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Skinny Dip with Brian P. Cleary

Brian P. Cleary

We’re pleased to wel­come author and poet Bri­an P. Cleary for a Skin­ny Dip this month. His books have made kids guf­faw and chor­tle, all while learn­ing parts of gram­mar or math! Impos­si­ble, you say? Not for Bri­an, whose brain just works this way.

With more than three mil­lion books in print, he’s in high demand for school vis­its where his sense of humor engages stu­dents with the cur­ricu­lum and hav­ing fun with words and writ­ing. (Check out the details about Bri­an’s author visits.)

Open up If It Rains Pan­cakes: Haiku and Lantern Poems, You Can’t Dance to These Rhythms: What are Algo­rithms?, and Chips and Cheese and Nana’s Knees: What is Allit­er­a­tion? for a high ener­gy ride through poet­ry, cod­ing, and language.

A Confederacy of DuncesThe book I wish everyone would read:

A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

The best way to stay fit:

Walking. It’s easier on your joints than running, and you can wear fun hats while you do it.

My philosophy:

Pay as little interest as you can, leave a few fries on your plate, and try to err on the side of generosity when you can.

One habit I keep trying to break:

I like Coca-Cola more than I should. While I’m not trying to break it, I am attempting to manage it.

I don’t believe in:

Guilty pleasures. If you want to lip-synch along to George Michael’s Faith while ordering takeout when you’ve got actual food in the fridge, guilt is not going to sweeten the deal—just go for it.

The movie I watch when I want to laugh:

The In-Laws, 1979, with Peter Falk and Alan Arkin.

Chango's Beads and Two-Tone ShoesI’m currently reading:

Chango's Beads and Two-Tone Shoes [William Kennedy] 

My toughest lesson has been:

Coming to the understanding that most people aren’t like me.

My heroes are:

Babe Ruth, Bruce Spring­steen, Max­i­m­il­ian Kolbe, Jack­ie Robin­son, Dorothy Day, Dorothea Lange, Ben Web­ster, Rosa Parks, Woody Allen, Tom Waits

The bravest thing I’ve ever done:

I’ve given the Heimlich four times, and hope to never do it again.

I wish I could tell my 12-year-old self:

Enjoy that hair.

I yearn to:

Wake up and magically know how to play several instruments.

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