when things aren't perfect?

Murray:  It used to worry me quite a bit when things weren’t perfect. I even used to worry when shoelaces weren’t perfectly even and one was longer than the other.  But then I realized that I was spending so much time worrying that I was missing out on all the fun around me.  So, I quit wanting things to be perfect, and I started enjoying being with my new friend, Snowman.

Fuzz: Before you could get the carrot for your Perfect Soup, you had to do so many things for others. Wasn't that a lot of bother for one small carrot?

Murray:  Well, carrots are very nutritious and good for you, but they’re an even better nose for Snowman.  Snowman is very proud of his new nose.  Sometimes I find him looking at his reflection in the frozen pond and smiling. I’m so happy that he’s happy, so that makes the extra bother worth it.

Fuzz: The horse wanted to wear bells to feel fancy. What can I wear to be fancy if I don't have bells?

Murray:  Well, Christmas trees wear ornaments to be fancy.  Presents wear wrapping paper to be fancy.  Doors wear wreaths to be fancy.  You could be super fancy and wear ornaments, wrapping paper, and wreaths.

Fuzz: The story said that Mrs. Wooley's cocoa burned her tongue. What's cocoa?

Murray:  Cocoa is hard to describe.  Think of all the good and happy things you know−playing with a friend, reading a great book, seeing a rainbow, hearing a bird sing. Then imagine it was in a cup and you could drink it!

Fuzz: Yum! I would like that! And I like your hat, too. If you ask Mrs. Wooley to knit a hat for me, what could I give her in return?

Murray: You know, I think she is just lonely.  If you sat with her and talked with her, it would be the very best gift of all.

Fuzz: I can do that! I can tell her jokes, and riddles, and sing her some songs while she's knitting! Oh, thank you, Murray! Can I have some soup now? (And thank you, Lisa Moser!) 


January 19, 2011
Duck and Goose
                                    Art © Tad Hills 2006

Cork finds himself interviewing not one, but two delightful little critters from Tad Hills fun book, Duck & Goose, published by
Schwartz & Wade Books (Random House) 2006.  They are as cute as all-get-out and are keeping Cork on his toes. Okay, you guys, stop bouncing around and get on with the interview. Please.


Cork: Duck and Goose, you found a ball and thought it was an egg.  If it had really been an egg, what kind of baby would hatch out of such a big, polka-dotted egg?

Duck:  "Actually the way I remember it is that Goose thought it was an egg and..."

Goose: "No, Duck, you thought it was an egg. I was pretending to think it was an egg."

Duck:  "Well, I don't think...well... anyhow, that is a very good question. I think a very big bird would  hatch out of that egg. A big, fluffy, friendly, yellow baby bird with orange legs"

Goose: "Or white. It could be a white baby bird with black legs."

Duck:  "Good point Goose. But it could also be a big turtle or a big snake because they hatch from eggs too."

Goose  "I don't want to think about that."

Duck:  "I don't either. What's the next question?"

Cork: What's the best way to take care of a baby bird?

Duck:  "Well, I think with a lot of love."

Goose: "Yes, love. And breadcrumbs."

Duck:  "Yes, but mostly with love. And maybe a nest"

Goose: "And worms."


Cork: When you first met, you both were arguing all the time. But then you started to cooperate and do things together. How do you suppose that happened?

Goose: "At first, when we both got on top of the... ball, we didn't say much to each other. But then we started to talk..."

Duck:  ...because we couldn't think of anything else to not say..." 

Goose: "...and we realized that we actually had lots of things in common."

Duck:  "Even though I'm a duck and he's a goose."

Goose  "And we are different colors..."

Duck:  "Then Goose taught me to honk and I taught him to quack. And we were cooperating!"

Goose: "And it was much more fun." 

Cork: How long would you have tried to hatch that ball if the bluebird hadn't come along?

Duck:  "Oh, not very long."

Goose: "I was about to hop off right around the time Bluebird showed up." 

Duck:  "Me too. That's a silly question, Cork."

Goose: "Yes, it is a silly question, I agree, Duck."


Cork: There are no silly questions, don't you know that? Anyway, what kind of games did you play with the ball? 

Goose: "Kicking. Bouncing. Rolling. Pretty basic ball stuff. No throwing or catching- the ball's too big and our wings are too small."

Duck:  "And sometimes we see who can balance on it the longest."

Goose: "Or who can balance it on their head. It's fun, Cork, you want to give it a try? I bet you'd be very, very good at it."

Cork: Oh!  Could I?  I'd like that.  Thank you, Duck.  Thank you, Goose.  (And thanks Tad Hills!)


January 5, 2011
Splendid Friend Indeed
                                   Art © Suzanne Bloom 2005
Fuzz is delighted to interview the enthusiastic and talkative goose from Suzanne Bloom's Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor book, A Splendid Friend, Indeed, published by Boyds Mills Press, 2005. When Fuzz read the book, he was impressed with the persistent Goose, and much admired the talents (and patience) of Bear.

Fuzz: You are a very curious goose, and kind of nosey, too.  How did you get to be that way?

Goose: Well actually I'm beaky, and cute too!  Asking questions is a pretty good way to find answers. And I am a goose on the go and in the know!  Do you think that's annoying?  Should I stop?   How will I find out about things? 

Fuzz: No, you shouldn't stop trying to learn things. But when you took Bear's book away from him to read it yourself, didn't you think that might be a little rude?

