Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Fido and Friend in Five: Lauren Tarshis and Roy!

On Lauren Tarshis's website, she tells this inspiring story:  "Back in fourth grade, I was in the lowest reading group in my class. I tried to read Charlotte's Web about ten times, and never made it past chapter 2. I didn't know it at the time, but I had some kind of learning disability that made it hard for me to keep all the words straight in my brain. If you had known me in fourth grade, you would have said, "She is the least likely person in our class to grow up to write a book."  And yet, she did. Lauren is the author of the multi-award winning Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree and its sequel, Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell in Love--both picks for Oprah's Best Books for Girls. Yes, Lauren got the Oprah Bump! Lauren also writes the wildly popular I Survived...series for Scholastic. The latest one, I Survived the San Francisco Earthquake, just came out in March. I'm telling you, I'm constantly re-ordering these for my library. For ten years, Lauren has been the editor for Scholastic's Storyworks magazine, a really fun literature magazine for kids in 4th-6th grade. So as you can see, Lauren's early struggles with reading didn't hold her back!

I had the great good fortune to work with Lauren last summer when she asked me to write an original short story for Storyworks. I was nervous, excited, honored and terrified! I wasn't at all sure I could write a short story. I am, after all, a Southerner. The words "short" and "story" are never used together in our story-telling world.  But Lauren was a dream to work with. In the course of our conversations about the story that would become "Squeak Twice for Yes," Lauren revealed she had just gotten a puppy. A puppy! I hounded Lauren for months: "Is Roy ready for a Fido and Friend in Five spotlight? Is he, huh, is he?" Finally, Roy was ready.
Love at first sight

1. How did you and Roy find each other?  I had a miniature poodle growing up. He lived to be 18. When we were ready to get a dog, we decided on a poodle. After much research, we found a breeder in Pennsylvania. The scene was poodle mayhem--and there he was, a tiny black puff with sparkling eyes. It was love at first sight!

2.  What makes Roy's tail wag?  EVERYTHING makes his tail wag--all of us, any sound (especially barking), any dog, any item left on the floor and thus obviously meant for HIM. He has a zest for life.
Squeak Twice for Yes

3. What's your all-time favorite dog story? Of course, you know the answer to to the question of my favorite dog story: it's Squeak Twice for Yes!

4. If Roy could change just one thing about you, what would it be?  If Roy could change just one thing about me, he would have me take him everywhere--to work, into the shower, to Broadway shows, everywhere.

Perpetual motion and joy
5. In five words, tell us what Roy means to you: He's joy in perpetual motion.

Thanks to Lauren and Roy for visiting Fido and Friends
in Five! Be sure to check out Lauren's website for more
information about her and her upcoming books.

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