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‘Big kid’ shares love of books

Children’s author visits Algonquin for reading event

Published: Sunday, April 28, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

ALGONQUIN – Children’s author Aaron Reynolds describes inspiration as an excited feeling you have in two places: your head and your heart. Saturday morning, Reynolds inspired a very excited group of children at the Algonquin Area Public Library.

Reynolds, a self-proclaimed “big kid” and writer of more than 25 children’s books, performed a live reading of his New York Times best-seller and Caldecott Honor-winning children’s book “Creepy Carrots!”

Reynolds, a Fox River Grove resident, spoke of his writing process and what lead him down the path to becoming a children’s book author. The presentation began with a reveal from Reynolds that sent a gasp through the crowd of children sitting on the library carpet, clinging to his every word.

“When I was child, I hated books,” said Reynolds. “It wasn’t until fifth grade in Mr. Hunter’s class that I found myself getting caught up in the stories that he read aloud and the characters they contained. After that, everything changed.”

Reynolds reminisced about his love for popular children’s books, including titles by authors such as Beverly Cleary and Dr. Seuss. Reynolds took to his love for children’s books and writing and launched his career with his first book, “Chicks and Salsa.”

Caught up in the whimsy and animation was Algonquin resident Rebecca Reid. Reid said her 5½-year-old son has “Creepy Carrots!” at the top of his favorite books list. Reid said the two of them couldn’t wait to meet the author.

“We love reading and picture books,” said Reid. “The library is kind of like a community center here offering so many great things. My son has been asking me for weeks ‘When is Creepy Carrots coming?’”

Reid said the look and feel of the library has progressed greatly since her childhood, recalling a place with drab décor and forced silence. This was hardly the case Saturday morning – youngsters bopped around to LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem” preceding the presentation.

Lake in the Hills resident Sarah Dziewulski looked on as her daughter, Madison Renni, 6, participated in an interactive demonstration of how a book is completed using collaboration.

“We read every day,” said Dziewulski. “I thought it would be great for her to come down and see a live author and ask questions.”

Madison said she enjoyed the presentation because she liked hearing the story read out loud.

Up next for Reynolds is the release of “Carnivores” in September.

“I have the best job in the whole world. I don’t just write books. I write kids’ books!” he said.

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