Goose: Bear was all by himself.  Maybe he's lonely, I thought.  Maybe he needs a friend, I thought.  Friends like to share.  It turns out I was right.  It turns out we like to do lots of things together. Bear just didn't know it yet.

Fuzz: Bear was reading, then he was writing. Maybe he is a Bear Author! Was he writing a story? What was it about?

Goose: You will have to ask Bear.  Even splendid friends have thoughts they keep to themselves. But probably Bear was writing about being best friends - with me.

Fuzz: You and Bear are very different.  How did you get to be good friends?

Goose:  Do you want to know what I learned?  Big or small, furry or feathery, hushy or talky, everybody wants to be a friend and to have a friend. Bear was a little mad at me for interrupting but I wanted a friend too, so I took a chance and said, "I like you."  And it worked and Bear's not mad at me any more...mostly.  And, do you know what?  we have a new friend, Fox.  Do you know Fox?  At first Fox was a bother, but now we are all friends; and ready for a new adventure!

Fuzz: I have a good friend, too.  His name is Cork, and sometimes he gets a little mad at me, too.  But mostly not. What kind of snack did you fix for you and Bear? And is there any left?  I like snacks.

Goose:  Just think of what your favorite, yummiest snack is, because that's what you share with a splendid friend. 

Fuzz: Hey!  That's what I keep telling Cork! But he never wants to share my favorite, yummiest snack!  Crunchy beetles! Well, anyway... thank you, Goose!  (And thank you, Suzanne!)


December 15, 2010
Slugs in Love
                                                Art © Kevin O'Malley 2006

Ah, love sweet love! Fuzz gets to interview Marylou, the love struck lady slug from Susan Pearson's delightful book, Slugs in Love, illustrated by Kevin O'Malley, published by Marshall Cavendish 2006.  Fuzz plans to learn all he can about love and Marylou is just the one to tell him.


Fuzz: I don't think I've ever been in love.  What does it feel like?

I have goosebumps in my slime,
My head feels stuffed with words that rhyme,
My heart is beating overtime—
All in all, it feels sublime!

Fuzz: You wrote poems to Herbie in slime.  How do you make slime?

I don’t have a clue—

I just do

Fuzz: Is it hard to make slime rhyme?

f you are in love, you’ll see
that it just comes naturally.
If you’re not in love it may
take an hour or two a day
before you’ve found the perfect rhyme.
But don’t quit—it just takes time.

Fuzz: Have you ever dated a caterpillar?

Oh, no! From the very start
Handsome Herbie had my heart.

Fuzz: Did you and Herbie have a big wedding?

Oh, yes. We didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, so we invited the whole garden. The
  HORNets provided the music. The Bees baked honey cakes. The Butterflies arranged the flowers. The Fireflies handled the lights. And the whole Creepy Crawler baseball team—Babe Beetle, Mickey Mantis, Coach Roach and all the rest—threw confetti. (I’m a big baseball fan—wait till you read SLUGGER—coming in 2012.  And speaking of reading, watch for HOW TO TEACH A SLUG TO READ in 2011!)

Fuzz: That sounds like a real slugfest!  I can't wait!  Thank you, Marylou.  And thank you, Susan!


November 24, 2010

Run, Turkey, Run
                                                          Art © Laura Rader 2007

Cork wanted to do something special for Thanksgiving, so we contacted the turkey from Run, Turkey, Run!  Author Diane Mayr was kind enough to round up that rascally bird and get him over here for an interview.  Turkey was more than willing to get away from the farmer at this time of year. This fun Thanksgiving book is illustrated by Laura Rader, and published by Walker Books for Young Readers, 2007

Cork: Why did you run away from the farmer?  Maybe he was going to invite you to Thanksgiving dinner.

Turkey:  Get real, Cork.  Farming is a business, not a social club.

Cork: You ran away from the farmer and hid with the pigs. What did it feel like to be buried in mud in the pig pen?

Turkey:  Actually it's quite nice.  I understand humans pay lots of money for a mud treatment at a spa.  Hey, maybe we can talk the farmer into turning the farm into a spa.   Spa food is always full of bean sprouts and tofu and other non-meat items.  The farmer makes big bucks.  We get to spend the day looking authentic.  This is sounding like a win-win for everyone!

Cork: Your duck pond reminds me of my duck pond. Where did you learn to swim?

Turkey:  The library has a DVD that my mom used to borrow:  “Anyone Can Swim!: Teach Your Poults Water Safety in Just Three Lessons.”  We spent three days at the pond last summer and wah-lah, I'm an expert! 

Cork: The pigs and the ducks and the horses all tried to help you. What are some of the best things about having good friends?

Turkey:  Someone to play Monopoly with.  Someone to share pumpkin pie with.  Someone to go swimming with.  That's one of the first rules of water safety--always swim with a buddy.

Cork: Do you ever plan on going back to the farm yard?  If not, then where are you going to go?

Turkey:  Of course I'm going back!  There's no place like home.  (That's what Dorothy said. My mom used to borrow a lot of DVDs from the library.)  I'd like to travel, but I'm pretty much a homebody.  Although, if I did have to leave the farm yard, I'd go to Washington, D.C. to see the Library of Congress.  And maybe the Postal Museum.

Cork: You seem to have a very smart brain. It really would be a shame if the farmer separated it from your.... ewwww... never mind. Thank you, Turkey. Thank you, Diane!



