Mrs. P is the star of Mrs. P.'s Magic Library. She brings books to life through humor and her impeccable storytelling skills. I invited her on Watch. Connect. Read. to discuss her award-winning website and the Be-A-Famous-Writer Contest. Happy reading!
Mr. Schu: What inspired you to start the Be-A-Famous-Writer Contest?
Mrs. P: Technology has helped make entertainment for children immersive and visually spectacular. All the kid has to do, really, is sit there and be entertained. I thought it would be nice to offer an option that requires the child to use her or his own imagination and creativity. I'd hate for that to become a lost art. On a more selfish level, I started the contest because I love to read stories written by kids. They can be so funny and surprising and beautiful.
Mr. Schu: Who are the judges for the Be-A-Famous-Writer Contest?
Mrs. P: We have three celebrity judges this year. I’m excited to welcome Oscar-winning actress, mom, reading advocate and all-around nice person, Julia Roberts.
Also, Melina Gerosa Bellows, who is the Executive Vice President and Chief Creative Officer of Books, Kids and Family at National Geographic. She has a long title but she deserves it for all the important work she does.
Finally, we have Mary Frances Smith-Reynolds, who teaches fourth grade at Ivanhoe Elementary School in Silver Lake, California and has also worked as a literacy coach. I’m proud to have Mary Frances as a judge because I think teachers are some of our biggest celebrities.
Mr. Schu: I tell all of my students about MrsP.com. Thank you for your entertaining stories and interactive activities. What are you most proud of on the site?
Mrs. P: I love reading to kids, and with my videos, I’m able to reach more of them than I ever could in person. It makes me happy to know that thousands of kids are listening to classic stories and using their imaginations - and if they’re using my read-along feature, improving their reading skills.
Mr. Schu: Please share three of your favorite picture books.
Mrs P: Oh, my, what a challenging assignment! There are so many I love - but I understand you may not have room here for the titles of 12,000 books. Okay, three of my favorite are: Where the Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak
Where the Sidewalk Ends, by Shel Silverstein
Horton Hears a Who, by Dr. Seuss.
Oh, dear, I’m already thinking I should’ve included Goodnight, Moon and The Giving Tree. But I’ll stop now.
Mr. Schu: Reading is…
Mrs. P: …what you’re doing right now!
*Mr. Schu, you should have asked me about…
Mrs. P: The wonderful prizes for my writing contest this year. It’s quite exciting! Aside from having me read their stories on my website, where they’ll be seen by thousands of people, the grand-prize winners get their stories professionally illustrated and bound into real books. The winners will also receive a gift certificate from Powell’s Books, cool pens from Sakura of America - and Buyer Topia will donate books to the school libraries of the winners. Not bad, eh, Mr. Schu?
Visit MrsP.com to explore interactive digital storybooks.