Mac Barnett is a riot. In person and on the page. His joy for children’s literature—and for the process of creating children’s literature—could make a book lover out of a reading curmudgeon (not that we have any of those in CCIRA). He is so tapped into what is funny and what is true for kids. Mac has a reverence for the picture book as art form that makes him a perfect fit with our theme, Literacy Renaissance: Invention, Intention, and Close Study. I saw Mac speak at an SCBWI Conference years ago, and the entire place was buzzing about this new (at the time) comic voice in kidlit. You will not want to miss his sessions at the 2018 Conference—guaranteed laughs!
His artistic collaborations are legendary—with illustrator Dan Santat on Oh No! (Or How my Science Project Destroyed the World) and Oh No! Not Again!, with illustrator Adam Rex on Chloe and the Lion, with Jon Scieszka on Battle Bunny, and with illustrator Jon Klassen on the award winning Sam and Dave Dig a Hole and Extra Yarn. In addition to his picture books, Mac also writes middle grade novels, including the Brixton Brothers mystery series and the Terrible Two series. If what they say is true, and you can measure a person by the company he keeps, then Mac Barnett is golden.
To see a full list of his many books, check out his website. (The links in the titles above are to some of his book trailers; if you have not yet shared book trailers with students, you definitely should!) For a little more insight into what makes Mac tick, watch his TED Talk entitled, “Why a Good Book is a Secret Door,” in which he discusses what is so special about writing for kids. Make sure to watch to the end—it will warm your reader heart!