I nearly peed my pants when I found out little old me would have the opportunity to interview two of my all-time favorite children's authors, David Shannon (No David!) and Mo Willems (Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus). They are just two of the authors scheduled to appear at this weekend's National Book Festival held on the National Mall in Washington, DC.
I knew they both had a sense of humor based on the books they write. So I emailed questions that I thought would be a) unique and b) fun to answer. When I received their responses I was chuckling out loud, and I hope you do to!
David Shannon - the REAL No David!
TwoferMom: You wrote No David when you were 5. My 6-year-old has been writing books but they are mostly about animals and nature. Should I yell at her more so she has more angst and a better shot at being a well-known and published author?
DS: No, I would buy her some animals and yell at them.
TwoferMom: David always seems surprised to find out he’s in trouble. Is he just pretending?
DS: That's the sad part - he's really trying to be good. He just gets carried away by his own enthusiasm. One thing I heard a lot when I was a kid was, "You weren't thinking, were you, David?!"
TwoferMom: Have you ever had a bad case of stripes or did you ever fake being sick to stay home from school?
DS: I got hives on Halloween one year because I ate my entire bag of loot in one night. I was pretty good at faking illness. I used to hold my forehead next to my reading lamp before telling my mom I didn't feel well. The first thing she always did was feel my forehead to see if I had a fever.
TwoferMom: I know that kids often write to you. Is there a letter that stands out to you and why?
DS: I have a big collection of funny letters. One kid wrote me to explain why he was not going to name his book "Don't Put Your Finger Up Your Bottom" (His dad apparently didn't care for the title). Another told me he loved to draw rodents and sent me a picture of a "Giant Sewer Rat."
Mo Willems - The Pigeon Has a Blog?
TwoferMom: Where did you get the idea for The Pigeon? (Because my experience has been the aggressive New York pigeons and frankly they just gross me out…but yours is cute.)
MW: Pigeon was born accidentally in Oxford, England where I was trying to write the “Great American Picture Book” (I was in Oxford because I hoped it would make me smarter). None of my projects were any good, so the Pigeon appeared in the margins of the sketches to tell me how bad they were. We’ve had a distrustful, symbiotic relationship ever since.
TwoferMom: Elephant and Piggy make me laugh out loud and I’m not afraid to admit that. Do they represent anyone in your life?
MW: The characters are based on an Elephant and Pig I knew in college.
TwoferMom: How did you get into blogging (or who made you)?
MW: That is a question I ask myself every morning before posting…
I suppose it’s an extension of my Sketchbooks; an opportunity to throw artistic spaghetti on the wall and see what sticks. Then again, it might just be a product of my enlarged ego.
So what would you have asked them?
Well, head down Saturday, September 26th for the 2009 National Book Festival on the National Mall and ask them in person!