Jon Scieszka

What books did you read when you were a child?
I loved to read funny books and information books, so I read a lot of Dr. Seuss and encyclopedias.

If you could be a storybook character who would you be?
Do comic book characters count? Yes? Oh great. Then I would be Wolverine.  Mostly for his superhuman senses. But also for his amazing healing ability. And claws.

What is the best thing about reading?
I like: 1) gaining knowledge from reading, and 2) going to other people's worlds.

What is your all-time favourite book?
I have so many that it's hard to pick one. But one of my favourites that I go back to for its craziness and its storytelling is Don Quixote.

Other than reading books what is the most important thing a parent can do to help develop their children’s communication skills?
Listen to your kids. Let them talk. And then really listen to what they have to say.

How big a part did your parents play in encouraging your writing skills?
Both of my parents were wonderful influences on my writing. Dinner table conversations with them (and my five brothers) always valued storytelling.  And that is what became my writing.

How do you encourage your children or grandchildren to read, what books do you enjoy reading with them?
The not-so-great secret of getting kids to read what interests them. If they love sharks and skateboarding, read about sharks and skateboarding with them. If they love funny stories and comic books, read funny stories and comic books with them.  Reading is a difficult skill. It takes a lot a practice.

Jon Scieszka is the author of the popular Frank Einstein series. The fourth book, Frank Einstein and the EvoBlaster Belt is out on 6 September 2016.

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