Sunday, February 8, 2015

Four Questions and Four Sentence Starters with Suzanne Lang and Max Lang

Hi, Suzanne and Max! Thanks for virtually traveling all the way across the Atlantic Ocean to answer my questions and finish my sentences. What planted the seed for Families, Families, Families.
Suzanne: When we had our first child, this is the book I felt was missing from her shelf.  Our children's generation will grow up with friends from all different kinds of families, and they won't think twice about that, which is wonderful.  But I couldn't find a book to reflect that reality.  Lucky for me I live with an amazing illustrator, and when I kept complaining about not being able to find this book, Max said, "Then let's just make it ourselves."
Max: We were out to lunch with some friends, and Suzanne was asking them if they knew of a book that showed different sorts of families, and to illustrate what she had in mind, she recited what became the opening few pages of the book.  When I heard the rhyme, something clicked, and I knew we should just make the book ourselves.

Suzanne: Then one of the big challenges was to take a PC topic and make it fun, which Max managed to do with the illustrations.  There is a lot of humor in Max's drawings.

Mr. Schu: Please book talk Families, Families, Families using no more than 140 characters.

Suzanne and Max: As our fabulous editor put it:  'Modern Family' as a picture book.

Mr. Schu: If we visited your studio, what would we see?

Suzanne: We don't have a studio. We work from our home. Max has an office, where he uses the computer for much of his work, but you'll also see plenty of sketch books and pencils, as that's where everything begins. Behind his desk is some sort of back-stretcher apparatus that he doesn't use, but which our 4-year-old daughter loves to climb on while Max is working. My 'office' is the living room sofa, and half the time I am feeding the baby with one hand and typing with the other. My sofa office actually features in Families, Families, Families! on the hippo page.

Mr. Schu: Lou Grant, my cat, wants to know more about your trouble-prone cat. Do tell.

Suzanne and Max: Latoya is terribly flattered to know Lou Grant has asked about her. In her three years, Latoya has gotten into the following scrapes/suffered the following injuries:
- two fights, both of which resulted in infected bites on her leg and which meant she had to be prevented from running and jumping for a few weeks (not an easy task when you have a young, rambunctious cat!)
- a cardiac ultrasound to determine she has a congenital but thankfully not worrying heart murmur.  The ultrasound had to be performed by a specialist which meant we had to trek halfway across London - via three buses - with Latoya and our daughter, who was a baby at the time.
- a jump off a high ledge only to realise she couldn't get back up, leading to an intense game of Marco Polo as we tried to locate her based on her distant mews and using Google satellite maps.  In the end, it turns out she didn't need to get back up the ledge to get home, but she was too, er, inexperienced, shall we say, to figure that out.  Mind you this all took place at 6am on a Saturday.
- a stroll through a building site wherein she got a strange substance on her paws, which she licked, and then returned home foaming at the mouth. She had to be rushed to the vet; thankfully she was fine
- a stress-induced bladder infection (that was the vet's official diagnosis)

And that's to name but a few.  Needless to say, we are very glad we took out pet insurance when she 

joined the family!

Mr. Schu: Oh my goodness! Lou Grant hopes she's doing OK.

Please finish these sentence starters:

Reading is one of those activities that is wonderful as both a solitary and a shared experience.  Books inspire conversation, which means the experience continues beyond the reading itself.
Picture books are not just for kids!
The thing about ice cream is there are so many great flavours it is impossible to ever pick just one.
Mr. Schu, you should have asked us if we are interested in renting a dog to clean up our dining room floor after meals.  Because we are.

Look for Families, Families, Families! on March 24, 2015. 

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