Kevin Henkes Shares Back-to-School Advice!
by Stella Castilla
Read this exclusive interview with author-illustrator Kevin Henkes with your class and share his kind and uplifting back-to-school advice for any nervous students you may have!
In this interview, beloved children’s book author Kevin Henkes (who was a worrier himself as a child) answers some interesting, fun, and thoughtful questions:
• What advice do you have for kids who are nervous about school?
• If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
• What inspired Chrysanthemum?
You’ve probably heard of Kevin Henkes’s work—after all, he’s the incredible, award-winning creator of some of our all-time-favorite children’s books, including Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse, Waiting, Owen, Wemberly Worried, and, of course, Chrysanthemum. But how much do you really know about Kevin?
Read the full interview with your students to help ease any back-to-school jitters!
Q: If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself?
A: I think I would tell myself not to worry so much. I’m a worrier.
Q: If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
A: To be invisible.
Q: That’s fascinating! Why did you write Chrysanthemum?
A: I think creativity is hard to explain. Sometimes I have no idea why a
particular book pops into my head at the time that it does.
Q: What would you tell a kid on the first day of school?
A: I might say that I was a shy kid and I was kind of frightened about going to school, and that it turned out okay. And I would tell them how much I grew to love school and how much I love teachers, and hopefully that would help them.
Q: Can you describe Chrysanthemum in three words?
A: One, nice, mouse!
Q: When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A: An artist, always. I cannot remember a time when I did not think of myself as an artist.
Q: What book would you bring on a desert island with you?
A: Oh boy, I have so many books. I think I would bring an empty journal that I could fill so I could write.
If your students could respond to Kevin Henkes, what would they say? Please share with us on social media using the hashtag #ScholasticBookClubs.
Kevin Henkes grew up loving books and loving to draw and paint. He published his first book, All Alone, in 1981. In 1986, Kevin’s picture book portfolio blossomed thanks to the birth of some little mice in A Weekend with Wendell. Sixteen books featuring a parade of dynamic and unforgettable mouse characters have followed, including the 1994 Caldecott Honor book Owen, Chrysanthemum, and Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse. His newest mouse character, Penny, stars in a series for beginning readers that includes Penny and Her Song, Penny and Her Doll, and Penny and Her Marble. In 2005, he won the Caldecott Medal for Kitten’s First Full Moon. In addition to his picture books, Kevin has also published 12 middle grade novels, including the Newbery Medal winners The Year of Billy Miller and Olive’s Ocean. Kevin lives with his family in Wisconsin.
This Book Is Available from Scholastic Book Clubs