Tuesday, May 24, 2011

My thoughts and prayers go out to all of the good people in Missouri. The tornado that hit Joplin on Sunday was absolutely devastating. I was just in southwestern Missouri last week, visiting a school in Branson. The people I met on my trip were warm and wonderful. The land was beautiful. My condolences go out to everyone who lost family, friends, & homes in the disaster.

Thank you to Cynthia Matzat for arranging my Missouri visit and for her brilliant organizational skills & hospitality. Here we are having a chicken & dumplings dinner at Lambert's Cafe - a fun establishment where your dinner rolls are literally thrown at you by the wait staff.

Left to Right: Stefanie McKoy (3rd Grade teacher), Kolby (Buzz Lightyear Fan), Salley Doherty (Music teacher), Cindy Matzak (Media Center teacher), and myself (eating fried okra for the first time).

GRACE FOR PRESIDENT is proud to be a 2010-2011 Missouri Show Me Reader Award Nominee!

Monday, May 16, 2011

From the (E)Mail Bag

Dear Ms. DiPucchio:
My two-year-old daughter and I have read Clink about a thousand times. Thank you (and Mr. Myers) for creating such a delightful book.

We have a question about one of the robots that appears in some of the pictures. Actually, they seem to be a series of robots: the little blue and white spheres with numbers on them. They sort of look like floats for a fishing line. On the first page of the story, one appears just under the "SPECIAL" sign, and another appears at the bottom of the page in the hands of a blonde-headed boy. On the spread where Clink's dancing is wreaking havoc, they appear all over.

We have figured out the purpose of most of the other robots in the book, but we cannot figure out these little guys. Can you tell us what they do? If not, would Mr. Myers be able to help?

Thank you again for Clink, and thank you for whatever help you might provide. We look forward to exploring your other books.
Morton Grove, IL

Hello Jay,
How nice to hear from a CLINK fan! I'm thrilled to hear you and your daughter are enjoying the book together.
That is so awesome. As for your question....I looked up those little blue & white guys in the book and I don't know
what they are either! I have c.c.'d the illustrator, Matt Myers, on this email.

Matt, can you solve this mystery for us?? I'm curious too!

...k e l l y d i p u c c h i o...


Matt here. Thanks for the fantastic note! You're right, the little fishing float-sized bots are in a series, which I imagined goes to 500. I think the highest number visible is 211? A good robot store should have an inexpensive model that everyone can afford, right? Sort of an impulse buy, sold next to the counter. They would be sold in a package that would hide the number, so that the customer wouldn't know which number they got until they bought it. Collect 'em all!, would be on the package. But that all got too complicated, so I just showed a bunch of them already out of their packages.

There were a lot of robot designs that never made it into the book, just because there are only 32 pages. As you can imagine, inventing robots is pretty fun.

On your 1001th read of the book, see if you can find:

1) The Pie Flattener 2000
2) The only robot that exists in the real world
3) A reference to a movie robot
4) The world's smallest violin robot playing a sad song for Clink

As for our hero, before I started drawing anything, Kelly had told our editor that she had an idea for how Clink should look — toaster head and accordion body. Perfect! I said, happy that Kelly has good ideas. The accordion became a radio later on, mainly because I can't draw accordions. Some artist's can't draw hands, but with me it's accordions :)


P.S. Don't tell your daughter there's a robot out there that will eat her asparagus for her. She'll want it.

In other robot-y news: Check out these super cool pictures created by the young robo-artists in Marquette, Michigan. Who wouldn't want their very own Party Pickle Robot?!