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Acts of Creative Defiance with Carter Higgins

Carter Higgins, the author and illustrator of Circle Under Berry (Chronicle Books), Some of These are Snails (Chronicle Books), and her latest, Round and Round the Year We Go (Neal Porter Books), talks about acts of creative defiance in bookmaking.

Listen along:

About the book: Round and Round the Year We Go by Carter Higgins. Published by Neal Porter Books.

Eric Carle meets Chicken Soup with Rice in this joyful dance through the year one month at a time, sure to whirl young readers right along with it.

Time never passed so happily! From sledding and snowman-crafting in January to the New Year's countdown in December, childlike drawings and jolly text describe each month of the year with all the fun that each one promises. This book works like a song: each month is a new verse, and readers transition into each new season by a chorus with a recurring refrain, which is riffed on throughout the year.

Beloved author-illustrator Carter Higgins is back with all her quirky warmth in Round and Round the Year We Go, a book as fun to read aloud as it is to listen to and learn from. Story time is sure to provoke giggles, games, and ideas for your own seasonal escapades.

About the book: Some of These are Snails by Carter Higgins. Published by Chronicle Books.

Press Here meets Eric Carle in a concept book that makes familiar ideas exciting and surprising.

From the creative mind behind Circle Under Berry comes this deceptively simple concept book that explores sorting, classification, and patterns as it teases the brain in unusual ways. With an elegant and simple approach, this thought-provoking book shows young readers that even the most familiar things can be seen from infinite perspectives. As with the best classic children's books, you read it once, read it ten times--and see something new every time.

About the book: Circle Under Berry by Carter Higgins. Published by Chronicle Books. 

Part Sandra Boynton, part Each Peach Pear Plum; part Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, part Hippopposites--a treat for the brain and the tongue.

With an elegant and simple approach, this thought-provoking concept book shows young readers that everything in the world can be seen from infinite perspectives.

Each page compares colors, shapes, and objects in relation to each other. A triangle that is over a square is also under a circle. A circle that is pink also might be a flower.

The artful, playful combinations of simple concepts and Higgins's rhythmic writing and expert arrangement of objects on the page make this book a perfect read-aloud, capable of entertaining, educating, and challenging readers in equal measure.

There are multiple ways to read the book, allowing it to work for several ages and reading levels at once. The educational value and sheer fun packed into this book's language and visual design will make it a huge hit with educators and librarians, new parents, and creative kids who are visual learners.

This striking, delightfully different exploration of shape, color, and patterns redefines what a picture book can be. Read it once, read it ten times. See something new every time.


Matthew: Welcome back to the Children’s Book Podcast, where we dive deep into the world of creativity, storytelling, and the magic behind the art of creating books for children. 

I’m your host, Matthew Winner. Teacher. Librarian. Writer. Fan of kids. 

Joining us today is the wonderful Carter Higgins, the talented author and illustrator behind delightful books such as Circle Under BerrySome of These are Snails, and her latest, Round and Round the Year We Go. Carter’s work is known for its playfulness, its vibrant illustrations, and the ability to capture the wonder and curiosity of childhood.

In this episode, we’ll dive into Carter’s creative process, the inspiration and play behind her stories, and exploring storytelling through acts of creative defiance. Whether you’re a parent, a teacher, an author, an illustrator, or a lover of picture books, this conversation is sure to inspire and entertain.

So, without further ado, let’s welcome Carter Higgins to the show!


Carter: Hi, I'm Carter Higgins, and I am the author and or illustrator of many books for kids, including Round and Round the Year We Go, a career I'm not sure I would have even discovered if I wasn't a school librarian or a lifelong reader.

Matthew: Oh, I love that. A career I wouldn't, I may not have discovered if I wasn't a lifelong reader or school librarian. Um, when did you first start reading, Carter? When did you identify as a reader? Were you able to self identify as a reader as a child? I wasn't. That's why I'm asking that. 

Carter: You know, the benefit of hindsight, I would say yes, but I'm not sure I, acknowledge that I was a reader as much as a book person.

We, yeah, like I was a library kid and my dad took me to story time and we checked out books every week. Yeah. I don't know that I realized it was reading. Yeah. Yeah. That's a reader. I mean, that's a book. I absolutely think 

Matthew: so. When I, um, I've shared this story with other people before, but when I could read independently, like confidently independently, like whatever that is, kindergarten, first grade, um, my parents just stopped reading with me.

