Monday, August 30, 2010

Michigander Monday: Matt Faulkner

(Before we get to our main attraction, a quick announcement:  My contest for a free signed copy of The Pout-Pout Fish In The Big-Big Dark is still going on -- click here for details.)

I am very pleased today to welcome the talented Matt Faulkner to Michigander Monday!

Debbie:  Matt, please tell us a little about yourself.

Matt:  I grew up in Arlington, Ma.- just outside of Boston. Kids liked hockey in Arlington. I liked hockey too but what I really liked was to read and draw. I also had a heck of a lot of fun hanging out at the local Boys and Girls Club - playing hoops, ping pong etc. (My Dad was Exec. Director of the joint so, it was like a second home to me and my brother and sisters.) Oh ya, did I mention drawing? I was and am mad for drawing. Mad. I drew and drew. Madness. I went to a college for art called the Rhode Island School of Design. Had a lot of fun there. They let me draw all the time! I have a teen age son named Gabriel - he likes to draw too. I have published over 35 books for kids. And…Tah Dah… I’m getting married in December to my lovely fiancĂ© Kris Remenar; author, great mom, children’s librarian and hottie scholar! Woohoo!

Debbie:  You and Kris are so deserving of your mutual joy -- hearty congratulations to both of you!!!!

Matt, tell us a little about your latest book.

Matt: My latest book is about the illegal imprisonment of Japanese Americans during WWII. It is loosely based on the experiences of my aunt Adeline and her daughter, Mary Asai. Adeline and Mary were illegally imprisoned during the war because Adeline’s father was Japanese. It’s a graphic novel and will be published by Disney/Hyperion in 2012.

Debbie:  What an amazing story.  Any other books and projects on the horizon?

Matt: I am working on another book with Laurie Halse Anderson. This one will be about Abigail Adams. I also have a manuscript that I’ve written that is about crazy rabbits who take over a town and eat all the burritos. That’s going to be fun!

Debbie:  Burrito-eating rabbits - I love it!  Can't wait to see that one.  Matt, do you have any upcoming appearances?

Matt: I have a show of my work at the Little Monsters Toy Store in downtown Lake Orion in January 2011.

Debbie:  How about your favorite places in Michigan?

Matt: I love Beaver Island in Lake Michigan. It’s so peaceful. Go there whenever I can! Also dig the Franklin Cider Mill. Dreamt of their donuts while I lived in California!

Debbie:  Favorite Michigan event or happening?

Matt: The Dragon On The Lake festival in Lake Orion! I rowed one of the boats in the race on Sunday, Aug. 29th! Very cool!

Debbie:  A few fun Michigan people we should all know about?

Matt: I really dig Glenn Michael’s mosaics and Balthazar Korab’s photos of Cranbrook. Another favorite Michigan person is Kim Santini, who paints portraits of animals, pets mostly but some wild as well. She has a great style and is a great support for other artists, young and older! And I am a big fan of Wendy Halperin/John Mooy and Sarah Stewart/David Small! There are so many cool Michigan people - not enough space for them all here!

Debbie:  Something you'd like a non-Michigander to know about Michigan?

Matt: There is a great deal of fantastic native American history in Michigan.

Debbie:  And finally, for our ongoing tally:  Some residents of Michigan refer to themselves as Michiganders; others Michiganians. Are you a "Michigander" or a "Michiganian"?

Matt: I’m a Michiganian. O ya!

Debbie:  Matt, thank you so much for being here today!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Picture Books for the Presidential Reading List: A Contest

This morning I read an article about our President's current summer reading list.  And while I'm always pleased when people in serious positions have serious reading interests, I couldn't help but wish his list had a little bit of whimsy.

That led to the following thought.  Perhaps we could come up with a picture book or two for the Commander-In-Chief to add to his summer reading stack.  Because, really, with 2,333 pages already on his nightstand, what's 32 more?

And, heck, why not make it a contest?  With a prize and everything?

So, with that in mind, I'm officially announcing a contest.  Here are the contest rules, made up by a committee of one even as I type them.

1.  Think of a picture book that you believe the President would enjoy reading.  This could be new picture book or an oldie-but-goodie.  (Note: for reasons of this being my blog, please don't suggest any of my books; but do consider books by any and all of your favorite authors, past and present.)

2.  Then think of to whom the President should read the book.  Your choice of designated readee can add a sweet note to your suggestion, or a funny twist, but please do show respect for all parties mentioned.

3.  Post your title and readee nominee in the comments section of this post.

4.  Contest will run until I have enough entries to make it feel like a real contest.  (After I get at least ten entries, I'll establish an honest-to-goodness deadline.)

5.  After the contest closes, I'll choose my favorite entry.  The winner will receive a signed copy of my and Dan Hanna's new book, The Pout-Pout Fish In The Big-Big Dark.

Have fun, and Good Luck!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

It's A Boy!

Actually, technically, "It's a Fish!"  Today's a fishy book birthday:  it's the official release day of The Pout-Pout Fish In The Big-Big Dark.

I'm thrilled to have had the opportunity to work again with Dan Hanna on this pouty "sea"quel.

I hope readers will enjoy the further adventures of Mr. Fish, Miss Shimmer, and their many ocean friends!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Tornado-Damaged High School Library

This blog occasionally profiles libraries that have had building or collection damage.

Tornadoes in June in Minnesota killed three people, injured many others, and caused substantial property damage.  In Wadena, a tornado touched down for 10 miles; it damaged 232 homes, the community center, and the high school.  At the Wadena-Deer Creek High School, the media center lost over 7,000 books to tornado-related damage.

If you're interested in making a small donation to help the high school rebuild their collection, please click here.  To read the school system's press release about the situation, click here.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Mr. Fish, he's got a few fears.

OK, make that lots of them.  Including catonmyheadphobia.

But today, over on the MacKids blog, he comes clean about his fears and gives some thought to what he's not scared of.

So don't be afraid:  Head on over to MacKids to hear from Mr. Fish himself!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Happy Book Birthday to Ellie McDoodle #3!

Please join me in a round of applause for Ruth McNally Barshaw!  Today's the release date for her third Ellie McDoodle book:  Ellie McDoodle: Best Friends Forever.

Congratulations, Ruth!!!!!

Now, all of you, please run to your nearest library or bookstore, and enjoy this wonderful new book!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Tracy Dockray Poster

How cool is this: Tracy Dockray (illustrator for The Barefooted, Bad-Tempered Baby Brigade, among many other books) created this "Libraries Are For Everyone" poster for ALA, based on the characters of Beverly Cleary's books.

What a great poster!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

New Best Friend

I have a new best friend.

OK, so I've never even met her.  But this weekend, Melissa over at The Betty and Boo Chronicles participated in Kid Konnection -- which is in and of itself a cool thing.

But what makes it even cooler (for me), and what has moved me to contemplate BFF status, is that for her first Kid Konnection review, Melissa reviewed The Barefooted, Bad-Tempered Baby Brigade.  And not to sound too Sally Fieldish about it, but...  she liked it!

Which totally made my day.  Thanks, Melissa!

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(Note to Actual Best Friend:  Of course I'm just kidding about the new best friend.  You think I'd let you off that easily?  :)