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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

What’s that lurking under your bed?

October seems to be the time of year when many thoughts about what could be lurking under our beds occurs more often than other times. Have you ever thought the creeping about was a ghost or a monster? Did one of your parents get out a can of “Ghost-buster Spray” or “Monster Repellent?” At my house we used what my young son called the Ghost-buster Spray. He believed there were ghosts lurking in the closet or under his bed. Sometimes I would spray the hard to reach places and he would spray under the bed.

Recently I read a book titled, Trockle to a mixed group of elementary and middle school children. In reading Trockle we find out, like most young children, Stephen’s imagination gets the best of him as he finishes his bedtime snack. He is sure there is a monster under his bed. His Mom tries to comfort Stephen by reminding him that she had used her reliable “monster repellent” just the week before, so there are NO monsters under his bed. Stephen is sure that this monster was not like the others. He even has a name, Trockle. And he snores! How can Stephen convince his parents this is one REAL MONSTER?

Meanwhile, amidst the dust bunnies, chocolate wrappers, and carpet fuzz Trockle is also getting ready for bed. He too is afraid to go to sleep because he believes there is a BIG monster over his bed. What else can be making the ceiling noises in the dark? His Mother held his fears as NONSENSE. How can Trockle convince his Mother this is one BIG MONSTER?

Stephen and Trockle can not stop thinking about each other as they are trying to go to sleep. What will they do next? Will they become friends or will Stephen’s Mom get rid of Trockle once and for all? Be sure and read Trockle to find out what happens next.

The other day I had a chance to meet up with Holly Jahangiri the author of Trockle to ask her some questions our group had about Stephen and Trockle. This is what Holly had to say.

Jewel: Hi Holly, thank you for agreeing to meet up with me to answer some elementary and middle school children’s questions.

Holly: Sure, my pleasure. I love to talk with kids.

Jewel: My first question comes from J., “Where does Stephen live?”

Holly: Stephen lives in the suburbs of a very large city. There are lots and lots of things to do, but his house is in a quiet, friendly neighborhood. He can walk or ride his bike to school, but he takes the bus.

Jewel: Awesome! Stephen lives on the edge of a large city like many children who read this blog. R. asks, “Does Trockle go to school? If he does, what grade is he in?”

Holly: No, although he’d love to go with Stephen, now that he’s learned human boys are more fun than scary. His mom “homeschools” him, teaching him all a little monster needs to know.

Jewel: I hear home schooling is a lot like public school when it comes to having to do schoolwork like math and spelling. A. wants to know, “What does Trockle like to do for fun?”

Holly: He loves to ride around in Stephen’s remote-controlled monster truck. He once curled up inside Stephen’s baseball glove, and Stephen mistook him for a little orange ball. Trockle was literally bouncing off the walls for a while, and enjoying every minute of it. Sounds painful to me, but he couldn’t stop giggling when he told me about it.

Jewel: Sounds like something Trockle would love to giggle about his orange ball ride again. T. has this question, “Does Trockle speak Trockle language? If so, what does it sound like?”

Holly: Probably, but Trockle and his mother have learned English (you pick up a lot, living under the bed and in the walls) and that’s the language in which they told me their story.

Jewel: Wow that is remarkable! Trockle and his mother learned a new language. They are smart monsters. E. asks, “Are Trockle and Stephen only children? Are they adopted?”

Holly: Trockle is an only child. Stephen has an older sister. Neither of them are adopted.

Jewel: S.’s question is, “Has Stephen and Trockle ever gotten into trouble together?

Holly: You know, they’re really good kids. They haven’t gotten into much trouble at all – alone or together. But as they get older, I imagine they’ll test the limits just like all kids do.

Jewel: Yeah, sometimes when kids get to know each other things happen unexpectedly that gets them into trouble. The nest question comes from C, “Does Trockle’s sock stink like smelly stinky feet?”

Holly: It’s Stephen’s sock, and Trockle’s happiest if he gets it straight from Stephen’s foot right after a soccer game. I don’t know how he’s going to feel about it when Stephen gets a bit older and his feet really start to stink. But, you know, Limburger cheese stinks – some people say the worse it smells, the better it tastes. To Trockle, it’s a good, night-time smell. (You have to remember, too, that Trockle’s favorite treat is Brussels sprouts. Those don’t smell too nice, either.)

Jewel: Indeed Brussels sprouts can smell up a room while cooking. T. had another question, “Does Trockle and Stephen have future plans for letting us know other things about them, and like is it hard for Trockle to read since he only has one eye? I know a kid who has dyslexia. It is hard for him to read. Or does he wait for Stephen’s mom storytelling to learn and understand stuff?”

Holly: Trockle and Stephen have been very excited by the idea of a sequel, ever since someone brought that up during the first book tour. Trockle doesn’t really have a lot of trouble reading, but he does have a little bit of a challenge with depth perception and his mother has been thinking of getting him a monocle. She first noticed it when he ran Stephen’s monster truck into the corner of the wall – to him, it was on a plane with the wall on the far side of the hall. Stephen, on the other hand, has 20/20 vision but draws all his letters and numbers backwards. They look right, he just draws them backwards from the way everyone else does.

Jewel: Sounds like Stephen has writing problems like most kids learning to read alphabetic letters and write them. Our last question is from J. He asks, “Is Trockle part rodent?”

Holly: No, Trockle is 100% under-the-bed monster. Rodents don’t like under-the-bed monsters, so you should consider yourself very lucky if you have monsters under your bed.

Jewel: Whew! I am so glad Trockle is not part rodent. Stephen and Trockle’s mothers’ don’t have to put up with rodent smell that way.

Holly: Yeah, that would be a stinky smell worse than soccer socks or Limburger cheese.

Jewel: Thank you Holly for stopping by Jewel of a to tell us a little more about your characters in Trockle. Come back and visit us again sometime, especially if you have an update about Trockle and Stephen.

Holly: My pleasure. Those were great questions by the way. I will be sure to let you and your blog reading kids know when the next book is out about Trockle.

To learn more about Holly Jahangiri visit her here.

If you have a story to share about “what’s lurking under your bed” post it in our comments below. Jewel would love to read them.

Until next time happy writing!


Vivian Zabel said...

What a fun blog entry. I know much about Holly, Stephen, and Trockle and his mom, but I enjoyed learning more.


Holly Jahangiri said...

Thanks for having me at your blog, Jewel - this was fun! ::waves at the kids:: Great questions, everyone!

elysabeth said...

Very fun posting indeed. I think it's fun to see the answers to questions that kids ask as we saw from the interviews and such on the Trockle tour. Kids will say the darndest things.

Since it was a mixed group of kids, did they all enjoy it or did the older kids think they were too old for this type of book?

Sounds like you had a good time - E :)

Jewel Sample said...

Hello Vivian, Holly and Elysabeth!

Thank you for stopping by and checking out the questions my Jewel of a book blog reading kids asked Holly. Indeed we found out new things about Trockle and Stephen.

All the children seemed to enjoy reading Trockle. They all related to having thoughts of something lurking under their bed.

The questions came from all ages of the group with a middle schooler and a second grader asking the most questions.

Holly Jahangiri said...

I have really enjoyed giving interviews to kids. They ask such original questions and they always make me think.

Jewel Sample said...

Indeed children ask questions that sometimes grown-ups have not considered. I am glad you had a good time. Come by again sometime and shout us a howdy.

Holly Jahangiri said...

New address for Trockle's blog:

I hope everyone's got fun weekend plans! My son and I are going to help set up camp for a big Boy Scout event next weekend.