Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Fido and Friend in Five: Clare Vanderpool, Jack, and Millie!

One of the things I really enjoy about going to the big annual SCBWI conference in L.A is hearing the keynote speakers. As a passionate reader and long-time librarian, I love hearing authors talk about their books. At this year's conference, Patricia MacLachlan charmed us with stories about her precocious grandchildren, Ruta Sepetys had us on the edges of our seats, Dan Gutman had us laughing our heads off, Karen Cushman held us in the palm of her hand. 

And then there was Clare Vanderpool, author of the Newbery award-winning Moon Over Manifest. Clare strode out on to the stage with her long legs, gorgeous hair, and 200 watt smile, and managed to make us laugh, cry, and feel like she was our new best friend. She charmed us with stories about her husband, parents, and kids. She even showed us a little video of her daughters hanging out at home, doing the funny things kids that age do. And the girls were funny and charming (like their mom) but what caught my attention was the cute little dog who wandered into the video. My tail went straight up: Clare Vanderpool has a dog! Maybe, just maybe, she'd be on Fido and Friend in Five! Oh, but she's a Newbery Award winner, I thought, plus she has a new book coming out. She won't want to be on my little blog. But like other Newbery winners and honorees who've been on Fido and Friend--Patricia MacLachlan, Gary Schmidt, Marion Dane Bauer, Cynthia Lord, and others--Clare was most gracious with her time. 

Clare's debut novel, Moon Over Manifest, kind of came out of nowhere and won the coveted Newbery Award for 2011. I say it came out of nowhere because, as a geeky librarian, I track a lot of the talk on line about who the frontrunners are for awards like the Newbery, Caldecott, and Prinz. Not too many people had mentioned Moon Over Manifest because it had just been published that fall. A lot of us in the library world were initially surprised when it was announced that Clare's book had won the Newbery;then we were equally glad it had when we read it. Such a funny, wise, charming, and beautiful book! And I personally think it has a great cover. 

Clare has a new book coming out in January with an equally great cover. The book is called Navigating Early. I'm particularly interested in this book because it takes place on the Appalachian Trail--not only a part of the world I love but also a storied trail my stepson hiked in its entirety. 

Clare and her family share their lives in Wichita, Kansas with two adorable dogs, Jack and Millie. Let's meet them on today's Fido and Friend in Five!

1. How did you and your dogs find each other?
   I had been wanting a dog for a long time, but we'd already had the overwhelming of having a baby and getting a new puppy in the same week. Eventually, the puppy got pretty big and a very nice neighbor lady gave her a new home. So, we decided we'd wait on another dog until all the kids were potty trained. When our youngest was two and out of diapers, I began looking for a dog. We eventually found two! A fox terrier named Millie and then a chihuahua named Jack.

2. What makes Jack and Millie's tales wag?
    Lots of attention! And actually, they make each other's tails wag. They are very good buddies, and one does not like being separated from the other for very long.

3. What's your all-time favorite dog story?
Millie and Jack
    Call of the Wild and White Fang.

 4. If Jack and Millie could change just one thing about you, what would that be?
    They would probably prefer that my entire day revolved around taking long walks and long naps with them. Some days that doesn't sound like a bad idea!
5. In five words, tell us what Jack and Millie mean to you:
  Always coming home to a friendly face.

Thanks so much to the amazing Clare Vanderpool for taking the time out to share Millie and Jack's story with us! Be sure to check out Clare's website to find out all kinds
of fun information and to keep track of her new book. I can't wait to read it!

1 comment:

  1. How did I miss this blog post? I loved hearing claire speak at the CA conference and I enjoyed learning about her and her inseparable dogs!