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Kids' Q&A

Laura Godwin and Ann M. Martin

Describe your latest project.
The Runaway Dolls is the third book about Annabelle Doll, Tiffany Funcraft, and their doll families. In this story, Annabelle thinks she has found her long-lost baby sister, but when her parents refuse to believe this, Annabelle sees no solution other than to run away — along with Tiffany, their brothers, and the new doll. They soon realize that this was not a good idea, but finding their way back home is much easier said than done. Along the way, the dolls have many unexpected adventures and make some unusual new friends.

  1. The Runaway Dolls
    $5.95 Used Hardcover add to wishlist

    The Runaway Dolls

    Ann M. Martin and Laura Godwin
    "Gentle humor, believable characters with distinct personalities, and a strong plotline will keep readers coming back for more." Booklist

    "Fast-paced, satisfyingly developed, the book is doubly enjoyable for its foundation in a solidly imagined doll culture." Publishers Weekly (starred review)


  2. The Doll People
    $4.50 Used Trade Paper add to wishlist
    "Doll lovers may well approach their imaginative play with renewed enthusiasm and a sense of wonder after reading this fun-filled adventure." Publishers Weekly
  3. The Meanest Doll in the World
    $3.50 Used Trade Paper add to wishlist
    "Superbly nuanced drawings echo the action that breathes life into these extraordinary playthings." School Library Journal
What fictional character would you like to be your friend, and why?
Laura: I'd like to be friends with Pippi Longstocking. She'd be a very entertaining friend to have. I think she'd always be up for an adventure. Plus, she's a very good storyteller, so I'd never be bored — I wouldn't even need to bring a book to read!

Offer a favorite sentence or passage from another writer.
Ann: My all-time favorite book is To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, and this is one of my favorite exchanges in the story:

Atticus stood up and walked to the end of the porch. When he completed his examination of the wisteria vine he strolled back to me.

"First of all," he said, "if you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you'll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view—"

"Sir?"

"—until you climb into his skin and walk around in it."

What was your favorite story as a child?
Ann: My parents read constantly to my sister and me, and we loved lots of characters and stories — Babar, the books by Beatrix Potter, Eloise, Madeline — but my favorite stories were the ones my father told us about a character he had made up: a tiny man named Mr. Piebald who lived in an apartment in a tree in the woods behind our house.

What do you do for relaxation?
Ann: My favorite pastimes, apart from reading, are sewing and needlework. When I'm not working, I spend hours sewing, smocking, and knitting. I like to make greeting cards, too.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Laura: When I was young, I discovered a series of books at the local library: Cherry Ames, Student Nurse. I believed that, when I grew up, I wanted to be a student nurse just like Cherry Ames. She lived in a dormitory with all sorts of exciting friends who had lots of adventures and were always getting in and out of trouble. It was clear from reading those books that being a student nurse would be the perfect occupation for me. Once I'd finished reading that series, I found another one called Sue Barton, Visiting Nurse. Sue seemed to have a lot of adventures, too. So then, I thought, if I couldn't be a student nurse, I might become a visiting one — but in the end, I grew up and started writing stories instead. Which is probably just as well, as I don't think I would have been a very good nurse — student, visiting, or otherwise!

Tell us about your pets.
Ann: I have four pets — three cats and a dog. The dog and two of the cats are getting elderly, but the third kitty is just five months old. His name is Pippin, and he's keeping the rest of us on our toes. He and Sadie, the dog, have become good friends, and they play together and sometimes even nap together.

If you could pick anyone to illustrate one of your books, who would it be and why? Conversely, if you're an illustrator, for what author would you like to illustrate?
Laura: This is the easiest question of all. I would choose Brian Selznick! I think he is a wonderful illustrator and can't imagine what Tiffany and Annabelle would have looked like if Brian hadn't been there to draw them. Besides being incredibly talented, he is funny and a lot of fun to work with. I couldn't wish for anyone different or better.

÷ ÷ ÷

Ann M. Martin grew up in Princeton, New Jersey. She has been a teacher and an editor of children's books. Many of her books are based on personal experiences.

Laura Godwin, who also writes under the pen name Nola Buck, was born and raised in Alberta, Canada, and currently lives in New York City.

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