HHB reporter Wendy Pellinore interviews HatticusFinch
Wendy: What made you decide to represent the Hat Head Books brand?
Hatticus: The publisher was looking for a spokes-bird, and she thought I fit the bill. Plus, a consultant never turns down an offer to feather one’s nest.
Wendy: I heard it came down to a decision between you and a couple of secretary birds.
Hatticus: In the end, she figured a bird-in-the-hat was worth two in the bush.
Wendy: Why ‘Hat Head’? I thought that term referred to dented hair-dos.
Hatticus: Funny you should ask. Hair-dent has given Hat Head a bad name, but I’m here to turn that noun upside down.
Wendy: This flies in the face of logic. How did you meet this publisher?
Hatticus: She spotted me during one of her trips to India during her “scientific publishing” days. I was giving a presentation. I have a Theory- if you wear a hat when you read a book the words will stay in your head.
Wendy: Wait a minute! You’re telling me you published a paper on the Theory of Hat Head?
Hatticus: Actually, I tweeted it.
Wendy: I don’t believe this! What kind of a bird are you anyway? You don’t look like a finch.
Hatticus: My real name is Egbert Hoopoe. HatticusFinch is my nom de plume. The mockingbirds gave me the name, but that’s another story.
Wendy: So, you and the publisher hatched a plot to test your Theory of Hat Head on unsuspecting young readers?
Hatticus: Yes, she agreed to clinical trials starting with Galloping Gertrude. We’re hoping kids will naturally migrate to reading this material while hatted. There is no down-side. The worst thing that can happen is kids could get dents in their hair. We’re hoping to get feedback from the kids themselves on how hat wearing improves their reading retention. Hat Head Kids can email their results by clicking here.
Wendy: That sounds like some kind of bird-brain social experiment. You could wind up with egg on your face. What qualifies you to conduct such an experiment?
Hatticus: Look up my profile in any field guide. I’m described as curious and diligent.
Wendy: Let’s get to the point. What’s so great about Galloping Gertrude and Whence America?
Hatticus: The Whence America? stories are written by John J Loeper, an educator and historian who has published more than two dozen children’s books. Fledgling readers get hooked on American history because we give them a good story to get started and the resources to help them follow their interests.
Wendy: And, if they wear a hat while reading Galloping Gertrude they will remember all the words. They might learn something by mistake.
Hatticus: Exactly! With Galloping Gertrude, the reader gets a kids-eye-view of what it was like to take a trip in a car in 1908. That could lead to curiosity about the history of cars. So, we added the “Automotive Milestones” timeline from 1769 to 2011. There is a “Glossary” of automotive terms and an “Index of Names”. On-line resources that were used to compile the timeline are listed so curious readers can “Learn More”. There are also websites of car museums to visit on-line or in person and a list of books for “Further Reading” in case curiosity really takes wing.
Wendy: Wow, you thought of everything. Still, you ought to be up-front with readers and let them know they are part of some big hat trick.
Hatticus: Well, let’s hope this interview serves that purpose! My intentions are already quite well-known in academia, but I wanted to branch out.
Wendy: How do we know you’ll be committed for the long term and not fly the coop?
Hatticus: Just ask the publisher how relentless I was in contract negotiations. I’m a permanent fixture on the flyleaf of every Hat Head Book.
Wendy: What message would you like Hat Head readers to take away from this interview?
Hatticus: Be Curious. Wear a hat. Read a book!