AN INTERVIEW WITH CHRIS GRABENSTEIN - BY KYLE THUMAR

Kyle: How has reading helped you throughout your life?

Chris Grabenstein: Well, first there are instruction manuals. If I couldn't read, I couldn't do anything. I wouldn't even know how to make microwave popcorn. Books have also helped me conquer boredom -- on long airplane rides or family car trips. If I couldn't read, I couldn't write. So, I wouldn't have my career. Or my old job writing advertising. Basically, without reading, I'd be broke, bored, and unable to pop popcorn.

Kyle: How do you think the issue of males being less proficient in reading than females can be solved?

Chris Grabenstein: By giving guys books they might actually enjoy reading. Not mushy vampire or pony stuff. Guy books. One terrific way to find fun books to read is a web site called Read Kiddo Read. All the books listed there are ones that people actually ENJOY reading -- not broccoli books (aka books that are supposed to be "good" for you.

Kyle: What was your favorite book as a child? Now?

Chris Grabenstein: When I was 12, I read a lot of Mad Books by the "usual gang of idiots" at Mad magazine. Now, my favorite books are BUD, NOT BUDDY and TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD.

Kyle: Why do you believe that it is important to develop and maintain a passion for reading throughout your life?

Chris Grabenstein: So you can keep going places you've never been -- in your imagination. You can also learn a lot about how to live, watching characters in fictional books.

 

Kyle: How do you determine whether or not to read a book?

Chris Grabenstein: I can tell whether I will like a book in the first two or three pages. If it doesn't grab me, I put it down and move on to something else. At my age, life is too short for weak coffee or bad books.

2020 CALDECOTT WINNERS

The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander  

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New Kid by Jerry Craft 

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