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There's A Book

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 is one interview Turkeybird could not wait to do with me. Now that he’s reading so much on his own, one of his favorite new series is the Clementine series by Sara Pennypacker. So, when we were contacted to be a part of the tour for the latest Clementine book, Clementine and the Spring Trip, both Turkeybird and I were very excited! He and I put together some great questions and got some amazing answers from Sara, so if you’re a fan of the series you definitely want to read the entire interview! Without further hesitation on our part, the Turkeybird’s interview with Sara Pennypacker…

Sara Pennypacker (deck)1. Clementine is one of my favoritest books my mom & I have read because she is a lot like my best best best friend. What are your favoritest things about Clementine?

You are so lucky you have a best friend like Clementine! I wish I had, when I was your age – someone fun and funny, with lots of good ideas for things to do. Plus Clementine is kind – she gets in trouble a lot, but never because she’s being bad or mean. You can see I have a lot of favorite things about her, but think the thing I love most is that she says “Okay, fine,” when she messes up. To me, this shows that she’s ready to move on, and just do better next time. She doesn’t get too upset about making mistakes, because she understands that it’s just human nature.

2. There are a lot of Clementine books (yay!), are you going to write more? (I really hope so!)

Well, I have good news and bad news. First the bad news: I have just finished the seventh Clementine book, and it will be the last. I love writing about her and her family and friends, but I felt it was right to end the series when she finishes third grade. I have more books to write, including…the good news: I’m beginning a new series – about a boy this time. (I know – about time, right?) His name is Waylon, and you’ve met him in the Clementine books already – he’s the “scienciest” kid in Clementine’s class, and he’s got a lot of interesting plans…! The reason the WAYLON series is good news for Clementine fans, is that while Clementine and Margaret and Mitchell will not be main characters, we will get to read about them in every book, and we’ll see how they’re all doing a year after the CLEMENTINE series.

3. Is Clementine going to have a baby brother or sister??? (I really have to know! I have a little sister and she’s my second bestest friend!)

She is, Turkeybird! The new baby arrives in the last book, which won’t come out until next year, and I’m afraid I’m sworn to secrecy about whether it’s a girl or a boy. I can tell you this: Clementine’s father really wants to name the baby Noodle. Great name, hunh?

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

When I was your age, I wasn’t a very strong reader. But around 7 or 8 I really took off, and I read every spare minute I could. I remember loving series books especially, because I felt I knew the characters so each book was like seeing friends. I think that’s why I write series books now.

5. Crayons or Markers?

Well, Turkeybird, it depends on what you’re going to do with them. For drawing, definitely crayons. For writing, definitely markers. For the hundreds of other things you could do with these items, it’s a case-by-case decision.

6. Why?

For drawing: crayons blend better. For writing: markers are fast!

Clementine7. What’s your favorite color?

At this moment, I’m loving coral and turquoise and sap-green, next to each other. It will be completely different next time I’m asked, though.

8. When your kids were my age what books did you like to read them?

Everything. I’m serious – we just about lived in the library, because once I started reading children’s books to my kids, I fell in love with them. That’s why I became a writer twenty years ago!

9. My first year of school just finished and now it’s summer. What’s your favorite thing to do outside?

Swim, swim, swim, swim swim!!!

10. Why do you like baseball so much? (My favorite sport is to run in races!)

This is an excellent question. I think because it’s an elegant game, requiring both teamwork and individual effort, and great concentration. Also, because you get to hit, and throw, and catch, and run. Also, because I was really good at it as a kid.

The Mount Rushmore Calamity11. We read some of the FLAT STANLEY books in kindergarten this year and even made our own Flat Stanley! Where would you send Stanley if he could go somewhere new?

Wow, another great one. You know, I think I would send him home to me. When you’re an author, your characters feel real to you. It bothers me a little that Stanley is always out there, zooming around the world. Sometimes I’d like him to come home, so I could make him a grilled cheese sandwich.

12. Do you have a favorite treat? (Mine is anything chocolate!)

Well, I agree about the chocolate! In fact, there’s always a supply of chocolate in the top right drawer of my writing desk. This is a secret from my family, by the way. But I must also mention grilled cheese sandwiches. This week I’m favoring Muenster cheese on dark rye bread.

13. Do you know any pilgrims?

No, they were a little before my time. But the actors at Plimoth Plantation, where Clementine goes in CLEMENTINE AND THE SPRING TRIP, are wonderful! You should go there if you’re ever in Massachusetts.

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

OCEAN!!! I am so lucky – I live on Cape Cod, next to the Atlantic Ocean, in the summer (you can see it in the background of my author picture) and in Florida, near the Gulf of Mexico, in the winter. So…which ocean are you near? Are we neighbors???

15. Swings or Slides?

You ask the best questions, Turkeybird! Definitely swings.

16. Why?

That moment, at the top of the swing’s arc…no gravity!!!

9780142410370_medium_Matilda copy17. If you were six what would you read next?

If you like to laugh, I recommend anything by Roald Dahl.

