Author website/social media:
– When you were my age, did you like to read? I loved reading (!), but, I also watched WAY too much television. If I could go back, I’d make my mother take me to the library more often.
– What was your favorite story? When I was around your age, I had a favorite series: the All-Of-A-Kind Family books by Sydney Taylor. I also loved A Cricket in Times Square and ANYTHING by Judy Blume. I think I may have also started reading The Hobbit series around that time, too.
– My brother loves your books. How do you get your ideas? My ideas come from all sorts of places but, mostly, my sons are my inspiration. The things they love and the things about which they’re passionate (like trucks and trains!) become my passions.
– Is it hard to write a book? Often, it’s VERY hard. Once in a while, it’s easier — and when that happens, it feels like getting an awesome present!
– Do you have a favorite among the books you have written/illustrated? I owe SO MUCH to Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site because it started my career as an author, and I absolutely LOVE my job. Big Machines: The Story of Virginia Lee Burton has a special place in my heart, though, because it allowed me to pay tribute to an amazing, talented woman whom I love and admire so greatly. Getting that book published was a dream-come-true.
– Do you visit a lot of schools since you are a “big” kidlit author? Do kids recognize you? I have visited SO MANY schools. Being with students and talking about books and reading is one of my favorite things in the world! Usually, before I visit a school, the school has made posters and flyers with my picture on them — so, sometimes the kids recognize me from that. But, otherwise, I don’t get recognized. I don’t think most authors have that problem, and I’m very glad about that. I wouldn’t want to be known wherever I go — especially when I’m having a bad hair day!
– What author do you really like right now? There are so many authors that I think are totally AMAZING: Katherine Applegate, Kate DiCamillo, Gordon Korman, JK Rowling, Kwame Alexander, Jason Reynolds, and I think that Beverly Cleary is always fun to read — just to name a few!
– What advice do you have for a kid who wants to be an author? Read everything — and write, write, write!