With the forthcoming release of Super Manny Cleans Up! (July 10, 2018), we decided to jump into the interview game—who better to start things off than the brilliant Kelly DiPucchio? Kelly is a family favorite author and a frequent go-to for classroom readings. Her books are equally loved by the children we read to. It’s a ton of fun hearing all of the “oooohs!” as they pick up on the puns in Everyone Loves Bacon and the gasps when a certain rude reptile spits on a tray of cupcakes in Dragon Was Terrible.
Kelly’s writing is funny and clever and often focuses on important issues. Grace for President serves as a kid-friendly primer on US Democracy and, despite the complex topic, is a really fun read. It also serves as an inspirational piece for future presidents, girls and boys alike. Kelly’s Super Manny Stands Up takes on bullying and again, despite a heavy topic, the story remains light while being effective in its purpose. We can’t wait for Manny to stand up for the environment in his new superhero adventure!
Inspired by Kelly’s clever writing, we decided to throw out the usual questions and mix things up a bit. Move over Terry Gross—there’s a new interviewer in town.
1) Do you love bacon or cupcakes more?
Boy, you don't waste any time with the hard-hitting, tough questions, do you? There was a time when I would have answered "Bacon!" without hesitating but I gave up eating meat last year so now my answer would have to be cupcakes. I still love and miss bacon though. *sob*
2) Are you a Gaston or an Antoinette?
This is a total cheater pants response, but truly, I am like both dogs - tough and tender. As a kid, I was very much a tomboy who loved to catch snakes and ride snowmobiles and dirt bikes. As an adult I cry during TV weddings, hate camping and I love pink. Gaston and Antoinette are both tenacious characters and I would say I am as well.
3) If you had to go on a roadtrip with one of your characters, who would it be? Where would you go?
I'm not sure if somewhere in Europe qualifies as a roadtrip destination but if we drove to the airport does that count? My daughter is in Ireland right now and she shared some of the photos she took from Trinity College in Dublin which were amazing. I'd love to take Alfred from Alfred Zector, Book Collector to visit their gorgeous library which looks like something out of a Harry Potter movie.
4) Have you ever tamed a dragon?
No, but I'm currently working on training my 11-month-old puppy, Louis, who is even more terrible than Dragon.
5) How does Kelly DiPucchio grow happiness?
Kelly grows happiness from reading, writing, going to the movies, traveling, spending time with her family, and talking about herself in 3rd person.
6) We know you have written several companion books (Gaston and Antionette; Everyone Loves Bacon and Everyone Loves Cupcake; Zombie in Love and Zombie in Love 2 + 1), do you have any others in the works?
I do! Finally, after ten years, there will be a sequel to Grace For President! It's called Grace In Washington and I'm really excited about it. It will be released in late 2019 or early 2020 with Disney-Hyperion. Of course, the incredibly talented and wonderful, LeUyen Pham is illustrating the second book.
7) We can't wait for "Super Manny Cleans Up!" What inspired you to write about the environment?
Thank you! When my editor, Emma Ledbetter, at Simon & Schuster, and I were contemplating another mission for Manny, we discussed a few different possibilities but the environment was a topic we both felt strongly about and it quickly became the clear choice. I loved the idea of inspiring kids to tap into their own superpowers in ways that might help the planet.
8) Where can fans see you after the book release? Any upcoming signings?
I have two super events planned in the month of July. I'll be on the west side of the state on Thursday, July 12th for a special Read & Clean Up the Park event. The storytime, hosted by Baker Book House, will take place at 10:30 AM at the Cascade Township Park in Cascade, Michigan. Later in the month, I'll be signing books at Sterlingfest in Sterling Heights, MI on Saturday, July 28th. You'll find me at the SCBWI-Michigan table from 10 AM- 1 PM. Readers can also follow me on Twitter for more details and information about future events. @kellydipucchio
Thanks so much for taking the time to answer our questions, Kelly! Happy book launch!
Mark your calendars for Kelly's upcoming events and be sure to comment on this blog post, or our Facebook post sharing this blog post by midnight on 7/16/18, for a chance to win a copy of one of Kelly's books!