Marsha Hayles is the author of numerous picture books, including Bunion Burt, Beach Play, Pet of a Pet, The Feathered Crown, Pajamas Anytime, and He Saves the Day. She lives in Rochester, New York with her family. Visit Marsha's website at marshahayles.com.BECOME A FAN
A. I have always had sore feet. When I was a kid growing up in Minnesota, I ran barefoot as much as possible. I have a picture of me as a little girl standing without any shoes on in my front yard with mounds of snow by my side. Of course, most times I did have to wear shoes, though they almost always hurt. And still do. On one of my daily walks—probably when I felt a blister popping up on my heel—the first lines of the book came to me: “Bunion Burt had feet that hurt. They pinched and poked and pained him.” Only much later did I realize that the story had another connection—besides my sore feet—to my childhood. In school I heard lots of tall tales about Minnesota’s favorite lumberjack, Paul Bunyan and Babe, his blue ox. I even visited statues of Paul Bunyan around the state. So maybe it isn’t an accident that my character’s first name Bunion, though spelled differently, is pronounced just like Paul Bunyan’s last name. But instead of an ox, my character has a cat by his side. Watch for Bunion Burt’s faithful kitty on each page of the book.