The 25th Anniversary from the Black Lagoon: Interview with Mike Thaler and Jared Lee
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the beginning of the Black Lagoon series. To celebrate, we chatted with the author and the illustrator of the books, Mike Thaler and Jared Lee, to get their thoughts on Hubie, the Black Lagoon, and how their own lives have inspired the series.
Did you have any big fears about school, or new experiences in general, when you were a kid?
Mike: I still have them. When I visit another country, I picture all the bad things that could happen to me…but I go anyway and always wind up enjoying the visit.
How much of your childhood self do you see reflected in Hubie?
Jared: When I draw Hubie, I become Hubie. I become an eight-year-old again. It’s fun.
What are some of the most memorable responses you’ve gotten from kids over the last 25 years?
Mike: The most gratifying responses are from kids who didn’t like to read until they fell into the Black Lagoon and now read every book. The series is great for inspiring a love of reading.
Has anything changed about the way you write or illustrate the series over the past 25 years? Has Hubie changed?
Jared: Over time, Hubie’s head has become somewhat larger and his feet have gotten smaller.
Mike: Not really. As Jared put it so beautifully, “After 25 years, I’m still in the third grade.”
Do you have any favorite—or least favorite—holidays?
Jared: Christmas is my favorite holiday.
Mike: My favorite holiday is every day that I’m alive. Each day should be special and celebrated.
To explore the Black Lagoon with picture books, chapter books, and extras, visit scholastic.com/readingclub and search: Black Lagoon.
book.box (bukboks) n. A cardboard receptacle, typically rectangular in shape
with lid, containing words, pictures, ideas and dreams, often
accompanied by excitement, anticipation and the love of reading.