Danielle DiIanni's students at Hazel School are squirming in their seats with questions.
Q: How are you feeling?
A: Some days are better than others. I have aches and pains. The economy is bad. Winter is coming and there are leaves that need to be raked. My skin is dry. I need a haircut. My dog needs a haircut. I've got a book to finish. Actually, there are TWO books I have to finish! I'm actually feeling just fine, and I'm looking forward to Christmastime when my friends from Australia are coming to visit.
Q: Are you coming out with any new books?
A: What a question! BRAVA, STREGA NONA pop-up book (October, 2008), SONG OF FRANCIS picture book (February, 2009), FOR THE DURATION chapter book (June, 2009), STREGA NONA'S HARVEST picture book (September, 2009)
Q: Did your mom have a job?
A: Yes, she worked at home taking care of the house and our family.
Q: How many letters have you received?
A: A gazillion.
Q: When were you born, and where?
A: September 15, 1934, in Meriden, Connecticut.
Q: Did you really meet Mrs. Schettini?
A: Maybe, but I can't pronounce her name.
Q: Did your older brother pick on you? My older brother picks on me, and trust me, you could call it much, much more than picking on!
A: Yes. I write about it in the chapter book FOR THE DURATION (on sale in June, 2009). I feel for you.
Q: Did you really live at 26 Fairmount Avenue?
A: Yes, really, truly, you betcha!
Comment: I think you are one of the greatest artists and illustrators I have seen.
A: Gosh, shucks, stop it, you are embarrassing me. Did you say "one of the greatest?"
Tomie's question: Who's Hazel?