Monday, July 13, 2009

Frankie Pickle

I have been to my fair amount of art shows. I figure I have paid my dues and there is no need for me to ever go to another one. When Lauren asked me, Saturday morning, if I wanted to go to the Tinicum Art Festival that afternoon, I don't know what possessed me to say yes. She even asked with the stipulation that I don't rush her through the displays, vendors and artist's showcases, like I usually do, and I still said yes.

I read on the website that there would be entertainment for the kids as well as some local author/illustrators who would be signing books. I was interested in meeting two of them; Rich Egielski, a Caldecott Medal recipient, and the other, Eric Wight, an accomplished comic book artist.

The festival was fun. The kids enjoyed meeting a monkey, the live music, the food and the swings. I kept telling them we had a swing set at home and there was no reason for us to travel the 45 minutes just so they could swing on the swings but that did not matter to them. I also tried the same kind of argument with Lauren telling her we have artwork at home and there was no reason to travel 45 minutes to look at other artwork, but she reminded me that I was not to rush her.

Eventually we made our way to the author's booth and I was pleasantly surprised that both the Caldecott winner and Eric Wight occupied the booth at the same time. Eric was signing his new book Frankie Pickle and the Closet of Doom. I introduced myself and made small talk with Eric and I tried to get Maxfield and Wyatt engaged in the conversation. I threw a question at Max which I knew he knew the answer.

"Illustrator." Max said.

Both Eric and the Caldecott winner raised their eyebrows as though they were impressed with a 5-year-old knowing the word "illustrator". I then asked Max to tell the authors his full name which he responded "Maxfield". I told them his named was inspired by Maxfield Parrish. Eric smiled and said he thought that was pretty cool.

Rich, the Caldecott winner, chuckled and said "That's great." He pointed to Wyatt and asked "What the little guy's name? N.C. ?"

I smiled and said " As a matter of fact his name is Wyatt. Inspired by N.C. Wyeth."

Both author/illustrators thought my kid's names were cool. Where else besides an art festival would other people actually get the inspiration behind Maxfield's and Wyatt's name?

I made small talk with Eric about his book and I decided to buy it. He was funny and a decent guy. I was feeling all artsy, hip and cool hanging out with and talking to writers and I mentioned to Eric Wight that I had a blog and that maybe I would review Frankie Pickle and the Closet of Doom.

"Oh that would be great." He said. " I will give you my business card and maybe we can set up an interview."

I took the business card and then I...then I ...I got cold feet. In my head I started to panic. I got really nervous. I was thinking Interview? What kind of questions would I ask? I would totally sound like Chris Farley on SNL. I am so not cool and hip. A published author was asking me to interview him? What the? He must think I am with Huffington or something. Wait until he finds out my blog is called Poop and Boogies.

I froze. I said nothing. I thanked him for his time. I mumbled something about emailing him. I shook his hand and I left.

I caught up with Lauren and told her about the exchange and me suddenly getting all nervous. She laughed and said, " I think you may have another man crush developing."


My review of Frankie Pickle. I bought the book on Saturday. I have read it to Maxfield three times. He has requested that I read it more. That right there is an excellent review.

Frankie Pickle is a chapter book that switches between comic pages and prose to tell the story. The comic pages are used when Frankie is using his imagination and the prose for when he is in the "real" world. The style of Eric Wight reminds me of a cross between a Calvin and Hobbes comic and the stories of Henry the Explorer, which are my favorite books from when I was a kid.
The characters, artwork and story are perfect for kids ages 4 to 10. I really have fun reading Frankie Pickle so I guess it would be perfect for a parent too.

So if I do get a chance to interview him what questions should I ask?


Anonymous said...

What are your kids names?


James (SeattleDad) said...

Ask him how he came to name a pickle Frankie. I always wonder how authors choose names.

Tori Spelling said...

You should ask him if he thinks you are hot.

Unknown said...

Dear William, I told you the name of this blog would get you into trouble one day! I nearly fell off my blue exercise ball reading your post today! Of the THOUSANDS of art books of my Mom's that are now with my brother and have their own Trust Fund to be sent to Florence, Italy upon his death, the ONLY book I have requested to have is the one I wore out looking at as a child - Maxfield Parrish! What a small world! Don't forget the four W's when you do your interview! You cool guy you! E

Z-Kids said...

Just discovered you blog. Love it!

I had a friend who almost named his kid Winslow. I'll always wish he had.

- AZ

Katie said...

What is his educational back ground? Is there anyone who inspires him? Does he have kids? If so, do they help him come up with some parts of the stories? How many books did he write before he got published? Does he only write childrens books?

OK, that's all I have for ya... you may already know the answers to some, I'm just winging it when I should be in bed. Heck I don't really know!

Also, I'm gonna be looking up the book to get it to read for my son. :) Sounds like something he would love. So, you made a sale for him! I hope so anyway, I hope it's available on Amazon or something, I'll have to search tomorrow, though, because I'm tired!