November 17, 2010
Potty Animals
                                                Art © Valeria Petrone
This is an exciting day for Fuzz! He gets to visit a preschool and interview a whole gaggle of kids on the important subject of proper pottying in Hope Vestergaard's fun book Potty Animals, illustrated by Valeria Petrone, published by Sterling 2010.

So, grab one of those cute little floor mats and join the circle. Fuzz thinks he knows all there is to know about pottying, but he may have a few things to learn.

Fuzz: Arnold, what is a toilet?  I've never seen one in my woods.

Arnold: A toilet is exactly like a basketball hoop, only lower to the ground and it has a bucket of water underneath. Also, basketballs don’t fit in toilets, and if they end up there by accident, your big brother will be very, very angry. You get no points for making rim shots though I do like to try for 3-pointers. (My mom doesn’t like it when I do that.)

Fuzz: Freddie, that toilet thing looks dangerous. Could you be sucked in and disappear?

Freddie: You know, stuff gets sucked down there many times EVERY SINGLE DAY. You can never be too careful. Also? My cousins live in New Orleans and they say sometimes animals come up in the toilets – rats, snakes, salamanders! {shudder} So, yeah. I wouldn’t let my guard down. Better have a potty pal and a tow-rope nearby, I always say. 

Fuzz: Stanley, is it a bad thing to tinkle outside? I always do it.

Stanley: I like the fresh air, and I don’t have to stop playing or wait for a turn in the bathroom and as long as you find a nice private tree…What, Mr. Ernst? You want me to tell them the reasons why we’re not allowed to pee on trees? Okay, okay. Let’s see…because you don’t want to show the world your private parts, because somebody might step in it, and because kids are not dogs. Did I get it right?

Fuzz: Georgie, do you think you would wipe every time if you found some soft leaves like I do? (But stay away from thistles.)

Georgie: You know, I tried some nice soft leaves one time. They came in three-packs and were very pretty, with a little bit of red around the edges. But they did not make my bottom feel better, I think they made it worse. I couldn’t hardly sit still in class. Another time, I tried these leaves that were long and skinny with rippled edges, and let me tell you – those didn’t even make it to my bottom, they stung my hands so bad. No sir, I think I will just skip the leaves altogether. But not the toilet paper. I will definitely not skip the toilet paper anymore.

Fuzz: Agnes, what kind of sounds do you make when you have a bubble in your belly?

Agnes: Sometimes I giggle when I’m trying to keep the bubbles in, and sometimes they groan inside my tummy when I keep them in too long. But it depends on what you eat, Fuzz. A Coney dog with chili and onions sounds like the entire brass section of a marching band in a football game halftime show. So I skip the Coney dogs before church.

Fuzz:  Oh.  I thought you were going to say "PFLTTT!" What, Mr. Ernst? Oh. Okay. Sorry. Thank you, class. Thank you, Hope Vestergaard. Can I have some of those graham crackers now?


November 3, 2010

                                                            Art © Arthur Robins

Fuzz has met a few small creatures in his life, like baby buzzard bees and chip-mouses, and now he gets to meet a really small dog called Bertie, from Rick Walton's action filled book, Bertie Was a Watchdog, illustrated by Arthur Robins, and published by Candlewick Press 2002. Take it away, Fuzz!

Fuzz: You are very small. Would you like to sit on my lap for the interview? Or should I lay on my belly so we can be nose to nose?

Bertie: I think today I will use stilts. You think it's hard to walk on two stilts, try four.

Fuzz: Hey! That works! Okay, your name sounds like 'birdie,' but you're not a bird.  You're a dog who's as small as a bird.  What kind of dog are you and how did you get your name?

Bertie: What kind of dog am I? Why, a bird dog of course :-). Actually, when I was born, the nice old lady who owned my mother was sitting in her rocking chair freezing. Just as I was being born, the old lady said to her maid, "BRRRR! Tea?" All she wanted was something to warm her bones. I understand. I like warm bones too. Anyway, my mother thought the old lady was saying what I should be named. So there you have it. Oh yeah, what kind of dog? I'm a cross between a St. Bernard and a Great Dane. Recessive genes. It happens.

Fuzz: Hmmmm.  I'll have to look that one up. But first... a robber came into your house late one night.  Where were your people? Weren't you scared?

Bertie: They were at an all-night bowling tournament. And scared? I would rather face a robber than risk being run over by a runaway bowling ball.

Fuzz: I noticed that the robber wore red sneakers.  Do you know where he bought them, and do they sell red sneakers for possums?

Bertie: Why do you want to wear sneakers? Go barefoot, like me. Feel the road. Be one with the earth.

Fuzz: I always do go barefoot.  I just thought a change would be nice. Anyway, that robber wasn't very smart.  Are all robbers dumb?

Bertie: Smart is relative. The robber was smarter than, say, a rock. Not much, but some. But he wasn't as smart as, say, a rose petal. You don't see rose petals trying to sneak in your window at night. But rocks, and robbers, they do. Don't they know you can cut yourself?... Unless you're a rock?... Maybe rocks are smarter than robbers. Now, could you help me down from these stilts? I don't know what I was thinking! I have acrophobia! HELP!

Fuzz: Ooof!  Did you have to fall on me? You're a lot heavier than you look. Well, thank you, Bertie. (And thank you, Rick!)


