Wednesday, February 25, 2015

3 Questions and 4 Sentence Starters with Samantha Berger

Hi, Samantha! Thank you for dropping by to answer my questions and finish my sentences. 

I think the song and book trailer for Snoozefest are absolutely perfect. Please tell us about how you collaborated on this project with Chubb Rock. 

Samantha Berger: Thanks so much for saying so.
So here’s what happened:

My little brother, Milo Berger (DJ Mighty Mi) is a DJ and a music producer. Together, we’ve collaborated on lots of projects in the past, including cartoon shorts for Nickelodeon, and songs for The High & Mighty. These “Well Done Berger” productions have been some of my all-time favorite projects. 

My brother and I also both love hip-hop from the 90s. 

It occurred to me one day that SnoozeFest just happens to rhyme.

I don’t know why it rhymes, most of my books don’t, but this book just came out rhyming. 

And I never fight the flow.
So my brain dictated, I just typed.

I wondered, since the book rhymes, could it also be rhymed by an MC? Over a beat? Then the book would have a song, an anthem, to go with it.

Snoozefest is a book about a sloth going to a music festival, after all. 

Having music attached makes sense.

Ever since Maurice Sendak and Carole King took the Nutshell Library and put it to music, word-for-word, I have loved the idea of creating song versions of books. 

It’s another way to experience the book, kinda like an enjoyment extension.

It’s also SUCH a great authorly honor to have someone perform your book as lyrics.

I was talking to my brother about it, and he told me he was in the middle of recording a song with the legendary MC Chubb Rock of Treat Em’ Right fame, and would ask Chubb if he had any interest in doing Snoozefest.

He did!!! 
I love Chubb’s voice and I love the song.
If I could tell you how many times I have grooved out to Treat ‘em Right in my life…

I am so thrilled The Chubbster said yes.
Seeing kids bop around to Snoozefest the Song is the greatest.

My genius friends Jason Zemlicka and Jamie Hubbard run an amazing production house called Cause & [Effect] in NYC, and they (along with a team of really talented people, (Hi Ant!)) fully produced and made my book trailer. The Crankenstein Valentine one too.

If you attended Snoozefest, what would you bring with you?

Samantha Berger: Ok, if I was going to Snoozefest, first and foremost, I would bring my “lanket” and “ilk” (my blanket and pillow), and a whole lotta guest lankets and ilks for fellow crashers. 

Sloth pajamas, sloth sleep mask, sloth slippers with three-toes each.

Wigs, sunglasses, and microphones, in case of emergency.

Journal and Micron Pigma Pens because music inspires writing.

Best Bedtime books: 
Bedtime for Frances by Russell and Lillian Hoban
Ira Sleeps Over – by Bernard Waber
In the Night Kitchen – Maurice Sendak

Good friends.

My Dog.

Nutter Butters.

What ran through your head the first time you saw Kristyna Litten’s finished art? 

Samantha Berger: I gotta say, from the moment I saw Kristyna’s art, I knew she was the perfect choice for Snoozefest. It takes a special sorta someone who is able to capture the magic of the sloth, because sloths are truly remarkable creatures. They have all the instant lovability and inherent comedy of a Muppet, but then they also move in astonishing super slow-motion. If you try, you’ll see it’s almost impossible to move as slowly as a sloth.

When I saw finished art, I thought, wow, Kristyna’s got that sloth magic!

She really got Snuggleford Cuddlebun’s character and created the perfect sloth.

A brilliant thing she added was Snugglefor’d outfit choice: She’s wearing a stylin shirt, but Kristyna knew she’d be too tired to put on pants.

Please complete these sentence starters: 

*Reading is like breathing.

*Picture books are a part of my DNA.

*Dan Santat and I are starting a metal band called DANTANTHA!

*Mr. Schu, you should have asked me about our mutual adoration of the Golden Girls! 

Did you know I sometimes I call my dog a “Sunshine Cadet?”

It’s true.

I think we must get our LEGO sets together and have some reenactments! 

Yes, please! :) 

I am giving away a copy of Snoozefest! 

Rules for the Giveaway 

1. It will run from 2/25 to 11:59 PM on 2/26. 

2. You must be at least 13. 

3. Please pay it forward. 

Borrow Snoozefest from your school or public library. Whenever possible, please support independent bookshops. 

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