Hi friends! We’re continuing our journey of connecting to our childhood today with Megan Lacera! She is part of the husband wife team that created Zombies Don’t Eat Veggies. What a brilliant twist to have the zombie child try to introduce the parents to veggies! This book over flows with creativity and fun, which definitely has kids asking to read it again. I wonder what inspired Megan when she was young. Let’s find out!
Hi Megan! Can you tell us your first memory as a child where you connected to a book?
I have too many book memories to remember my first! I started reading early and devoured as many stories as I could get my hands on. But one that comes to mind is reading WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS by Shel Silverstein. It was a revelation to me; the simple, hilarious, and often poignant illustrations…the collection of stories/poems that shifted effortlessly from inspiration to irreverent. Many books up until that point felt like they were talking down to me or forcing a lesson. SIDEWALK never felt like that. There is a poem called “Sister for Sale” and it’s brilliant. I have a sister and I love her, but gosh, some days when we were young…yep, that poem got right to the core of frustration. Looking at the work now, Silverstein doesn’t shy away from the full complexity of childhood and humanity, and I think that’s why it continued to captivate.
Megan, you make so many good points here that I’m going to take a little time to unpack them. I LOVE that you connected to Shel’s approach. SIDEWALK does meet a child on their level and doesn’t sugar coat anything that they might be feeling. The book makes things real for kids in a way they can relate to. This is so important to highlight! You mentioned “Sisters for Sale,” which gets right to the not so great part of siblings. And it’s okay! You can agree, laugh, or even respond, “Yeah, that’s how I feel!” It connects so clearly to the reader on an emotional level they can understand. This is not to be confused with talking down to children. Children are smart, and they will respond to a book with excitement, or just the opposite. As creatives, we aren’t here to tell kids what to do. We are to write stories to meet them where they are in a way they can understand.
For my follow up, in what ways do you hope your writing will impact the lives of children?
For me, reading is a bridge to understanding, connection, intellectual growth, emotional depth, empathy, curiosity, spirituality, and love. I hope my work will be a piece of that bridge for others!
What a beautiful visual, Megan! A bridge to so many wonderful things. This is what we’re trying to do with #Books4KarachiKids.
Megan, thank you for taking the time today to talk with us. Have a great rest of the week everyone!