Jacqueline Woodson’s latest picture book is The Day You Begin. TIME for Kids talked with her about her work.
Question: When did you become a writer?
Answer: I started writing when I was 7 years old. My first book was a collection of poems about butterflies.
Q: Where did you get the idea for The Day You Begin?
A: The story was based on my great-great-grandfather. He was the only black student in his classroom. It is about the way we can walk into a room and feel like we don’t belong there.
Q: Where do you write down your ideas?
A: I used to write on my hand! But now there is always a notebook nearby .
Q: Why do you like writing books for children?
A: I have always written for children because I think kids are important, thoughtful , and smart.
Did You Know?
Woodson is the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. She received the honor in 2018 from Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress.