Kevin and Danielle Jonas on their new children's book, There's a Rock Concert in My Bedroom
Kevin Jonas was the first Jonas Brother to get married, the first to have a child, and now he's once again going where no Jonas has gone before: kids' lit. He and his wife, Danielle, have written There's a Rock Concert in My Bedroom, a delightful picture book about turning to your family for support – something Kevin knows a little bit about. EW spoke with the couple about whether they plan on adding to their brood, how they handle parent-teacher conferences, and what Alena and Valentina, their two young girls, do when Kevin is away:
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Who first came up with the idea to write this book?
DANIELLE JONAS: We talked about it a lot, but I feel like we both wanted to do something for kids for a long time.
KEVIN JONAS: Yeah, we always wanted to do a children's book, but it felt like now is the right time. Our girls are definitely at the age where they're reading and wanting to read even more by themselves and us reading to them.
The book is about a girl who enters the school talent show but gets nervous as the event approaches. Was this inspired by a specific scenario with your girls?
KEVIN: The book came out of us knowing how our daughters felt when they had to do their first dance recital. They were practicing and practicing, and they got a little bit in their heads a little too much. We just realized that they needed to have a little more fun with it.
DANIELLE: Once they got up on stage, they weren't as nervous. They saw us in the audience and then it made it fun for them.
What kind of dance?
DANIELLE: Ballet and tap.
Danielle, obviously Kevin grew up with only brothers, whereas you had sisters and a brother. Is there anything that you had to explain to him about how sisters interact with each other?
KEVIN: [Laughs] A lot.
DANIELLE: I guess their bickering and stuff.
KEVIN: We never fought like that as kids playing. I'm sure we would get into arguments, but it was never like, "This is mine, this is yours, we separate, I need time away from you."
DANIELLE: Oh, time — that's a big thing. I don't think you guys needed that much time away from each other. You guys were in the same room and it was fine, but they're like, "No, I need my space."
KEVIN: Yeah, we could literally draw a line down the center of the room and they would be happy.
Glad to know that because, honestly, my daughter is like, "I need my privacy," and she'll go into her closet and close the door.
KEVIN: Our daughter does the same thing.
DANIELLE: I still do the same thing. [Laughs]
In There's a Rock Concert in My Bedroom, Bella gives her big sister Emma a lucky charm to help her when she's nervous. Kevin, do you have a lucky charm when you perform?
KEVIN: My guitar pick actually has our initials on it: K and D and then A and V, so I always have them with me. I have my whole line of guitar picks on my mic stand every single night so I'm staring at that pretty much all the time.
As a parent, one of the things that always makes me nervous are parent-teacher conferences, but I can only imagine how different that must be for you two.
KEVIN: So, with parent-teacher conferences we actually handle it a little differently: We meet with the teacher or the principal before we started the school and we [say] "We need to make sure you understand that our daughter is her own person. Our life does not interfere with that. You have to make sure she is a part of this system just as much as everyone else." And, so we try to make it as normal as possible for them. [Alena] is standing on her own merits these days. She got nominated by her teacher yesterday for Student of the Month. We felt very proud.
DANIELLE: She's definitely her own person cause she gets nervous when they even mention her last name because she wants to be her own person, which I love.
Who's more of the disciplinarian and who's more of the softy?
KEVIN: It goes in waves. It all depends on what it is.
DANIELLE: You think so?
KEVIN: What are you supposed to do with two girls?
DANIELLE: He's away more so it's the three girls. When he goes away, they take turns sleeping in my bed with me. I make it their special things so that they don't get upset that he's leaving and everything. So, I'm with them more, so I guess I'm more the discipline person.
Is this the completion of your family, or do you think you might go for another?
KEVIN: I think only time will tell, right? Um, right now, we're very content. We will see. I think growing our family further is definitely something we continue to talk about. It's an ongoing conversation.
Joe and Sophie had their first child last year and Nick and Priyanka welcomed a baby in January. Is Alena liking being the oldest cousin?
KEVIN: She loves being the big cousin, you know. We have Danielle's sister as well who has a daughter, so it's like they're the first of the group and they're very much like, "We're in charge."