Debbie: Tell us a little about yourself.
One of the best things about writing picture books is what other people bring to the words. My editors have helped me shape the stories. The illustrators see them in a fresh way. With Raccoon Tune, I also heard the story anew, as the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra commissioned a concert piece. I had a simple raccoon tune going through my head when I was writing, but Joshua Penman's music was a very different way of telling the story musically. And to see and hear it performed--wow!
Nancy: My new book is Sheep Blast Off! The flock stumbles aboard a spacecraft from the Alfalfa Centauri star system, and accidentally set it into orbit. Somehow they also manage to perform a spacewalk. The illustrator, Margot Apple, has left an alien sheep aboard--he was in the bathroom when the rest of his crew got off--and he handles the re-entry, using the autopilot system.
Nancy: What a thrill it is to go on the road for Michigan Reads! Raccoon Tune is the book chosen by the Library of Michigan for its one state, one book project to raise awareness of the importance, and fun, of early reading. A program guide, chock-full of activities, is at the Library's website. The Target Book Festival kicked off the Michigan Reads! season, and here's the list of libraries that will host programs: