You guys! I'm thrilled to bring you my second interview with a real, live kid who reads!

Meet Eli. Eli with an E as in BABY PENGUINS EVERYWHERE IS NOW A BOARD BOOK ($6.99).

Just kidding. That's Eli with an E as in EXCELLENT.

Eli happens to be the son of author Julie Falatko. Such a wacky coincidence! He lives in Maine, which makes me very jealous. Eli was nice enough to answer my questions last year but I didn't get to post his answers. The good news is that he gave me fresh answers this year, and now we get to see how Eli and his reading life have changed, which is really cool.

Here was Eli in 2014:

The Ingalls family resorting to cannibalism would have been an excellent plot twist in THE LONG WINTER. I wonder if Eli has been influenced by DONNER DINNER PARTY?

Here is one of Eli's castles.

NOW, on to present-day Eli: a young man of few words and strong opinions.

How old are you, Eli?


What's your favorite book? Your favorite picture book? Why do you like it?

THE WESTING GAME. It's my level. PIRATES LOVE UNDERPANTS. It's a funny adventure.

Do you have a favorite author or artist?

Gordon Korman. Kazu Kibuishi.

Is there anything else you'd like to tell me about yourself or your family?

We like the Pats, snow, and our dog Cosmo.

Let's talk audiobooks. Is THE TRUE MEANING OF SMEKDAY still your favorite?

No. The Monty Python Instant Record Collection is my favorite.

Great choice. (Sorry, Adam.) 

I hear you read STONE FOX in school this year. What are your thoughts about the book?  **SPOILER ALERT**

It sucks. 

No action, the dog dies.


A book in which a dog dies sounds terrible to me, too. Thanks for being so candid, Eli, and for taking the time to talk to me. Have fun in the snow, keep reading, and I hope Super Bowl XLIX goes your way!


I'd like you to meet my colleague Pricilla, who has been heavily involved in the launch of BABY PENGUINS LOVE THEIR MAMA!

Pricilla the Goat

Pricilla is Famous SpokesGoat for Happy Goat Soaps. They make the amazing mama/baby penguin soaps I've been giving away at my readings. It has been a pleasure for a city-dweller like me to meet Pricilla and her owner, Patty, and I thought I'd invite Pricilla to talk about herself and life on the farm.
Pricilla, I have so many questions. First, how old are you?
A ladygoat does not maaa things like this! But I can pass on that I am nearing 18 years on this Earth.
Do you have any kids?
I have had several kids in my day. AbbyGoat is my kid but she doesn't listen to me any longer. Isn't THAT the way of it?
How long have you lived with Patty? Do you get along? 
I LOVE my publicist! She brings me apples and she scratches my tail. I have lived with her for almost 7 years now.
Where is your farm?
My farm is in a magical part of Montana. It is called Superior. And it is.
Are there other animals on your farm? Are any of them famous, like you?
AbbyGoat likes to THINK she is famous but she is not. I am training little Bernadette the goat to take over when I retire. The four Farm cats - Stinky, Pumpkin, Sherpa and Harry - are developing quite a following. Especially Sherpa. He is a crazy cat!
How many years were you active as a dairy goat?
I have kept my past secret from my publicist. My first farm was not a happy farm. They took my horns. I miss my horns. My second farm was very nice. I was there for three years and gave them lots of rich milk. Then I came to the Happy Goats Farm where I helped the publicist start my soap shop. I gave her milk for two years and then retired. She was just learning and she realized that I should have been retired earlier. The people who had me before didn't know that and didn't tell her either. We are all lucky that I survived my last pregnancy. Now I get to graze and bask my days away and maaaa about being a Happy Goat!
What’s your favorite food?
Apples, apples, apples, apples, apples, apples, apples, apples, apples, apples, apples, grain, apples apples, apples, corn, apples apples, apples, strawberries, apples, apples, apples, apples, apples, watermelon, apples, apples, apples, carrot tops, apples, apples, apples, apples, apples, beet greens, apples, apples, apples, APPLES!
What’s your favorite soap scent?
I really don't work with the scents. That is the publicist's job. If I had to pick I would maaaa Apple! The publicist has several favorites including Afternoon Tea, Lemongrass and Fresh Pineapple.
Was your milk used for things other than soap?
Oh yes! The publicist makes cheeses and ice cream and caramel and fudge and hot fudge sauce and yogurt.
Do you ever take baths? 
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! No water. I hate water except to drink. If I need to feel clean I take a dust bath. It feels soooo good to roll around in the dust.
What’s retirement like?
It's the best! I eat my grain. I eat my hay. I graze, I munch, I nibble, I bask. It's the goat life!
Any questions for me?
When are you going to write a book about a goat?
Funny you should ask, Pricilla. A good friend of mine just wrote a book about a goat. You'd enjoy it!
I want to thank Pricilla and her owner publicist Patty for all they've done. They've even donated three wonderful soaps for a giveaway! Enter whydoncha!


I'm happy to debut a new blog feature today: guest posts by real, live kids!  I've wanted to do this for a long time and I'm super excited.  Let's get to it!

Meet Ava.  Ava with an A as in awesome.  We met at the library after Ava posted my favorite review of BABY PENGUINS EVERYWHERE! ever on her blog.  She included a photo of the book on a white carpet next to a penguin stuffy.  Did any other reviewers think of doing that?  Nope.


Hi Ava, and thanks for doing this.  How old are you?  

I am ten years old and I am in fifth grade.


What's your favorite picture book?  You don't have to say mine.
DOG LOVES DRAWING by Louise Yates.  My mom checked the book out from the library for my brother but thought I would like it and I did.

The reason I like this book is because I love to draw.  In the story, the dog draws an owl.  I love owls.

Ava's Owl
That's a great owl!  Do you have a favorite author?  You still don't have to say me.
I don’t have a favorite but I really liked reading THE SECRET ZOO by Bryan Chick.  I can’t wait to read the next books in the series.  Right now I am reading WHAT WE FOUND IN THE SOFA AND HOW IT SAVED THE WORLD by Henry Clark.


How long have you had your own blog, and why did you decide to start?
I started Reading Rascals Review in September of 2012.  When I was in second grade, my mom started a book club for me and a few of my friends.  When we were going into 4th grade, I started blogging to keep track of the books we were reading and what we thought about them.  I named the blog after our club, The Reading Rascals.


Is there something else you'd like to share about yourself or your family?
I have a sister named Eliana, a brother named Aaron, a mom named Kimberly, and a dad named Carl, and me, Ava.

I have always loved art class.  I do lots of arts and crafts in my basement craft room with my family.  I also do sports such as Lacrosse and Swimming.


I love swimming, it's my favorite thing about summer.  Did you do anything special this summer?
This summer I went on an RV trip to Williamsburg Virginia, Virginia Beach, and Jamestown.  While we were there we went to Busch Gardens, an amusement park and water park.

When we go on vacations we like to stop and eat at restaurants that have been on the show "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives."  Most of the food is very tasty.  I really like it.


There you have it, folks: the next generation of reading, blogging, RV-ing rascals.  Thanks for visiting me today, Ava!  I really like you.


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