Barbara Joosse, beloved children’s author, fell in love with storytelling as a child when she’d spend long summer days entertaining neighborhood children with her intricate and riveting tales. The Wisconsin native has written 50 children’s books and her works have been translated into 29 languages. Author of the popular Mama Do You Love Me, and I Love You the Purplest, her works have been an important part of childhood for generations of young readers.
The writer, with illustrator Renee Graef, has created a new series of books for the young and young at heart, about a pair of friendly foxes, Lulu and Rocky, who travel together. In their first book, the fox cousins tool around Milwaukee on a Harley Davidson motorcycle visiting city landmarks like the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Bronze Fonz, and of course, the iconic Pfister Hotel. The adventure-seeking foxes enjoy some of the best the city has to offer, including a spin around the dance floor while listening to a polka band at Lakefront Brewery, an activity that Joosse thinks defines the city’s fun-loving, friendly spirit.
The world-traveler has a deep affection for Milwaukee, and the Pfister Hotel in particular. Joosse revealed that her character, Norman the Doorman, an elegantly dressed bear with eyebrows like “wooly caterpillars” who plays a key role in the book, was inspired by hotel’s chef concierge, Peter Mortensen. A stalwart member of the hotel staff, Mortensen has been greeting visitors and delighting guests in the celebrated lobby for 35 years. Like his real life counterpart, Norman the Doorman offers the visitors a warm welcome and ensures their stay is a pleasant one.
You can follow the adventures of these fun foxes by reading Lulu and Rocky in Milwaukee. The book can be found at the Pfister Hotel, and everywhere great books are sold.