Author Feature: Charles Ghigna

Author Feature: Charles Ghigna

Who Can? YOU CAN! Tongue-twisty teasers lead the reader through a miscellany of animals in this brilliantly illustrated hint-and-reveal book. Careful clues invite the child to guess what’s coming next, and rhythm and repetition invite early readers to try out this little riddle book on their own. From toucan to centipede, all will delight in Vlasta van Kampen’s colorful art and Charles Ghigna’s whimsical words.


How do you usually begin writing your stories?

Story ideas often pop into my mind at the most unexpected times, such as in the middle of a school visit or library talk—or when I’m out on my two-mile hike! Sometimes I will go to bed with an idea and, by the time I wake up, that little seed of an idea has already taken root and grown into a full-blown picture book idea.

What planning or research did you do for your book?

Most of my planning and research for Who Can? was great fun! I began by looking at long lists of animals and thinking of them as possible hint-and-reveal rhymes.


Do you have any advice you would give to an aspiring writer?

I would recommend buying a notebook, a real live paper notebook, and use it to make up stories and poems, just anything that comes to mind without concern over grammar or spelling or even if it makes sense. Just write. Even silly nonsense. Do that EVERY day for two weeks. Then stop. If you can. If you can’t you’re a writer!

What’s the most prized book on your bookshelf?

Wow! What a question. It’s like asking a parent who’s their favorite child. Of the most prized books is Tickle Day: Poems from Father Goose published by Disney-Hyperion in 1994. It established my “Father Goose” moniker and it was one of the first of my more than 100 books!

What are your favorite ways to procrastinate? Why?

Spending time with my favorite muse, my granddaughter, Charlotte Rose Ghigna. You will notice her name on the dedication page of many of my recent books.

What would your hero name and special power be?

My hero name would be Father Goose and my special power would be to entertain and inspire children with exciting and imaginative books!

Do you keep books after you’ve read them, or give them away? Do you borrow books from your local library?

Yes, all of the above.

What types of conversations do you hope will come out of your book?

Conversations about taking time to ponder and appreciate the wonders and joys of childhood.

Who Can? is available now!

Ghigna, Charles

Charles Ghigna, or Father Goose®, lives in a treehouse in the middle of Alabama. He is the author of more than 100 award-winning books from Random House, Disney, Hyperion, Scholastic, Simon & Schuster, Time Inc., Abrams, Boyds Mills Press, Charlesbridge, Capstone, Orca and other publishers. He has served as poet-in-residence and chair of creative writing at the Alabama School of Fine Arts and as a nationally syndicated feature writer for Tribune Media Services. For more information, visit

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