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Screen Free Week is Coming! Go Outside and Do Something Fun – Chris Raschka Joins Us

April 26, 2013

Today we welcome Chris Raschka to RAoReading for the fourth and final visit with our authors and illustrators who will be kicking off Screen Free Week, starting this Sunday April 28th at The Eric Carle Museum.

Chris Raschka is the Caldecott Award Winning author and illustrator of A Ball for Daisy, the recently published Everyone Can Learn to Ride a Bicycle and many other books for children and families.  Today he talks with us about what he and Daisy do for fun!

Everyone Can Learn Bicycle

Your latest picture book EVERYONE CAN LEARN TO RIDE A BICYCLE was just published, are you an avid cyclist?

An avid cyclist? I’m not sure what you mean by avid. I like to get from here to there, easily, with the breezes on my face, seeing the neighborhoods roll comfortably by, and that’s why I ride a bicycle. However, in the big bike world, I probably don’t count as avid. I have a nearly fifty year old Austrian bicycle, red, sold by Sears back in the day, upright, high-handle barred, which sits patiently chained to a parking rules sign in front of my building. It has a Wald wire basket on the front, a Brooks saddle which I’ve protected with a handmade cover from a Chinatown bag. The chrome fenders are impeccable and shine spectacularly. The wheels are steel and are rusting. An avid cyclist probably doesn’t chain her bike up on the street. Call me a devoted and grateful cyclist.

Do you prefer to be indoors or outdoors?

I don’t have a preference really on indoors and outdoors. Depends on the circumstances I suppose. There have been times when I’ve been in one place and wanted to be in the other, certainly, but it’s gone both ways. Yesterday, I took much of the day off from work, spending most of the morning outdoors paddling and surfing  about on a board in the forty degree cold Atlantic Ocean and I was very, very happy, preferring to be there over most other places I can think of. However, in the afternoon, sitting in my chair indoors in my studio and feeling every muscle in my body thank me for finally crawling out of the water, I was very, very happy again.

What does author/illustrator Chris Raschka do when he’s “screen free”?

See above. Really, much of my time is screen free. I generally don’t have a computer at my studio and there is no internet connection. Checking my email generally happens once a week for an hour and a half. I walk or ride my bike across the park to a wonderful library. Sometimes I check the live surf cam for Long Beach. Otherwise, I’m pretty much screen free.

Tell us about your favorite place to read, please.

I like to read on the Subway. That’s fun. If I’m honest, the place I read most is sitting on the threshold of my kitchen, on the floor, leaning against the door frame, with an espresso cup next to my right knee and my cat stretched out in my lap, late at night, or early in the morning. That must be my favorite place.

DAISY has obviously already discovered the joy of playing outdoors and unplugged—how do we share this idea with everyone during Screen Free Week?

Dogs know, don’t they? As much fun as any modern video game is today, no matter how complex, it never will beat the true complexity of walking, running, sniffing, jumping, playing catch, wrestling, exploring, lying in the grass, and just breathing the air of outdoors, if you give yourself and all your senses over to it, like a dog might. Look at dogs. Look how happy they are to have gone out and then come home. That’s living!

Ball for Daisy

If you’d like to catch up with our other Screen Free authors and illustrators you can click through for posts from Tad Hills, Bob Staake and Dan Yaccarino. All of these authors will be participating in the kickoff event for Screen Free Week at the Eric Carle Museum on Sunday April 28th!

Share your Screen Free plans with us in the comments section.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. April 27, 2013 12:57 pm

    That Mr Raschka sure knows dogs! I think he must be one in disguise! I need to check out his new book. Thanks for this nice interview!


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