Welcome to Pfeffernut! Pfeffernut County is a friendly little place on the prairie. It’s full of kind people who dream big! Get ready for some new adventures and enjoy your visit.

Learn About My Friends and Family

Farmer Cap

We already know that Farmer Cap is a strange old man, but what else can we learn about him? Cap recently sat down with us for some questions and answers.

Can we call you Cap?
Oh, sure. But did you know “Cap” is a nickname? My full name is Casper John Ubl.

Where did you grow up?
I was born and raised right here in Pfeffernut County.

How does it feel to know your story won the Minnesota Book Award for Reader’s Choice?
I’m just happy the kids like my story.

What are you planning to grow this year?
Well, I think I’ll try graham crackers. I hear the Joneses to the west are growing marshmallows. And the Gassmans to the south are growing chocolate bars. So, I figure harvest time should be pretty tasty this year.

If you weren’t a farmer, what would you be?
A stunt pilot! I tell you, it’s awfully fun to loop and swoop through the sky.

What do you do in your free time?
I love dancing, especially in the rain. And I play cards at the deli downtown, fly my airplane, and play the tuba. I love polka music!

What is your favorite color?
Not many people know this, but it’s purple. That’s why I wear a purple feather in my hat!

Henry Shortbull

Ever since he swallowed the sun, Henry Shortbull hasn’t spent too much time thinking about himself. But we asked him to talk about himself and answer a few questions.

Henry, what have you been doing since burping up the sun?
I’ve been riding my bike, fishing, playing baseball, helping my grandma in the garden… Oh, and playing with my two dogs, Mosey and Dover. They’re cocker spaniels.

We heard you were spending more time with your grandmother and her friends.
My grandma Lona is the greatest. And she and her friends make the best cookies.

Are cookies your favorite thing to eat?
I like cookies, and chicken nuggets, and grape Popsicles. But my favorite foods are hot and spicy. After all, I swallowed the sun!

Do you have a best friend?
I have lots of friends now. My best friend, though, is Tommy. Once I started sharing books with him, we started playing together at recess, and the rest is history.

You just reminded me. You once took nearly all the books in the library. Does that mean you like to read?
I love to read!

What do you like to read?
My favorite books are old Native American stories. My family is Native American (Lakota), and my grandma says the stories are good ways for me and my sisters to learn about our people.

Louie the Layabout

Louie has been very busy in the fields lately, but we finally got him to sit down with Capstone Kids for a chat.

Louie, we know you are a hard worker. But surely you must get a little time off. What is your favorite way to spend your free time?
Well, I take every Sunday off. The old farmers say it is important to rest one day a week. So rest I do! I lie in my hammock and read almost all day long.

What is your favorite thing to read?
I like tall tales!

You didn’t grow up here. How do you like living in Pfeffernut County?
When I first read the words “Pfeffernut County” on the water tower, I thought it sure sounded like a friendly place. And I was right! I’ve made a lot of good friends, and I try to be a good friend back, helping in the community and all that.

What sort of community work do you do?
I help trim trees, (I don’t need a ladder or lift, you know?) And I help out with some summer activities for kids. Like when some of the kids wanted to learn to surf. We don’t have an ocean around here. So I just blew a stream of air into the lake and gave those kids some nice waves.

A big guy like you must eat a lot. What is your favorite food?
I love apples. I can eat a dozen or more at a time.

If you like apples, I bet you love fall, when the apples are the freshest.
Yep, fall is my favorite season. It’s when I get to see my months of hard work pay off in all the crops.

Fawn Braun

Fawn Braun was eager to sit down for an interview with Capstone Kids. (She said it seemed like a big-city things to do!)

Fawn, how did you get your name?
My parents love nature and all that stuff. Once they were on a hike and came across a baby fawn. My mom said, “Fawn… Isn’t that a pretty word? It would sure make a nice name for a baby girl.” And that was that. My neighbor Larry Flatland always says my whole name together, like a poem.

We know you like movies. What is your favorite movie?
Anything set in a big city is usually great. I like the fancy clothes and big buildings.

Have you ever visited the city?
Once my parents visited for a vacation weekend. We went to a museum and to see a real play. It was lovely.

What are your future plans?
Well, after I finish grade school, then middle school, then high school, I want to go to college. I’d like to go to college in a big city, of course. Even though Pfeffernut County is a beautiful place, I still want to live in a tall tower, at least for a while.

So you like living in Pfeffernut County now?
Sure! When all my friends and neighbors came together to make our own little town into a big city, it was wonderful! I learned that Pfeffernut is a very special place with very special people.

Pictures

Kids in Minnesota talk, color, and read with the author, Jill Kalz.
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Learn About My Books

Farmer Cap

Farmer Cap
Farmer Cap is a strange old man. All of his neighbors in Pfeffernut County think so. But their minds may change when they see what bizarre foods he harvests this year.

Henry Shortbull Swallows the Sun

Henry Shortbull Swallows the Sun
Henry Shortbull gleefully hogs every toy, crumb, and bit of attention in sight, refusing to share with anyone. When Henry goes so far as to swallow the sun, he realizes that greed isn’t good. Will he be able to make amends with the people of Pfeffernut County?

Fawn Braun's Big City Blues

Fawn Braun's Big City Blues
Fawn Braun wants out of her small town. She dreams of moving to the big city and decides to live as though she were already there. To keep his friend near home, Larry Flatland develops a plan to make Pfeffernut County as fun as the city.

Louie the Layabout

Louie the Layabout
Louie is the tallest person around, and fitting in isn't easy. Everything he tries to do goes wrong. He believes he could do great things, but what could they be? Will Louie find his place in Pfeffernut County?

No Snow For Christmas

No Snow For Christmas
Fawn Braun is worried. There is no snow, and Christmas Eve is tomorrow. Without snow, Christmas may silently pass by Pfeffernut County. With a little help and imagination, Fawn is ready to save Christmas.

Learn About The Author

Author of Louie the Layabout & Fawn Braun’s Big City Blues: Nick Healy
Nick Healy has written more than 20 children’s books on a wide variety of topics including sharks, bugs, motorcycle racing and famous people such as Harriet Tubman and Billy the Kid. Nick lives in Mankato, Minnesota with his wife, two kids, and a retired show cat who likes to drink water from a coffee mug and sleep in the sunshine.


Author of Farmer Cap & Henry Shortbull Swallows the Sun & No Snow for Christmas: Jill Kalz
Jill Kalz grew up in New Ulm, Minnesota – a small German town just down the road from Pfeffernut County. Jill works as a children’s book editor in Mankato and lives with her dog, Rum Tum Tuckerbean in New Ulm. In her free time, she enjoys watching movies, playing piano and traveling to places on the ocean.