My favorite memories of libraries are probably when my mother, who was an elementary school teacher, would take me after school to our public library in Hopewell, New Jersey.
And we would just hang out. My mother's a huge reader, still is, we just met...that was sort of the hang out spot after school for many afternoons when I was growing up. And I would just roam the children's section and they had a nice little cozy area so I could grab a few books and sit down comfortably and read some stories. So, that's probably where it all started for me.
Well, I think libraries, as they are for most people, just made me realize all the different stories that were out there.
All the different worlds and universes and imaginations that I could explore.
And at a young age I realized that I really wanted to tell my own stories. I realized that was a fun thing, and I started
writing stories and drawing pictures as a young kid because books were such a big part of my life.
That's going way back there. Well, I'd have to say that my favorite librarian is probably my mother, because she is now a librarian, so that's probably the best answer I can give.
My library...I live couple blocks away from the Central Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library in New York. And I go there all the time. I go there for research. I go there to look at picture books, children's books, you know... to checkout novels... I read alot of science fiction. I'm there all the time. They are a... it's a great cultural center, so I go and see art exhibits there and sometimes show my art there... yeah, I'm at the library as often as possible.
Library budget cuts... yeah... that's tough...I realize that a lot of cities are having to cut back you know how do you make a decision between cutting libraries and cutting police departments and all this stuff..I'm glad I'm not a mayor. Because it must be tough, but anytime I hear about a library budget cut, it just breaks my heart, so I often do what I can to help the Brooklyn Public Library System, because they're going through alot of potential cuts and real cuts.
Living in Brooklyn, we see all walks of life, from the super rich to the super poor, and I just think to myself, man these poor familes, the library is a real lifesaver.
So, every time it gets cut, it just gets more difficult for them...more obstacles for them to overcome.
[On Banned Books]
I've had a few friends who've had their books banned...and it's good for book sales, so on the one hand, it's not such a bad thing, I guess, from their point of view, uh... the idea of banning books is, of course, sensitive to me, I don't really understand it.
You don't have to read a book if you don't want to, but you can encourage other people not to read it if it's that important to you. But to just make it completely unavailable seems un-American, frankly. I don't know what to say about banned books. It seems like a waste of everybody's energy.
I have a book coming out in late August, 2012, from Simon & Schuster, called "Creepy Carrots." [It's] about a rabbit who thinks he's being stalked by his favorite snack, and then realizes that he is actually being stalked by his favorite snacks, which are carrots, of course. He's go to figure out what to do about it. It's kind of a weird problem. So... the story reminded me, when I read the manuscript, which was written by Aaron Reynolds recently, reminded me of old sci-fi and horror movies from like the 50s and 60s, and the Twilight Zone episodes...where it looks like an episode of the Twilight Zone, basically. And, it was tons of fun to make, so...
[If there were a vegetable to stalk, wouldn't it be celery?]
Celery stalk...well..you know...there are alot of rude vegetables out there, that might have a few things to say to us...
celery stalks would be a good one, but carrots are trouble, too.
Trust me. You'll find out in "Creepy Carrots."
All author videos are available for use under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license. We encourage libraries and library supporters to reuse this content and ask only that you provide a link back to the website. To request a copy of an author video contact the ALA Office for Library Advocacy at email@example.com.