5 Questions with LEGO Master Builder Chris Steininger

LEGOKidsFest

(previous interviews in this series can be found here.)

Welcome to another installment of 5 Questions with a 5-Year-Old. Today, Zoey chats with LEGO Master Builder Chris Steininger.

“Master Builder” is one of those terms that you hear associated with LEGO bricks if you spend any time with them or reading about them. Especially now, after The LEGO Movie made the term so popular.

But few people really know what it means. Are they really like Emmet, Wildstyle, Vitruvius, and Batman? Do they have superpowers? Are they really able to stop Lord Business, destroy the Kragle, and save the universe?

Not quite. But they’re still incredibly cool. Case in point: Chris Steininger.

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5 Questions with G. Willow Wilson

G Willow Wilson

(previous interviews in this series can be found here.)

Welcome to another installment of 5 Questions with a 5-Year-Old. Today, Zoey chats with G. Willow Wilson: author of the ongoing Ms. Marvel series with Marvel Comics.

I should probably preface this with a brief history of how and why Ms. Marvel (Kamala Khan) found her way home with us. Luckily, I’ve already written about that. So please go read about it here. Go on. I’ll wait for you.

It should therefore go without saying that when Zoey found out the woman responsible for writing and bringing Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel to life was going to be at New York Comic-Con, she was right up there at the top of the list of people she wanted to meet.

If Zoey’s costume hadn’t given it away, she’s still very much a huge fan of the series, 9 issues (and 9 months) in. As am I.

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5 Questions with Kazu Kibuishi

KazuKibuishi

(previous interviews in this series can be found here.)

Welcome to another installment of 5 Questions with a 5-Year-Old. Today, Zoey chats with Kazu Kibuishi: artist, author, and creator of the Amulet series of graphic novels.

Not since Bone was Zoey so immediately taken with a book and its world. Almost instantly, she attached to 12-year-old Emily and her adventure. This really shouldn’t come as a surprise. If you’ve read any of the Amulet books, you already know that it’s a gripping story that’s superbly written and breathtakingly illustrated.

It’s not often I hear audible gasps and genuine surprise and concern when reading comics and graphic novels to her. Amulet, however, leaves her breathless. We read through the first book in a single sitting, and there was no looking back.

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5 Questions with Ben Hatke

Hatke

(previous interviews in this series can be found here.)

Welcome to another installment of 5 Questions with a 5-Year-Old. Today, Zoey chats with Ben Hatke: artist, author, and creator of the Zita the Spacegirl graphic novels.

From page 1 of Zita the Spacegirl, Zoey was hooked. It’s got all the makings of a classic in this house: strong and spunky female protagonist, funky-looking aliens and creatures, amazing art, and an engaging adventure story. It’s basically everything Zoey loves all packaged together into one book.

Two subsequent books–Legends of Zita the Spacegirl and The Return of Zita the Spacegirl–round out the trilogy, and all three are published by the simply stellar First Second Books.

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5 Questions with Andy Runton

AndyRunton

(previous interviews in this series can be found here.)

Welcome to another installment of 5 Questions with a 5-Year-Old. Today, Zoey chats with Andy Runton, creator of the Owly comics.

If you’re not familiar with the Owly books….first of all, shame on you! Second of all, you’re in for a real treat. They’re a blast of adorable.

They’re (mostly) wordless graphic novels that focus on a little owl with huge eyes and the adventures he has with his friends–mostly his friend Wormy. The stories rely on expressions and symbols for the narrative, which make them absolutely perfect for the youngest readers.

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5 Questions with Mike Maihack

MikeMaihack

(previous interviews in this series can be found here.)

Welcome to another installment of 5 Questions with a 5-Year-Old. Today, Zoey chats with Mike Maihack, writer and artist of Cleopatra in Space from Graphix/Scholastic.

If you’re interested in Cleopatra in Space, you’ll definitely want to read our review of the first book: Target Practice. In short, you don’t want to miss this one. It’s fantastic.

A strong, spunky female protagonist. A sci-fi setting with historical flavoring. A good Indiana Jones style adventure. And a whole range of emotions–both expressed by the characters and elicited in the reader. What’s not to love?

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5 Questions with Frank Cammuso

FrankCammuso

(previous interviews in this series can be found here.)

Welcome to another installment of 5 Questions with a 5-Year-Old. Today, Zoey chats with Frank Cammuso.

