I’ve been looking forward to this day for a long time. I at long-last get to say: Our guest is Kate Hosford, a wonderfully talented author and also my very good friend. Kate is here as part of the festivities surrounding the release of Feeding the Flying Fanellis and Other Poems from a Circus Chef, a deliciously whimsical picture book.
The chef begins by saying: ‘My days are long and sweaty, and the chaos never ends. But still, I find I’m most content when cooking for my friends.’ And cook, he does—for everyone from jugglers to contortionists to the human cannonball! It’s a celebration of poetry, circus, and mouth-watering creations, all at the same time.
But none of this is a surprise when it comes to Kate, who is multitalented and has worked as an illustrator, poet, and author. Her credits include the fun and gorgeously imagined Big Bouffant and Big Birthday, as well as Infinity and Me, one of the New York Times Best Illustrated Books of 2012. In 2017, Carolrhoda will be releasing Kate’s fifth picture book, The Perfect Cup of Tea.
Kate Hosford lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two sons. And is here today to tell us What Was on her . . .
Own Stovetop: I do have a few specialties: roasted vegetables, tacos, and Thai watermelon salad. But unlike the chef in my circus book, I do not love to cook. The food on my stovetop is often burnt because I begin cooking it and then wander off and become involved in a more interesting project. My younger son loves to cook and has done several years of cooking camp. He gives me pointers, like “Mom, maybe a bread knife is not the most effective way to slice vegetables.”
Refrigerator: There are some pictures of the kids in Halloween costumes on the front of the fridge, and too much food inside. I like to get some exotic foods like pear and tomato vinegars, and bottles of rosewater essence—ingredients that I hope will magically turn me into a great cook. I’m still waiting…
List of favourite circus acts: I adore the trapeze, and anything acrobatic, but my absolute favourite is the guy who rides the tiny bike. I’ve always wanted to try riding one of those bikes myself. Here is a clip of a guy riding the smallest bike in the world: Man Rides World’s Smallest Bike. I love how he is decked out in professional biking gear for his ride. This bike is seven and three quarters inches tall! I have a poem on this topic in my collection:
BORIS ON HIS TINY BIKE
An act that children really like
Is Boris on his tiny bike
Boris is a giant guy
The bike’s eleven inches high
I have to watch his food intake
An extra bite the bike could break
Walls: Until recently, I had quite a few paintings by my friend and collaborator Gabi Swiatkowska on my walls, but now those paintings are hanging in the Brooklyn Public Library, as part of Gabi’s exhibition, The Secret Life of Books: http://www.bklynlibrary.org/events/exhibitions/secret-life-books-gabi-sw
Luckily, the library is only a couple blocks away from me, so I go and visit her show there. In addition to her flat work, Gabi also did some incredible three-dimensional dioramas for this show.
And here is a painting by her from Infinity and Me that remains on my walls:
Brooklyn Street: Lots of neighbors. Lots of little kids. The other day I saw two girls who said they were making, “The longest hop-scotch game in the world.” They drew it out in chalk, and it covered most of the block. I like to give away old books to kids on the block and leave a sign saying that they are from “The Book Fairy.” They don’t seem to have figured out that it’s me yet.
Program: Like most people, I often feel like a juggler trying to remember to pay the piano teacher while figuring out a picture book plot, without forgetting that the plumber is coming… I drop a lot of balls. When I am able to concentrate on only one thing at a time, it feels so good. I think few of us are really cut out to multi-task.
Desk: Two unfinished poetry collections, a ballet novel I’ve just begun, and multiple picture books. Sometimes I discover picture books I’ve written and then forgotten about. Usually I’ve forgotten about them for good reason, but sometimes I’m pleasantly surprised.
Feet: My new ballet slippers! I am taking ballet once a week now to for research, but also because I love dance. It is hard physically, but perhaps even harder mentally. As soon as I learn the combination, it’s time to reverse it and do it on the other side. I always stand in the middle of the room so that I’ll have someone to watch. Because it’s New York, even beginning ballet has some former professional dancers in the class. I feel honored to even be in the same room as them.
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Thank you, Kate.
You can keep up to date with Kate Hosford by visiting her online at khosford.com and by following her on Twitter at @khosford_author. If you would like to order Feeding the Flying Fanellis and Other Poems from a Circus Chef, simply click on the book below:
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