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Meeting author Chris Grabenstein

Author Chris Grabenstein with Kidsday reporters Julianna Kramer,

Author Chris Grabenstein with Kidsday reporters Julianna Kramer, left, Collin Chattaway, Natalia Owadally and Ian Armstrong at Book Culture in Manhattan.   Credit: Newsday/Pat Mullooly

Guess what? We interviewed Chris Grabenstein! We went to Book Culture, a cute book store in Manhattan to meet him recently. Chris is a children's book author and he created a new book called “Mr. Lemoncello’s All-Star Breakout Game” (Penguin Random House). He often writes with another famous author, James Patterson. We were meeting him before he made a book presentation. 

One question we asked was who is Mr. Lemoncello? He said Mr. Lemoncello is himself, Chris Grabenstein. Then, we asked him how many books he has written, and he told us 58!  While we were interviewing Chris, we asked him what he enjoys doing in his free time. He said he likes to think about the next book he’s going to write. He also said to help him think of ideas for his books, he likes to go for a walk. His wife, J.J., sometimes helps him with ideas. Chris also said that it takes more than one person to edit and publish a book.

 We asked him a lot of questions about "All-Star Breakout Game,” and he told us some of the secrets to why the characters did certain things. You have to read the book to find out why eighth graders are now on the team!

We asked him if he is a cat person or dog person, because of his book, “Katt vs. Dogg” He said he is both because his dog recently died, and he just got a cat.

Asked what his favorite subject was in school, he said he liked English, but his favorite subject was math because there's only one right answer. When we asked him what his next book would be called he said “Mr. Lemoncello and the Titanium Ticket,” which is about the character Kyle moving to a new town and finding a place where they make all of Mr. Lemoncello’s games.

After the interview, Chris autographed his new book for us. We got to go to his presentation and we got to have lemon cookies for Mr. Lemoncello. He read chapter 5 to everyone. We even got to ask more questions. It was really cool! He was saying that the first Lemoncello book he wrote took him two years because it had the word “library” in it ("Escape From Mr. Lemoncello's Library") and he knew librarians would want the book, so he wanted to make it really good.

At the book presentation, he told us that he is also making his first picture book, called “No More Naps!” He is also working on a new book series, “The Smartest Kid in the Universe.”

At the presentation we asked if he could make a series called "Garbageman," because Garbageman is in Mr. Lemoncello’s All-Star Breakout Game. He said he used to act out Garbageman when he worked as a comedian.

During our interview we also found out that Chris once worked with the creator of “The Muppets,” Jim Henson, and he used to perform improvisational comedy with Robin Williams during the 1980s.

We really enjoy Chris’ books, but we like them even more after meeting him.

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