Author Feature: Pigglety Pigglety Poo by Julie Kusma, illustrated by Jane Jago

Pigglety Pigglety Poo by Julie Kusma illustrated by Jane Jago

Pigglety Pigglety Poo is a cumulative tale with a formula-predictive pattern featuring a menagerie of silly animals. First, a purple pig in a petunia patch. Next, a few monkeys mucking about, maybe a frolicking frog or two, and the next thing you’ll know is you’re in the middle of the wackiest, wildest animal caper ever. Each line builds into an increasingly deeply-nested nonsense verse full of alliteration and repetition. It’s a fun Read-Aloud story beautifully illustrated by none other than the talented Jane Jago herself and edited by the gifted Jill Yoder.

This non-rhyming cumulative tale is for ages 3 to 6. It is comparable to other cumulative stories like “The Lot at The End of My Block” and “And the Robot Went.” As well as classics like “The House That Jack Built,” “There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly,” and “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”

A bite of the creators of this sweet little book…
Julie Kusma first:

Why a children’s book? It’s not precisely your usual stamping ground so what inspired it?

Great question, and yes, a children’s book does seem out of my wheelhouse. However, I wrote this story roughly five years ago during ENG550: Graduate Studies in the English Language. My final paper, The Power of Seussisms, discussed the significant role phonology and morphology played in creating neologism nonsense words in Geisel’s books. In fact, his mastery of linguistic elements generated the whimsical tone and the anapestic tetrameter that we all know as the voice and style of Dr. Seuss. I was temporarily overtaken and wrote this and three other children’s books that I plan to publish.

If you could meet one person (alive or dead) who would you choose? And what would you talk about?

Always a tricky question for me. My mother, I suppose. She died when I was nine, so it would be lovely to chat with her as adults. Of course, asking what the afterlife is really like would be at the top of my questions-for-her list.

Can you recall the first book that grabbed you by the gonads and shook your world?

So many books have influenced me, but the one that shook my world? Chariots of the Gods by Erich von Däniken. I was thirteen when my brother-in-law handed me his paperback copy. I read this book with fervor. My mind opened to the possibility that the world we think we know as true might very well be a story that others populated for their own purposes. Question everything, putting the writer’s “what-if” at the top of your list.

Now Jane Jago :

What was the best part of doing illustrations for a children’s book?

I think I enjoyed the idea of making animals accessible to children – by making them friendly and whimsical without being cartoons.

And what was the biggest challenge?

The zebra. All those stripes. Do you have any idea how complicated a zebra’s stripes are? They are neither straight nor uniform. But getting them nailed was a real head rush. And he sure is cute

I know you are not allowed favourites, but which did you most enjoy creating?

It’s just not possible to have one favourite from so many, but if I was pushed I might admit a fondness for the little bee.

You can find Julie Kusma on Instagram and Twitter and Jane Jago right here, or on Twitter and Facebook.

Autographed copies of the book will be available by June 1 from Julie Kusma’s Website.

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