Nose-to-Nose Interview with Little Lamb


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.

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. 

Read more Nose-to-Nose interviews here!

Nose-to-Nose Interview with Llama Llama

                                      Art (c) 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: 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!


Fuzz: 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 strapped down with anything.  Maybe I can just ride on the top of your Mama's car?

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

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

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. 

Read more Nose-to-Nose interviews here!

(no subject)

I had a quiet afternoon with nothing pressing to do, and so I watched a movie I hadn't seen in a long, long time... The King and I.  If you haven't seen it in a while, watch it.  If you've never seen it, definitely watch it!  As I turned the TV off after the movie, with a few emotional lumps in my throat, I got to thinking about the whole lovely thing.   Why did it hit me in such an emotional way?  I'd seen the movie before.  I knew the story.  So what caused this stirring of emotions in me?  

Some of the scenes were exhilarating, to be sure.  ("Shall We Dance?")  The characters were a nice blend of stuffy English and demanding Thai king  ("Something Wonderful.")  If you analyzed the whole thing ... characters, plot, dialog... it was pleasant and entertaining, but enough to draw strongly on the emotions? 

Then I got it.  It was the music!  It was the swelling of violins in just the right places, and the power of the words of the songs.  The music was the magic of the movie.

So now I'm asking myself, how do I replicate that in a children's book?  How do I put that emotional magic into a read-aloud story without actual music? 

Says the king, "It's a puzzlement.

Name Three Things

                                                                                       Dori Chaconas
Name three things you like about fall. 

Mine would be:

The crunch of leaves underfoot.
Cooler days.
The smell of woodsmoke in the air.

What are yours?

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Intensive Picture Book Workshop

Last Saturday, Lisa Wheeler gave an all day intensive picture book workshop for WI SCBWI writers, and it was fantastic!  So much information,  well arranged, and delivered with Lisa's bright warmth and humor.  It was a giant learning step in the process of writing a successful picture book story.  If your SCBWI region is looking for an excellent and inspirational workshop, you must consider this one!

Here are some photos!  Just click on a photo if you'd like to see it enlarged.

Lisa Wheeler

Thanks, Lisa Wheeler, for an amazing day!

Original Art

I've been fortunate and blessed to get good illustrators for my books and have always wanted to buy at least one piece of original art.  And now I've done it!  I bought the cover art for Pennies in a Jar from the artist, Ted Lewin.  I picked it up from the framer yesterday and we hung it in my office.  And I absolutely love it!

                                                                               Art (c) Ted Lewin

What's Your Story...

... Morning Glory?

Just a little bit for Thoughtful Thursday.

If I were a flower, I'd probably be a Morning Glory.  I'm up with the sun, eager to start the day.  I fade in the evening.

What kind of flower are you?   Maybe a Four O'Clock, coming awake in the afternoon? 
Or a daisy, who can bloom 24/7?

It's a Book!

Baby's Song will be out next month and it's bee-ooo-ti-ful!  I just got my copies and am happy to see this baby delivered!

The amazing artist is Deborah Perez-Stable and this is our second book together for Abingdon Press.  The book description reads:

A picture book in lyrical rhyme, Baby's Song follows the seasons in a year of baby's life.  Mother and child share the joys that each season has to offer and grow in their awareness of the blessings God has given them throughout the year.  The tender text is coupled with warm and personable illustrations, and is sure to be enjoyed over and over again for lap-time reading.

Here's a sample page of illustration and text:

                                                   Art @ Deborah Perez-Stable 2008

Baby, see the winter snow
Swirling all around,
Covering the house and gate,
Blanketing the ground.
Roll a snowball!  Make a snowman!
Pat!  Pat!  Pat!
God has made the lacy snow
That decorates your hat.

                                                          Text @ Dori Chaconas 2008

AND I learned a really cool feature on jmammaywrites blog this morning.  If you click on a picture, it'll open to a larger size!  Isn't technology amazing!

Daily Photo: Day 7

I call this my Thinking Bench.

Our subdivision has a central common area with a nice pond.  I walk there every day and sit awhile, watching the ducks, trying to focus on story ideas, characters, or plot problems.  Sometimes it works.  And sometimes I simply have a nice walk, a pleasant view, and come home with an empty head.

Thanks, cynthialord, for a week of getting to know LJ friends through their hometown photos!