October 20, 2010
Ugly Pie image
                               Art © Heather Solomon

Who would have thought Ugly Pie could be a good thing? Ol' Bear didn't only think it, he knew it, in Lisa Wheeler's delightful book Ugly Pie, illustrated by Heather Solomon, and published by Harcourt Children's Books 2010. Come on along with Cork and let's find out about Ugly Pie! Maybe we'll even be inspired to make our own. (There's a recipe at the end of the story!)

Cork: When you woke up with a hankering, what made you think of ugly pie?

Ol' Bear: When I smelt the first nip of Autumn, I thought of my dear ol’ Granny who made the tastiest Ugly Pie in these here piney-woods. After that, nuthin’ else would do.

Cork: What is pie, anyway?  I never had any pie a all.

Ol'Bear: You poor li’l feller! *sniff* I ain’t never heard of a body who ain’t had pie. No wonder you is so short. Let me tell you ‘bout pie. Pie is what you get when you wrap heaven up in a doughy dream and bake it in the oven until it's golden brown. Pie is warm and sweet and oozing love. Pie is good for the heart and soul. Pie is a hug from your Granny.

Cork: Pie doesn't sound ugly the way you describe it! Sometimes I find some really ugly mushrooms.  Would they make a good pie?

Ol' Bear: You sure is one mixed up li’l feller, aintcha? Them mushrooms might make a nice ugly casserole, or some of that fancy schmancy citified food, but you put them in a pie and you is one washed up muskrat. No respectable pie would sit in the same picnic basket with a mushroom — ugly or otherwise. It just ain’t right!

Cork: Oh!  Okay. I won't bother the mushrooms then. Is Sweet Cicely your girlfriend? She's very pretty.

Ol' Bear: Oh, gosh! You sure do make a bear blush.

Cork: If I wanted to come to your house for some ugly pie, how would I get there, and could I bring Fuzz?

Ol'Bear: I would be honored to have you and Fuzz, both. It’s time ya’ll had some of my beautiful ugly pie. Just swim across that yonder pond, scuttle down over them there rocks, follow the path past where the old elm used to a grow a’fore it got chopped down, then ignore all the houses between there and mine. I’ll hold a place for you at my table.

Cork: Really? Oh, wow!  I'll go find Fuzz right now! Don't go away, Ol' Bear!  We're coming with you!  (And thank you, Lisa Wheeler!)


October 6, 2010
Giant Hug
                                              Art © Valeri Gorbachev

Cork, being a sweet creature himself, is easily caught up in all things sweet, and so he is especially interested in talking with Owen, the piggy from Sandra Horning's charming book, The Giant Hug, illustrated by Valeri Gorbachev, Alfred A. Knopf 2005. Owen wants to send a hug to his granny, and Cork is pleasantly surprised to find out how this is possible.

Cork: How did you think of the idea to send a hug to your granny?

Owen: My granny always hugs me when she sees me, but she lives so far away, I don't get to hug her very much. When my mom asked me what I wanted to send Granny, a hug was the first thing I thought of. I just knew she would love it.

Cork: I've never had a hug. What does a hug feel like?

Owen: A hug makes me feel warm and special. If I'm sad, a hug helps me to feel better.

Cork: When Leroy the rabbit had to pass the hug to James the porcupine, wouldn't it hurt to hug a porcupine?

Owen: I guess it might hurt a little if you aren't careful, but I think Leroy was sure not to squeeze too hard. Plus, James was wearing his work uniform, which keeps most of his prickly spines covered.

Cork: If you sent a hug to me, would the mailman find me in my pond?

Owen: If you have a mailbox at your pond, the mailman will definitely find you! Mail carriers do a great job of getting mail to people every day all over the world. They even deliver mail in terrible rain and snowstorms.

Cork: I guess I'd better get a mailbox! Do you suppose there'll be a lot of hugs flying around the world because of your book?

Owen: I sure hope so. Everyone should be lucky enough to get a hug at least once a day!  Here's a hug from me to you, Cork!

Cork: Oh, thank you, Owen!  That did feel nice! (And thank you, Sandra Horning!) 


September 22, 2010
Big Chickens
                                                                                                   Art © Henry Cole 2006

Today Fuzz gets to meet a flock of chickens.  BIG CHICKENS! from a book by the same name, written by Leslie Helakoski, illustrated by Henry Cole, and published by Dutton Children's Books 2006. The chickens will answer interview questions in no particular pecking order.  Let's hope Fuzz doens't ruffle any feathers.

Fuzz: You chickens are afraid of everything! How did you get to be so chicken?
Chickens: We learned from our parents--they were chickens too.

Fuzz: That's very interesting! I liked the part in the book where you fell into the ditch full of mud. Mud is fun! Why didn't you just stay there and play?
Chickens: What? What if we never came out? What if we got mud in our eye? What if we became mud hens?

Fuzz:  I see your point. Mud in the eye isn't fun. I like all the matching words in your story, like squeaked, squirmed, squealed, and squawked. Can you think of matching words to go with my name?
Chickens:  We like this rhyme that is about your very cool tail... Fuzz's tail curled, twirled, and unfurled.

Fuzz: Oh, I have to remember to do that! Usually I just drag my tail through the dirt. You all did a lot of squawking in the book. Did you get sore throats from doing that?
Chickens: Nope, we keep them in good shape by squawking a lot every day.

Fuzz: I would be scared, too, if I ran into a wolf!  But you finally were very brave. I'm afraid of the giant buzzard bee. How can I be brave when I see it?
Chickens: Be yourself. Being chicken works if you're a chicken. Playing possum works for possums and it's much easier on the throat.