Um, yeah, it must've been first cause second grade we would have been at the upstairs classroom. So, um, they just stopped reading with me. Uh, they're not really readers themselves. That's okay. But then I just stopped reading. Um, although I wouldn't, it took. Reflection as an adult to realize it probably took going through undergrad like teacher school, right to understand that when I was reading strategy guides and Nintendo power that that was reading but I don't think when I was reading comics that was reading, I don't think my parents would have, I don't think I had people in my life to affirm that when I was reading to help me with my identity as a, as a reader.

Carter: Right. Cause it was always connected to a grade or a school assignment or something you did rather than something you enjoyed. 

Matthew: Right. And then the stuff that I was reading was very picture or illustration driven. And that wasn't, that didn't look like the stuff that, that we were reading in class. That's okay.

Carter: But cereal boxes and posters showing the Scholastic Book Fair and flyers on the school wall. My eyeballs just couldn't get enough. 

Matthew: And I wonder, for you, where illustration came in? We can talk about it later, but did you always, when you started telling stories, did you find yourself telling stories with pictures as well?

Did you find yourself even telling stories, period? Period. 

Carter: Yeah, you know, I think I've always been creative and often that creativity has taken the form of like a tactile output of some kind, but in the same way that I didn't know someone had to write the books that I loved. I 

Matthew: didn't, 

Carter: I didn't realize I could call myself an artist because I wasn't filling sketchbook after sketchbook.

I wasn't, I didn't go to art school. Um, I liked making things always. Um, you know, I would make, hotels for my stuffed animals out of 8, 000 shoe boxes or, um, as a young adult, like rearrange my room and pick the best throw pillows for my couches, all like very, uh, like physical decisions around art. But, um, I didn't, I didn't really think of myself as an artist.

And in fact, it's still sort of difficult to say. You know, even saying I am the author and or illustrator of books, there's a little like, Ooh, am I, am I allowed to say that? That feels uncomfortable and not, and not as intimidating as it used to be, but just I don't know. It feels strange. I'm not really sure why, but it still feels strange.

However, I, I was a working artist and for many years and some of the time that I knew you, um, but because I was working in television in like very cool projects, um, it motion graphics and compositing and visual effects. It was never that I was doing for myself. So I was very good at taking a creative assignment and executing what, you know, the art director or the producer or whoever needed to see, but it was within very specific.

sidelines or brand colors or, um, looking realistic. I, at the beginning, I wasn't sure that I liked it because it didn't feel very creative to me. And I, it took me a long time to realize, well, I'm making a lot of problem solving decisions using my creative brain. I'm sitting in a desk for, you know, eight to 10 hours a day paid as an artist, but I still could not quite wrap my brain around calling myself an artist.

So it, It took me longer than I wish it did to, um, to turn the page of my illustration career. 

Matthew: Yeah. All right. Well, so your, your latest book is Round and Round the Year We Go. Talk to me about how you describe this story for one of your library students, for one of your friends that haven't read it yet.

How do you describe this story? 

Carter: Yeah, I think, uh, Round and Round the Year We Go, it, it takes a trip through the year from top to bottom, month to month. Um, playfully celebrating all the specifics that mark each season. Um, it's easy to describe it as a concept book about our calendar, but I think it's also, uh, a bit of a meditation on the passage of time 

Matthew: and 

Carter: how things change and, and the fact that some familiar comforts come around time and time again without, without fail.

But, you know, I mean, that's what it's kind of about, but I hope it also captures a very particular. feeling, which comes from being a librarian, the idea that, um, sitting around on carpet squares for story time or circle time or calendar time, um, which is a pretty abstract way to get into a book, but I, I wanted it to feel like classroom decoration, you know, that moment where you're like, unstapling the faded paper of September, like putting up new bulletin board borders and stuff leaves instead of pencils or whatever it is.

That sort of shift, um, is pretty special, big, momentous. And, uh, yeah, I just wanted to, I wanted it to feel like the way, um, storytime feels. 

Matthew: I like that too, to me, it feels, I like the way that you said, it feels like these are the different sort of hallmarks of each, month or season that we can look forward to.

But as a story time book, it also means we're doing these things all together. And maybe in this list of, of describing words that I'm going to say for each month, you're going to identify most with one of those describing words and your neighbor might identify with a different one. And yet we're describing something we go through together and you might have a little bit of, um, enjoying the, the, the warmth of.

October, or whatever different feeling in each month, but that your neighbor might have a little bit more of it. We kind of each have a little different balance of those words that make up that month, and yet we still experience that month together. I like the thought of thinking of it as a, as a storytime book.

