Monday, October 25, 2010

Michigander Monday Bonus Feature: Laurie Keller

Laurie Keller has been with us previously for Michigander Monday, and today I am delighted to have her back for some Q&A about her latest book.  Laurie is a fabulous and unique talent, and her new book is marvelous fun.

Debbie:  You new book, Birdy’s Smile Book, is wonderful! Tell us a little about what inspired you to write it.

Laurie:  I wanted to write a book on smiling because I think it's something we don't think about that much yet smiling is something that can affect any given situation in a positive way. It's such a simple thing but it can really make a difference in how we relate to others -- strangers, friends, teachers, classmates, family, bill collectors, llamas, doughnuts -- I'll stop now but you get the idea. Birdy was the first KID character I ever used in a book thus far. I named her Birdy after my friend's next-door-neighbor who is nicknamed 'Birdy'. She was always telling me amusing stories about Birdy and when I decided to use a little girl character for the smiling book, I knew I wanted to name her Birdy because of her.

Debbie:  According to Birdy, someone who studies laughter is called a gelotologist. Is this really true?

Laurie:  It's TRUE! It comes from the Greek word gelos which means laughter. Gelotology is the study of laughter and humor and the effects of both on our bodies. Who knew?! I sure didn't until I started researching smiling and laughing. I still wonder though, like Birdy does, what someone who studies Jello© is called.

Debbie:  Birdy says if she were a food, she’d be cheese. You?

Laurie:  I'd be popcorn. It's one of my favorite foods and I think it'd be fun to experience the popping process.

Debbie:  Name a vegetable that makes you smile (I’m guessing it’s not broccoli).

Laurie:  Hmmm....I'll say onions. They're supposed to make people cry but onion is a fun word to say. It's got kind of a built-in rhyme: UN-YUN. And they sure smell good when they're cooking which makes me and my nose smile.

Debbie:  One of Birdy’s smiles travels all the way to Timbuktu. Where’s the furthest one of your smiles has traveled?

Laurie:  Well, the furthest I have personally traveled to deliver a smile is Thailand and Viet Nam. Who knows though where it has traveled from there. I did see a smile the other day when I was in Georgia that looked vaguely like mine so maybe my smile is working its way back to the states by now.

Debbie:  Top five things guaranteed to put a smile on your face?


*dogs riding in cars with their heads out of the windows

*my 5 year-old niece

*Christopher Guest movies

*my cats

*walking in the woods
(those were the first 5 things that popped in my head when thinking about that question so that's what I'll go with for my answer)

Debbie:  Will we be seeing more of Birdy?

Laurie:  Maaaaaaybe. I thought it would be fun to do a Birdy's Breakfast Book -- discussing the importance of eating breakfast. Though that may be a bit hypocritical of me because I rarely eat breakfast. BUT I have heard time and time again that it's very important for KIDS to eat breakfast so they don't run out of fuel before lunch. We'll see...I have a couple other ideas for Birdy...stay tuned!

Debbie:  I definitely will!  Laurie, having you here today has put a big smile on my face.  Thank you for stopping by!

To learn more about Birdy's Smile Book, click here; or view the trailer here.  And head over to Laurie's site here.

And keep smiling!


Jacqui said...

I kind of want to be a gelatologist.

Can't wait to see this -- we LOVE Arnie the Doughnut in our house.

Anonymous said...

OMG OMG OMG, we LOVE Laurie's Books. Arnie the Dougnut has been read and reread no less than 15,000 times here. We can't even buy chocolate-coated donuts with candy sprinkles for fear we'd be eating Arnie. I'm looking forward to grabbing her newest book!