Fuzz: Oh, right!  I can do that! Thank you, Big Chickens!  Thanks Leslie!  Last one home is a rotten egg!


September 8, 2010

Katie Loves the Kittens
                                                            Art © John Himmelman

Cork meets Katie, a very bouncy dog from the book Katie Loves the Kittens, written and illustrated by John Himmelman, published by Henry Holt and Company 2008. And Katie does love the new kittens, but in her enthusiasm and excitement, she scares those cuddly little fur balls and can't get close to them.

Cork: When you saw the new kittens, your tail wagged very, very fast.  Can you teach me to wag my tail like that?
Katie: My tail was wagging very, very fast?  I had no idea!  Next time I see the kittens I will have to see for myself.

Cork: What does "Arooooooo" mean?
Katie: It's just a sound I make when I'm very excited.  I can't help myself!  It's kind of like a mix between a song and a cheer.

Cork: What makes better pets... dogs, kittens, or chip-mouses?
Katie: I never had a pet, so I don't know.  I do hope that I am as good a pet as kittens and chipmouses!

Cork: What does kitten food taste like?

Cork: Can you bring the kittens to my pond some day so I can play with them, too?
Katie: That would be so much fun! OH!  Now I see what you were talking about before.  My tail is wagging very, very fast!

Cork: I hope you will come soon!  Thank you, Katie!  Thank you, John! Arooooooo! 


August 25, 2010

Humpty Dumpty Climbs Again
                                        Art © Dave Horowitz 2008

At first Fuzz felt a bit self-conscious talking to an egg.  But he soon relaxed when he discovered that Humpty Dumpty was a very funny egg.  Humpty Dumpty is from the very funny book Humpty Dumpty Climbs Again, written and illustrated by the very funny Dave Horowitz, and published by the very funny G. P. Putnam's Sons, in the very funny year 2008. Herrrrrreeeee's Fuzz!

Fuzz: Mr. Dumpty, you are the first egg I've interviewed. What happens when you open your mouth to answer my questions?  Isn't that like making a crack in your shell?

Humpty: Feel free to call me Humpty. That’s a silly question, Fuzz. Although I can “crack a smile,” opening my mouth is no big deal. You see, there are many types of eggs in this world — there are Chicken Eggs, Goose Eggs and Crocodile Eggs — but I’m what you’d call an Anthropomorphic Egg. Just like you, we Anthropomorphic Eggs are born with mouths and noses and knees and everything. Can you imagine talking to a Chicken Egg? Ridiculous.

Fuzz: I'm an Anthropomorphic? I thought I was a possum! Wait until I tell Cork! Anyway, after the You-Know-What happened to you, and all the King's Men couldn't put you back together again, you sat around in your underwear and felt sad.  Do you know if they make underwear for possums or muskrats?

Humpty: I sure hope so! Wait… are you telling me you’re not wearing underwear? Gross, dude.

Fuzz: You are confusing me!  First you tell me I'm an Anthro-poor-something, and now you say I'm a dude!  I am a possum!  Oh, nevermind. Tell me, why did the dish run away with the spoon?

Humpty: Well, around here, everyone is super into fitness. So when I stopped climbing, The Dish got into long distance running… you know, like marathons and stuff. Personally I think running is lame, but whatever.

Fuzz: The King's favorite horse, Milt, got stuck on a ledge way up high on a rock wall. How did he get up there?

Humpty: You know, Fuzz, it’s funny, I never thought about it. I’m just glad I was able to help. I suspect he just started climbing and then got stuck. After all, climbing up is way easier than climbing down; just ask the next cat you see stuck in a tree.

Fuzz: What do eggs eat for breakfast?

Humpty: I can’t speak for all eggs, but I usually just have a bagel with cream cheese, and some coffee.

Is that the end of the interview, Fuzz? That was really fun. If you and Cork ever feel like giving rock climbing a try, I hope you'll give me a call. Of course, I will ask that you at least wear some underwear. That’s just how I roll.

Fuzz: Well, it isn't easy for anthro-poor-possums to even find underwear! So I'll have to roll like I always do.  Bottom's up.

Thank you, Humpty!  (And thank you, Dave!)

August 18, 2010

Don't Call Me Sidney cover
                                                                   Art © Renata Gallio

Cork meets Sidney, a pretty poetic pig, who wants to change his name because there are no good rhymes for Sidney, in Jane Sutton's new picture book, Don't Call Me Sidney, illustrated by Renata Gallio, and published by Dial Books for Young Readers, 2010.  Impressionable Cork is now wondering if he should change his name, too.


Cork: You are a very poetic pig.  You wrote a birthday poem for your best friend, Gabie.  How did you get to be best friends with a duck?

Sidney: Yes, Gabie and I are best, best friends, just like you and Fuzz. And just as Fuzz is way taller than you, I am way taller (and wider) than Gabie. We met a long time ago when our mothers took us to a playground. I was on one end of the seesaw, and Gabie and eleven other ducklings were on the other. It was the beginning of a beautiful, well-balanced friendship.

Cork: You wanted to change your name because there were no good rhymes for Sidney. Can anyone just change their name if they want to?

Sidney: Sure, you can. But you’re lucky, Cork. Your name already rhymes with Fork and Pork and Stork. I’d mention Dork, but that might not be polite.

