(How I wish we were eating an actual breakfast at her beautiful, colorful house)
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Really devoted 7-Imp readers will note that Alfred, pictured left, is joining me earlier than usual for today’s post. Alfred, who sprung from the mind and paintbrush of Matt Phelan, now lives at 7-Imp and always introduces Bernard Pivot’s famous Pivot Questionnaire, which is how I consistently close my interviews. (As noted elsewhere at the blog, Alfred makes good, strong coffee and tells wicked funny knock-knock jokes in a low voice. I like him.)
He’s at the top of today’s post, because my guest this morning, author/illustrator Deborah Freedman, illustrated her responses to the Pivot Questionnaire, which makes me happy. Yes, illustrated! (There is always Chris Raschka’s set of Pivot responses, answered in photographs, which I also loved, but these illustrated responses are a first for 7-Imp.) Since I blew up Deborah’s Pivot image at the close of this interview to be as large as possible in the blog’s template, Alfred didn’t quite fit down there, so he’s up top with me now to introduce Deborah. Don’t worry. He’s not as surly as he looks.
There aren’t a whole lot of author/illustrators who can say that their second published book got a good deal of Caldecott buzz. But Deborah can. Those who pay attention to picture-book chatter know that her newest title, Blue Chicken, released by Viking in September (and sparked by William Carlos Williams’s “The Red Wheelbarrow,” as Deborah notes here), has been mentioned by many in the same sentence as that prestigious award (all in the name of ALA awards-predictions, which get hot and heavy this time of year). The book tells the story of a painted chicken who lets loose on an artist’s canvas. She just wants to help, yet spills blue paint everywhere. Then, things get very 3-d, as other animals in the painting emerge from the canvas onto the meta-landscape to watch while the chicken tries to “undo the blue” by toppling over the artist’s glass of water.
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