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CineMoms' Kid Reporters Sean & Jessica Wilson
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From left to right: (Back) - Leona, the Lion, Puppeteer Pam Arciero
(Front) Jessica Wilson, Theo the Lion, Sean Wilson, Puppeteer Peter Linz
Hi, we are Jessica and Sean Wilson ages 10 and 5.  This is an official CineMoms interview with the PBS “Between the Lions” puppeteers Peter Linz (Atlanta native) and Pam Arciero, as well as their counterparts (and the stars of the show) Theo and his cub Leona.  We are doing this interview because our mom won a fun CineMoms contest to become kid reporters.   Sean won it by himself and I am here to help him read the questions because he is in Pre-K and he only knows how to read certain words.   We caught up with Pam, Peter, Theo and Leona before the free Between the Lions Fourth Annual Roadshow at the Center for Puppetry Arts on Friday, April 30.

Theo: Hello ma’am, this must be Jessica.  How do you do Jessica, Theo Lion, very nice to meet you Jessica and Sean.  Do you want me to show you something funny? My son Lionel taught me this:  Up high, down low, too sl—ow.  Oops I have got to practice that some more.
Leona: You do daddy, you do.  So, you came here to interview us? That is so special!
Go ahead, do you have questions for us?
Peter: You can ask me, Theo or Pam or Leona. You have four different people to interview. Well, two people and two lions.

Sean and Jessica: This is so exciting to meet you.  We are from Hawaii and we noticed that Pam went to University of Hawaii.  Aloha!  Where are you from?
Pam: I was born and raised in Hawaii in Aina Haina in a valley. 
Theo: Leona was raised in the wealth of the library, just like the rest of us.  Do you get to visit Hawaii?  That sounds like fun!
Sean and Jessica: Yes (smiles).

Sean: Do you ever get tired of your job?
Peter: Is that a question for me, Peter or Theo?
Sean: For Theo.
Theo: Absolutely not. You know what Sean, I never get tired of my job, I never get tired of sharing books and stories and words with kids like you. I never get tired of that.  It is SO fun.  And now, sometimes I do like a nice little catnap in the afternoon (laughter).  But no, I never get tired of reading to my pals like you.

Sean and Jessica: How did you learn your job?  We noticed that you went to school at the University of Georgia.
Peter: Would you believe I was once a kid, just like you?  I grew up here in Atlanta. I always loved puppets, stories and fun.   I even worked r
ight here at the Center for Puppetry Arts.  I met puppeteers and puppets from a lot of places. We had so much fun learning, reading and telling stories.

Leona:  Okay, go ahead Sean, do you have more questions?
Sean: Well, I saw you gobble up meat on T.V..
Leona and Theo: Yes?
Sean: Did you just jump in the bottom and go gobble it all?
Theo: Did you see that on “Cooking with Theo and Cleo?”
Sean:  Yes we did. 
Theo:  Well we are lions. It’s funny because it’s a recipe for cooking, but do lions actually cook their food? Do you know the answer to that?
Sean: No.
Theo: Lions, in the wild, they eat their meat raw.  We don’t actually cook the meat do we?  We just eat it up!
Leona: It’s delicious that way.  It’s kind of like meat sushi.

Theo: Do you know what’s nice about recipes Sean? You know, words are in books but have you ever seen words anywhere else? Have you ever seen a sign with words on them?
Sean: Yes.
Theo: Do you know what a recipe is?
Sean:  Yes, the order of stuff that you need to put together to make the thing.
Theo: Yes you are a smart guy. Very good Sean. Jessica did you know that too?
Jessica: Yes. 
Theo:  Very good, high five!
Jessica: We love to cook and sushi is Sean’s favorite food.
Theo: Wildebeest is my favorite food.
Theo:  My point is that there are words everywhere.  You have magazines, signs, recipes.
Leona:  You have ladders. The ladder has words on it too.

Sean & Jessica: What would your favorite wish be if you had one wish?
Theo: If I had one wish, wow.  I would ask for unlimited wishes, that means I would get as many wishes as possible.   But if I was really limited to one wish-boy oh boy- I wish that every kid and every adult for that matter could enjoy reading and enjoy books and devour them like we do on the show.
Leona: I wish that there will always be libraries to read books.
Theo: That’s a good one, libraries to read books and movies.
Leona:  Yes, books and movies and art projects and sometimes there are puppet shows.
Theo: I love puppets, puppets are so silly (hee hee).
Leona:  Good, I like puppets too.
Theo: They are pretty cool.
Leona laughs.