Cork: Well, thank you for not mentioning Dork. I've noticed that you are a very big pig. You must eat a lot. What are your favorite foods?

Sidney: Yes, I do like to eat. And I like to cook. In the book about me, I cook pancakes and I make green beans mixed with watermelon, which my visiting mother finds quite delicious.

Cork: You had to go to pick up your mother. Do pig mothers fly coach? Or do they have to be in a crate in the luggage compartment?

Sidney: I don’t know about all pig mothers, but my mother always flies first class because the seats are wider.

Cork: I did see the picture of your mother in the book, and I guess she does need a wide seat  Ummm... I'm not saying she's fat or anything... she... she just wants to be comfortable. I think I'd better say Thank You now.  Thank you, Sidney.  (And thank you, Jane!)


August 12, 2010

                                                                        Art © David Small 2010


Cork is on his best behavior because he's going to meet royalty!  And because he's going to interview a princess, he's combed out his fur with a pinecone, scraped the mud off his tail, and is putting his best foot forward (which in Cork's case, is his right front foot.) The princess is from Naomi Howland's delightful picture book, Princess Says Goodnight, illustrated by David Small, and published by HarperCollins, 2010. Take it away, Cork!

Cork: Are you a real girl pretending to be a princess, or are you a real princess pretending to be a girl?
Princess:  I’m a real princess on the inside.  Sometimes it shows on the outside, too. 

Cork: Is it okay for a muskrat to curtsy and can you teach me how?  I have really short legs.
Princess:  Anyone can curtsy; it is a polite way to greet royalty.  To curtsy, cross one leg in front of the other and then bend your knees and dip.  Hold your skirt out, if you are wearing one.   I don’t know if you have knees.  Try not to fall over - it ruins the pretty effect. 

Cork: Oh. Okay. I think I'll practice later. How come your bed has curtains all over it?
Princess:  The curtains are there for the ultimate in fancy decoration. They are purple which is my favorite color after pink.

Cork: Is your frog really a prince?
Princess:  My frog’s name is Prince so he really is a prince.  Also, because he is very thoughtful, I would say he is a prince among frogs. 

Cork: The story says you have ladies-in-waiting. What are they waiting for?
Princess: They are waiting for me to become queen.

Cork: I think they might have a long wait. But it will be worth it. Thank you, Princess!  Thank you, Naomi! I think I'll go practice curtsying now... behind a bush... where no one can see me.




July 28, 2010

Cork, being a sweet creature, is often drawn to others of the same nature, so he politely asked to interview the little lamb from Lezlie Evans book, Who Loves the Little Lamb, illustrated by David McPhail, published by Disney Hyperion 2010.  This is a perfect book for a new baby!


Cork: There are a lot of different animals in your book.  Are they all friends of yours?
Little Lamb: I have the most in common with Pouty Calf.  We are good friends and like to play hide-n-go-seek together.  That is when I am not feeling too fussy and he is not off pouting.  I also like to eat lunch with my friend Bumbling Boar down the road. He is always spilling his milk, but his mama just pours him more and says, “That’s all right, there’s plenty more.  Mama loves her little Boar.” Why don’t you and Fuzz come have lunch with us next week?

Cork: Could we really?  That would be so nice! But first I want to know about the noisy bird in your book. There is a noisy bird in my neighborhood that wakes me up too early in the morning.  Do you think it's the same bird, and how can I get him to sleep later?
Little Lamb: I do not know of a way to get the noisy bird to sleep late. He practically beats the sun up each and every morning! Then he starts chirping away!  His Mama does her best to sweeten his song though.  She is often reminding him to, “Sing sweetly, please, you’ll still be heard.”

Cork: Your book is all about love. I really like the sound of that word – love. It feels nice in my mouth when I say it. Do you know any other words that feel nice in your mouth?
Little Lamb: “L” words are wonderful. Little Lamb starts with “L”. So does the word “love”. When my mama says, “No more crying, here I am.  Mama loves her little lamb,” it makes me tingle all over. I love, love, love the letter “L” and all of the luscious, luminous, lovely, likable, lick able, letter “L” words.

Cork: Hmmm.  But maybe not the word LIVER.  I like how all the mamas have good ideas and know what to do and what to say. But it makes me sad, too, because I never see my mama anymore.  Could you sing me a song to cheer me up?
Little Lamb: I would be happy to sing you a song, Cork.

 You are my muskrat, my only muskrat.

You make me happy when skies are grey.

You’ll never know, Cork, how much I love you.

Please don’t feel sad and lonely today.

Cork: That's a beautiful song!  Thanks! Your book makes me feel good in my heart when I read it, like strawberries feel good in my stomach when I eat them. Do you happen to have any strawberries with you?
Little Lamb: My mama says that strawberries will stain my yellow shirt and I should be very careful when I eat them. Would you like to come and share a strawberry with me, Cork?  I know my mama will wash and cut some strawberries for us because she loves me “from dawn till after day is done”. That’s what she says in my book anyway. Even when I am a fussy little lamb, my mama loves me. Just like I love you and Fuzz! I am so glad we are friends.

Cork: It would be fun to come for strawberries. I have to see if I can find Fuzz first. He said he was going to hunt for potato chip bags. That could take a long time. Thank you, Little Lamb.  Thank you, Lezlie.


