Beliefnet
Movie Mom

As I have said many times, my very favorite DVDs for kids are the Scholastic Storybook Series of great children’s books.
The latest is Diary of a Spider… and More Cute Critter Stories. The title story is just what it says — the diary of a spider. Can you guess the spider’s favorite book? Charlotte’s Web, of course! The spider does some things kids do but of course he does them in his own way. I got a chance to interview author Doreen Cronin.

doreen.jpgDid you ever keep a diary?
I kept a diary when I was young, a Ziggy diary with a lock. The lock did not survive my two brothers for very long.
Did you always like spiders?
Spiders terrified me! I always called my dad into the room. He was not shy with a rolled-up newspaper.
What is the biggest surprise about spiders?
That most of them don’t bite.
What was it like to have your story adapted for film? Does look and sound the way you imagined?
I’m so book-centric that I don’t really think much about the films. I’m always so surprised and delighted at how wonderful they turn out. They become extensions of the book, instead of substitutes for them. They are fantastic.
Is being funny different in books than on a DVD?
Sure. Voice, intonation, delivery…so many more layers of “funny.” Seems much harder!
What makes you laugh?
Almost anything can make me laugh. Re-runs of The Honeymooners make me laugh, my daughters in the sandbox make me laugh. [The book’s illustrator] Harry Bliss makes me laugh. The Daily Show really makes me laugh.
What inspires you?
My friends and family all inspire me.
What were your favorite books when you were learning to read?
I wish I could remember! I had an old Mother Goose edition that I used to read in the closet (the only quiet space I could find!)

Who was your favorite teacher and why?
DiaryOfSpiderDVD-NS.jpg

Mrs. Cooper, my first-grade teacher. She told me I was a writer. I believed her.

Do you do anything special to prepare to write? Do you have a special place or listen to special music?

I grab whatever spare time I can and try to write wherever I am. I also carry a bunch of small notebooks around to jot things down on the subway, at the park, etc.
You have also written diaries of a fly and a worm. Are you writing another diary book?
Not yet. But I never say never.

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