April 14, 2010
Art © Michael Rex
Fuzz is delighted to meet Rotten Little
Mummy from Michael Rex's book The
Runaway Mummy: A Petrifying Parody, published by G.
P. Putnam's Sons 2009, and is hoping the little mummy won't try
running away from him before the interview is over.
really like your book! What's
a parody? Is that some kind of
a parrot, or party, or parasol?
Little Mummy: Thanks! A parody
is when you take a story or a song or something, and you mix it all up
to…um…kind of poke fun at it. Like, if it’s a sweet story, you make
it scary, and if it’s a serious story, you make it silly.
you have a favorite game you like to play?
Little Mummy: Yes. I like to
play “Polite boy who is alive.” I pretend I’m still a regular living
boy, and I’m very sweet and I do my homework and take baths without a
fuss. And I don’t try to scare anybody.
I just try to be really helpful and nice, and play sports and be a
good loser. My Mummy hates it.
Fuzz: Is that why you tried to
run away from Mother Mummy?
Little Mummy: No.
I was kicking my ball around in
the tomb, and Mummy said I shouldn’t do that!
Then the ball hit the canopic jars, and they cracked.
Do you know what’s in a canopic jar?
Intestines and lungs and gross stuff needed for the afterlife!
That stuff got all over the floor and she got so mad, so I ran.
Fuzz: You told Mother Mummy you were going to
turn into many things. What if you really did turn into a gargoyle on a
mountaintop? Do you
think you'd see any animals up there?
Little Mummy: Nope. If they
saw me they would be too afraid and run away.
Anyway, I have some animals in my tomb, like snakes and scarabs and
a mummy alligator.
Fuzz: If you
really turned into a sea serpent, what do you suppose
would be the scariest thing you'd find at the bottom of the sea?
Little Mummy: Sea Serpent school.
Fuzz: Oh, now I get it! The Runaway Mummy is a
parody of The Runaway BUNNY! Thanks for teaching me a new
word, Little Mummy! Parody! (And thank you, Michael
April 7, 2010
Art © Scott Magoon
Cork and Fuzz often talk about growing up, but today they
meet a boy who grew down! This very funny book, Otto
Grows Down, was written by Michael
Sussman, and illustrated by Scott
Publishing 2009. Cork and Fuzz giggled all the way through it, and at
the same time were a little worried about Otto's dilemma.
Fuzz: When it's
my birthday, I never get cake or candles because I'm a possum.
I live in the woods and possums don't get those things. Is there
another way I can get a birthday cake?
I’d be happy to bring you a cake on your birthday! Otherwise, you could
consider becoming someone’s pet. I’d love to have a pet possum!
Cork: I thought your book was
very funny, about how everything was backwards. Are
you usually a funny person?
Well, I often think funny thoughts. Like, if a cow laughed real hard,
would milk come out of her nose? And if corn oil comes from corn, where
does baby oil come from?
a way, I also have a funny name. It’s a palindrome! That’s a fancy
name for a word or phrase that reads the same backward or forward.
Here’s a secret about Otto Grows
Down: Every name in the story is a palindrome. Otto, Anna, Bob, and
even Mom &
you know any backwards jokes?
sure. What happens if you sing country music backwards? You get your job
and your wife back!
one’s sort of backwards: If your nose is running and your feet smell,
you must be upside-down!
Cork: Did you walk and run
backwards, too? That must have been hard if you were playing baseball or
something like that.
Yeah, baseball was pretty rough. Especially since I was the pitcher. Every
time a guy got a hit, I had to catch the ball with my bare hand. Why I
didn’t use my glove, I’ll never know.
favorite sport was fishing. I’d take a dead fish down to the creek and
put it on my hook. When I lowered the fish into the water, it came alive
and swam away!
Fuzz: If I
were to come to your seventh birthday party so I could have some cake, how
would I get there?
you really have a thing for cake, don’t you? Here’s the problem. Being
a character in a picture book, I’ll never grow any older. (Unless you
can convince that Sussman guy to write a sequel.) But that’s okay—I
love being six!
