MEET WILBUR LITTLE, a lime-juice drinking, pint-sized, sombreroed cowboy who herds pigs for a living. Wilbur tackles the villains he meets in the forms of pig-rustlers and gamblers, along with his loyal companion, Alvin (who happens to be a big blue moose), an off-key singing piglet, and a book-loving pig from Yuma. Their hilarious antics and pell-mell are the norm in a wacky western world where creative problemsolving is needed for good to triumph over evil.The Ballad of Wilbur and the Moose was originally published in a slightly different form in 1989 to wonderful acclaim by Publishers Weekly, People, and The New York Times Book Review Children’s Bookshelf. John Stadler recently located all of the original artwork (as well as creating one all-new spread) so that this publisher could bring this book back to the full glory it deserves.
About John Stadler
Over the years, in my role as author-illustrator, I have visited what seems like zillions of schools (give or take 100,000). It is great fun for me! One of the questions I am most frequently asked is, “Where do you get your ideas?”
The answer, more often than not, is that I get them from myself. This, of course, only works if I am actually on speaking terms with myself (which is rarely the case). Nonetheless, many of my stories are autobiographical. Let’s take, for example, Wilson and Miss Lovely: A Back-to-School Mystery.
Wilson is a rabbit.
So am I!
Wilson is in love with his teacher, Miss Lovely.
I was in love with my kindergarten teacher, Miss Broadhead!
Wilson can’t wait for tomorrow so that he can get back to school and see Miss Lovely.
I couldn’t wait for tomorrow to come so that I could bring my pet worms (Fred and Ethel) to Show and Tell.
On his way to school, Wilson notices that the streets are empty except for . . . a huge, mysterious, scary creature following him.
On my way to school I, too, was followed by a huge, mysterious, scary creature . . . my big sister, Anne!
Wilson is a good boy.
I was . . . oh, never mind!
Wilson’s day at school is filled with mystery.
Miss Broadhead said I was a complete mystery to her!
In the end, things work out beautifully for Wilson. Life is sweet, reassuring, and very Miss Lovely.
As for me . . . I’m still working on the mystery!
So you could say that the story of Wilson and Miss Lovely is a true story (if by true you mean mostly made up). I hope this gives you some insight into my creative process.
My next autobiographical book will be called Wilson and the Scarlet Letter: How I Got My First A. I hope you enjoy it!