I didn't, I didn't approach it that way. I like that, Carter. Makes sense that you would approach it that way. Does that also mean in your design of it, you were thinking both, what does this book, feel like close and what does it feel like from afar as a group would experience it sitting, what, when we read aloud to a, to a group of children between four and eight feet away from us, right?

Carter: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. That's such an insightful question. Um, as librarians, we are often. well, most often dealing with the end product of a book, which is truly the beginning because you're sharing it with the people it's ultimately for. Um, and as a creator, despite that experience, sometimes it's difficult to remember that, you know, the Google Doc turns into something that kids are four to eight feet away from.

Um, but I do try to think about that. Yeah, both in, in language and in art. Um, I think a book that has really bright colors and, um, There's kind of limited, not limited items on a page, but there's a lot to look up up close, but it's very recognizable shapes and, um, vignettes from farther away, so I think there's sort of a way that it works both up close and, and, uh, in a larger group, but certainly the text, I definitely was designing the text to sound really good when it was read out loud, but I almost pictured like kids acting it out with like poster board signs over there, you know, like the kind with the, um, what are they called? Sandwich boards or something?

Yeah, I was with the 

Matthew: strings and We just had kindergarten, they don't call it graduation, kindergarten commencement maybe is what they call it, whatever they call it. That, that ceremony of end of kindergarten. And each of the four homeroom classes performed a story on stage. And one did Pete the Cat, I Love My Red Shoes.

And one did The Younger Caterpillar. And they did these different books, right? And they sort of did them the way you're saying either one class had signs that they held up for each of the different things for brown bear and the other class had this other thing that was repeating. I can see that with yours as well in that playfulness of January.

Is this right? I got 

Carter: a review. I got a trade review. I don't remember where it was from, but it was for either Circle Under Berry or some of these are snails and you know, it's. It's not totally advised to, like, live or die by what reviews say about you, but one of them said What that one person says about you, is that what you're saying?

Right, exactly. But someone called it chantable, and I really loved that, um 

Matthew: Oh, wait, you and I can nerd out in library speak over this. Okay, 

Carter: okay. Say your thing, 

Matthew: and then, I, I have a note about this, we're gonna go deep, let's go. Okay, okay. Talk about chantable. So, 

Carter: like, chantable, it occurred to me, you know, so often reviewers, like, point out things that you did that, like, 

Matthew: You 

Carter: meant to do, but you didn't really know that you pulled off, or they show you things that you didn't really mean to do, but like, oh, huh, look at that.

I made it chantable. But it does track with the way I think about how language sounds, but I've carried that with me as I've worked on new projects. Chantable to me means like sticky and it gets in your head and it's something that kids can really, um, sort of link onto regardless of where they are, you know, as a, as a reader.

Um, the, the way like a, a tune gets stuck in your head. 

Matthew: It does, you know, so I brought up Brown Bear, but I'm sure as a librarian, you've heard, as a book creator, you've heard Bill Martin Jr. interviewed saying that he wrote all of his, all of his books first as. Rhythms, all of them before there was brown bear.

It was bum, bum, bum, bum, bum, bum, bum, bum, bum, bum, bum, bum, bum, bum, bum. And all of them allegedly were that way. I have 

Carter: voice notes of that exact thing. 

Matthew: There you go. So I was going to, so I want to ask you about that playful rhyme scheme in round and round, but it's not. foreign from the way you wrote Circle Under Berry, from the way you wrote Some of These Are Snails.

It's a, it's a similar approach, maybe is what I should say, compared to your other picture books that perhaps we could say are more narrative in their approach. These are more rhythmic. 

Carter: Yeah. Yeah. I think rhythmic is the perfect word too. There are cases in certain stanzas where there is, you That's true rhyme happening at the end of a line, but I'm much more interested in the cadence of a line and how, how they all fit together like a puzzle.

Um, I want to think about, you know, the assonance and consonance of the words leading up to an end rhyme and, um, and often, you know, shapes, colors. animals, months of the year, like all of this has pretty limited vocabulary just by nature of what it is. So, um, the puzzle of how to, how to best do that is, is satisfying for me as a writer.

And I, I hope it's the kind of thing that's like catnip for librarians.

Matthew: So tell me about Origins for Round and Round. You talked, you just briefly mentioned about voice notes. Is that, Do you remember where like Apple entry was for this story? Which one came first? 

