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Author News & Interviews

Interview: Kate DiCamillo, author of Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures

Feb 10, 2014

There's no denying it --- Kate DiCamillo has one of the best "children's book author" resumes out there. She's written 17 children's books, has won the Newbery Award (more than once!) and was recently named the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature. In this interview, Kate tells us where she was when she found out she won the 2014 Newbery Award for FLORA & ULYSSES, what she wrote about as a child, a particularly amusing plane ride and her plans as National Ambassador. 

Interview: Jimmy Gownley, author of The Dumbest Idea Ever!

Jan 29, 2014

For Jimmy Gownley, life after AMELIA RULES! looks a lot like life before it. Gownley ended his much-beloved YA graphic novel series after 2012’s HER PERMANENT RECORD, and now he’s back with a brand-new book, THE DUMBEST IDEA EVER! In this one, he draws on his own personal experience, detailing his difficult transition from grade school --- where he was tops in his class, both academically and on the basketball court --- to high school, where illness and increased academic pressures took their toll. Gownley’s solution to his falling social status?

Interview: Maira Kalman, author of Thomas Jefferson: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Everything

Jan 6, 2014

Everyone knows that Thomas Jefferson did some extraordinary things for the United States --- he was a Founding Father, the principle writer of The Declaration of Independence and the third President. But did you know that he also played violin three hours every day, collected everything from maps to Native American artifacts and loved growing vegetables in his garden, especially peas? We didn’t! Maira Kalman explores all sides of this fascinating man in her gorgeous new picture book THOMAS JEFFERSON: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Everything, including his interests, his contributions to the United States and even his monumental flaws. In this interview, Maira takes us behind the scenes and talks about her influential visit to Jefferson’s Virginia mansion, Monticello, some of her artistic decisions, and the one question she’d ask Jefferson, given the chance. Read on!

Interview: Bianca Turetsky, author of The Time-Traveling Fashionista and Cleopatra, Queen of the Nile

Dec 10, 2013

We've seen plenty of ways to travel through time in books and movies --- you can ride an incredibly fast car like Marty McFly in Back to the Future or climb into an enchanted tree house like Jack and Annie in The Magic Tree House series. But how about time-traveling by visiting a fabulous vintage store, and trying on clothing that whisks you away to the Titanic in 1912, Marie Antoinette's palace or Cleopatra's court? That's what happens in Bianca Turetsky's  The Time-Traveling Fashionista series --- and it sounds thoroughly delightful to us! In this interview, Bianca gives us a behind-the-scenes look at the latest book in the series, THE TIME-TRAVELING FASHIONISTA AND CLEOPATRA, QUEEN OF THE NILE. Plus, she shares the most interesting fact she learned while researching Cleopatra, reveals her own fashion tips, and tells us where she'd go if she was lucky enough to be a Time-Traveling Fashionista, herself. Read on!

Interview: Eleanor Hawken, author of Sammy Feral’s Diaries of Weird

Dec 3, 2013

We certainly love zoos here at Kidsreads --- did you hear the news that Smithsonian’s National Zoo finally named their baby Giant Panda? It’s called Bao Bao, which means treasure! Adorable. Still though, we think they’d be even more interesting if they were anything like the zoo featured in Eleanor Hawken’s new series Sammy Feral’s Diaries of Weird. In this series, Sammy writes about the family business --- a zoo filled with unusual creatures like yetis, werewolves, phoenixes and death worms. We were lucky enough to talk to Eleanor about the inspiration for the series, her favorite imagined creature, her lifelong love of Shakespeare and her worst-ever test grade. Read on!