Zoey is most familiar with Frank from his work writing and illustrating the The Misadventures of Salem Hyde series (Amulet Books) and the Otto series (Toon Books). But Frank has also created the Knights of the Lunch Table and Max Hamm: Fairy Tale Detective series (Graphix/Scholastic and Nite Owl Comix, respectively).

In short, he’s a kids comics powerhouse.

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5 Questions with David Petersen

DavidPetersen

(previous interviews in this series can be found here.)

Welcome to another installment of 5 Questions with a 5-Year-Old. Today, Zoey chats with David Petersen, writer and artist of the award-winning Mouse Guard series of graphic novels from Archaia.

Let’s begin by saying that Zoey is a sucker for stories with mice having adventures. And, as it turns out, that’s actually a pretty expansive genre. So it came as no surprise that Mouse Guard was an instant hit with her.

She quickly fell in love with Saxon, Kenzie, Sadie, Lieam, and the rest of the Guardmice who populate this medieval world of intrigue, honor, warfare, and predators.

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5 Questions with Gene Luen Yang

GeneYang(previous interviews in this series can be found here.)

Welcome to another installment of 5 Questions with a 5-Year-Old. Today, Zoey chats with Gene Luen Yang, writer and artist of several graphic novels, including American Born Chinese and Boxers & Saints.

Boxers and Saints, his most recent book, is an ambitious work of historical fiction set in late 19th century China and told in a graphic novel format. It tackles one of the most complicated periods of recent Chinese history with grace and elegance.

It was published by First Second Books in two companion volumes, and it has basically won (or been nominated for) every literary award. Likewise for American Born Chinese, which was the first graphic novel to be nominated for the National Book Award in 2006 (Boxers and Saints was shortlisted for the same award in 2013).

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5 Questions with Jeffrey Brown

Jeffrey Brown

(previous interviews in this series can be found here.)

Welcome to another installment of 5 Questions with a 5-Year-Old. Today, Zoey chats with Jeffrey Brown, writer and artist on the adorable Darth Vader and Son, Vader’s Little Princess, Goodnight Darth Vader, and the Jedi Academy books.

We first became aware of Jeffrey Brown in 2012 when Darth Vader and Son was released by Chronicle Books. I got a copy for Father’s Day and instantly fell in love. Zoey instantly fell in love, too, though she loved the art and the fact that Luke and Leia were tiny and cute. She hadn’t seen the movies at that point, so some of the jokes went right over her head. But, she still laughed.

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5 Questions with Jeff Smith

Jeff Smith

(previous interviews in this series can be found here.)

Welcome to another installment of 5 Questions with a 5-Year-Old. Today, Zoey chats with Jeff Smith, writer/artist/creator of the amazing Bone graphic novels.

Nowadays, it’s almost impossible to find a kid who hasn’t read the Bone books. Zoey is 5, has a pulse, and has a dad who read the comics from issue #1 way back when, so she of course is in love with the Bone cousins, Ted, Gran’ma Ben, Thorn, the Great Red Dragon, and all the other wonderful characters that populate the books.

Even as an adult who has read the books multiple times, the story is just so utterly enchanting and charming that I get whisked away on an adventure every single time I open one of the books.

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5 Questions with Judith Viorst

Judith Viorst

(previous interviews in this series can be found here.)

Welcome to another installment of 5 Questions with a 5-Year-Old. Today, Zoey chats with Judith Viorst, the legendary children’s author who wrote–among many many other books–Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

Zoey had the opportunity to sit and chat with Ms. Viorst during her appearance at this year’s National Book Festival in Washington, DC.

She prepared for her interview by voraciously reading (i.e., listening to me read) nearly a dozen of Judith Viorst’s books, each and every one of which she loved. She was already familiar with the Alexander books–particularly the original, since I still have my childhood copy and have read it to her numerous times before.

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5 Questions with Kate DiCamillo

Kate DiCamillo

(previous interviews in this series can be found here.)

Welcome to another installment of 5 Questions with a 5-Year-Old. Today, Zoey chats with Kate DiCamillo, the recently named 2014-15 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature by the Library of Congress, winner of the 2004 Newbery Medal for The Tale of Despereaux, winner of the 2014 Newbery Medal for Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures, and, oh yeah, author of a long list of amazing books.

