We recently sat down with Scott Reddinger, writer of the new and buzzworthy children’s book, Y is for Yooper. Enjoy or interview with Scott below and follow Y is for Yooper on Facebook.
An ABC book for all ages, Y is for Yooper is a rhyming children’s book that will take you on a fun and educational journey through the Yooper ABCs.
An interview with Scott Reddinger
- UP Supply Co: Well hello Scott. So are you a Yooper from birth or a transplanted Yooper?
- Scott Reddinger: I am a full-blooded Yooper! I was born and raised in beautiful Kingsford, Michigan.
- UPSCo: And you decided to stick around the UP?
- SR: I actually moved downstate to go to college. At the time I thought that I wanted to “get away from the UP for awhile.” It didn’t take very long to realize I wanted to move back, so as soon as I finished up my degree I headed home.
- UPSCo: Sometimes it requires we move away to really learn how special this place is. We love the book! And you know we’re huge fans of plaid, right? So, how did Y is for Yooper come about?
- SR: It came about in a college course. I got my degree in elementary education, and one of those teaching courses had an assignment where we had to create an ABC Book. Doing one on the UP is the first place my brain went, and after it was all said and done I realized I had never seen a book like it anywhere else.
- UPSCo: In your own words, how would you define the quintessential Yooper? No definitions here, we’ll leave that to Merriam-Webster’s for now.
- SR: I see the quintessential Yooper as being someone who is resilient. No matter the weather, situation, or difficulty life throws their way they not only survive but thrive. To me, a quintessential Yooper is also someone who has a love/appreciation for the outdoors. It also doesn’t hurt if you love to tip back a few cold ones and have a pasty or some cudighi! Haha
- UPSCo: Sounds a lot like sisu! A lot of Yooper dialog is coming to mind and some unique words to the Upper Peninsula. We could have a lot of fun with that. What letters were the hardest to narrow down?
- SR: The hardest ones were probably S and X. With S it was hard because there are quite a few words you could use that are Yooper-ish (Sidnaw, Sauna, Side by each). With X it’s hard because there’s nothing to really use. It took some work, but I’m happy with the end product.
- UPSCo: Ok, what about J and Q? Those had to be tricky. Will you enlighten us or do we have to go and buy the book first?
- SR: You’ll have to buy the book to find out haha.
- UPSCo: Alright, alright, we understand. What stores are carrying the book?
- SR: As of right now I can confirm that Marquette Regional History Center in Marquette, and Book World in Marquette will carry the book. I plan to add to that list as things progress.
- UPSCo: What can we find you doing when you’re not writing children’s books?
- SR: You can find me spending time outdoors; whether it’s hiking, camping, hunting, going for a run, or just working on my house I try take advantage when the weather is nice. The other place you might find me is at one of our many fine local establishments that sell craft brews.
- UPSCo: Would you rather spend a weekend on Mackinac Island or Isle Royale?
- SR: Definitely Mackinac Island. I’m a huge history buff, so it doesn’t matter how many times I go up to the fort and watch the reenactments and hear the history it never gets old to me.
- UPSCo: Since you’re from Iron Mountain, I assume that gives you insider access to a couple of our greatest celebrities. So, who would win in a pasty eating contest, Tom Izzo or Steve Mariucci?
- SR: Haha that’s a tough call. Both guys are insanely competitive, so I’m guessing it would be a heated match. I’m a die-hard Spartan fan, but I feel like Mooch would beat Izzo in that contest. I only say that because Izzo is actually kind of a small guy. I feel like Steve’s stature would give him a little advantage.
- UPSCo: Any closing thoughts to wrap things up?
- SR: At the end of the day I just hope that people enjoy the book. My Yooper heritage and the culture is something I hold close to my heart. I hope Y is for Yooper does that justice, and because something that families can share and enjoy together for years to come.
- UPSCo: Oh, we almost forgot! How do you prefer your pasty? Ketchup, gravy, or naked?
- SR: Am I allowed to say all of them? Haha I would say I probably use ketchup the most, but it also depends on where the pasty is from, the occasion, etc. All I know is I’ve never met a pasty I didn’t like!