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Author Josh Funk Interview

My Writing and Reading Life with Josh Funk, Author of Short and Sweet

The Children’s Book Review

A man wearing a hat and glasses, Josh Funk

Josh Funk

Josh Funk is a software engineer and the author of books like the Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast series, the ​It’s Not a Fairy Tale series, the How to Code with Pearl and Pascal series, the A Story of Patience & Fortitude seriesDear Dragon, Pirasaurs!, Albie Newton, and more.

I write because …

I like to make myself laugh. And hopefully what I write also makes other people laugh.

I read because …

It’s how I learn things, which helps me grow into a better person.

Book Short and SweetMy latest published book is …

Short & Sweet, the fourth book in the Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast series.

I wrote Short & Sweet because …

After three previous adventures (Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast, The Case of the Stinky Stench, and Mission Defrostable), readers began asking me why Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast hadn’t grown stale yet.

And they made an excellent point. So in Short & Sweet, they do begin to decay. Which is why they visit Professor Biscotti who’s built a DE-spoiling ray. Unfortunately, the ray works a little too well and transforms the duo into toddlers, who run amuck in the fridge causing culinary chaos (again).

Books Lady PancakeThe best moment of Short & Sweet is …

When the adorable toddlers (illustrated hilariously by Brendan Kearney) visit the library and read a bunch of books, all with food-inspired titles like Sylvestier and the Magic Pepper, Don’t Let the Pecan Drive the Bus, Amelia Vidalia, and more.

Book Art Short and Sweet
My special place to write is …

The children’s room at Cary Memorial Library in Lexington, MA. I love to sit at the low tables, plug in some headphones listening to white noise, and absorb all the energy of the room.

A necessary writing/creativity tool is …

Thesaurus.com and rhymezone.com. I used to think that I needed to come up with all the rhymes without using any helper tools. But then I realized that I just want to make the best books possible for children and the adults reading to them. And rhyming dictionaries help make that happen. I mean, if Dr. Seuss had the internet, he probably wouldn’t have had to make up so many words.

The person who has been my greatest writing teacher is …

Impossible to choose. There have been soooo many people who’ve taught me over the years. Author Jane Sutton led my first class/critique group. Author Anna Staniszewski guided me through many hurdles along my path to publication. Author Heather Kelly and The Writers’ Loft that she founded have been instrumental in supporting my learning of the craft. Bottom line, if you want to see who’s taught and inspired me, look at all of the dedications of my books.

I’m currently reading …

Book Your Name is a SongYour Name Is a Song by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow & Luisa Uribe, as far as picture books go. I love it – a necessary read for every child about the importance of respecting names and it can lead to discussions about micro (and macro) aggressions.

Book Novel Nikki TeslaFor novels, I’m reading book #3 in the Elements of Genius series by Jess Keating called Nikki Tesla and the Traitors of the Lost Spark. I love this series about a group of kid geniuses who constantly save the world. Definitely a super-fun action/adventure/mystery/STEAM/spy/thriller series (for those who like that kind of thing).

My favorite bookshop is …

Also impossible to decide. I love so so so many. The Concord Bookshop is my local shop in Concord, MA where I offer signed books. In St. Louis, I love The Novel Neighbor. In Baltimore I love both The Ivy Bookshop and The Children’s Bookstore. In Oxford, MS Square Books, Jr. is amazing. In New Orleans, Octavia Books is the place to be. In Kalamazoo, MI, Bookbug is amazing (see, I’m running out of adjectives to use, I love so many bookstores). In the Philly suburbs, Children’s Book World is fantastic. I could go on and on. And on. And. On.

My all-time favorite children’s book I didn’t write

Book Boats for PapaBoats for Papa by Jessixa Bagley. It gets me every time. The first time I read it at Porter Square Books in Cambridge, MA (another bookshop I love), I started sobbing and bought it immediately (also, it had tearstains on it, so it was only right that I bought it). This might be the best-written picture book ever.

My favorite illustrator …

Book AccidentChanges all the time. The best artists alive are making children’s books. Today, I’ll say my favorite illustrator is Andrea Tsurumi, illustrator of many great books, but I’d start with Accident. It’s splendid. Ask me tomorrow and I’ll have a new favorite.

A literary character I would like to vacation with is …

Book Here to StayI’m gonna go off the board and pick Bijan’s inner-monologue play-by-play characters of Reggie Miller and Kevin Harlan from Sara Farizan’s Here to Stay. They are hysterical and I’d love for them to commentate my basketball playing (and personal life) like they did for Bijan. This book is YA (on the younger end), but t’is both heartfelt and hilarious.

When I am not reading or writing I am …

Working my day job as a software engineer. Or playing Boggle with my family. Or watching comedies with my son. Or playing video games in the middle of the night. Or on social media. Or sleeping. That’s about all I do.

For more information about Josh Funk, visit him at www.joshfunkbooks.com and on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook at @joshfunkbooks.

Book Cover Short and SweetShort & Sweet: Lady Pancake & Sir French Fry, Book 4

Written by Josh Funk

Illustrated by Brendan Kearney

Publisher’s Synopsis: Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast are back with a twist: they’ve been transformed into small children. Now it’s a race against the clock to turn our favorite duo into grown-ups again!

Lady Pancake is aching; Sir French Toast’s looking pale. Could they be going . . . STALE? Maybe a visit to Professor Biscotti’s lab for her despoiling procedure will help. But instead of beautifying them, Biscotti accidentally transforms the two treats into toddlers! Frightened of the now gargantuan (to them) Baron von Waffle, the mini breakfast foods scamper off on an adventure in the fridge, visiting everywhere from the Bran Canyon to Limes Square. Will Baron von Waffle and Professor Biscotti figure out a way to turn them back into a grown Lady and Sir? Or will they stay short & sweet forever?


Top 10 Indie Kids Next List (#9): “Josh Funk pours on the adorable once again … well worth the carbs for all readers.”

“A series that just keeps improving, with an adorable couple taking center stage. A must purchase.” – *Starred Review* from School Library Journal

“The quality remains consistently high for this series, linking edibles and emotions with excitement and ease.” – Kirkus Reviews

Ages 3+ | Publisher: Sterling Children’s Books | September 1, 2020 | ISBN-13: 978-1454934271

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Book Tour Short and Sweet Josh Funk

Follow along with the Short & Sweet “Long & Savory” Virtual Tour from August 17th through September 18th! 

Discover more books like Short & Sweet, written by Josh Funk and illustrated by Brendan Kearney, by checking out our reviews and articles tagged with , , , , , and ; plus, be sure to follow along with our Writing and Reading Life series.

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Bianca Schulze is the founder of The Children’s Book Review. She is a reader, reviewer, mother and children’s book lover. She also has a decade’s worth of experience working with children in the great outdoors. Combined with her love of books and experience as a children’s specialist bookseller, the goal is to share her passion for children’s literature to grow readers. Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, she now lives with her husband and three children near Boulder, Colorado.

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