Thursday, March 31, 2011

Fido and Friend in Five: Kathryn Erskine and Maxine!

Kathryn Erskine
When Kathy Erskine's tender, gorgeous, funny, heartbreaking book Mockingbird was named the winner of the National Book Award for 2010, several of us in my library did The Happy Dance! Granted, it was a rather subdued Happy Dance because we were, after all, in a library. But celebrate we did because we all loved that book. It's a book I clutch to my chest when I'm talking to a young reader and say, "I love this book and hope you will too." And they do! So I felt so much pleasure (and surprise) when I received an enthusiastic "yes" back from Kathy when I asked her if she'd like to be spotlighted in Fido and Friends. Her books have won every award practically known to man--National Book Award, ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults, Junior Library Guild Selection--I could go on and on. But you know what I've discovered doing this blog? It doesn't matter how "famous" they are or how busy they are, dog people have big hearts and they just LOVE to talk about their dogs! So without further ado, I give you the amazing Kathryn Erskine and the marvelous Maxine!
Marvelous Maxine

1. How did you and Maxine find each other?  After I lost my Australian Shepherd, Cody, and my kids were clamoring for a new dog, I told them absolutely not--I needed a long time to heal. Within weeks I was making clandestine visits to the local animal shelter. My husband still teases me about receiving my guilty phone call:
          "Um, can you come see this really sweet dog?"
          "At the animal shelter--I just happened to drive by--really--I didn't mean to!"
          Loud laughter on the other end of the phone.

2. What makes Maxine's tail wag?  Family, friends, visitors, food, play, walk, run...basically life!

3. What's your all-time favorite dog story?  There are so many great dog stories, but I think I'll have to go with Farley Mowat's The Dog Who Wouldn't Be (smile-one of my favorites too!)

Take me out, and I'll be good
4. If Maxine could change just one thing about you, what would it be?  I think Maxine would like me to take more walks. We go for a very long walk every day, but she'd much prefer multiple long walks. If it gets much beyond "walk time" and I'm still at my computer, she'll go through the various hint stages of increasing desperation:
1. Sit and stare
2. Wag
3. Sigh, loudly and repeatedly
4. Moan
5. Look at door (message: "OUT, NOW!") next to my computer. Look at me. Look at door. Look at me. Repeat as needed.
6. Put snout under typing arm and flip hand off the keyboard, then smile and wag.
7. BARK!
It's hard to keep saying no after all that effort.

Maxine in her walkin'shoes
5. In five words, tell us what Maxine means to you:  Joy. Enthusiasm. Loyalty. Love Sponge.

Thanks so much for stopping by, Kathy and Maxine! Now get out for a good long walk.

To find out more about Kathryn and her books (her newest book The Absolute Value of Mike has already been picked as a Junior Library Guild Selection!), visit her at her website