Monday, July 23, 2007

In the Coop with Margie Palatini

We here in the coop anxiously await the next Margie Palatini book the way some people might wait for the next in the Harry Potter series. The author of Piggie Pie and Moosetache is Queen of the Funny Picture Book and always good for a giggle. In fact, we'd make her a crown out of eggs and feathers if we could figure out which glue to use.

How do you know when what you write is funny?

Do you ever really "know?"
Funny is so personal. What one person thinks is humorous, another doesn't get at all. But I will usually have a feeling, if something works or doesn't-- for me.

Do you have any tips for writing funny books?

I'm not sure someone can write funny or be funny if they don't naturally think funny.

What are some of your favorite funny books?

I have so many favorites, it's difficult to name them all.
"Funny" out-loud, "funny" clever, "funny" charming, "funny" silly.
Some of my "funny" faves:
Junie B. Jones, Olivia, David Shannon's David, Alligator Boy by Diane Good and Cynthia Rylant. My own book faves: Bad Boys, Sweet Tooth, The Web Files.

If you could live in one of your books, which one would you choose?

Wow. That is difficult, because I've worked with such delicious illustrators--I would like to live in any of the books on which we've collaborated. I love Three French Hens, because it feels so cinematic--and I like the holiday fantasy and the New York and Paris scenes, so perhaps that one.

Who do you like more, The Marx Bros or the Three Stooges?

The Marx Brothers. They are outrageous, clever, verbal, physical, fabulous.

What was your best Halloween costume?

I'm not much of a Halloween person, but my favorite costume was Norma Desmond, with my husband as "Max." (Of course, very few people even knew who we were . . .) eh.

What is your Dream Job for a Day?

I would love to be in a Broadway musical, or have my own restaurant, or be in charge of throwing a spectacular party.

Clown V. Mime Deathmatch. Pick your winner.

I'm going to pick Bruce Willis for both of them. (Refer to Die Hard With a Vengeance.)

Funniest dead person you'd like to meet?

Too difficult! My list is way too long--Jack Benny, Gracie Allen, Judy Holliday, Johnny Carson, Billy Wilder, Jack Lemmon, Thelma Ritter, Jack Parr, Gilda Radner...

Some of your books, like Moosetache and Bedhead, are about bad hair days. (We sense issues there.) If you could switch hair with someone, who would it be?

It's always the hair, isn't it?

Actually, it's my son who has the issues--with perpetually bad hair days. Me?...You know what they say -- be careful what you wish for. I think I'll just stick with my own.


Elaine Magliaro said...

Thanks for this interview. I've been a fan of Palatini's books since I read PIGGIE PIE. It was one of my favorite books to read aloud in the classroom. My second graders loved it!

Kate in NJ said...

Love the interview, we love her books at our house! Our fave is The Web Files!

Lorijo Metz said...

Well, it's really no contest. Can't believe you gave such obvious clues. Bigger than a bread box - less hair than Chewbacc. Who else could it be than George Bush!

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