For people who haven’t yet met Erik and his sister, Josie, they are both bloggers who are also very creative and inspiring people.

Erik’s blog can be found at This Kid Reviews Books, and that’s what the blog focuses on for the most part, his book reviews. Erik, aka “This Kid” is 10 years old, and writes excellent reviews of picture books, chapter books and middle grade novels from a kid’s perspective. He has a monthly book review column in his local newspaper.

I got to know Erik through PiBoIdMo in November 2011, where participants were challenged to come up with one picture book idea per day for the month. Erik and I were both successful in meeting that challenge. Our association has continued through the 12 x 12 in 2012 picture book writing challenge. Erik is also an active participant in Perfect Picture Book Fridays. I am honored to know Erik and to introduce him to those of you who don’t already know him.

His sister, Josie, is 8 years old, and is a talented artist. I’m especially partial to her dragons! Josie blogs at Animals and Art. She does all sorts of different types of arts and crafts … it’s great to see her at work on her projects.

Erik has a feature on his blog called Creative Kids, and that feature and Josie’s art will be our focus today. Because (drum roll here) I’m interviewing both of them today! (Note: Josie finds language expression and writing a bit of a challenge, so there are times when her Mom has added a few words in bracketed italics, to provide explanation or clarification.)

Me:  Erik, I’m going to link to Ms. Tulloch’s and Ms. Hershenson’s interviews of you so that people will know about your book reviews. For this interview, could you tell me about your plans and hopes for Creative Kids on your blog?

Erik: At first I wanted to just have other kids be guest reviewers on my blog, but then kids started sending me stories and artwork they did and I thought their work was really great. When I posted the things they sent me they would tell me how great it was that people from all over the world saw what they did. I decided to make a whole separate category, “Creative Kids” on my blog for things from kids other than reviews. I want to let kids express themselves and show off their talents to the world. What I hope is that by doing this, kids will be encouraged with their talents and it will help them feel good about themselves and maybe it will help them when they grow up.

 

Me:  Erik, could you tell us some of the creative things you do, to give my readers an idea of the variety of things kids can be involved in?

Erik: I think my blog is a creative thing. It has helped me become a better writer. I also like to write poetry and draw (with pencils and pens). I am writing a book called “The Adventures of Tomato and Pea – Part One, The Adventure Begins” and I also write a column about books for our local free newspaper, The Upper Bucks Free Press (something I NEVER thought I could do). I am learning to play the trumpet and I lived in Antarctica for four months with penguins (just kidding).

 

Me:  First I have to giggle about the penguins! 🙂 Erik, how would you encourage other kids to explore their creativity?

Erik: Do what you like and find other people who like to do the same thing. You can learn from them and they will help you. Try something different, something you never thought you would like to do (or wouldn’t be good at). Playing a musical instrument is something I never thought I would like. I do like it and it makes me happy even though I’m not very good at it (I don’t let that bother me). Like Ms. Frizzle from the Magic School Bus says “Get out there and make some mistakes!”

 

Me:  Josie, I really like looking at all the different kinds of art you do. Could you tell us some of the things you do in arts and crafts?

Josie: I like to paint the most of all. I paint with brushes or my hands. I like to enter art contests. I like to do anything colorful and pretty. I color with crayons and markers and draw animals.  I make jewelry from the rocks I make {in my rock tumbler}. I make braided jewelry too. I like to make sculptures out of clay and things I find in our yard. I can sew too. I made a pillow for me and a sleeping bag for my doll.

 

Me: Josie, what do you like most about doing art?

Josie: I am happy when I make things. I am proud of my projects – A LOT! It makes me think. I like to think. { I think what Josie is trying to say is that she can concentrate when she is doing an art project. This is something that is difficult for her in everyday life}

 

Me:  Josie, do you like doing your blog? If another kid wanted to do a blog, would you say yes?

Josie: Yes. I like my blog. I like to put my pictures and artwork on but writing is hard. My mom and Dad help me type. Erik writes more than me but I like my pictures. Yes I want to see more kids blogs and artwork!

 

Me: Both of you, you’re both very creative kids, and you’re always doing cool stuff. What sort of projects are you going to be doing next, do you know?

Erik: Right now Josie and I are working on a “Self” project for Youth Tube. Kids 12 and under can submit a self-portrait and tell a little about themselves. I am also working on a stop-motion Lego movie I am making using an app on my ipod. It’s pretty cool to learn how to do stop-motion! Over the summer I want to finish the edits on my “Tomato and Pea” book. Right now I am working on a skit I have to do as part of my requirement for getting my black belt in Taekwon do. I am writing a script and I asked Josie if she will be one of the actors in it (she said she would). We have to perform it in front of the students at my school.

Josie: I am making my “Self” picture. I just made a new cover for “We are in a Book” {by Mo Willems} for an art contest. I posted the picture {I made} on my blog. Erik and I are going to make a picture book together when we are out of school {this summer}. I am going to tell him what I want to say and we will make pictures for it.

 

Me:  Both of you, if a kid wants to submit something to Creative Kids, how can they do that?

Erik: If ANY kid wants to submit anything creative (as long as it is appropriate) they can send it to

Erik (at) ThisKidReviewsBooks (dot) com!

 

Thanks so much to both of you for doing this interview with me. It was fun!

If anyone would like to read interviews about Erik’s writing and reviews, you can read Diane Tulloch’s interview and Sandi Hershenson’s interview. Enjoy!

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