Hamline News

MFAC Faculty Marsha Wilson Chall's Newest Picture Book


The Secret Life of Figgy Mustardo
by Marsha Wilson Chall

Published by Katherine Tegen Books
Release: June 7, 2016
Picture Book, 40 pages, ages 4 & up
Illustrations by Alison Friend
Order the book through Red Balloon Bookshop

Marsha’s Author site: marshaschall.com

Marsha Wilson Chall's (MFAC faculty) newest book, The Secret Life of Figgy Mustardo is a clever, energetic story, perfect for anyone who has ever wondered what their pets do when they’re not around. Join Marsha for the launch party on June 11th at Red Balloon Bookshop.  

Read the book, meet the author, and enjoy some treats—the party starts at 10:30 am! Visit the events page at Facebook for more information.



Figgy loves his family, especially George, but dogs can’t go everywhere little boys go, so Figgy stays home and waits. But waiting is hard! When he can’t wait any longer, Figgy falls asleep and in his dreams becomes...a rock star, a pizza chef and a champion speed racer! 

Inspired by his dreamy adventures, Figgy dreams up some adventures of his own and gets the whole neighborhood rockin’ and rollin’, until one day the Mustardos bring home a surprise that could make waiting a whole lot easier, and his adventures double the fun.

In the spirit of Gene Zion’s Harry and the Dirty Dog, Mark Teague’s Dear Ms. Larue, and Judy Schachner’s Skippyjon Jones, this clever, energetic story is perfect for anyone who has ever wondered what their pets do when they’re not around. It’s also great for families who value the power of imagination to turn ordinary, boring days into exciting adventures!  

From the back cover: 

Figgy Mustardo loves his family, especially George.

He wants to go everywhere George goes.
But dogs can't go to school,
or to the Pizza Palace,
or to the go-kart track.
Figgy stays home alone with nothing to do but wait.
And wait.
And wait.
Or does he?

While the family's away, Figgy eats his way to adventures that rock the neighborhood. Everyone comes, and everyone plays! Everyone except the Mustardos, especially George, until the day the Mustardos discover Figgy's secret life and how much Figgy means to them.


UPCOMING EVENTS with the author

St. Paul Saints' Reading Tree
Sunday, August 21, at 12:15 PM
featuring One Pup's Up and Pick a Pup

Minnesota State Fair Alphabet Forest
Sunday, August 28, from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
featuring Pick a Pup

Wisconsin SCBWI Conference
Saturday, October 15
Oconomowoc, Wisconsin

Chippewa Valley Book Festival
Friday, October 21
Eau Claire, Wisconsin


Marsha Wilson Chall is the author of a chapter book for children and many picture books, including Up North at the Cabin, an American Booksellers Pick of the Lists and winner of an International Reading Association Teacher’s Choice Award; Bonaparte, a Smithsonian Notable Book for Children and winner of a Parents’ Choice Silver Honor Award; and One Pup’s Up, a Bank Street College of Education Best Books, a Fred Rogers’ Best Books for Babies, and winner of a National Parenting Publications Awards (NAPPA) Gold Award. Marsha’s picture book, A Secret Keeps (2012), was the recipient of the 2008 McKnight Artist Fellowship for Children’s Literature. She has taught writing at The Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis and at Metropolitan State University in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

When she’s not writing or sharing her love of good books at schools or conferences, she enjoys teaching in the MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults at Hamline University. She has two grown children and lives on a small farm west of Minneapolis with her husband, dog, and barn cats.

Read more about the author at her website.

Marsha’s faculty page