In these days of COVID-19 and wanting to help my students find comfort in hearing (and seeing) their school librarian read to them, I created The Creative Librarian YouTube channel [note: these are now unlisted]and have been regularly posting videos on it. I know many educators and administrators around the United States are doing the same thing, and it is so heartwarming to see how this is helping bring our communities together (virtually). I have also been overjoyed to see how many authors and illustrators are creating blog posts, videos, and additional activities for their readers.
The 10th Gaithersburg Book Festival is right around the corner, and I am excited to share the third in my trilogy of interviews with GBF featured children’s authors. Paul Noth will be a featured author paired with Jonathan Roth for both their book presentations, and a children’s workshop entitled Creating Characters with Character, where Noth and Roth will help elementary age kids come up with characters that are fun, interesting and have meaning to the creator. They will brainstorm ideas, draw figures, come up with meaningful motivations and, of course, cool character names.
Paul Noth, known for his witty cartoons regularly appear in the New Yorker and the Wall Street Journal, has also written for Late Night with Conan O’Brien and The Late Late Show, among other television shows. He hasn’t been known as a KidLit author till of late. He is the author of How to Sell Your Family to the Aliens (April 2018) described by School Library Journal as “Strange and original with just the right amount of juvenile humor, this story features odd and endearing characters and a wonderfully weird plot.” At the Gaithersburg Book Festival he will be speaking about How to Properly Dispose of Planet Earth (January 2019), which Kirkus Reviews states that it is … “a story where everyone deserves to be the main character.” Coming in September 2019 is How to Win the Science Fair When You’re Dead which promises to be another “laugh-out-loud” funny book for middle grade readers.
How did your journey take you from The New Yorker, Wall Street Journal, and evening talk shows, to children’s books?
I’ve always wanted to write both picture books and children’s novels. Once my work started appearing regularly in the New Yorker, several agents reached out to me asking if I had ideas for kids’ books, so that provided the opportunity.
What is one (or more) thing(s) that you really want your readers to know about you?
Sometimes I think the less they know about me the better. I like my books and cartoons to speak for themselves. But if they have to know something, it’s that I have two dogs, Watson and Biscuit.
Who is the student you are writing for? Describe him/her.
He or she treasures funny books and cartoons as much as I do.
What are you most looking forward about the Gaithersburg Book Festival (can be more than one thing ;-D )
I’m really looking forward to collaborating with Jonathan Roth again. He and I hit it off last time. We work well together.
When you tell other authors and illustrators about GBF, what do you say?
I say it’s a great festival and well worth the trip.
What message do you have for your readers?
Thank you for reading my books! I know the second one, How to Properly Dispose of Planet Earth ends with a bit of a cliffhanger, but book 3, How to Win the Science Fair When You’re Dead is out in September!
What message to you have for educators, and especially for school librarians?