Puffin is updating the Puffin Storytapes audio program and converting the cassette tapes to compact discs! Our list begins with three perennial classics: Corduroy, Madeline, and Froggy Gets Dressed, as well as one modern classic new to Puffin audio Skippyjon Jones. each Puffin picture book will be accompanied by compact disc that features a professional reading of each unabridged story and, in some cases, music. perfect for road trips or quiet bedtime reading, as well as story time, preschool, and home schools, Puffin Storytime is sure to please children and parents alike.
EB White Read Aloud Award (Association of Booksellers for Children) – winner
My very own cat Skippy inspired these books, as well as my brother Kevin, Antonio Banderas, and the teeny, tiny, trembling Chihuahua deep down inside of me.
Skippyjon Jones has an active imagination. What is the best thing parents can do to encourage their children to imagine?
The best thing a parent can do for a child is to give him/her the time to use their imagination. Pure, unadulterated, un-programmed, unplugged time. Sprinkle in lots of hugs and kisses and mix with a healthy dose of snuggles and books.
Are family and friends represented in the characters you create?
Absolutely. I believe in exploiting family, friends and pets for fame and fortune. Both my girls were tom boys when they were little. Sarah, the younger was a combination of Superman and John Lennon of the Beatles. She flew around town in a gold lame cape and yellow swimming goggles which squished her eyes close together. Emma was an American red fox and a Viking explorer. Yo Vikings was a book written about them, and it is based on a true story. My husband makes an appearance in The Grannyman. He is wearing pink pajamas. The people who rode the train to work with him everyday gave him a hard time. Hee, hee, hee!
Do you have any pets?
I currently have two cats named Skippy and Tink and one dog we rescued named Buster. They love ice cream but they cannot read.
Skippyjon Jones is a Siamese cat who believes he is a Chihuahua. When you were a kid what characters and creatures did you pretend to be?
I have never been comfortable in my own skin. I much preferred living in the skin of Patti Paige, My Little Margie, Shirley Temple, Davy Crockett, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, and Dr. Kildares’ love interest. But most of all I loved inhabiting the characters of Dorothy and Toto. Today I am a Chihuahua as old as Monte Zuma with no plans to enter either a kennel or a convent.
How did your imagination and artwork help you cope with some of the difficulties in your childhood?
Imagination sustained me through a painful childhood of poor report cards and personal loss. I could always draw myself into a world in which dreamers ruled and mothers never died.
You incorporate some Spanish into your Skippyjon Jones books. Do you feel it is important for children to begin learning a second language at an early age?
I so regret never learning a foreign language. Children should start in kindergarten. I’m sure it would lead to a more tolerant world.
What future adventures will Skippy and his imagination take readers on?
Skippyjon Jones and I are currently in his closet working on a new sequel titled Mummy Love.