Alibi V.18 No.39 • Sept 24-30, 2009 

Author Interview

Skippyjon Jones creator Judy Schachner answers our call of the wild

Pay no attention to the woman behind the chihuahua cat!
Pay no attention to the woman behind the chihuahua cat!

If you know anyone under the age 8, then you’ve heard of Skippyjon Jones.

For the rest of you, Skippyjon is a Siamese kittyboy who thinks he’s a chihuahua, and his imaginative excapades are the subject of a wildly popular series of kids’ books. Skippyjon’s creator, author and illustrator Judy Schachner, was kind enough to e-mail us the answers to a few or our burning questions prior to her visit to Bookworks on Tuesday, Sept. 29.

The book that started it all.
The book that started it all.

Where in your brain did Skippyjon Jones come from?

From the chihuahuabellum—a remote part of the brain activated by the love of a large-eared Bumblebee-fighting Spanish-speaking Siamese kitten.

How does the creation process for each book start? An image, a title, a rhyme?

I usually start with a title and then go back and forth between pictures and words.

How do you know when a book will strike a chord with kids?

Since I'm a professional 8 year old, if it makes me giggle, hopefully it will appeal to other children.

If you couldn't be a writer and illustrator, what would you be doing?

Interior Designer or Nurse or Broadway Actor or Dog Trainer or Monkey Feeder

There's a good deal of Spanish in the Skippyjon books. Do you think that's part of the appeal, and why?

Exactamente! Because Spanish is such an enjoyable language to speak.

Your books are being taught in schools. Does that blow your mind?

Yes it does! There is nothing better than inspiring children to read and use their imagination.

Schachner will read from her new book Skippyjon Jones Lost in Spice at Bookworks (4022 Rio Grande NW) on Tuesday, Sept. 29 at 6 p.m. bkwrks.com