July 8, 2010

Llama, Llama, Mad at Mama
                              © Anna Dewdney 2007

When there's a book that involves food (even if in a small way) Fuzz waves his hand frantically and yells, "I'll do it! Let me do the interview!" So, because food is his passion, we'll let him interview the little llama from the fun book written and illustrated by Anna Dewdney, Llama Llama Mad at Mama, Viking 2007.


Fuzz: I love books on how to get food because I'm always hungry!  But I didn't know there is a place called Shop-O-Rama that is filled with food!  What a great idea!  Who invented that?
Llama Llama:  I don’t know who invented it, but it is a strange place.  Yes, it has food…it has everything!  I don’t know how they get everything in the world to fit into one big store!  I don’t really like it too much…it is too confusing for me.  But my Mama needs to shop there, so we do it together.

Fuzz: Can I only go to the Shop-O-Rama with my Mama?  Or can I go by myself (because I don't know where my Mama is.)Llama Llama:  I think you would be really confused if you went to Shop-O-Rama by yourself.  I know I wouldn’t want to do it

Fuzz: Your Mama put lots of food in that square trash can with wheels that you were riding in. Do you ever park that trash can near the woods? (After it's filled with food?)
Llama Llama:  That isn’t a trash can, silly!  That’s a shopping cart!  Hey, you don’t do a lot of shopping at the mall, do you?  And I think they’d get really mad if we took the shopping cart away from Shop-O-Rama and put it in the woods!

Fuzz: Oh, nuts!  I thought is was a good plan anyway. What are Cheezee Puffs?
Llama Llama:  Cheezee Puffs are super-yummy cheesy, crunchy treats.  They leave orange yucky stuff all over my hooves, though.  Wow…I’ll bet you would really like Cheezee Puffs!

: Yes! Yes! I would really like some Cheezee Puffs! Can I go shopping with you sometime?  Can we eat as much as we want?
Llama Llama: Hey, any time you want to go shopping with me and with Mama, you are welcome to go.  You’ll have to ride in a car seat or a booster seat, though…my Mama ALWAYS straps me in.  And then maybe you can try Cheezee Puffs!

Fuzz: Errr...  I don't know if I'd like to be tied down with anything.  Maybe I can just ride on the top of your Mama's car?

Dori: Psst! Say "Thank you," Fuzz.

Fuzz: Thank you, Little Llama. And thank you, Anna! (Next time bring Cheezee Puffs, please.)



June 9, 2010

                                          Art © Derek Anderson

Because he's never been on anything with wheels, Cork is fascinated with the book Hot Rod Hamster, written by Cynthia Lord, illustrated by Derek Anderson, and published by Scholastic Press 2010. Cork has never been on anything faster than his rear end sliding down a mud slick, so he hopes to find out what it's like to be in a speeding race car!

Cork : What made you decide to be in a hot rod race?
:  I saw a sign that said, “Race Today! At 4-Paws Speedway !”  I like to race, and I have four paws! So it was perfect for me! So I went to the junkyard and told my friend, Bulldog, “I need a hot rod.” You have four paws, Cork. Do you like to race?  I know some mice that could help you build a hot rod, too. 

Cork : I'll need to think about that. But first I want to know why they call a racing car a hot rod?
Hamster:  Because it’s fiery-fast!

Cork : Did you have to pay an entrance fee to get in the race?
Hamster:  No, because someone named Rust E. Hydrants sponsored the race. Here’s what I needed: 

A car  (just my size).
Four  wheels (to squeal).
One gleaming engine (Vroom! Vroom!).
FLAMES! (painted on the front).
A helmet.
Bravery (Grrr!).

And friends to cheer me on!

Cork : Weren't you afraid you'd get run over by all those big cars?
Hamster:  I’m build for speed! I was surprised how big the dogs and their cars were, but just because you’re little, it doesn’t mean you can’t be first.

Cork : What are you going to do with all your trophies?
Hamster:  I have them in my living room!  I feel proud and happy every time I see them.  Would you like to wear my crown?

Cork: Oh!  Can I?  Please, please, please?  WOW!  Thank you, Hamster!  (And thank you, Cynthia!)


June 2, 2010

Sleep Big Bear Sleep cover
                               Art © Will Hillenbrand 2009

Cork is a firm believer in a good night's sleep.  So when he heard the story of Sleep, Big Bear, Sleep, he was fascinated with the bear who kept misinterpreting nature's signals. This book is written by Maureen Wright, illustrated by Will Hillenbrand, and published by Marshall Cavendish 2009.  No yawns here (except for one tired bear!)

Cork : Old Man Winter kept telling you to go to sleep, but you always heard his words wrong. Why was that? Was there something in your ears?
Big Bear:  In the beginning of the story, I didn’t hear Old Man Winter because I wasn’t paying attention.  I saw this wonderful beehive in a tree and all I could think about was eating delicious honey!  After that, I just kept getting more mixed-up, probably because I was so tired.  Sometimes it’s hard to concentrate when a person, or a bear, needs a nap.

Cork : When Old Man Winter told you to sleep, you thought he said jeep, so you found a jeep and drove it around.  How did you learn to drive?
Big Bear: I had never driven a vehicle before, but I wasn’t worried because my friend, Little Rabbit, was sitting on the hood of the jeep giving me directions.  I’ve found that difficult situations in life are always a little easier when you have one good friend at your side – or in front of you on the hood of a jeep.

Cork : I like the pages in the book where you were diving to the bottom of the deep lake. What's it like to dive in a lake when it's snowing outside?
Big Bear: Oh, was it snowing outside?  I was so tired I didn’t even notice.  I just stumbled to the lake with my eyes half shut and dove in.