Carter: Yeah. You know, um, at the time that I wrote this a couple of years ago, my personal life was really busy and I didn't have a ton of time to sit down at my desk or, you know, spend time out in the woods with my notebook.

And so, um, part of, of writing this just came from the necessity of, I have 10 minutes. What can I, what can I write that's fun for me? And in 10 minutes, you can sort of brainstorm, like, what's interesting about February? And then the next day in 10 minutes, like, how can I put all these interesting things together in like a three line poem?

It was very, it was a very bite sized approach, which worked really well for a book that's not so narrative, because I didn't have to hold the whole scope of, you know, an arc in the same way. Um, but, but I also was really interested in constructing the, the world building or the puzzle of the language around the way each month sounds to say it.

So, for example, on January and February pages, a lot of the words have like an air, airy sound because that's inside of January, February. 

Matthew: Yeah. 

Carter: Um. And so, you know, by the time we get to June, it's the text is something like, lose your shoes, choose bathing suits and snoozy afternoons. So a lot of the language has that vowel sound that's inside of June, 

Matthew: um, 

Carter: which is really fun.

It was really fun to sort of say, here's, here's my rules and, uh, I'm gonna, I'm gonna, puzzle it out from, from there. And for me, you know, I, I love hearing rhyming books, but my ear sometimes can get a little bit restless if the, if the rhyme in the meter is so perfect from page to page to page, I, I'm looking for something different to, to shift the sound.

Um, I don't know songwriting, but it's like the way that a bridge sounds different from like the, the repetition of a chorus and a verse, right? Like your ear is like, Ooh, something new there. Um, I think that really, that, that idea, that structure really was the foundation. 

Matthew: That playfulness in the mouth as you're reading it aloud, then I think is it, you're, it allows you to be a little loose from, from that structure, which probably also, like you're saying, helps the reader know there, there aren't such strict rules with this.

Let's just play. Play with these words, play with how that sounds, and maybe even we could say how, how it makes you feel, how some of these words evoke a feeling we already sort of naturally may, I don't know if we do by six or seven, but certainly in our 40s, we already have a feeling of you say March and I think a thing, you say August, I think a thing, um, so already just saying the month is evoking something.

Carter: Right. Right. 

Matthew: Well, then you bring this mouse into this. I mean, even you think 

Carter: about the word December. Yeah. The word December has like burr. Burr in 

Matthew: it. So there's November. Yeah. 

Carter: Right. Like that's kind of cool. Um, that was fun. 

Matthew: Yeah, you even have like February. Yeah, we don't say the B. What a 

Carter: weird, weird word.

Matthew: It's funny that things just sort of turn out, don't they? Um, I, I was saying though, you introduced this little mouse throughout the story, right? Was that also a, that feels to me like a very illustratory thing to do. Ye who doesn't call herself an illustrator or is playing with her comfort around calling herself an illustrator.

Like you have a mouse that is throughout, even as a silhouette. 

Carter: I know. So the mouse is 100 percent just my creative defiance in the face of every single time I put a mouse in a story, nobody wants to acquire it as a book, which is fine. Some things we just write for fun. And I've just like, my writing group will just tease me endlessly about how like, Oh, like, here's, here's a new mouse story.

Like, is this, is this the one? I just, I don't know what it is. Like, it's probably because. You know, there's such legendary mice in children's literature, right? Like, Desperow, Frederick, Stuart Little. Yeah, the one you give a cookie to. So, like, I wanted a mouse. And, um, at the time I was writing a lot of mice stories, I was working on, um, or Daniel Meares was working on the illustrations for Big and Small and Inbetween.

And in publishing, like, it had kind of been off my desk for a while and with him. And when I first got some of the illustrations back and I saw the cover, there's a mouse on the cover of the book. And it had just been so long, like, I forgot I had already, like, oh yeah, I did, I do have a mouse story. But anyway, mice for me just sort of feel like, I'm putting one in here.

But I also, there was a a little golden book that my Grandparents had at their house and it was called Tommy visits the doctor was probably from the 60s and there was Parallel stories of Tommy going to see his doctor for his yearly checkup and in the corner of every page There was a little funny doctor and a little funny patient and I just I thought that was so cute.

So I just completely borrowed that idea 

Matthew: I want you to go like the ultimate defiance and just write a story of like a mouse village and the mouse bookseller in the mouse book village can't sell any books because mice can't sell books. It's just so good. Come on. 

Carter: I'm 

Matthew: writing it 

Carter: down. 

