Rickshaw, a wire bridge, train, toboggan…these are just a few of the ways kids get to school. Adventures to School, by Baptiste Paul and Miranda Paul, Illustrated by Isabel Muñoz, shares some of unique ways kids around the world go to school every day! Learn more about authors Baptiste Paul and Miranda Paul:
1.When did you first realize you wanted to be an author?
Baptiste: At a young age, I enjoyed listening to amazing oral storytellers, so perhaps that seed — the author seed—was planted when I was a child. I did not know anyone who was an author, so the thought of being an author never really crossed my mind. I just enjoy writing about my own experience.
Miranda: I wrote my first book when I was eight years old. I still have it, in fact! Like Baptiste, I didn’t know any authors. We didn’t have them visit our school. So although I always knew I loved drawing, creating, studying science, and writing (both fiction and nonfiction stuff), it didn’t occur to me until well into adulthood that I could/should work toward a career as an author.
2.How did you come up with the idea for Adventures to School?
Baptiste: It would be nice to take credit for the idea for Adventures to School but it was totally our editor’s idea. She came up with the idea, we just had to do the research and write the stories.
Miranda: Once the general idea was suggested to us, we had to dig deep into many stories. We hope readers spend some time looking at the acknowledgements, authors’ note, back matter, and sources. Ideas and are really all around us. The research, writing, and revising are always the tougher parts.
3.Which page from Adventures to School was your favorite to write? Why?
Baptiste: My favorite page to write was the toughest one to process emotionally: Ukraine. I had to put all the emotions aside and be completely objective — refusing to place blame on who is responsible for the conflict. Understanding the conflict is one thing, but trying to process children going to school under those circumstances is tough to comprehend.
Miranda: So hard to choose! But the opening spread, which shows a girl from the Guna (Kuna/Cuna) Islands in Panama is a special spread to me. It’s incredible the choices that some families make in the name of a good education. A longtime family acquaintance who is from the island, and her parents (who still live there) consulted on the research and the illustrations. In a few weeks, she’s bringing copies of the book down to Ustupu.
4.What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Baptiste: I enjoy DIY projects. I like to build things out of wood, cement and stone. I also tap our trees and make maple syrup, and I volunteer a lot my kids’ school.
Miranda: Visiting schools, hiking outside, playing board games, or traveling. Oh, and making pizza in the outdoor wood-fire oven Baptiste built us!
5.What was your favorite book to read as child?
Baptiste: As a child, my favorite books were the Nancy Drew series, The Hard Boys and all the classics, like Beauty and the Beast, and Jack and the Beanstalk.
Miranda: My favorite book as a kid was The Giver, by Lois Lowry. Today, I’m a big fan of everything Jacqueline Woodson writes. Her book The Other Side will always hold a special place in my heart.