Thursday, January 9, 2014

Mr. Pig Live! . . . with Penguin!

Brrrr, it’s chilly here in the Cottage today, but that’s okay, because today’s guest likes it cold. Arctic, even. Please give a frigid, Polar Vortex welcome to…


Penguin and her darling brood are the stars of the brand-new picture book, BABY PENGUINS LOVE THEIR MAMA! by the talented Melissa Guion.

Let’s begin, shall we?

What is your full name?
Mama. Penguin.

What three words best describe you?
Black, white, yellow.

Do you have a belly button?
It’s difficult to say, with my figure.

What is the best thing about being you?
I have a magic hat!

What is the worst thing about being you?
Singlehandedly raising twenty-one children.

From BABY PENGUINS LOVE THEIR MAMA! Illustration copyright 2014 by Melissa Guion

If you were stranded on a desert island, what would you bring?
I am stranded on a desert island!!

Fair point. When do you feel the happiest?
When I’ve slept.

Would you rather be able to fly or be invisible?
Here come the children. I’d like to turn invisible right now, but it wouldn’t be responsible, would it?

Probably not. My, there certainly are, em… a lot of them. So, do you identify more with Goldilocks or the three bears?
I never thought I’d sympathize with a bear, but I’ve lost sympathy for people. They’re wrecking everything…hello, my little darlings…what was I saying? It wasn’t Goldilocks herself, but some politicians or other just voted against protecting the polar sea from overfishing…I’m almost done, darlings…Look how many mouths I’ve got to feed! I can’t compete with commercial trawlers! CHILDREN! Don’t touch Mr. Pig’s umbrella.

Sorry. It’s hard to hold a rational conversation these days. Darlings, I’m telling Mr. Pig what it’s like to be a penguin. You’d like to tell him? All right.

Here’s an easy one: What is your favorite word?
They say “herring.”

Do they have a least favorite word?
Seems like a tie between “bed” and “preening.”

What is your favorite sound?
 “Crunching snow.”

What is your least favorite sound?
“Oinking.” Not nice. Let’s think about how that makes Mr. Pig feel!

For the record, I never “oink.” What is your special talent?
One at a time… “Juggling. Squawking. Stealing? That’s not a talent. Porpoising. Jumping rope.” They have so many.

If you could dine with three characters from other books, who would they be?
“One fish, two fish.” That’s not what Mr. Pig means, children! Why don’t you run and play for one more minute. Thank you.

Um, baby penguins? Yes, you are cute. Very fuzzy and all, but that’s a first edition… it was a gift. Nevermind.  If a genie gave you one wish, what would you wish for?
A babysitter.

Indeed. Well, I can see you have your um, feathers full, so we’ll just wrap it up here. Thank you, Mama Penguin… and babies… it’s been an exhausting, I mean EXCITING interview! 

Melissa Guion is the author-illustrator of Baby Penguins Love Their Mama! and Baby Penguins Everywhere! Her penguins have been featured in the Original Art exhibition at the Society of Illustrators. Melissa lives in Brooklyn with her daughter and a pair of guinea pigs named Squeaky and Brenda. See more of her work at

Baby Penguins Love Their Mama!
Philomel, 2014

A Children's Book of the Month Club Selection

"Baby Penguins Love Their Mama! is sure to charm the socks off anyone who’s wild about penguins. Melissa Guion brings the penguins’ arctic antics to brilliant life with her beautiful pencil-and-watercolor illustrations and heartfelt text." Children's Book of the Month Club

Baby Penguins Everywhere!
Philomel, 2013 (board book edition)

"[Guion] uses adorable penguins to salute the idea of taking time to recharge....They create instant, exuberant chaos, frolicking with scarves and waving their stumpy wings in the air. It's easy to enjoy their fun....Guion doesn't just explain to young readers why a parent might need an occasional break, she suggests that they, too, can listen for an inner voice that tells them they're in need of quiet time." —Publishers Weekly

And now, it's time to feed all the Baby Penguins LUNCH! (Honestly, Mama Penguin, I don't know how you do it...) Good thing we have Nina from Mamabelly Lunches with Love to help us out!


  1. Thank you so much for having me over to visit, Cottagers!

  2. Please come back and visit us again, Melissa! You, Mama Penguin and all the baby penguins are welcome anytime!