Monday, July 25, 2011

Fido and Friend in Five: Marilyn Singer and Oggi!

Marilyn and Oggi
When I first met Marilyn Singer last month at ALA in New Orleans, the first thing I noticed was that gorgeous head of hair, followed by an electric smile. She was surrounded by other folks who were just basking in that smile and her energy. We had exchanged a few emails earlier in the month. I'd contacted her after I read her new picture book, What is Your Dog Doing? to, of course, see if she and her most handsome poodle, Oggi, would visit Fido and Friend in Five. Then we both discovered we were going to be at ALA doing signings. I popped by her booth to say hi, but held back rather shyly until the crowd cleared. I mean, this is a writer I've admired and followed for years! I figured I'd do a quick introduction and scuttle on my way. But she embraced me as if we had known each other forever. Dog people are like that, and I think Marilyn is especially that way. She draws you into her energy and makes you feel like the most important person in her world.

Poetry by Marilyn
Her books are like that too: full of energy, humor, and beauty. Marilyn has written over 90 books for kids and teens. And let me tell you, she writes everything! Picture books, nonfiction, poetry, novels for kids, and novels for teens--you name it, she does it. She is a force of nature. Several of her books feature dogs--What is Your Dog Doing?, Chester the Out of Work Dog, Where There's a Will, There's a Wag--so I wanted to meet her dog, Oggi, who is her inspiration these days.

Oggi's Pack
1.  How did you and Oggi find each other?  I've had quite a few dogs in my life, many of them strays I took in. But my husband, Steve Aronson, and I got Oggi from a great breeder. He's the second standard poodle we've owned. We love the breed! Poodles are very smart and funny, as well as beautiful. Oggi is a wonderful ambassador for the breed and the well-trained dog. He tells everyone that being a good canine citizen is important. He's happy to show off tricks I taught him and make everyone smile. As a writer, I'm appreciative of making folks smile!

2. What makes Oggi's tail wag?  Me. And even better is me and Steve. Oggi really likes the whole pack to be together. And he's more than happy to add to the pack. One of his favorite past times is sitting on our stoop in Brooklyn and urging folks to hang out with us. He also loves playing fetch and will do so until he's wiped out (or we are).

Let's go, Mom!
3. What's your all-time favorite dog story?  I have several shelves of non-fiction books about dogs I've used for research because I've written dog books myself, including A Dog's Gotta Do What a Dog's Gotta Do about the work dogs do, and my latest picture book, What is Your Dog Doing? They're all interesting, but I have to say among other dog works, I love Joyce Sidman's poetry book, The World According to Dog. She's an amazing poet, and really captures canines.

4. If Oggi could change just one thing about you, what would it be?  He would ask me to take him everywhere I go. And I wish I could!

5. In five words, tell us what Oggi means to you:  The better part of myself.
Marilyn & Oggi, BFFs!

I couldn't have said it better. Many thanks to Marilyn and Oggi for visiting Fido and Friend in Five! To find out more about Marilyn and her many, many books, and to see more photos of the handsome Oggi, visit her website

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