Carey Sookocheff is the illustrator of the critically acclaimed Buddy and Earl series and What Happens Next, and the author/illustrator of Solutions for Cold Feet and Other Little Problems and Wet. Her illustrations have also appeared in a variety of newspapers and magazines. She lives in Toronto with her husband, two kids, and their dog Rosie. We are so excited that she took the time to answer our questions about being a First Book Canada Author Champion.
How did you hear about First Book Canada?
I first heard about First Book Canada from my husband who used to work in book publishing, so I was very excited when I was invited to my first First Book Canada event last year.
It’s important that all children have access to books.
Why do you work with First Book Canada?
I think it is an amazing organization, working hard to get books into the hands of young readers. It’s important that all children have access to books, so that they can expand their worlds and dream big, but also so that they can see themselves in the stories they read.
What is your main goal when doing events?
My goal when doing any event with kids is to encourage them to write and illustrate their own stories. I like to explain what inspired the books I write. Some kids get pretty excited when they realize that my books are about small things that have happened in my life. It makes them realize that they can tell stories about what is going on in their lives too. One little boy last year was so excited that he just kept telling me about all the things he was going to write about – his cat, walking to school – he was bursting with ideas and I hope he was able to write them all down.
What role did books play in your life when you were growing up?
My mom was a librarian so there were always books in our house. I lived in a small town and, if I wasn’t outside playing, I was usually drawing or reading. We almost always borrowed from the library, but in the summer we would get to buy a couple of books to take on vacation. My mom wouldn’t let us bring library books camping or to the beach in case they got damaged. She would hide the new books from us so we couldn’t read them before summer vacation started. I still have most of those books on my shelf.
What has been your experience with giving your book to children to take home?
It was a pretty amazing experience to see 60 grade one kids all holding a copy of my book with huge smiles on their faces. I was so happy to think that those children might be reading my book at bedtime, or after school or to a younger brother or sister.
Thank you, Carey, for being an Author Champion and getting books to kids!
Are you an author who has worked with First Book Canada and you want to share your experience? Contact our Communications Coordinator.