Cork, can I go to Otto's house for some cake?
Cork: But maybe he'll kidnap you and keep you for a pet!
Fuzz: Oh. Okay, then, I won't go. But I'm sure going to miss having
Cork: Goodbye, Otto. Thank you. (And thank you, Michael
March 31, 2010
Art © Marisabina Russo
Fuzz meets Amelia, A
Very Big Bunny, for this interview. She is a young bunny
who is big for her age, and sometimes that makes things difficult for her,
especially in school. Then she meets Susannah and things start to look a
little brighter. This sweet book is written and illustrated by Marisabina
Russo, and published by Schwartz
& Wade Books, 2010. Fuzz has a crush on Amelia, although I
doubt he'll admit it.
I am a tall possum. You are a big bunny. I like to eat a lot.
What are your favorite things to eat?
love anything orange like pumpkin soup, carrot cake, nasturtium salad, and
of course, orange smoothies. Yum! Sometimes I eat my dandelion crowns, but
only if I'm really hungry.
go to school. I've never been in school. What's it like? Are
there good and bad things about it?
I'll start with the worst thing about school - getting up so
early in the morning. I'm a sleepyhead. Mama has to tickle my big bunny
feet to get me out of bed! The best thing...hmmm...probably my teacher,
Miss Iris. K. Arugula. She's the smartest, nicest, funniest teacher in the
whole school. And I like gym, too, especially when we do the bunny hop. I
don't want to sound like a show off, but Fuzz, you know, I'm a really good
Can you tell me how to make a dandelion crown?
First you pick the dandelions and make sure they have long long stems.
That way you can tie the stems together in little knots. You tie and tie
and tie until it's long enough to make a circle that fits your head.
Susannah always finishes hers before me because she has such a tiny little
head. Then she helps me by picking more dandelions for my crown.
those other bunnies weren't very nice to you because you were big. Why
didn't you just beat them up?
Amelia: No way, Fuzz! Fighting is dumb. And anyway, I don't like lumps
or bumps or crumpled bunny ears.
You are a very gentle and sweet bunny. Do you ever post on Facebook
and would you be my friend?
I'm not on Facebook. My parents say I'm too little. Can I still be your
friend? I've never had a possum for a friend. Maybe you can teach me how
to hang upside down from a tree and I can teach you how to get really high
on the trampoline!
Fuzz: Oh, yes, yes, yes!
I'll be your friend! Thank you, Amelia! Thank you, Marisabina!
March 24, 2010
Art © Tom Lichtenheld
Cork is excited because today is his first time
interviewing a real book illustrator, Tom
Lichtenheld, through the eyes of his character Tommy.
Tommy's very funny book is Yes
Day! by Amy
Krouse Rosenthal, published by HarperCollins
Publishers 2009. Imagine one special day when everything you ask
for gets a YES answer!
: I sure could use a Yes Day once in awhile. Is there one every
month? Or, how often does it
come around? I don’t think
it's on my calendar.
Tommy: Yes Day only comes around once
a year, and your parents get to pick the month.
: Do you think it would be okay for a muskrat to use hair gel like you did
in the book?
Tommy: That would be awesome! You would be
the handsomest muskrat in the swamp!
: Oh, good! I thought maybe I'd look like a porky-pine. You
invented your own game in the story. Would you invent a game that a
muskrat and a possum could play together?
Tommy: Okay, it goes like this. First, the
possum hangs by his tail from a low branch on a tree. Then the muskrat
gets some fuzz from a cattail and uses it to tickle the possum’s nose.
Pretty soon the possum giggles so much he falls down and chases the
muskrat into the swamp. You can play this game on any day, even if it’s
not Yes Day.
: I'd like that, and so would Fuzz! But, there are a lot of NO days
on your calendar…Not in Your Life
Day… Don't Even Ask Day… When Pigs Fly Day…
What does that last one mean? About
the pigs flying?
