Thank you Candlewick for allowing us to be a part of The Infamous Ratsos Blog tour. All opinions are our own.
We are big fans of the entire series and were equally thrilled after reading the latest story involving Ralphie and Louie. We adore all the characters, how they are unique and are always learning from each other and themselves.
In Project Fluffy, Louie decides to help Chuck get Fluffy to like him, even if it comes at the expense of his friendship with his brother. Louie spends his time writing poems for Chuck, and helping him execute a plan to win her heart. In the end, Chuck and Louie learn that the best plan isn’t a plan after all, and rather doing what you think they like, you should pay attention to what they like instead, is whats most important.
Kara LaReau took the time to answer 3 questions about The Infamous Ratos-Project Fluffy and 3 questions about herself!
3 ?s about The Infamous Ratsos – Project Fluffy
What are three words you would use to describe this book?
Poetry, love, skateboards
What can fans of the series expect from this book? (and any hints on the future of the series!?)
As always, Louie and Ralphie try to do the right thing, but make some mistakes along the way. Louie is trying to help Chuck Wood, the most popular boy in school, get a girl’s attention, but Louie has some pretty flawed plans to make that happen. And Ralphie is jealous of all the time Louie is spending with Chuck. So it’s about how we express our feelings to those we care about, and it’s a bit about objectification.
This is the third book in the Infamous Ratsos series, and there will be three more! In fact, I just delivered Book Five a couple of weeks ago; I can’t believe I only have one left to write!
How did you originally come up with the characters Ralphie and Louie?
I was thinking about taking the leap and trying to write a chapter book (I’d only published picture books up to that point) but I knew I needed to find just the right idea. At the same time, my grandfather had just died, so I was thinking about him a lot — in particular, I was thinking about the stories I’d heard about him and his older brother, who were known in their neighborhood as “troublemakers.” No one has ever seemed to be able to tell me just what kind of trouble they got into! So I started imagining their shenanigans, and that’s how Ralphie and Louie were born. (FYI, my grandfather’s name was Ralph and his older brother’s name was Lou!)
3 ?s about You
What is your “go-to” kidlit book to give as a gift and why?
I don’t have one in particular; I like to think about the personality of the parents. Recently, I bought some friends Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth by Oliver Jeffers, the new board book version of The Storm Whale by Benji Davies; and Be Kind by Pat Zietlow Miller, illustrated by my pal Jen Hill.
If you could have a dinner party with three people (dead or alive), who would you invite and why?
Julia Child, Gilda Radner, and Mr. Rogers. They all brought light into the world, in one way or another.
What has been your most memorable “author” moment in the last year?
The Infamous Ratsos was chosen for One Book South Dakota! I got to go to Sioux Falls and Brookings for the celebrations, where I spoke to more than 2500 kids! But really, any time I get to connect with my readers is a good day.