PETER SÍS on MADLENKA Tell us about the character Madlenka—is she imagined or based on reality? Madlenka is based on my daughter, Madeleine, who is now seventeen years old. How is Madlenka Soccer Star different from the first Madlenka? I started to write stories about Madlenka's adventures when my daughter was still young. The first one was about her wiggly tooth when she was just about six years old. In the second, she wanted to get a dog ... then came soccer, music, school, ice cream, Halloween, and there are many, many more. I am just too slow to draw them quickly! Is Madlenka’s city block based on an actual place? Our family lived on a block in downtown New York City that looks a lot like the one in the book, between Prince Street, Spring Street, Lafayette Street, and Crosby Street. But really, all city blocks sort of look like that. I noticed that people from all over the world were also living on our block. It was like the United Nations, and everybody knew my daughter. My Madeleine influenced the character Madlenka by being her own little "Madlenka Albright," the first female secretary of state. What art technique do you use in the Madlenka books? I begin with pen-and-ink drawings and then add watercolor to complete the pictures. It’s all done by hand. In Madlenka Soccer Star, we used the computer a little bit to help put things together. Can you tell us a little about your next project? I do not know if the seventeen-year-old Madeleine will like people calling her "Madlenka" forever. I mean she has to become a serious grown-up person right? But I would like to do some more stories about Madlenka, just to remember the time when I used to be able to carry her around and she believed everything that I said. Perhaps it will be Madlenka celebrating the one-hundredth anniversary of Grand Central Station? I also want to do a book about the famous aviator and writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Many people do not now that he wrote his celebrated book The Little Prince in New York. Maybe Madlenka will meet the Little Prince? Anything can happen in books . . .