18. Why do you like to write?

The answer to this is too big – it would take hours to explain. But mainly because it’s the best job in the world: I get to research anything that interests me and then weave the cool stuff I learn into stories, all while lounging in my pajamas and nibbling the secret stash of chocolate and taking a swim-break whenever I want.

19. Do you ever make the pictures for your own books? (ie. Illustrate)

No, I’m never interested in doing that. That’s a job I like to leave to the professionals!

20. What are you writing right now?

Glad you asked. It’s a big novel for older kids that stars…a ferret!

TurkeybirdThe Turkeybird Speaks: Thank you super super a lot Ms. Pennypacker! I can’t wait to go back to school and show my kindergarten teacher all these answers, I think she’ll love them super much!

I’m a big fan of grilled cheese sandwiches and macaroni & cheese! But I really like your secret drawer of chocolate! That sounds like a really good plan, I wonder if I can talk my mom into helping me with that?

So, I’m sad there is only one more book after the Spring Trip, but I’m excited I get to find out what Clementine is having as a new sister or brother. And I super like the name Noodle, even if it’s very silly!

Thank you again Ms. Pennypacker! These were the bestest answers and I love your books! I can’t wait to read about the ferret book one day!

Sara Pennypacker ( was a painter before becoming a writer, and has two absolutely fabulous children who are now grown. She has written several books, including the Clementine series, all illustrated by Marla Frazee, The Amazing World of Stuart, Sparrow Girl, and Summer of the Gypsy Moths. She grew up in Massachusetts and splits her time between Cape Cod and Florida.

Follow the Clementine and the Spring Trip Blog Tour for more Reviews, Interviews and Giveaways:

Mon, June 17: GreenBeanTeenQueen
Tues, June 18: Once Upon a Story
Wed, June 19: Mother Daughter Book Club
Thurs, June 20: Media Darlings
Fri, June 21: Sharpread
Mon, June 24: Children’s Book Review
Tues, June 25: Kid Lit Frenzy
Wed, June 26: There’s a Book – Here!
Thurs, June 27: As They Grow Up
Fri, June 28 Bookingmama


The wonderful folks at Hyperion Books for Children I am able to offer one copy of Clementine and the Spring Trip for giveaway! Thank you!

This giveaway is open to US and Canadian residents only and you must fill out the form below to enter. Comments will not count as entries. Also, no purchase is necessary to enter. So, be sure to fill out the form below and good luck!

Clementine and the Spring Trip coverClementine and the Spring Trip by Sara Pennypacker:

For Clementine, spring is a really big deal. It’s the time for seeing her apple tree start to grow, for watching her friend Margaret go crazy with spring cleaning, and for going on the school trip to Plimoth Plantation. Clementine is ready for Ye Olden Times, but she isn’t so sure about surviving lunch there-the fourth graders have strict rules about no eating sounds. (What is snicking, anyway? ) If that wasn’t enough, Clementine also faces the challenges of learning Olive-language and surviving The Cloud on Bus 7.

Hearing the pilgrim lady talk about why she made the long journey from England makes Clementine think about rules. Who makes them, and what do they mean to the people who have to live with them? Today Clementine has to decide which rules are made to be broken.

Find Clementine and the Spring Trip by Sara Pennypacker at the following spots:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Powell’s Books | Indiebound | Book Depository | Goodreads | ISBN/ISBN-13: 1423123573 / 9781423123576

Thank you so much to the publisher, Hyperion Books for Children, and author, Sara Pennypacker, for providing a copy of this book for review and giveaway! Connect with them on Twitter!
Purchasing products by clicking through the links in this post will provide us a modest commission through our various affiliate relationships.

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15 Responses to Author Interview and Giveaway: 20 Questions with Sara Pennypacker

  1. My daughter and I met you a few years ago at the Texas Book Festival. My daughter is named after a famous author, and you told her about Margaret–named after Margaret Mitchell, who wrote Gone With the Wind. She told everyone that story. We can’t wait for the new Clementine.

  2. Cute post. She sounds cool. I’m all about swings too.

  3. anne says:

    Delightful. Favorite summer activity is swimming at the pool or beach.

  4. karen says:

    I love just spending time playing outside with my nephew and looking for butterflies.

  5. Victoria Zumbrum says:


  6. rosemond says:

    Oh, I love anything in the water! And I love a fabulous summer read!

  7. apple blossom says:

    water parks

  8. PragmaticMom says:

    I love Turkeybird’s interviews and I love Sara Pennypacker and the Clementine series so this was a match made in heaven for me! Awesome job Turkeybird. I wish I could win this book for my rising 5th grader. Yes, the Clementine series is a little on the easy side for her, but she loves this series so! She has read every single one so far and I’m sure she will not want to miss out on the last and final one. 🙁 But I’m glad to hear that there is a new series coming. I guess that will help us get over the end of the Clementine series.

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    These are actually fantastic ideas in about blogging. You have touched some good points here.
    Any way keep up wrinting.

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