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Q&A with Mirra Ginsburg

We talk with the children’s book author about writing for kids

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Children’s book authors no longer shy from today’s difficult topics. But Mirra Ginsburg continues to draw her inspiration from a gentler past. The author of The King Who Tried to Fry an Egg on His Head bases many of her books on stories she heard growing up in Russia. Kids Extra talked to Ginsburg about her work.

Q: Why have you decided not to write about current issues?
A: I feel that children are overburdened with adult problems. I never deal with topical issues -I don’t write to teach.

Q: How have you managed to stay in touch with the passions of small children?
A: I am all the ages that I have ever been up to this moment, so when I write, it’s truly as a child. I feel that a writer for children must be a child herself-it’s a natural, spontaneous, innate condition.

Q: How do you think kids have changed since you were a child?
A: They haven’t. Children are children at all times and in all countries. There’s so much emphasis today on information, on facts, instead of wisdom. But children remain responsive (above all to simple things): to joy and sorrow, to wit and foolishness.