Jonathan Bean on Building Our House

In last week’s Notes from the Horn Book, Roger interviewed author/illustrator Jonathan Bean about DIY and his latest book, Building Our House. Reviewer Betty Carter has a sixth question for Jonathan in the January/February 2013 Horn Book Magazine. Read the starred review of Building Our House here.

Betty Carter: What lessons or habits from your parents’ “homesteader” endeavors did you take away from your childhood that you now use in everyday adult life?

Jonathan Bean: When I was a kid, I remember asking for some small toy, and my father saying, “We could make something like that.” (Frustrating at the time because I wanted the toy now.) It wasn’t necessarily that he thought he could make a better toy (though he probably would end up doing just that), it was because making things and thinking about making things was fun! That’s exactly how I continue to feel. Sometimes it means not getting the result I want right now, but the work and the pleasure of holding the completed object is always very satisfying.

About Betty Carter

Betty Carter, an independent consultant, is professor emerita of children’s and young adult literature at Texas Woman’s University.

Horn Book at Simmons Colloquium: Transformations
SummerTeen On October 2-3 2015, join an esteemed group of award-winning authors, illustrators, librarians, and other children’s book experts and aficionados in Boston, MA, for a memorable two-day event celebrating the best in children’s and young adult literature. Confirmed speakers include 2015 BOSTON GLOBE HORN–BOOK AWARD recipients Candace Fleming, Marla Frazee, Jon Agee, Gregory Maguire, and Neal Shusterman, plus a special keynote appearance by Susan Cooper.


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