The Children’s Museum of the East End is pleased to welcome back beloved children’s author, Katharine Holabird, for a reading of her newest book series, “Twinkle.” Ms. Holabird first rose to prominence in the early 80s when she introduced the world to a dancing mouse known as Angelina Ballerina. In the three decades since, her works have been translated into over 15 languages, become the basis for two animated series, and become a staple of growing up for children around the world.
In preparation for her appearance later this month, Ms. Holabird was kind enough to answer some questions about children’s literature, living on the East End, and parenting.
After the wonderful success of Angelina Ballerina, what made you decide to create Twinkle?
I’ve been writing Angelina Ballerina books for over 30 years now, and it’s challenging and exciting to create something new. I’ve always adored fairies and magic, so writing about Twinkle and her fairy world is great fun, and I’m loving it.
Can you tell us a little about Twinkle?
Twinkle is a mischievous little fairy who lives in Sparkle Tree Forest with her fairy friends. All fairies have wings, but Twinkle’s wings are special – they change color with her moods. When Twinkle’s heart glows with love her wings glow to, and her fairy magic seems to grow. She can do amazing things – she’s got Twinkle power!
How does living on the East End impact your writing and storytelling? What do you enjoy most about the area?
The East End has been home to many creative people, and it’s a great place to be a writer. I’ve always lived in cities, and I love the beauty of the countryside and the peaceful atmosphere on the East End. I’ve met lots of wonderful children in the area, and they inspire me to keep writing.
When you visit CMEE with your grandchildren, what part of the Museum do they like best?
My two little grandsons, Max and Charlie, adore CMEE, and we’re frequent visitors. They’ve explored every nook and cranny of the museum, and they try out absolutely everything at least five times. Little boys are very energetic, so the play room is a special favorite – and it’s really nice for their grandparents to sit back and watch them having so much fun and using up some energy!
What were some of your favorite books growing up?
I loved fairy tales and silly Dr Seuss books when I was small, and later on I was crazy about “Charlotte’s Web” and the “Little House on the Prairie” series. I also had an obsession with the Oz books and read anything about animals.
What, if any, insights have you gained on the lives of children by writing stories for them?
I think children identify with Angelina because she makes lots of mistakes, just like them – though all children want to be perfect. Children have big emotions and their lives are full of challenges – storybooks can help them understand and accept themselves.
As a mother and grandmother, what’s the best piece of parenting advice you ever received?
Carpe diem! Enjoy the moment. Children’s lives are so fleeting, we need to enjoy every moment we can with them.