Our children’s book group, or ‘Kid Collective’ as they’re known around here, has been making headlines with their bold, innovative projects for a while now. And while you likely recognize some of their mega-bestselling titles and series (Big Fat Notebooks, anyone?), you may not know the players that make the group so special.
We decided to change that.
Taking inspiration from the questions in Grace Bonney’s In the Company of Women, here’s our interview with Justin Krasner, editor in the Kid Collective.
What did you want to be as a child?
I once wrote NASA a letter asking to join the space program. I told them I had zero experience but had taken a handful of airplane flights and only gotten sick on half of them. Most importantly, I was willing to sacrifice my life to be the first child in space. My argument was that if a dog could be sent up there, why not me?
Name a fear or professional challenge that keeps you up at night?
Not every book has to change the world, but if it means something to someone, I’ve done something right. I hated reading as a kid, but I loved using books as tools to create my own worlds. I’d grab one of those giant cross-section books from the shelf, lay it on my bed, and just stare at the illustrations for hours, ignoring the text and making up my own stories. Books aren’t just stories, they’re story-making machines. They teach us to tell our own tales.
What was the best piece of advice you were given when you were starting out?
What makes you interesting and valuable isn’t just what you do in the office, but outside of it.
What is your favorite thing about your workspace?
I get to work with the most curious people in the world. Creativity is just curiosity in action.
If you were magically given three more hours per day, what would you do with them?
Go for a walk in the morning, read outside in the afternoon, learn something new at night.
What tool, object or ritual could you not live without in your workday?
I’d be lost without my teammates: authors, illustrators, everyone inside and outside of the Kids Collective. Nothing great is made in a vacuum. You need air!
What is your no-fail go-to when you need inspiration or to get out of a creative rut?
A shower. If only I could have one installed at my desk…