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For Kids

Q: How old are you?
A: I'm exactly as old as my twin brother. Oops, not quite. He's twenty minutes older than I am.

Q: What's your favorite food?
A: My mother's apple dumplings and her lasagna run neck and neck.

Q: What's your favorite color?
A: What color are your eyes? That's my favorite color.

Q. Do you play any sports?
A. Yes, I am an X-treme skateboarder in my spare time. (Ha.)

Q: Do you have any children of your own?
A: I'm glad you asked. I have three children: Beth and her husband Brian in Portland, Oregon; Matt in San Francisco; and Leigh Ann and her husband Serdar in Instanbul, Turkey. All are happy, healthy and good-looking (like their Dad). And I have two grandsons - Ajax and Hopper, who also live in Portland - and two granddaughters, Sanay and Selis. The only sad thing is that I don't get to see them often enough. They call me Grandpat.

I also have two stepchildren, Kelly and Scott, who have both graduated from college.  My wife Sue and I live in Westerville, Ohio.

Q: Do you have any pets?
A: Not really. My wife has a standard poodle, Luna, and a Bichon Frise, Pearl, but I can't really claim them. They bark a lot, but being very smart dogs, they never bark when I'm writing. The fact is I'm afraid of anything that moves faster than I do. So I suppose I could have a turtle for a pet. Or a snail.

Q: What did you want to be when you grew up?
A: For about three weeks I wanted to be a DJ (disc jockey on the radio), but I realized I didn't have a great voice for it. And I hate talking into machines. Then I wanted to be the elevator operator on the Eiffel Tower, but I'm afraid of heights. Then I wanted to hang out at the beach all day but I hate getting stung by jellyfish. Then, when I finally grew up, I realized I didn't want to stop being a kid after all. So I didn't.

Q: Where do you like to travel?
A: My favorite place in all the world is Russia. I lived in Moscow with my family for a year in 1972-73. Two of my three children attended school there. We made such dear friends in Moscow and St. Petersburg back then that I have visited them ten more times since.

Q: Do you have a favorite book?
A: Charlotte's Web; the Frog and Toad books; The Wind in the Willows; Alice in Wonderland; Huckleberry Finn; the Harry Potter series; Edward Lear's Book of Nonsense; and . . . Well, I guess the answer is No, I don't have just one favorite book.

Q: What's so much fun about making school visits?
A: I can't think of anything more fun than sharing poetry with kids and talking about reading, writing, rewriting(!) and making books. Besides, wherever I go, I try to collect a T-shirt with the school's logo on it as a keepsake to remind me of the terrific time I had. I already have a great T-shirt collection! I already have a great T-shirt collection of 400!

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A Few Comments from Children
At My School Visits and in Letters

How old are you? ("My grandma is younger than you.")
How many books can you write in a day?
How long have you worn glasses?
Have you ever thought about contacts?
When you work, do you work with a lot of light or just a little light?
Your shoes are just like my Dad's.
Do you look just like your twin brother?
Do you have an amazing cow?
Did you come here in a limousine?
What is your favorite baseball/basketball/football/soccer team?
Why do you like poems so much?
When you go out of your house, do people keep coming up to you to ask for your autograph?
Will you sign my arm/foot/shoe/cast/T-shirt?
Are you going to write a book about our school?
When you were young, did you always want to be an author?
Will you put my name in one of your books?
My mother's name is Pat.
Do you like all the illustrations in your books?
Do you really like to blow bubble gum bubbles (like the little girl in A Burst of Firsts)?
How come you wrote all these books?
What is your real job?
How many states have you visited? How many countries?

© 2009 J. Patrick Lewis. All Rights Reserved.

485 Legacy Drive, Westerville, OH 43082.

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