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Ring, ring! Ring, ring!

Who can that be?

Oh, it’s Laurie Keller and Adam Rex calling to talk about their new book PLUTO GETS THE CALL!

And making a surprise guest hosting appearance is none other than…PLUTO! (It’s kind of like how Brie Larson is filling in for Jimmy Kimmel. Yeah, just like that. Wait, does that make me Jimmy?)

Anyway…Pluto will be interviewing this dynamic picture book duo! Take it away, Pluto!

Now Adam, how did you get the idea to write about little old me?

Well, usually my books come out of totally unexpected ideation but this time it began with an editor asking if I might like to write something about our solar system. She was hoping if I wrote something like that, Laurie might want to illustrate it. It was the first time I’d ever written anything with another, specific artist in mind.

I’m not known for nonfiction. You don’t call me if you want 50 Facts About the Planets or whatever. So I started looking for the fiction that would underpin all the nonfiction, and your reclassification still feels like the biggest story to come out of the solar system in my lifetime. When I was a kid every list of planets ended with Pluto, but now my son learns something different. That seems like a big deal to me.

Thank you, Adam! I really am a big deal!

Laurie, do you want to draw any comparisons between me and your other round hero, Arnie the Doughnut?

Well, Pluto, that’s a very good question and the answer is yes! You and Arnie both have an infectious zest for life and a genuine excitement for whatever you do. You’re both seen as the “underdog” (or the under-doughnut-dog in Arnie’s case) but you never let the hard knocks crush your spirit. I’m inspired by you both!

And even though you don’t look anything alike, other than being round, you each have distinguishing features that you’re very proud of—you, with your big heart birthmark and Arnie, with his chocolate frosting and sprinkles! You’re a lot easier to paint than Arnie though—he always makes sure that I draw all 135 sprinkles and it takes a long time!

Adam, did Laurie contribute any clever asides to the story or do anything you didn’t expect? Just like I was not expecting to be de-planetized?

YES. I set out to write what I thought was a Laurie Keller picture book (you can ask her what SHE thinks about that), but it wouldn’t really be a Keller book without a lot of asides and marginal visual gags, and she wrote and invented nearly all of those. Including a line about smoothies that I’m sorry to say gets a bigger laugh than anything I wrote myself.

Well, c’mon Adam, everyone loves smoothies!!! Even an intergalactic comet!

So Laurie, what do you think about that?

Adam, you’re a great writer no matter what or who influences you at any given time. Just keep doing that Adam thang no matter how you do it! I was just happy to get the chance to illustrate one of your stories!

Adam, this book is PLUTO GETS THE CALL. Why didn’t I get a text instead?

I agree, the call was a mistake. Big-time roaming charges. But you don’t break up via text.

You sure fit in a lot of facts about me and the solar system. Did you count how many? (There’s more facts about me than anyone else, right?)

I fit in as many facts as I could while keeping the whole thing breezy and natural. I didn’t want anyone to zone out. I wanted them to feel like an affable new friend was giving them a house tour.

A house tour like Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous? Awesome! My house tour is really SPACIOUS! (Get it???)

Well, thanks to the two of you for making me a star! You know, like Brie Larson, not like the Sun. No one can steal Sun’s spotlight.

And blog readers, you can GET THE CALL, too!

Just leave a comment below to win a copy of PLUTO GETS THE CALL!

One random winner will be selected soon. And notified via email. So you won’t really GET THE CALL, but close enough!

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As a children's book author and mother of two, I'm pushing a stroller along the path to publication. I collect shiny doodads on the journey and share them here. You've found a kidlit treasure box.

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My Picture Books

COMING SOON:

THE WHIZBANG WORDBOOK
illustrator TBA
Sourcebooks eXplore
2021

BLOOP!
illus by Mike Boldt
HarperCollins
2021

"PRIVATE I" SERIES #3
illus by Ross MacDonald
Little, Brown
2021

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