Books And More

A Furry Friend

Jennifer Weiner’s first kids’ novel, about an unusual friendship, hits bookstores September 13

September 07, 2016
MAARTIN DE BOER; DON HEINY FOR TIME FOR KIDS

The Littlest Bigfoot is bestselling author Jennifer Weiner’s first book for kids.

The Littlest Bigfoot, the new novel by Jennifer Weiner, tells the story of Alice, a lonely 12-year-old girl who is shipped off to boarding school in Vermont. In a nearby forest, Alice meets Millie Maximus, a furry girl who lives in the woods with her Bigfoot clan. Both of the girls are from completely different worlds, and struggling to fit into their communities. They become friends and help each other.

Weiner is a bestselling author of books for adults. The Littlest Bigfoot is her first novel for kids. She spoke to TFK about her inspiration for writing the book, and what she hopes kids will take away from it.

TFK:

How did you come up with the idea for this book?

JENNIFER WEINER:

This book started as a story I would tell my daughter Phoebe. She was obsessed with the TV show Finding Bigfoot. I started thinking about Bigfoots and why they are interesting to us. It got me thinking about these giant hairy creatures that live in the woods, and what kind of human would interact with these creatures. I realized it had to be a kid.

TFK:

Why did you decide to have Alice and Millie come from such completely different worlds?

WEINER:

Sometimes you find a friend and it’s a very unlikely thing, and the friend did not come from where you expected. It’s like when you are in the library and you grab a book at random, and that book becomes the best book you ever read. I like that kind of happenstance magic. It also gave me the opportunity to write about these completely different families and the different communities they come from.

TFK:

Do you think a lot of kids will relate to Alice and Millie?

The Littlest Bigfoot is the first book in a planned three-book series.

DON HEINY FOR TIME FOR KIDS
The Littlest Bigfoot is the first book in a planned three-book series.

WEINER:

I do think so. What kid doesn’t feel like a monster at some point in his or her life? I think most girls at least have a couple of months in junior high where she feels like a Bigfoot, basically, and feels that there is something so different about her. Whether it’s Alice feeling rejected by her family, or Millie feeling misunderstood, I think there is something in this book that every kid is going to identify with. 

TFK:

What do you hope kids will take away from this book?

WEINER:

I hope this book will help kids feel less alone. I want them to feel like there is someone else who feels the way they do, and that person found a friend.

TFK:

Do you plan to write more children’s books?

WEINER:

This is the first book in a trilogy, so there are two more books coming. Also, while I was writing this book, I got an idea for children’s picture book and I also have an idea for a YA book. I don’t get writer’s block. Writing is the thing I love best, and I feel really lucky that I do this for a living.


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