Kids ask about belonging
This interview is from A Kids Book About: The Podcast. Ana, AMC Princess Ana, interviews author of A Kids Book About Belonging, Kevin Carroll. It has been edited for clarity.
So today I’m bringing you a conversation between a kid, a really awesome kid, and an author—one of my favorite authors. Ana, aka AMC Princess Ana, asks about belonging with A Kids Book About Belonging author Kevin Carroll.
Ana asks about Black history and writing books, but mostly this conversation is just a terrific example of what it looks and sounds like to belong in the same space as one another. Lots of giggles. Lots of inquisitive questions. It’s clear Ana and Kevin really enjoyed one another’s company.
This conversation originally happened over Instagram, so they ask one another about objects [that] appear behind one another, but Ana and Kevin each do a really great job describing what they hold up to share. Here’s Ana and Kevin:
Good to meet you. I have a few questions for you.
Okay. I'm ready.
It's Black history month. What does that mean to you?
Black history month means celebrations to me.
It's an amazing opportunity to celebrate all the amazing accomplishments that Black people have done over all the generations, but even more. It's a chance for people to be educated about all the accomplishments and all the amazing gifts and talents that are in that community. So I'm always excited about Black history month.
Even more so to get an opportunity to talk about it. So, yeah, it's about celebration for me, Black history month.
When you were my age, did you have any role models?
So you're what—five, I think? Right? So I, when I was five, I think my role model had been my great grandmother, Nana Carol. That's what we called her.
She taught me lots of lessons. I thought sometimes those lessons were really hard. They weren't fun to learn ‘cause she made me sit still before I could go out and play.
So I didn't always like that. But what I discovered later is she was teaching me mindfulness. And I didn't know she was teaching me that when I was your age, but it's now something that I actively practice. So I really appreciate that about her. So she was one of my role models. My Nana Carol.
How old were you when you wrote your first book?
How old was I? When I wrote my first book, I was…oh man, let me see. That's 2005. I was 47… I did the math. I figured it out because my first book was published in 2004, 2005. So that made me around 47 years old. That's when I did my first book and I've done four total now—but I did my first book when I was 47.
So there's always time. You don't have to do it when you're really young. And I had a lot to say, but I didn’t. I wasn't ready to share it yet. So I think I had to wait a little bit to decide to write that book. But my best friend's mom actually was the one who perked me to write the book. She kept saying, You need to write a book. You need to write a book.
And I said, Who would read my book? And she said, There's another you out there that needs to know it's possible. So I wrote the book for someone else. I didn't write it for me.
What book was it?
Rules of the Red Rubber Ball. Here, I'll show you. So this is my first book.
Yeah. And so it's got even a ball texture on it, on the cover. That's actual kickball material there. And that book has been in print for 15 years now…
So actually, it's got all these fun little surprises inside it, different textured paper. So you get to discover lots of things. When I did this book, that was partly what I wanted to do. I wanted to make a little book that made you linger and you had to turn every page really slowly to discover something.
Hmm. Cool. Why did you decide to start writing books?
So I've always loved books. And let me see… you know Where The Wild Things Are? Have you seen that book yet?
I have it.
You have it? That was my first [book]. That was my favorite book when I was a kid. You have that book? That was my favorite book.
So that's what inspired me to write books because I've always loved books. Since I read that book when I was young.
What else do you enjoy doing besides writing books?
What else do I enjoy doing besides writing books?
I actually enjoy meeting people. I get to do lots of speaking events and so I get to meet lots of different people. And so I enjoy doing that. I like to work out. I like to do that. I also like to eat chocolate.
Well, thank you so much for the conversation. I really appreciate it. You're welcome. It was wonderful to meet [you].. Take good care.
Each week on A Kids Book About: The Podcast, we talk about the big things going on in your world with a different author from our A Kids Book About series. This week Ana, AMC Princess Ana, interviewed Kevin Carroll, author of A Kids Book About Belonging.