for this interview, Annoying Little Brother steps into the Interviewer seat. His other nickname is “Coopbart” because he is such a big fan of Tim Kubart.
• Author website/social media: www.timkubart.com, @timkubart on everything
• Tell me a little about yourself: I’ve been playing music for kids and families for almost 15 years. When I was in college I was volunteering at a homeless shelter for women and children and started putting on shows for the kids in the nursery. I decided I would make it my career and I’ve been lucky enough to travel around the world singing songs to kids and families, making records, working on different tv shows, and just having the best time.
1When you were my age, did you like to read? I did! I mostly read what was given to me, but my house was filled with stories of Winnie the Pooh, the Berenstain Bears, and Shel Silverstein.
2What was your favorite story? The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. It’s still my favorite story.
3How did you get this idea for your book? All of my shows are very interactive. I make sure there’s something for everybody to do during each song. I wanted a book that a room full of kids could shout a part all together. Or something a kid and his caregiver could read together. That was the main goal. After that, it was just deciding what silly word they could all shout.
4Is writing songs or books easier? They are tough in their own ways! Songs you have to worry about melody and chords and production. So it takes more time to write than a picture book. But I was surprised when you only have a few pages and a few words, you begin to really pay attention to every single word.
5What author do you really like right now? I just got back from Nigeria (in Africa) and received a book about a boy in school. I just read it yesterday and enjoyed learning about the culture of education in Nigeria. The author is Chioma Awani-Diru. I really like non-fiction too. My favorite book is “The Bicycle Diaries” by David Byrne. And just a few days ago I read a book called “Outside the Jukebox” by one of my best friends, Scott Bradlee. He wrote a book about how he started the music group “Postmodern Jukebox.” I’ve also been reading a book of short stories (but true stories) called “All These Wonders.” When I’m between longer books I like to read stories that are only a few pages. ALSO! I need to squeeze in somewhere how much I love “Harry Potter.”
6I know you like hearing from your fans. How does it make you feel? It’s the best feeling in the world. Knowing that something I made is making its way into families daily lives has ALWAYS been my goal above anything else. I hope the music and stories brighten up families lives, and make them feel closer together, and when I get a message saying that it has, it makes me feel like I’m on the right path with what I do.
7What was it like to host a kids TV show? The best. For 4 year I was the host of “Sunny Side Up” on the Sprout Channel and my favorite part about it was that it was LIVE. We were able to talk to families in real time. If we were doing a craft, an hour later I might receive an email from a family that started doing the same craft. If we were singing a song and telling kids to jump, I knew that there were kids on the other side of the screen jumping. It was so special and I’ll always hold it close to my heart.
8You also play tambourine guy. How is that different from your kids stuff? Tambourine Guy is so funny because it happened completely by accident! Scott Bradlee, who created Postmodern Jukebox, was my coworker at a children’s playspace in New York City and he had a great idea for a YouTube video to turn a Nickelback song into a Motown song. I came by with my tambourine to join in and I didn’t think I was being THAT silly, but the next day the video had 300,000 views and everyone was calling me tambourine guy. I like to say that TG isn’t a member of PMJ but instead is a fan that somehow made it onstage. I’ve been able to travel the world and meet TG fans from all over. So many dress like me and bring their own tambourine (just like you coopbart!) and it’s an honor. They are always the best people. It’s a movement of joy and it can’t be stopped!