On Saturday May 17th, we will be hosting Indies First Storytime with Jef Czekaj, Matt Tavares, Joe McKendry, and Scott Magoon. Indies First Storytime is lead by national ambassador for young people’s literature and multi-award winning author Kate DiCamillo, to celebrate the power of reading to children and the unique role independent bookstores play in getting good books into the hands of readers. Read Kate’s letter here. In honor of the event, we asked the authors to share their thoughts on the importance of storytime. Here’s what Joe and Matt had to say.
Joe McKendry: Even before I had kids I had started a pretty good collection of children's books that served as inspiration for the books I was aspiring to create. Virginia Lee Burton's The Little House was the main inspiration for my book One Times Square. Burton's book chronicles the story of a house that remains unchanged even as the landscape changes around it. I began to see the subject of my book One Times Square (where the famed New Year's ball drops atop its roof each year) as The Little House. When it was built in 1904 it was the tallest building around, but over time it became overrun and dwarfed by the surrounding buildings. So even though what I ended up producing was a much different book, both in illustration style and subject matter, my guide was a simple but powerful children's book.
Matt Tavares: When I was a kid, story time was always a highlight of my day, and now that I'm a parent (and a children's book author), it still is. Whether it's reading with my daughters at the end of a long day, or reading to a room full of kids, there is something so special about taking the time to get lost in a story together.