Tommy: The thing about pigs flying is a joke.
See, since pigs can’t really
fly, it’s like saying “This will never ever happen, not in a bazillion
trillion years!” We learned
about these kinds of sayings in school. They’re called “idioms.” If
you said “I have a frog in my throat,” that would be an idiom. Unless
you really did have a frog in your throat, then that would just be gross.
: On your next Yes Day! would you ask if I can come over to eat
pizza and play?
Tommy: Sure, but I’m not sure my Mom would
let a muskrat and a possum into the house, so we might have to eat our
pizza through the kitchen window, the way I ate my lunch in the Yes Day
Cork: Oh! Oh! Oh! YES!!! I'd like that!
Thank you, Tommy! (And thank you, Tom Lichtenheld!)
Art © Herb Leonhard
To celebrate St. Patrick's Day, Cork (the
muskrat, not the county in Ireland) interviews Tulla, a brave little mouse
from the book St.
Patrick and the Three Brave Mice,
Stengel, illustrated by Herb
Leonhard, published by Pelican
Publishing Company 2009. Cork thinks it a really scary book
because it has a mean snake in it.
really met St. Patrick, didn’t you?
What was he like?
was like my granddad, Papa Whiskers, kind and caring with a twinkle in his
Cork: Weren’t you afraid of
that snake? What’s the worse
thing a snake can do to a mouse like you?
I was trembling from my whiskers to the tip of my tail.
That snake could swallow me whole!
But I had to help St. Patrick.
Cork: You were very smart to braid
grass into a rope. Where did
you learn to braid?
once lived in a house in Killarney and, come morning, I’d watch the
mother braid her little lass’s hair.
Cork: St. Patrick’s bell is
called a clogga.
That’s a fun word to say. Do
you know any other fun Irish words?
Here’s a few to tickle your tongue, Naomh
Patrick himself; daideo,
that’s what I call my granddad; and to greet a friend, ye might say, “Dia daoibh.”
Cork: When St. Patrick chased the
Ireland, all the mice were safe. Did
St. Patrick think that that would lead to too many mice?
many mice? Impossible.
St. Patrick was as happy as a mouse.
He sang out, “Bulla! Bulla!
Hooray for Tulla. She’s
made my day!”
Cork: I like
that he made a rhyme with your name. I could do that with my name, but
the only thing I can think of is "Snork! Snork! Hooray for
Thank you, Tulla!
Thank you, Joyce!
And to all our
your day be touched
by a bit of Irish luck,
brightened by a song in your heart,
and warmed by the smiles
of the people you love."
December 4, 2009
~Fun and Fright~
A Pair of Poems
Art © Lisa McCue
One day I found a big, brown box.
A perfect place to hide!
I had to scrunch my legs and tail
so I would fit inside.
Then Cork came by. I heard him
I know he couldn't see me.
I jumped out with a great big "ROARRR!"
Now Cork's not talking to me.
* * * * *
Last night I had a scary dream.
It left me filled with fright!
I went to find my best friend
when the morning sky turned light.
While on my way, I saw a box,
tipped slightly on its rim.
Then Fuzz yelled, "ROARRR!" just like my dream,
and now I'm mad at him!
Art © Lisa McCue
December 2, 2009
Art © John Manders 2005
Cork has been chewing the tip of his tail
out of excitement about today's interview! The storybook star is
Henry from Carolyn Crimi's
Henry and the Buccaneer Bunnies, and
Henry and the Crazed Chicken Pirates, illustrated by
John Manders. The
spotlight is lit, the microphone is on... 3...2...1... GO!
How did Barnacle Black Ear, the baddest bunny brute, get to be so mean?
Oh gee, it’s a long story
involving a lost treasure chest and a very hungry shark with a taste for
bunny meat. Some day I’ll tell it to you over a cup of coconut milk.
