Tuesday, November 18, 2008

An Interview with Señor Calavera, the Bicycle-Riding Star of Yuyi Morales' New Book, Just in Case

Lynn: Thank you Señor Calavera for visiting the Imaginary Blog. You can park your bicycle right over there. I have a few questions for you...

Do you get invited to many parties? What kind of party do you like best? Do you dance or play party games? Any favorites?

Señor Calavera: Dear author, Lynn Hazen, being the quiet type, I appreciate doing this interview in writing. I do not usually answer interviews, for my work demands that I do not dilly-daily with my duties. However, I am looking at my watch and I realize I have extra time today—Besides, I understand you bake some excellent cookies, is that true?

Lynn: Hmm, I used to. For now, please tell us about parties.

Señor Calavera: Parties? Oh my, I wish I would get invited to more parties. When dear Grandma Beetle sent me her invitation, I could already smell her fried plantains and her tamales. I couldn’t wait to have cake and break the piñatas—I wouldn’t miss her party for anything in the world. But I don't do much dancing at parties; cha-cha-cha, salsa, cumbia, quebradita, they are all very difficult moves, and I am afraid I am rather stiff. But ever since I started doing author visits, the children often request that I shake my bones for them. I am usually shy, but I should admit that I love it when the children clap the beat and cheer for me to try.

Lynn: When did you learn to ride a bicycle? Why don’t you wear a helmet?

Señor Calavera: Dear Lynn, riding a bicycle is a serious stunt. I have been practicing forever. Yet, the other day I was riding my bicycle—my basket brimming with wonderful presents—when all of a sudden, I don't know how this happened--but before I knew it, I was flying in the air, and so were my beautiful presents! When I landed everything was ruined. What a disaster. I always thought my hat was enough protection against falls, but now I realize that if I want to be safe when I ride my bicycle, I should have a friend with me to help me come up with more present. Oh, yes, I should have a helmet too.

Lynn: What are your favorite letters of the alphabet? I hear there are some extra letters in the Spanish alphabet that are not in the English alphabet. What can you tell us about that?

Señor Calavera: The Spanish alphabet is one of my favorites. Why-- all those letters always make me feel very smart and inspired. That makes sense, doesn’t it?

For example, there we have the letter LL, which is very handy when you need LLUVIA (rain) or when you need to make a LLAMADA (a call) or when your belly is LLENA from eating too much cake and candy (full. Although mine is ussually rather stuffed). Or what about the letter CH? Do you like chewing CHICLE (bubble gum)? And CH is a very useful letter when you can’t find your CHANCLAS (sandals).

But my favorite letter in any alphabet is X. Just check out the following Spanish words: XOCOYOTE (the youngest child of a family), XOCHIMILCO ( field of flowers) XOLOZCUINTLE (Mexican hairless dog). However, the Spanish alphabet keeps evolving and some of my favorite letters have already disappeared! I can’t believe it…

Lynn: What is your favorite food?

Señor Calavera: Churros sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon served with hot atole. Why? Do you know how to make those too?

Lynn: Nope, sorry. I don't know how. Do you have a favorite hobby? What do you do in your spare time?

Señor Calavera: Spare time? Well, certainly, on rare occasions, like this one, I am able to set some time to do something different. Counting both in English and Spanish is one of those things I sometimes do while waiting for spare time to be over. Most recently I've been considering learning how to knit. I hear it is very good to relax the nerves.

Lynn: I hear you have your own website now, Señor Calavera. And a movie, too. Did you ever imagine that you would be such a colorful star? How do you handle the paparazzi? Are you on My Space, too? Please tell us the links to find you (so you won’t come looking for us).

Who Is Señor Calavera from Yuyi Morales on Vimeo.

Señor Calavera: Dear Lynn, giving you my links won't spare you my visit when the time arrives. But in the meantime you can come to MySpace and become my friend at: http://www.myspace.com/senorcalavera

If you rather become my fan (please, don’t look at me when I am blushing) come to my Facebook Fan Page at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Senor-Calavera/38746031153

Furthermore, come see my website where you can learn more about the books that have been written about me, download activities, like making a mask or a puppet. You can even watch me ride my bicycle...while reading and without wearing a helmet! You mean, I shouldn’t be proud about it? Oh, dear…

Lynn: Did you ever imagine that you’d star in more than one book?

Señor Calavera: I didn't imagine that readers would be so enthusiastic about getting to know more of the things that happen to me. But children kept giving ideas for more books. One once even suggested that I should get married—Goodness sake! But many, many of them also wanted to know whether I would keep my promise to come back to Grandma Beetle’s Birthday party. Well, of course! I would not miss that for anything in the world.

Lynn: What are your plans for the future?

Señor Calavera: First, to go to Grandma’s party this Friday, November 21 in San Francisco. We are having a great celebration, and you and your readers are invited too, Mrs Hazen. I also think I would like to learn how to play an instrument--maybe the guitar—they tell me learning to play music calms the nerves too and it come handy when you fall in love. I also plan to make some more friends so that perhaps I might get invited to more birthday parties.

Lynn: I hear there is a cool interactive game on your website. Could you please tell us how it works and where to find it?

Señor Calavera: Yes, but I warn you, the game it is only for brave people. It is a quiz where anybody can test their trickster abilities and find out how much longer they might live once I come to meet them. Are you ready for the challenge, Mrs. Hazen?

Lynn: Gulp, er--well--maybe I am not so brave...

Señor Calavera: A badge will be given to you at the end of the game. Just click on the image above.

Lynn: Okay, I will try in Just a Minute.

But Just in Case the results are not good, let me ask now--Do you have any pets?

Señor Calavera: I hear that a pet requires time to care for it. Would I have the time? It does sound intriguing, though. You mean a pet like a cute puppy--but wait! What do puppies chew on? No, no, no! I might consider an iguana instead.

Lynn: What do your friends say about your success in the children’s book world? Are they envious?

Señor Calavera: My friends think I am famous! Can you believe that? But my friends would never be envious of any of it; that is why they are my friends. Wherever I go, and whatever I do, my friends are part of me too. I take my hat off for my friends.

Lynn: Nice meeting you Señor Calavera. Is there anything else you’d like our Imaginary Readers to know?

Señor Calavera: Please, let our Imaginary Readers know that I will come to meet them in due time--not later, not before. And that I like candies very much. Than you Mrs. Hazen.

Lynn: Thank you, Señor Calavera. I think I am ready to try that quiz now. Uh-oh. Here are my results...

trickster badge small

Forecast: High likelihood of another interview coming soon--AND increased tension not know which unknown teen reader will win the unclaimed prize at the end of my Urban Moon/SHIFTY post from a couple of days ago???? Hint: look at the forecast that day.

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