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The 20 Question Interview with our very own Turkeybird is our feature interview that happens with all of the book authors, illustrators and poets we love!

This week we have another back-to-back interview week, but this week is a little different in that we are interviewing both the author and the illustrator of a new favorite book, Railroad Hank by Lisa Moser and illustrated by Benji Davies. Only yesterday we shared our review of this very fun new picture book and today we welcome the author Lisa Moser for an interview with the very pithy Turkeybird. Today is the release day for Railroad Hank so do make sure to pick up your copy as soon as you’re done reading through the Turkeybird’s interview! So, without any further hesitation on my part, 20 questions with children’s book author Lisa Moser…

1. Railroad Hank seems very silly sometimes. Why does he put all of that silly stuff on the train?

Railroad Hank thinks he’s putting the right stuff on the train. You and I know differently, though. His little dog might know better, too, but he loves Railroad Hank too much to tell him.

It was so fun to think of all the things that Railroad Hank might mix up and put on a train. I even thought of a library, but I changed that in revisions. What funny things can you think of that Railroad Hank might put on his train?

2. You have lots and lots of books! Which one is your very most favorite?

That’s a really hard one. Actually, I love all of my books equally, but in different ways.

3. Why?

I love Railroad Hank because it’s silly and funny, and I love trains, and I love the idea of him visiting lonely Granny Bett. I love my book Perfect Soup because it’s an old-fashioned, cuddle-up, read-it-on-a-snowy-day kind of book. I love Kisses on the Wind because it’s based on the lessons my grandma taught me. And Squirrel’s World and The Monster in the Backpack are about appreciating different kinds of friends, and they make me laugh. As you can see, each story has a special place in my heart- no bigger or better than the others, just special in its own way.

4. Crayons or Markers?

Crayons! Most definitely crayons!

5. Why?

My favorite smell in the whole world is a new box of crayons. I loved to color when I was a little girl, and I still love to color to this day. When I was your age, my mom always bought me a new box of crayons and a coloring book when I got a cold. Then she would sit and color with me. I loved that time with her, and I love crayons. Coloring is such a peaceful, pretty, creative thing to do.

6. What’s your favorite color?

Green. It reminds me of trees, rolling hills, meadows, and just being outside. I have a bit of green in every single room in my house, and green was the color of my childhood bedroom. I also just looked in my closet and saw a whole row of green sweaters. I think green is such a happy color.

7. Do you think Benji did a good job with your book?

I think Benji did a marvelous, awesome, absolutely fantabulistic job on my book! I am so grateful for his incredible talent and terrific sense of humor.

8. What’s your favorite thing he drew in your book?

My favorite thing in the book (besides Railroad Hank, which he drew perfectly) is the little dog. That was totally Benji’s idea! I didn’t have it in the manuscript anywhere, but when I first saw it in rough art, I thought it was a brilliant addition.

9. Why?

Railroad Hank’s dog looks just like my dog, Coach!

10. If you were five what would you read next?

The wind is blowing, the leaves are turning all sorts of beautiful colors, so it’s a great time to pull out some great fall books. I looked at my bookshelves for my favorites, and I found Frederick by Leo Lionni, All in a Day by Cynthia Rylant, Ox-Cart Man by Donald Hall, Fletcher and the Falling Leaves by Julia Rawlinson, and The Apple Pie that Papa Baked by Lauren Thompson.

11. My mom said you like chocolate! That’s my favorite too! What is your favorite chocolate treat? (Mine is chocolate candy bars today!)

My all-time favorite dessert is chocolate ice cream with real raspberry topping. Yum, yum, yum. Hey, I think I’ll get some right now!

12. When you were my age did you like to read?

I absolutely loved to read. I read all the time- under the trees in my backyard, in my room, in the car. The library was one of my very favorite places to visit, and I can still remember the smell of those wonderful, old books. I still read all the time, and they’re always children’s books. Children have the greatest literature in the world!

13. What was your favoritest book?

My favorite book was The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. I loved the words, and the pictures, and everything about it. I grew up in a small Iowa town, and I first learned about apartment buildings by reading The Snowy Day. I was fascinated with the thought of a best friend living right across the hall, and wished I could live in an apartment building, too.

14. Lakes or the ocean? We live next to the ocean and it is so neat!

I’m going to say both because I live just a few miles from Lake Michigan which is technically a great lake, but it’s so big that it seems like the ocean. I love to walk with my family on the shores of Lake Michigan, and my dog loves to swim in it.

15. Do you have a favorite animal?

Dogs. I tell people that I have “deep dogness,” in me. Dogs are loving, and loyal, and kind, and sometimes just a bit naughty.

16. Why do you like to write? (I love writing! I already wrote a huge book!)

I love to write because for that short time, I am a child again. I get to imagine and create and be in a world all my own. It brings me great joy.

17. Swings or Slides?

Swings.

18. Why?

Because sometimes it feels like you could touch the sky.

19. What’s the best best sport to play? (I mostly like running races with my dad.)

I love softball. I played from the time I was in fifth grade, all through high school. There’s something so wonderful about the smell of a leather glove on a hot summer day, the thunking sound when a ball lands in your glove, and sliding into a base to beat the throw. Also, I loved sitting on the bench with my friends, while we cheered on our teammate that was up to bat. I still have my high school softball jersey with my name and number (17) on it. It was a ball!

20. What are you writing right now?

I’m in that marvelous place where I’m finished with all my revisions (I think), and I get to just create a new story. In the beginning stages of writing a story, anything can happen. Hooray for just imagining and playing with story ideas!

The Turkeybird Speaks: Thank you super a lot Ms. Moser for all of your fun answers! We’re learning lots and lots about the seasons in kindergarten right now and I’m going to ask if we can read the books you talked about. I was a little sad because the colors of the leaves didn’t change here and the leaves mostly stayed on the trees. My mom said that in Michigan the leaves fall off and they change colors! Maybe one day when I’m big I will go see it!

We have raspberries here too! I think next time my mom goes to the store I’m going to ask for some chocolate ice cream to eat with them. That sounds super yummy! Oh! And I want whipped cream on it too!

Thank you again, super super thank you Ms. Moser! Your answers were so much fun and now I have lots of new books to read too! Next time we read Railroad Hank I’m going to tell Littlebug that Hank’s dog is named Coach! I really like that.

Find Railroad Hank by Lisa Moser and Illustrated by Benji Davies at the following spots:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Powell’s Books | Indiebound | Book Depository | Goodreads

Thank you so much to the publisher, Random House Children’s Books, for providing a copy of this book for review and coordinating this interview with Lisa! Connect with Random House Children’s Books on Twitter, on Pinterest and on Facebook! And be sure to find Lisa Moser on her website and blog!
Purchasing products by clicking through the links in this post will provide us a modest commission through our various affiliate relationships.

4 Responses to Author Interview: 20 Questions with Lisa Moser

  1. Gina says:

    GREAT interview as usual you guys! Love her answer to WHY she loves all her books and her pick of “the little dog” as a favorite illustration in this title. Sounds like an adorable read…thanks for the spotlight!

  2. Senator says:

    Aww. Possibly one of the sweetest interviews I’ve ever seen! Bravo!

  3. V(Bookborne) says:

    Such a cute interview! I could go for some chocolate ice cream with raspberry topping right about now. MMMM. Breakfast of champions 🙂

    And I love the little dog answer too!

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