Interview with Bess Kalb, author of BUFFALO FLUFFALO

Bess Kalb’s picture book BUFFALO FLUFFALO (Random House Studio, 2024), illustrated by Erin Kraan, follows Buffalo Fluffalo, a gruff, fluffy buffalo who rebukes offers of friendship from the eager animals around him. But after a rainstorm causes Fluffalo to lose his fluff and turns him into a drippy mess, he learns to accept comfort from others. BUFFALO FLUFFALO is a tender story about friendship and feelings, but there’s also fun wordplay, rhythm, and rhyme with a sweet and everlasting message. I look forward to learning more. Welcome, Bess!

What inspired your new picture book, BUFFALO FLUFFALO? 

My son!

How was your creative process for this story different from the other kinds of writing you have done?

This one came much more naturally to me than anything else I’ve written. It’s always easiest to me when I’m writing for a specific audience, and luckily I happened to give birth to my target audience, so I was well acquainted with it. 

What do you hope young readers (and their parents) take away from BUFFALO FLUFFLO?

I hope they learn to drop the tough-guy act and embrace the much snugglier world of kindness.

What were your thoughts when you saw the illustrations by Erin Kraan?

Erin made the whole book come to life. I would frame each page and hang it in my home. In fact, she sent me a print of the buffalo for my son’s room and it’s his most prized possession. 

I hear there will be another BUFFALO FLUFFALO book. Can you share a bit about it?

The first book was about my oldest child and in the second one, inspired by my second child, Buffalo Fluffalo gets a little sibling. The more children I have the more books I’ll write! It’s a terrible business plan! 

Thank you, Bess!

Bess Kalb is an Emmy-nominated comedy writer and the bestselling author of Nobody Will Tell You This but Me, a New York Times Editor’s Choice. She wrote for eight years on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and has written for the Emmy Awards, the Academy Awards, and the 2020 Democratic National Convention. She is the head writer and executive producer of the  WGA Award-nominated Yearly Departed, an Amazon Comedy Special, and is currently adapting Nobody Will Tell You This but Me into a feature film with Sight Unseen Pictures. She lives with her husband and two boys in Brooklyn. This is her debut picture book. Find her online:; Twitter: @bessbell; Instagram: bessbellkalb. 

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