Sean & Jessica: What is your favorite book?
Theo: Oh you know what, that is funny I get asked that a lot.  The problem for me is that there are so many books.  And I’ve got to admit I love them all, there are good books, sad books, books about the wild wild west, short stories, long stories.
Sean: ...and Cliffhanger
Theo: Cliffhanger- Lionel is Leona’s brother, he is in soccer camp this week, that is why he could not be here.
Leona:  Lionel loves Cliffhanger.
Theo: Yes, he loves Cliffhanger.
Sean: Can you jump in a book of Cliffhanger?
Peter: (Loud laughter) Can I? I can’t but maybe he can.
Theo: I can, our library is very typical, and it’s like your average library except that
you can jump into books and visit characters.
Leona: Click the Mouse helps us get into the books!
Theo:  Yes, that’s right, Click the Mouse.  Sometimes characters come out of the books and visit us in the library!  We had a ram and a pepper that did that…
Leona: And a sandwich, remember the funny sandwich?
Theo: Oh! I remember that funny sandwich. And the Muppet Man!
Sean: And the pickle
Theo: Oh! Stop that pickle!
Leona: Stop that pickle, yeah!
Theo: That’s right.
Leona:  The Sandwich detective.
Theo:  Cliffhanger can’t really visit us in the library because he is…
Leona and Theo:  Hanging from a cliff! (laughter) 
Theo: That’s a good one!  Wouldn’t that be neat though, to jump into a book with the characters?
Leona: You kind of can when you read and you use your imagination; it is just like jumping into a book. I get totally lost; I get sucked into the book. I am right there with them, I just love to get lost that way.
Theo: Jessica, do you know that feeling? Do you ever read a story and everything else around you goes away?
Jessica: Yes
Leona: It disappears and you are just in the book.
Theo: That’s what happens to us in the library, except it’s literal.  Ooh I used a big word! That’s because I read. (Laughter). So anyway, do you have another question?

Sean: Peter, who were your favorite characters when you were my age?
Peter: My favorite characters when I was growing up- I LOVED Sesame Street and The Muppet Show.  My favorite character was Cookie Monster.  I loved Cookie Monster. He was all about the cookies and he was a monster and he was funny.
Sean: He just gobbles them up.  
Peter: He just gobbles them up, doesn’t he.  (laughter)
Sean: And one time he wished for a cookie tree.
Peter: (Laughter) That’s funny!

Sean: What was the hardest job you ever had?
Leona: Daddy, did you ever have a hard job ever? (loud laughter)
Theo: Sure I did. One time, we have a rule in our library: we never eat the patrons. That means we never eat the people who come into the library.  One time, Sean and Jessica, check it out:  a wildebeest came to the library to check a book out on fishing. I tell you guys, it was the hardest thing in the world not to have Cleo pounce on that thing and bring that to the dinner table. Wow, I  still have memories, but I think that may have been a question for you, Peter.
Sean: It was for Theo.
Theo: Yes, it was the hardest thing not to eat the Wildebeest who checked out the book on fly-fishing. 
Sean: How about you, Leona, what was your hardest job?
Leona: My hardest job was cleaning my room, it’s very hard to do.
Theo: It is apparently your least favorite job, I don’t know about hardest.
Do you guys like to clean your room?
Sean: No, I never clean my room! 
Theo: What? You never clean your room? Oh Sean for shame? Oh the horror!
Sean: Only my mom does it.  (Laughter)
Mom: He does clean it more when he wants to have friends over.
Theo: I used to watch this show called Bear in the Big Blue House- they had a song, (singing) “Clean up the house! Everybody clean up the house!” I know some of those guys.
Sean and Jessica: Right, I think we heard that you know Tutter? (note: Peter Linz is the puppeteer for Tutter) 
Leona: He is good friends with Tutter. (singing)

Sean: Do you like reading?
Theo: You know I dabble in it, of course, I love reading. LOVE IT!  It was my raison d’être! I used another big word!
Leona: It’s not a big word it is a foreign language.
Theo: Yes, it is a fancy French phrase. It’s my reason for being, I love to read Sean, and I love to see kids who love to read.

Sean: Do you like cheese?
Theo: I am a little lactose intolerant so although I enjoy the smell of a good cheese, I am not supposed to eat it.
Leona: (laughter) You are funny!  Mom doesn’t like it when he eats cheese.
Theo: I try to avoid it.
Sean: One time I saw that guy (Theo), and I saw you eat cheese!
Theo: I DID eat cheese, I think that was another cooking segment, yes, that cheese was a mistake.

Theo: Okay Sean and Jessica, it was a real pleasure to meet you.
Family: Thank you. You too.
Sean: Can we see the show?
Theo: Yeah buddy, you are going to see the show! (singing jumping) Bye fourth grade Jessica. (Hugs and Lion sounds)
Leona: Jessica is a big girl, but I am going to hug her anyway! (Leona hugs and kisses Jessica)

Sean: Did you know I went fishing today?
Theo: Where did you go fishing? Lake Lanier? Allatoona? Georgia has great fishing places!
Sean: We stayed in Georgia and we went to a fishing place
Theo: Did you catch anything?
Sean: I caught five fish.
Theo: Oh you guys hit a honey hole!  That’s awesome!
Sean: And that is how old I am!
Theo: You are five and you caught five? That is what we call a coincidence!
Sean: I caught three of them by myself.
Theo:  Is that the first time you went fishing?
Sean: No. It was my second time.
Theo: Wow, I thought so! See you at the show! Bye Sean, bye Jessica!
Sean: We are going to the show!

Photo courtesy of PBS
Watch "Between the Lions" on your local PBS station!