Cork : I almost cried for you when you were sitting on the mountaintop in the cold wind and snow, wishing for a warm blanket. Did you ever feel like crying?
Big Bear: Everyone feels like crying now and then.  It’s okay to cry when you’re sad.  I wasn’t sad when I was on the mountaintop, just very tired.  And it was so cold out, if I had cried I think the tears would have frozen on my face!

Cork : What's it like to hibernate?  Don’t you get hungry and thirsty?
Big Bear: I’m always hungry!  It takes a lot of food to fill a Big Bear like me.  So I really stuff myself before I settle in for the winter.  It’s fun to hibernate because I sure do love a good nap, and of course, I always dream about honey!


May 5, 2010

Cork and Fuzz the Babysitters
                           Art © Lisa McCue 2010

There's no predicting what Cork or Fuzz will do, and today is no exception.  Instead of interviewing another book character, today they're  interviewing their own illustrator, Lisa McCue!  The newest book in the series is The Babysitters and will be released in May. Lisa is now working on the art for seventh Cork and Fuzz book The Swimming Lesson, by Viking Children's Books.

Cork: You're always making pictures of us. How do you know what we look like? Are you spying on us or something?
Lisa: Define spying.  If you mean standing on the edge of the pond hiding in the reeds with a pair of binoculars, camera, and a sketchbook,  well…. yes. But I prefer to call it gathering reference.

As for Fuzz, there's a possum that's picking through my garbage pail looking for food scraps every night. Fuzz is that you?

With all the banging and clanging going on I always know when I can sneak out and take some candid shots for reference. It’s a little dark though. Kind of hard to see. But it is you, Fuzz, isn’t it?

Anyway, using my reference pictures, and some general muskrat and possum pictures from the Internet, mixed with the author Dori Chaconas’s detailed description of your personalities, I have a pretty good idea what you look like.

And I’m on to you Fuzz!

Fuzz: I would really like a red vest. Maybe you would watch me better if you gave me a red vest. Did you ever think of that?
Lisa: Stop digging in my garbage pail and we’ll talk.

Cork: How come you draw me so short and fat, while you make Fuzz tall and handsome?
Lisa:  As the illustrator I must follow what the author writes in the story. If the author writes that you are a short fat muskrat, well my hands are tied, a short fat muskrat I must draw. Talk to the author, maybe she will consider changing you to a tall handsome giraffe.

Fuzz: How come you draw me so tall and gawky, while you make Cork small and cute?
Lisa: If I drew you small and cute, you would be a mouse.

Fuzz: Do you think you could draw in more food in the books – like banana cream pie or jelly sandwiches?  I get so hungry!
Lisa: Hmmmm…. I’ll make you a deal. I’ll sneak you an extra donut in your next book The Swimming Lesson if my garbage pail is left alone.

Fuzz: Whoa just a minute! What swimming lesson?  Who's going to get a swimming lesson?  Not me! No, no, no way! I don't do water. So just put the donut into your garbage pail and save all of us a lot of trouble, okay?

Cork: Thank you, Lisa McCue! Say goodbye, Fuzz.

Fuzz: Okay. Goodbye, Fuzz.


April 21, 2010

Chicks and Salsa cover
                     Art © Paulette Bogan 2005

Where there's food, there's Fuzz. So when Chicks and Salsa came across our desk, Fuzz sat on it until I agreed to let him interview the rooster.  The book is written by Aaron Reynolds, illustrated by Paulette Bogan, published by BloomsburyUSA 2005.  Little does Fuzz know that while the book is about food, there's no actual food in the book. Life's realities can be tough.

Fuzz: You and the chickens got tired of eating chicken feed.  What exactly is chicken feed?
Rooster: Hard to say. Ground up corn mostly, I think. But if you’re going to eat corn, it should at least be in tortilla chip form, don’t you agree?

Fuzz: "Olé" is a fun word to say.  What does it mean?
Rooster: I just saw the guy on Food Network say it, so I picked it up. I wasn’t sure what it meant, so I Googled it. Technically, it’s just a cry of excited approval. And when it comes to salsa, I approve excitedly. Olé!

Fuzz: "Guacamole" is another fun word to say.  I'd like to know where those ducks got the avocados.
Rooster: There’s this rat that pops up on Nuthatcher Farm whenever we run short on hard-to-find ingredients. Handy, that rat. Who knows where he gets his stuff, like avocados. Sam’s Club possibly.

Fuzz: I like the recipes in your book.  Have you thought of making up a whole cookbook of your own?
Rooster: I was working on a French cookbook until I realized how many eggs are involved in French cooking. Now I’m in the doghouse with the whole henhouse.  

Fuzz: You know how to make salsa, and nachos, and guacamole. Would you make a recipe called Enchilada del pollo?
Rooster: Please don’t talk about that dish. That’s exactly how my Uncle Ira died…it’s still a very tender subject for me. Poor Uncle Ira.

Fuzz: Hey! There's no real food in this book! Where's the food? 

(Tsk! Tsk!  Mind your manners, Fuzz.)

Fuzz: Oh.  Sorry.  Thank you, Rooster.  Thank you, Aaron Reynolds. But next time please bring real food. Okay? Olé!


Be sure to check out Cork and Fuzz's EARLIER INTERVIEWS

© 2009 Dori Chaconas