Monday, March 3, 2014

Mr. Pig Live. . . with Arnie the Doughnut

Hello, and thank you for tuning in to my award- winning talk show... 


Oh, dear. Please forgive me. I stayed up past my bedtime watching the Oscars!

I could use some coffee. And a doughnut. 

(What's that? Oh, that's awkward. No, I wasn't being funny! How was I supposed to know our guest was a confectionery treat?!)

Ahem... pardon me. Just having a little production chat. Where was I? Right. Welcome back to my award winning talk show...


Today, my guest is the delicious, er... delightful Arnie the Doughnut, star of The Adventures of Arnie the Doughnut series which includes the Kirkus Reviews best book of 2013, Bowling Alley Bandit, and the brand-new Invasion of the Ufonuts, as well as a picture book bearing his name.

Welcome Arnie! What's your full name?
First name: Arnie, Middle Name: the, Last Name: Doughnut. I’m not sure, but I think “the” is short for “Theodore.” I like it because it has 2 doughnuts in it (people call them o’s)

What three words best describe you? 
Fun-loving, well-rounded, doughnut-dog

What is the best thing about being you? 
People stopping to pet me when Mr. Bing and I go for a walk. Most people have never seen a doughnut-dog before so I get lots of attention – especially from the ladies.

What is the worst thing about being you? 
Having to always be on the lookout for hungry people wanting to take a bite out of me!

Illustration from Arnie the Doughnut (Henry Holt & Co. 2003)
Copyright 2003 Laurie Keller
What is your special talent? 
As it turns out, I’m pretty good at lots of stuff! When Mr. Bing asked me to think up ideas for what he could do with me instead of eating me I told him I could be an entertainer at his parties, his portrait painter, his chauffeur, his personal trainer, his body guard or his ballroom dance partner. But he didn’t like any of my ideas. The thing I’m BEST at though is SINGING — if I do say so myself.

What is your favorite word? 

What is you least favorite word?

Do you have a favorite sound? 
Mr. Bing calling me to go for a walk.

How about a least favorite sound? 
Someone’s stomach growling.

Illustration from Arnie the Doughnut (Henry Holt & Co. 2003)
Copyright 2003 Laurie Keller

If you could spend a day with three characters from other books, who would they be?
Homer Price (he knows a lot about doughnuts), Clifford the Big Red Dog (he might give me some tips on being an unusual kind of dog) and The Ginger Bread Man (we could commiserate about people chasing after us trying to eat us all the time!)

You know, I've met Gingie, he's been on the show. I'll put you two in touch. Anyhoo, if a genie gave you one wish, what would you wish for? 
I would wish to smell like The Stinky Cheese Man so no one would want to eat me.

You do smell scrumptious. Are those rainbow sprinkles? Sorry. If you have a pocket, what is in it right now? 
The napkin that Mr. Baker Man put at the bottom of the bag when I left The Downtown Bakery. I didn’t think it was good for more than cushioning the bumpy ride to Mr. Bing’s house but it comes in handy for all sorts of things!

Here's a fun one... would you rather be able to fly or be invisible? 
At first I was going to say FLY but now I think BEING INVISIBLE could be really useful. That way when someone is chasing after me wanting to eat me, VOILA – I’m invisible! Besides, I figured out a way to rig up my napkin as a hang glider. SEE — I told you it came in handy for lots of things!

From Invasion of the Ufonuts, Copyright 2014 Laurie Keller

Right, like breakfast! (Did I just say that out loud?) So sorry. New topic: Do you have any siblings? 
Somewhere I have a long-lost doughnut hole. I’m hoping to meet him or her someday.

Awww, that's sweet. You are sweet. Sweet and tasty. I'm doing it again, aren't I? What is your most embarrassing moment? 
Well, not so much embarrassing as HUMILIATING. One of Mr. Bing’s ideas instead of eating me was to be a doorstop. Can you imagine? I sat there for 15 minutes holding the door open while he brought groceries in from the parking lot. All the neighbors just stared and chuckled. HUMILIATING!

Quite! What are you reading right now? 
A Hole In My Life by Jack Gantos

What was it like working with Laurie Keller? 
She’s pretty cool, I guess. Although while she was making the picture book about me she kept buying doughnuts for “research” and then EATING THEM and buying new ones every day. She said she simply couldn’t work with day-old doughnuts and didn’t want to waste them so she ATE THEM!

Oh, my.  That would be unnerving. Well, the good news is Nina from Mamabelly Lunches with Love has prepared us a lunch that is 100% doughnut free. Read about Laurie Keller and her books, then scroll down and check it out! 

Laurie Keller is a children's book author and illustrator of many books including The Scrambled States of America, Arnie the DoughnutDo Unto Otters: A Book About Manners and The Adventures of Arnie the Doughnut chapter book series. When Laurie isn't busy making books or traveling, she enjoys spending time outdoors at her Michigan home, hiking in the woods, playing banjo, cross-country skiing or splashing in Lake Michigan. You can find out more about Laurie at her website,

Henry Holt (February 2014)
ISBN 978-0805090758

Arnie finds himself in trouble when his neighbor, Loretta Schmoretta, begins telling news reporters that she was the victim of an alien abduction. And not just any aliens—alien doughnuts from outer spastry, who will continue the abductions until people stop eating doughnuts! Arnie thinks this is a ridiculous story, until he gets abducted! Arnie must think fast in order to rescue his fellow doughnuts and the townspeople from the alien invaders. The slapstick shenanigans continue in this hilarious second book in the Adventures of Arnie the Doughnut series. 

Henry Holt, 2013
ISBN 978-0805090765
"Arnie the doughnut returns in a 'who-donut' chapter book that will appeal to fans of Dav Pilkey’s Captain Underpants (Scholastic) and Lincoln Peirce’s Big Nate (HarperCollins) series." --School Library Journal, starred review

* "A yummy chapter-book series opener." --Kirkus, starred review

Henry Holt, 2003
ISBN 978-0805062830

"Poor Arnie . . . is clueless as to why people buy tasty treats, and when he is sold to Mr. Bing, he is shocked to discover his fate. Refusing to be eaten, he devises numerous reasons why he should remain whole. . . . Filled with offbeat humor, this fantasy spoof also highlights Arnie's optimistic, can-do personality. Kids will eat it up." --School Library Journal

* A New York Times Book Review Notable Book
* A Publishers Weekly Best Children Books 2003