Matthew: I'm writing it down.

It's gonna happen. Can't wait. And for no reason at all, thanks Matthew for that little nugget of inspiration. Exactly. We know though in children's books, we know from being librarians, not just authors and illustrators, every, every rule and every don't do has an exception that is an exceptional book.

That's all right. Put that mouse in there. It's good. Count those mice. Let's go, let's go to counting mice. Let's go to shapes of mice and all that. Um, I want to hear about you debuting as an illustrator, as an author illustrator, but as an illustrator, as we get ready to talk about Circle Underberry, and as we get ready to talk about some of these snails, talk to me about where that came from and playing with collage and just really Carter, I think, I think probably your reviews would say the same thing, but you just sort of, I know these are math concept books.

I know that these are, um, order, uh, and direction books. I know that these are, they're

perfect for that, but they also, they also feel so much to me, like, um, press here in that way of when, do you remember, we would have both been in the library, I think at that same time of when Herve Tollero wrote Press Here.

It just kind of felt like I was watching a guy play, making a book and I got to participate, but it really felt like you're, that author, illustrator is just playing and I just got invited to play with Circle Underberry, both of them feel like you're just sort of playing with the reader. 

Carter: Right, right. Yeah, I love that description.

And I think in some way, The idea that I was hesitant to call myself an illustrator helped me here because I didn't, I didn't impose any pressure on myself to create the next great picture book, or impress my agent or my editor. I, I, You know, I wasn't living up to, you know, some career, like what's my next great book.

It wasn't that at all. It was so new. And there was a lot of freedom and like, who says I can't and like, let's just, let's just try it out. And the, you know, the early versions of Circle Underbury was actual play with post it notes on my desk, rearranging the order of things and finding where the words went along with what the pictures were doing and where maybe altering those could also be fun.

And, you know, I think about being a motion graphics artist and often, like, we're creating animation that has, like, a timeline. And so what I was thinking about was, every time I turned a page, if this were an animation I was creating, each new page would be a place where I had pressed pause. Like, stuff had happened, and then I stopped it to see where I landed.

Um, and that sort of helps me think through. the way the book unfolded, but we certainly play, you know, we, we talk about kids all the time. You and me, like the way kids are just so naturally, um, fearless and dynamic with art. Like nobody tells them what to do necessarily. They just move things around until it looks cool to them.

Right. Um, that's a lot of what you can do with collage because I'm not committing marks to paper until I glue it down. Um, I'm trying to be like more comfortable with sketching, but there's some, there's some, um, brain block to like, once I've drawn a line, like it's there, but with collage, until I've rubbed a glue stick on the back of the paper, I can, I can move it any way I want.

Um, and that feels fun. 

Matthew: Did you do it all by hand? 

Carter: I did. Yeah, I did. Everything exists by hand. Um, I painted the paper and, um, I cut freehand. I don't, I don't generally draw shapes to cut from. I just. You know, Henri Matisse would say drawing with scissors. That's, uh, that's what I, I like to do. And some of that comes from, you know, this false narrative.

I said myself that I can't draw. So I just don't. And now I really actually like doing it like that. 

Matthew: Did, when you submit a book like this to your editor, had you already glued? the pieces onto white paper that got scanned? Or did you, I know this is getting really in the weeds, but I'm just curious if it was, here's the berry and the circle for this page, you scan them and then digitally place them so we don't get shadow or so that we do, or so I don't, I wonder.


Carter: right. I, um, I'm really, this is very nerdy, but I'm really particular about the scale of the texture. So when I'm making all of the assets that go into the book, like all of the circles or squares or flowers or tigers or whatever went into it is generally about the same size. And then I scan everything and reposition in Photoshop, but everything does physically exist.

So when I first sent in a dummy of Circle Underbury to my editor, I did have like One or two samples, um, but most of it was just, um, very simple, like shaped outlines from, I think I used procreate actually, for the dummy. And you know, another way, like, sort of coming in the back door of illustration helped me.

Like I, Taylor Norman was my editor on this and we had worked together. I know, I know it doesn't get better. 

Matthew: Um, 

Carter: we had worked together on a number of books at this point already. Um, and so I think it would have looked really different if I had to convince, like, a stranger that like, Hey, Carter Higgins, this person you might think of as a writer, has this whole other thing.

Like, do you want to just take a look at it? And it was just, it was so seamless to go to Treehouse 

Matthew: with her, or which one? Yeah, not Valentine, right? Was it Treehouse? 

