Interview Your Own Little Reader/Writer, Year 2

-posted by Meghan

Last year I interviewed Molly and Jacob (when they were 4 1/2) about why people should read, who their favorite writer was and what their favorite book was.  It was so much fun that I decided I’d do it every year.  So,  couple of months ago, I interviewed them again, to see how their answers changed in a year.  It was interesting to see where they were the same, and where they are beginning to change.  If you’ve never interviewed your own kids (biological, or in the classroom), I’d love to suggest this as a great way to end the year, or kick off the new year, and keep it as a tradition! Here’s what I got from my 5 1/2 year olds…

Molly, why do you think people should read?
Because it helps them learn what signs, and in books there are sometimes signs, so about transportation, and transportation means roads and signs are on roads, so they need to learn how to write.  And read.

Why should people read books?
Because books are really good, because they have lots of pictures and the grownups can read the words and the kids are going to learn to, but the grownups reading when they get older and older.

Do you like it when Mommy reads to you?

Are you looking forward to being able to read to yourself?

Who is your favorite writer?
You and Daddy.

Who is your favorite writer of books that you have on your bookshelf?  Of kids books?
Listen to My Trumpet.  Because it goes BLLARK and that’s not really music.

Who are the characters in Listen to My Trumpet?
Elephant and Piggie.

What is it you like about that book?
Because that they don’t even do music.  Elephant uses his trumpet and he says “Try making your” and then he just gricks and Piggie follows.

Did you like that it’s funny?

Do you like funny books?
Yes.  And it’s not even music because that he just brurks and he just gricks.

So funny books are your favorite, aren’t they?  What are some other books that you think are funny?
I I I, um, what’s the book where he hurt his his, I um, what’s the book where Elephant hurt his nose?

Oh, I Broke My Trunk?

So, Mo Willems, he wrote all the Elephant and Piggie books.  Is he your favorite writer right now?
Yeah, because that, because that Elephant said a long and crazy story and Piggie follows him and wants to tell Beaver and then he broke his snout.

So you remember what other books Mo Willems wrote?
No.  Oh, I remember he wrote I Have A Bird On My Head.

That’s another Elephant and Piggie book, isn’t it.  Did he write about any other characters that you like?
(Thinks.)  What books did he write that are funny?

Well, what’s at the end of every Elephant and Piggie book?  Who does a cameo?
Bir- Pigeon.

So maybe Mo Willems also wrote the Pigeon books?

Do you like the pigeon books?

And he also wrote Knuffle Bunny.
Oh.  …

How about illustrator?  Who is your favorite illustrator right now?  Do you know what illustrator means?

What do you think it means?
I don’t know.

It’s the person that draws the pictures.  The writer writes the words and the illustrator draws the pictures.  Sometimes the author and illustrator are the same person and sometimes one person writes all the words and another person draws all the pictures.  Which of your books have your favorite pictures?
Elephant and Piggie and Pigeon.

So Mo Willems writes and illustrates his own books.  He’s an author/illustrator.  He does it all.  So right now, you’re very into Mo Willems?

Yeah, because every time he puts pigeon at the end of every book.
That’s pretty funny.  So what’s your very favorite book?  (pause) Ever?
I’m still thinking. (long pause)

What are some of your favorite books you’ve read recently besides Elephant and Piggie?

Anything else?  Have we read any other good books?
No, we just like the funny books.

What are some other funny books?
Hmmmm.  I think those are my favorite funny books.

Why should people read?
So when they see a note for them, they could know who it’s for, from and for, in case they send it to the wrong person.

That’s a good idea.  You’re right.  Well, why should people read books?
So they can have fun and remember things when they were little kids about stories.

So you like to read stories? (nods) What’s your favorite kind of stories?

Stories about firetrucks? (nods)  Who is your favorite writer?
Um, Jack.

Jack. What kind of stories does Jack write?
Firetruck stories.  (Molly – “Jack writes about firetrucks.”)

What about – who is your favorite author of books that you read?
Um… Fireman Small.

The Fireman Small book?  The author of Fireman Small is Lois Lensky.  She’s your favorite writer?  And what’s your favorite book? 

Like, if you said, Mommy, could you read me just one book today, what would you pick? 
Um, the castle book.

Any particular castle book?
Yes.  Maybe one where knights  try to fight a hippopotamus.

Does that book exist?  Should you write that book maybe?  Because I haven’t read a book where knights fight a hippopotamus! 
Maybe next year.

Maybe next year you’ll write that book?  What’s your favorite book that we have at home right now? Or have taken out of the library?
That castle one before, where you had to find the matches.

We have that book still, don’t we, where you find the matches in the castle.  We should read it.  And who is your favorite illustrator?  Do you know what an illustrator is? (Shakes head no.)  That’s somebody that draws the pictures in a book.  Sometimes the author draws their own pictures, like you and Molly, when you write books you draw your own pictures-

Zosia is your favorite?
Yeah, she is because she one time made me a picture of someone trying to save Brave.

How about – who is your favorite illustrator of a book that we have at our house?  Is there a book with pictures that you love?
Um, I think Tiny Titans.

That has your favorite illustrations?

What is Tiny Titans about?
Super Hero school.

Thank you for talking with me.  Is there anything else you want to tell me about books, or authors or illustrators?
Um, how do the authors get together and find their favorite author?

How do authors find their favorite author?

I think everybody has their own idea of who their favorite author is.  Because everybody’s tastes are different, right?  Just like with food – your taste buds are different, so your taste in books is different.



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