Zoey knows her best from the The Tale of Despereaux (which she has listened to several times on audiobook) and the Mercy Watson and Bink & Gollie series of chapter books.

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5 Questions with a Polar Bear Keeper

IMG_5281

(previous interviews in this series can be found here.)

Welcome to another installment of 5 Questions with a 5-Year-Old. Today, Zoey chats with Marie-Josée Côté, one of the zookeepers (and the one in charge of the polar bears) at Zoo Sauvage de St-Félicien. See The Roarbots review of the zoo here.

Zoey is in love with polar bears. Her favorite stuffed animal in the world is a little polar bear, and she takes it with her everywhere. It’s literally been around the world since Zoey took it along to China and Japan….and now Canada!

Our local zoo–the National Zoo in Washington, DC–sadly doesn’t have any polar bears. Therefore, Zoey was beyond excited when she got to see a real, live polar bear while visiting Zoo Sauvage in Quebec.

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5 Questions with a Busch Gardens Zoologist

(previous interviews in this series can be found here.)

Welcome to another installment of 5 Questions with a 5-Year-Old. Today, Zoey chats with Jay Tacey, Manager of Zoological Operations at Busch Gardens Williamsburg.

Like most kids, Zoey’s fascinated by animals of all kinds and can’t get enough of ’em. Zoos, aquariums, and natural history museums are some of her favorite places.

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5 Questions with a Smithsonian Paleontologist

(previous interviews in this series can be found here.)

Welcome to another installment of 5 Questions with a 5-Year-Old. Today, Zoey sits down with Dr. Michael Brett-Surman, Museum Specialist for Dinosaurs and other Fossil Reptiles at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History.

Zoey has gone through several phases regarding the “what I want to be when I grow up” question. Currently, she’s all about being a paleontologist. When she was 3, she could name more dinosaurs than she could name months of the year. She knew at least 10. (Let’s give credit where credit is due: much of that is thanks to Dinosaur Train.)

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5 Questions with the Lumberjanes

(previously in this series: 5 Questions with Pinky and the Brain)

Welcome to another installment of 5 Questions with a 5-Year-Old. This time, Zoey chatted with Grace Ellis and Brooke Allen, the cowriter and illustrator (respectively) of Lumberjanes. Lumberjanes is a fantastic new all-ages comic from Boom, and it’s about five best friends at summer camp who fight monsters. What’s not great about that? Check out our review of Lumberjanes #1 here.

As part of the Free Comic Book Day festivities this year, Grace and Brooke were signing at Big Planet Comics in College Park, MD, and Zoey had another wonderful opportunity to practice her hard-hitting journalism.

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5 Questions with Pinky & The Brain

(previously in this series: 5 Questions with Alan Muraoka from Sesame Street)

Welcome to another installment of 5 Questions with a 5-Year-Old. This time, Zoey had the opportunity to sit with Rob Paulsen and Maurice LaMarche–the voices behind Pinky and The Brain–at this year’s Awesome Con in Washington, DC!

Of course, they’re also the voices of hundreds of other characters, and their filmographies read like an exhaustive list of animation from the 80s through today (including Transformers, GI Joe, Inspector Gadget, The Simpsons, Futurama, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Ben 10, The Tick, and on and on and on…).

Zoey, however, knows them best from Animaniacs, Pinky and the Brain, and Rescue Bots (where Maurice LaMarche is the voice of Chief Burns).

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5 Questions with Alan Muraoka

Welcome to the first in a series of Roarbots interviews…with a twist. We’re calling it 5 Questions with a 5-Year-Old. The idea is that Zoey will sit down with various people she’s identified (or who are linked to interests she’s identified) and ask them five simple questions she wants to know the answers to.

She comes up with all the questions. Seriously. I may help her “refine” some of them, but she comes up with each on her own. Don’t worry; I’m not surreptitiously interviewing anyone through my 5-year-old daughter.

We were lucky enough to sit down with Alan Muraoka as her first interviewee. Alan is perhaps most famous for his role on Sesame Street where he’s been the owner of Hooper’s Store since 1998. Zoey was absolutely thrilled to learn that “Alan” on Sesame Street is also named Alan in real life!

Zoey couldn’t have been more excited. And as it turns out, Alan Muraoka is every bit as friendly, charming, and approachable (not to mention patient) as his on-screen persona.

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