Carter: Yeah. Yeah, both. Everything before Treehouse. And this is not a Valentine. We had done bikes for sale. We were like well into. Oh, I don't think I realized you did so many together.

Matthew: I 

Carter: think at this point, maybe we had started Audrey L and Audrey W the chapter books, so she, she knew that she shepherded the project so beautifully because she let, she let me work out what I was trying to do, but trusted that I could get there. Um, and I'm not sure an editor who was brand new to me would, we would, without the history, I mean, I know they're nice people, but like, what proof do I have with a stranger that I can, I can earn 

Matthew: it.

Carter: And that's not bad 

Matthew: to have to earn it. That's okay. 

Carter: Yeah. Then she speaks my language. So they were really fun projects too. 

Matthew: You earned it with yourself. I mean, your language, I'm going to just read to you just the first two pages that it's circle under Barry. Berry over square, circle over berry under orange over square.

It's that, that's the brown bear, brown bear. I see a brown bear looking at me. Um, it's, it's lovely. It's, I, I like, I like the word that it's a chant. But also, it's a rhythm. It's a dance. It's a song. It's beautiful. It's great. I, um, I, I love, or I delight, Carter in the fact that you were able to play, and even through edits and through yourself working it out, keep it so playful and pure.

It's, it's, I have to imagine you have many, many, many very big fans of this book, but it's It's so pure. Of course you do. It was 

Carter: really fun to make this. I mean, I hope I never stopped making books, but I just see it the way that those entered the world. It was such a surprise to me. And I think like, as a creative person, that's sort of what we're all chasing, right?

Like, what are the moments where everything that you love and see and make and think sort of like erupt into one project, like just collide. Um, I'm not generally a writer that like, things just, fall out of me or, um, you know, like character, I, I don't hear characters talking in my head. Like I would love, I would love to have that experience sometime, but, um, I think this is sort of my version of that.

Like the, if the Venn diagram of Carter Higgins exists, like Circle Underberry is sort of at the center. 

Matthew: The, the, maybe perhaps one of the purest expressions of you through it. It's, it's terrific. Well, I, I can't wait for Round and Round to be out. to be, uh, in my library to start my year, you know, now I teach, let's get really personal because it's just you and me.

Um, I teach, I'm back in public school and I teach pre K. now. So I have even more people, seven years of a run with children. It's the greatest. And so to continue having more books to add to both ends of the, of, of those scales and also books that feel like. Oh, I could share this with, with my third or fourth graders and we could make books like this.

We could play alongside you and make books like, make books like this. That's a really fun thing. So I, I look forward to, uh, just bringing you back into my library, um, next year, but Carter, I want to thank you for Wouldn't we have 

Carter: had so much fun as library co workers? In another lifetime. That's, that's my dream.

Matthew: Well, you're on, you're on my coast for now. If you keep staying on my coast, we're going to have you over for an author visit. And we'll just be like, okay, so for this next block of presentation, Mr. Winter and Ms. Higgins are just going to play together. 

Carter: We're just going to sit in the corner and like tell each other stories.

I love it. 

Matthew: Well, Carter, on that note, why don't I honor your time and take us back to those kids by me asking you that I'll see. a library full of children. Tomorrow morning, is there a message that I can bring to them from you? 

Carter: I love this question, Matthew. Every time I hear people answer this, I, I am like, yeah, yeah, that.

Um, yeah, you know, I've been thinking a lot about the questions that grownups pose to kids, um, which to them must feel kind of illogical or nonsensical or like out of context. And the one in particular that stands out is What do you want to be when you grow up? 

Matthew: I think 

Carter: I tell the kids that there's a lot of grown ups out here in the world that are just big versions of their smaller selves.

And so I would want them to know that their ideas and thoughts and imaginations are just as good as the grown ups. And they don't have to work too hard at growing up or getting older to become something. Sure, be curious, try new things and, and stretch a little bit, but you're already a whole real perfect person.


Matthew: Thank you to Carter Higgins for joining me on The Children’s Book Podcast. 

You can pick up your own copy of Circle Under Berry (Chronicle Books), Some of These are Snails (Chronicle Books), and her latest, Round and Round the Year We Go (Neal Porter Books) wherever books are found. Consider supporting independent bookstores by shopping through You can also use my affiliate link by clicking on the book’s name in our show notes. I highly recommend checking out the audiobooks! Both are available through and you can support independent bookstores in the process! 

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And on that note…

Be well. And read on.

End Of Episode

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