Q: Where did you get the idea for MR. SKINNER’S SKINNY HOUSE?
A: For seven years, I lived in the narrowest house in New York. It was only 8 1/2 feet wide! It’s known as the Edna St. Vincent Millay house, named for the famous poet who lived there. Once I saw a man who was standing in front of the house with his arms outstretched. “Hey, he said, “I’m as big as a house.” And he was! Living in this 3-story “doll house,” I began to think of people who could NEVER live in a house so narrow. Maybe someone who grew plants? The house would become a jungle! Or an actor who played Pinocchio? Whenever he told a lie, his nose grew longer until it became too long for such a narrow house. This became the basis for MR. SKINNER’S SKINNY HOUSE. My friend, the noted cartoonist Mort Gerberg, illustrated the book.