Carol’s Wall—Asking Questions to a REAL Author!

We have been enjoying a series of books by Kate and Jim McMullan.  Recently, I was lucky enough to make a connection with Kate.  I thought the children might like to send a letter to ask a real author about her book, I Stink.  Kate was kind enough to send a prompt reply, isn’t that just wonderful!  Here is the children’s letter and Kate’s reply.

 

Kate's Reply:

Hi Carol -
Happy to answer your kids' questions - I'll do it in caps below.
~K

 

The Children's Letter with Kate's Reply:

May 4, 2012

Dear Kate,

We love your book, I Stink.  It was stinky good! We have some questions and comments for you:

 

Comments about the book: (What the children wanted you to know)

" I have three garbage cans at my house."

 THREE! THAT MAKES THE STINKY TRUCK VERY HAPPY!

 

"A garbage truck comes to my house to pick up and it's not too stinky."

OH…THAT'S GOOD. YOU MUST BE AT THE BEGINNING OF THE ROUTE.

 

"When we are awake, there are garbage trucks on the other side of the world working."  (Isn't this an AMAZING comment from 4 year old!)

THAT IS SO TRUE, AND I'D NEVER THOUGHT OF IT LIKE THAT. THANK YOU!

 

"I loved this book and I liked it too."

I'M GLAD YOU LIKED IT AND LOVED IT!

 

Questions for Kate:

"Why does the garbage truck eat with his back, not with his mouth?  Kate, I know you know why garbage trucks eat this way."

THAT'S JUST HOW TRUCKS ARE SET UP, WITH THE HOPPER IN THE BACK.  IF THE TRUCK OPENED UP HIS MOUTH REALLY, REALLY WIDE, YOU WOULDN'T SEE HIS TONSILS, YOU'D SEE HIS ENGINE.

 

"Why is your book so yucky-poo-poo?  Your book was very ewwwww when I saw the dirty diaper!"

WELL, WHAT SORTS OF THINGS DO YOU THROW INTO THE GARBAGE? SOME OF THEM ARE SORT OF YUCKY, RIGHT?  I'LL TELL YOU A SECRET -- WHEN I SAW THE WAY JIM (Jim is Kate’s husband and the book’s illustrator) DREW THE DIRTY DIAPER, I THOUGHT, YUCK!

 

"Do you know Kate, why does trash stink?"

BECAUSE WHEN FOOD ROTS, IT GIVES OFF GAS AND THAT'S WHAT SMELLS. BILLY AND EARL, OUR SANITATION WORKERS (Kate followed real NYC sanitation workers before she wrote the book) , TOLD US THAT THE HUMAN NOSE CAN SMELL A BAD SMELL FOR A FEW MINUTES, AND THEN THE SMELL FADES AWAY. THEY ARE VERY GLAD THEIR NOSES WORK THIS WAY SO THAT THEY DON'T HAVE TO SMELL GARBAGE FOR VERY LONG.

 

"Why does the truck roar?"

THE ROARING IS THE ENGINE REVVING WHEN IT'S POWERING THE CRUSHER BLADE, WHICH COMPACTS THE TRASH.

 

"Why does the garbage truck say "STOP" at the end of the story?"

THE TRUCK SAYS 'STOP' WHEN ITS HOPPER IS FULL AND HE NEEDS THE CRUSHER BLADE TO COMPACT IT SO HE HAS ROOM FOR MORE.

 

"Why did the barge carry the garbage?  Where does it go?"

NEW YORK CITY GARBAGE IS SOMETIMES TAKEN BY BARGE TO UPSTATE OR TO NEW JERSEY OR OTHER PLACES. SOMETIMES IT IS TAKEN BY TRUCK TO A LANDFILL.

THERE IS TOO MUCH GARBAGE. WE ALL NEED TO CUT DOWN ON HOW MUCH WE THROW AWAY!

 

It's good and funny, we really love your book.

Love,

Your friends at the Cobble Hill Playschool

PS.   Please write back and write a bunch more books. 

 

THANK YOU! I LOVED YOUR QUESTIONS. THEY MADE ME THINK ABOUT THAT GARBAGE TRUCK.  OUR LATEST BOOK IS, I'M FAST!

IT’S ABOUT A RACE BETWEEN A FREIGHT TRAIN AND A RACE CAR. IT ISN'T YUCKY AT ALL AND NOW WE ARE WORKING ON A BOOK ABOUT A FIRE ENGINE.

IT'S GOING TO BE CALLED, I'M BRAVE!

YOUR FRIEND,
KATE MCMULLAN

 

Hi Kate,

Thank you so much for your prompt email reply.  My students will be so excited that you wrote them back!

One more thing--I have a little "Carol's Wall" on our school website where I post all kinds of classroom related things.  I would love the parents to see what the children wrote to you and what your responses were.  I would like to post the letters but I will not do that without your permission.  If it is alright with you to put your reply on our website, please let me know.

On a personal note, I am quite excited about your new projects and cannot wait to read your new books to my students!  We just LOVE race cars, trains and the FDNY!

With my kindest regards,

Carol


 

From Kate:

Carol, post away! (hope no typos!)

I had fun responding to such great questions!

~ K

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