Cork: Sometimes I
see a bunny near my pond. Should I be
That depends—is he wearing
an eye patch and saying “ARRR!” a lot? If so, run as fast as you can, my
Cork: You've read
an awful lot of books. Do you have a
Well, Quick ‘N’
Easy Recipes for Marooned Pirates sure did get me out of a jam. And
I’ve found 30 Days To Longer Ears to be quite
instructive. But my own book, Henry’s Plan for Impending
Danger from the Unknown Enemy Who Wrote the Scary Note is destined
to be a Newbery winner.
You know some very long words like 'meteorology.'
What is the longest word you know?
Gosh, I’m no blatherskite.
I’d rather not gasconade, if you don’t mind.
You said in the book that you cooked up some tasty seaweed stew.
Can I have the recipe, and would it work with pond weeds?
Henry: Yes, yes, and yes.
2 paws full of seaweeds (can substitute pond weeds but certainly not
a pinch of sand (optional)
2 gallons seawater
Mix all ingredients in a microwave-proof kettle. Cook on high for five
minutes. Sing “One Hundred Bottles of Carrot Juice on the Wall” while
you wait for it to cook. Let cool for one minute. Drain into seashells.
Slurp delicately. Freeze leftovers for future adventures.
Cork: I think I might want to try that. I think.
Maybe. Or... maybe not.
Thank you, Henry. (Thank you, Carolyn!)
November 28, 2009
At times I like to be alone
to think about some things,
like why the clover smells so sweet,
or why the birdy sings.
things to think about!
A little time each day.
Okay! Five minutes. That's enough!
"Hey, Fuzz! You wanna play?"
November 25, 2009
Art © Gris Grimly
As luck would have
it, Fuzz's very first interview is with a
But seeing as Fuzz is generally clueless, he plunges ahead. The
monster is one of the stars of Campfire Songs for Monsters: Sipping
Spiders Through a Straw, written by
Kelly DePucchio and
illustrated by Gris Grimly.
Fuzz: I want to try sipping spiders through a
straw, but I don't have a straw. Is there another good way to eat
Monster loves to roast spiders with
marshmallows. Monster really loves to roast spiders with
marshmallows and small, fuzzy animals! M'mm.
Fuzz: I like the poem about goon underwear.
What is underwear anyway?
Monster: Underwear make good nets for
Monster to catch spiders and small, fuzzy animals.
Fuzz: Cork is my best friend. Do you have any
Monster: Monster has lots of friends!
Monster has small, fuzzy friends over for lunch all the time.
Fuzz: I'm good at climbing trees. What are you good at?
good at shaking trees.
Fuzz: You wouldn't ever come to my house, would you?
Especially not at night, would you?
Monster: Nooo, silly Mr.
Fuzz! Monster do
not know where Mr. Fuzz live! Where do Mr. Fuzz live?
Tell Monster so Monster never, ever visits Mr. Fuzz. Especially
not at night...with marshmallows. M'mm.
Fuzz: That's all. You can go home now. Why
are you looking at me like that?
BUY CAMPFIRE SONGS FOR MONSTERS
November 18, 2009
Cork's first guest is Cushion,
star of two picture books - Porcupining: A Prickly Love Story,
and Hokey Pokey: Another Prickly Love story, written by
Lisa Wheeler and
illustrated by Janie Bynum.
Cork: Where did you learn
to play the banjo?
Cushion: I just picked it up. But I make it
a point to play every day so I don't get rusty.
Cork: I like the song you made up.
Are you a baritone?
Cushion: No, I'm a porcupine.
Cork : The rabbits called you
"burr-ball." Are all rabbits so mean?
Cushion:: They’re jumpy critters who get
hopping mad at the least little thing. They look cute and fuzzy, but I
find them to be sorta prickly.
Cork: Do you and Barb have
But I’m gonna practice taking care of a cactus. If it’s still alive
after a few years, Barb says I can get a pet sea urchin.
Cork: Can I have your banjo?
Cushion: My banjo is my second best
friend. You wouldn’t give away Fuzz, would you?
Oh. Okay. Thank you. The End.
Art © Janie Bynum