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Kids' Q&A

Mo Willems

Describe your latest project.
My newest book, Edwina: The Dinosaur Who Didn't Know She Was Extinct, is an exploration of an age-old conundrum: "Is it okay to inform a Dinosaur that she is extinct if she bakes really yummy cookies?"

Most illustrators will tell you that the most difficult part about creating a dinosaur book is accurately depicting the dinosaurs' behavior and appearance. Let me assure my audience that I did not shirk my responsibility: Edwina's straw hat and purse are true to the Jurassic Period (the pearl necklace comes from a later eon, but it looked too cute to get all finicky about total accuracy).

How did the last good book you read end up in your hands?
I tried to hold it with my feet, but that didn't work. Holding it with my elbows was a bust as well. In desperation, I tried to balance it on my head, but I couldn't see the words. As you can imagine, I was getting fairly frustrated by then. Luckily, my daughter was in the room and suggested I hold the book in my hands.

Thank you, Trixie.

Do you read the Sunday funnies, and which are your favorites?
Zits and Mutts are my favorite current strips, but my heart belongs to Peanuts (actually, I kinda like all comics that end with the letters t and s).

Why do you write books for kids?
I write silly books for people. It just happens to be that usually kids are the first people silly enough to enjoy them.

Share an interesting experience you've had with one of your readers.
I love when schools send me their students' versions of Pigeon books.

Favorites include: "Don't Let the Pigeon Operate the Catapult!," "The Pigeon Finds a Girlfriend," and "Don't Let the Pigeon Audit Your Neighbor."

Tell us about your pets. My dog, Nelson, sprained his tail this summer. He was having so much fun frolicking in the country, swimming in ponds, and chasing butterflies and frogs, that his wagger just gave out.

Who are your favorite characters in history?
Genghis Khan rocked. Not only is he the only world conqueror to live to a ripe old age while remaining in power, his empire was (contrary to popular notions) tolerant, multi-cultural, and fair to its citizens, and he introduced pants to Europe. Now, I don't know about you, but I love pants.

If you could be someone else, who would that be, and why?
It may not always be easy or pretty, but I'm content trying to be myself as much as possible. spacer

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