As an elementary Reading Specialist, I have been teaching kids to read for more than 15 years.
"Reading Specialist" is a designation you get for taking some extra courses, but I have actually spent pretty much my entire career teaching nothing but reading and writing--usually to four classes each day.
My first books, the middle-grade novels Zombiekins and Sir Fartsalot Hunts the Booger, are often called “reluctant reader” titles because their humor and cool illustrations appeal to many kids who aren’t otherwise keen on reading.
As a reading teacher, I thought, Why not make books with that same kid appeal for beginner readers? You know, hook them on reading at the starting line, before they become "reluctant readers."
So that's what I am trying to do now.
It seemed like a pretty good “concept” at the time, but props to my esteemed friend and illustrator Ben Hodson for transforming my sketchy ideas into visual romps bursting with kid appeal. (See Ben's other books here.)