Emil SherHow did you get started in children’s books?

The path into children’s books stemmed from the plays I write for young audiences. To be sure, they are different forms of storytelling but there is a lot of common ground, and it felt very natural to step from one world into the other. Actually, it was more like crossing the bridge that links the two.

What (or who) inspires your writing or art?

I am inspired by all the authors and illustrators whose works have touched me in ways that are meaningful and long lasting. A well-crafted phrase, an illustration that speaks volumes. And If I am ever fortunate enough to touch a young reader through my words in the same way, well…

What was your favourite book as a child? Why?

I read Charlotte’s Web as a child. I read it to my children. I may well reread it an age when one is supposedly “too old” for a children’s book. E.B. White’s classic resonates because he chronicles a beautiful friendship between a pig and a spider to reveal essential truths about what makes us human.

How can teachers use your books in the classroom?

I would encourage teachers to use my books in any way that generates a conversation or questions or discussions about the themes they feel the work explores. In other words, I hope the books are a springboard that takes teachers and students alike to a place of discovery.

What are you looking forward to most during TD Canadian Children’s Book Week?

In a word: people. Meeting the people of Yukon: students, teachers, the young, the old, and all points in between.

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