If you were a child born in 1985 or later, you probably learned about the idea of cause and effect by reading a little book called If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. With four million copies in circulation, it's safe to say that it's a children's book classic. Now the book's author, Laura Numeroff, is now working on a new series all about dogs with jobs, called Work for Biscuits. The first book in the series, Raising a Hero, has one day left to go.
In order to get to know a bit more about her world, we asked Laura to answer 20 questions. In the process we started to really want a soda, learned about an amazing arts day in NC, and realized that the trees in Los Angeles actually do turn colors in the fall.
Tell us about the last great meal you had:
Cheeseburger, french fries, and a diet Coke! Perfection! Burger was grilled, fries were slightly crispy, and the Diet Coke had just the right amount of syrup and fizz!
First movie you saw in the theater:
Snow White! Scared the crap out of me!
How do you start each morning?
Wishing I didn’t have to get out of bed!
Music you loved as a teenager:
Crosby Stills Nash and Young, Phil Ochs, Richie Havens, The Beatles, Sonny and Cher, and The Rolling Stones, any sixties British band, including Gerry and the Pacemakers!
What do you carry with you every day?
My phone, (although I often forget to charge it! Aaargh), a little Moleskin notepad and a Flair pen and Orbit Cinnamon gum.
Favorite place to eat:
My sister Emily’s house! She’s a great cook, plus I’m eating with my best friend! It’s a “two-fer”!
Place you wish everyone could visit:
Pere Lachaise cemetery in Paris.
Last idea or factoid you came across that stayed in your brain:
I know this isn’t exactly an idea or factoid, but this quote has stayed in my brain. “Dogs aren’t our whole lives, but they make our lives whole.”
Person in your field whose career/life/work you admire:
Hilary Thompson, illustrator of Eloise.
Favorite thing about the place you live:
Even though I’m in Los Angeles, the trees around me turn red and yellow in the fall, so I feel like I’m not in Los Angeles! (Another “two-fer”!)
Favorite time of day and why:
Whenever I don’t have writer’s block, is my favorite time of day!
What’s your computer desktop/phone lock screen?
Michelle Obama, and her daughters, reading an oversized copy of IF YOU GIVE A MOUSE A COOKIE at the White House Easter Roll!
Last thing you made:
Bookmarks with kids at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
An experience you’ll never forget:
Two art teachers in North Carolina created Very Special Arts Day, for kids with disabilities. Every year they based creative activities on children’s books — Dr. Seuss, Where the Wild Things Are — and had them spread all over a high school football field. They asked me if they could use my If You Give series for the upcoming event! The day of the event, over 600 kids with disabilities arrived and sat with 400 high school volunteers in the bleachers waiting for the activities to begin. They were all wearing a t-shirt that had a drawing of my characters that were drawn by a young boy with cerebral palsy. The volunteers wore red, and the kids wore blue ones.
A marching band paraded around the field. Following the band was a person in the mouse costume, another person in the pig costume, high school girls wearing chocolate chip cookie costumes, and then me in a tricked out red Camaro, bringing up the rear, like the Little Red Caboose!
Driving slowly past the bleachers, waving to the crowd, who waved and cheered back, got me seriously choked up. To start off the official events, a little boy with Downs Syndrome sang, “I’ll Fly Away”. He was so excited to be on stage and applauded that we couldn’t get him offstage! Then the boy with cerebral palsy, who designed the t-shirts, sang “This Land is Your Land,” and that moment was when I was sorry I had worn mascara!
Afterwards, the kids and volunteers poured onto the field, visiting various booths to play games and do craft activities based on my books. There was ‘Make a Mouse Macaroni Necklace’, ‘Moose Muffin Toss’, ‘Pig Paper Planes’, and so many more brilliantly inventive games and activities. It was truly the best day of my life.