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Kids' Q&A

Michael Ian Black

Describe your latest project.
The book is called Chicken Cheeks, and it's a fun and funny book of wordplay for kids about something most kids find pretty funny — tushies.

  1. Chicken Cheeks
    $11.95 Used Hardcover add to wishlist

    Chicken Cheeks

    Michael Ian Black
    "Actor/comedian Black produces a winner with his first children's book....Pictures tell the story, with minimal text adding humor with rhyme, alliteration and clever wordplay. The visual humor is outstanding." Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

    "Filled with visual jokes and amusing details, Chicken Cheeks is a lot more than a list of words for kids to snicker at." School Library Journal

What fictional character would you like to be your friend, and why?
Any genie that grants three wishes. I've always loved genie stories and would love to take my crack at the three wishes. Here's three I just thought of:

1. I wish that Doritos would start making the original taco-flavored Doritos again. The ones they have now are a different recipe and not nearly as good.

2. I wish that Axl Rose and Slash could work out their problems so that G-n-R could stay G-n-R forever.

3. I can't really think of a good third wish, so I'll just go with eternal world peace.

How did the last good book you read end up in your hands?
The last book I read was The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz. My wife gave it to me as a gift, and she must know me better than I know myself, because it's not a book I ever would have picked up on my own. But it's absolutely fantastic, filled with great characters and humor and heartbreak. I loved it.

What is your favorite breakfast cereal?
Any sugar cereal, but probably especially Frosted Flakes. The truth is, though, I never eat them because I feel such tremendous guilt, so instead I just eat whatever cereal has the most fiber. God, I hate fiber.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I grew up in the '70s. At that time, for some inexplicable reason, long-haul truckers were the coolest people on the planet. There was something exotic and romantic about life on the road, sleeping in your cab, and having crazy adventures, preferably with a trained orangutan by your side. So I wanted to be one of those guys.

Why do you write books for kids?
I got into writing books for kids for the same reason that a lot of people do — I have two kids of my own, and every night at bedtime we lay in my son's bed and read stories. Sometimes we make up our own, and Chicken Cheeks is a natural outgrowth of those nights in bed trying to make my kids laugh.

Tell us about your pets.
We have a beautiful yellow (almost white) Labrador Retriever named Lily, who is eight years old and still as crazy as she was when she was a puppy. We keep waiting for her to grow out of her puppy phase, but that doesn't seem to be happening. Maybe when she's 10 or 12. But she's very sweet and great with kids. We also have a hamster named Nibbles. He lives in a glass terrarium and spends every moment of every day plotting his escape. I suspect he might have been some kind of bandit in a previous life.

What's your favorite holiday and why?
My favorite holiday, hands down, is Thanksgiving. There's just nothing better than gathering friends and family together for no reason other than to give thanks and eat yourselves sick. There's no presents to wrap, no trees to decorate, no Thanksgiving songs to sing. Nothing except fantastic food and, if you want, football. It's a great, great holiday.

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Michael Ian Black has starred in many television series and films including Stella, The State, Wet Hot American Summer, Viva Variety, Vh1's I Love the... series, and NBC's Ed. He wrote the screenplay for Run, Fat Boy Run, and wrote and directed the film Wedding Daze. Michael is also a popular stand-up comedian and world champion poker player (not true). He lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids. This is his first book.


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