The Texas Sweethearts are so excited to announce the famous Critter is our Featured Sweethearts today. Critter is the creation of artist Ian Sands and started his journey across the blogosphere via Christy Evers.
Critter was born a poor slab of foam board and has 499 brothers and sisters. He likes to take hikes, bake cakes and talk about world domination with Wammy, his wooden articulating artist mannequin friend. He hopes to one day have a water proof bathing suit so that he can go swimming, but his greatest desire is to give back to the world by raising money to help the kids of St. Jude.
TXS: Critter, you've been all over the world. How did you get started? Can you tell us where all you've been? Also, if you could pick your dream spot for your next visit, where would it be?
CRITTER: I’m not sure how I got started. All I know is one day I woke up and this lady was stuffing me in an envelope. Then everything went black. Next thing I know, I’m in Texas!
I've been to Texas, North Carolina, South Korea, New England, California and right now I'm in Montana. I’m going back to Texas again and then to the Virgin Islands at the end of May.
Wisconsin! Please somebody send me to Wisconsin! I hear they have cheese.
I think I might like to go to Wonderland. Maybe Never Never land. Narnia would be good too. I'd love to go anywhere, except Jurassic Park. I don't have a good history with dinosaurs. They want to eat me.
TXS: How did you get created, Critter, and why?
CRITTER: I have 499 brothers and sisters. We were all part of the public art project called The Lost Critter. At first I was just a piece of installation foam board sitting on the shelves of Lowes, waiting to be part of a house. Then this art teacher bought me, took me back to his lab, and he and a bunch of his students started painting and cutting and gluing. Before too long there were 500 of us critters.
The art students took us to downtown Apex, NC and hid us under benches and put us in trees. All over the place. Each of us critters held a sign that read, Help! I’m lost. Please take me back to.... And then there was a name of a store. There were ten different stores.
I was tied to a pole. Some kids found me and brought me back to my location where I was placed in a lost and found box. I thought that was the end of my adventures . . . ‘til the whole envelope incident started this new one.
TXS: Have you had any great experiences with kids or reading on your journeys?
CRITTER: I hung out at the Lowes bathroom department with PJ's kids (I was born in Lowes, so going back made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.) I inspired PJ's daughter to make a Critter of her own, which was really cool. Everybody needs to make a Critter.
Christina Farley’s kids made me my very own special Korean outfit called a hanbok. We also went to an ancient Korean palace, sipped hot chocolate and went shopping in a Korean marketplace where there was squid.
I Hung out with Nandini Bajpai's kids and helped pick them up at the school bus and went sledding with Kelly Polark’s kids in Illinois and got to go crowd surfing at a concert.
My experience with reading: since I’ve been in the home of so many writers, I stayed up all night reading their manuscripts and may have even made some edits. If things go my way, there will be a Critter showing up in PJ’s next book. I hope she doesn’t mind. I got to go book shopping. And Nandini took me to the ALA conference in January 2010 and I rubbed elbows with lots of authors. They all love me. I’m a rock star. I also got to visit Louisa May Alcott’s home with Nandini too. I’m pretty sure that if Louisa May Alcott had known me, she would’ve put a Critter in her books.
TXS: You are going to be auctioned off once your world tour is done. Tell us all about the auction. When? Where? And who will it be benefiting?
CRITTER: I have 8 more places to visit. I feel like a rock star! I figure it may be the fall or winter of 2010 when the auction will take place on E-bay. The full amount of the winning bid will go to the super cool kids of Saint Jude Hospital. For updates on when my world tour is over, you can follow me on Christy's blog or become a fan on facebook.
TXS: If you could make a wish for kids and reading in the future, what would it be?
CRITTER: Get a library card and read, read, read!
All the kids in the world should get as many copies of any book by PJ Hoover, Jo Whittemore, Jessica Lee Anderson and Ian Sands :)
TXS: Ah, you are so sweet, Critter! Thank you a million! You have been so much fun to feature!
Please email us your nominations for featured sweethearts.