Books play an important role in developing the love of reading in children, it teaches them valuable lessons and reinforces their understanding of what is right and wrong. Rena Traxel is a librarian and a writer who loves sharing her passion of literature to the world through creating reading challenges, and offering workshops to help avid writers. She writes children’s picture books, and young adult novels. I had the opportunity to interview her as part of my Community Service Learning component in my English 103 course. Below is my interview with the lovely Rena Traxel:
- What inspired you to write children’s books? Does being a librarian and working around children change the themes of your books? If so how does it influence your writing?
I really enjoy reading children’s literature. It is so full of joy and surprise. I also remember being in grade 2 or 3 and having an author visit the class. I can remember just being so amazed by this author and wanting to be like her when I grew up. I have noticed since starting to work with children a couple of years ago, that I’m a lot more creative in my stories. I’m a lot crazier with my ideas because children do not hold to the same logic as we do as adults. They are much freer in their thinking and this has influenced me to be more free in my writing.
- You mentioned on your website site that you lived in Ecuador for two years, are there any experiences during your time in Ecuador that influenced you to become a writer or reminded you of the importance of reading books?
I’ve always been a writer /storyteller, however, I did a lot of journalism during my time in Ecuador. My current work in progress is set in Ecuador and loosely based off those journals. Spending time in another country though has shown me the importance of having diverse literature. There are so many places and cultures and perspectives that we don’t know about or hear from in North America because there isn’t enough literature reflecting those experiences.
- I grew up in a country where having access to children’s book was limited and I think the same could be said about some parts of Ecuador. With that in mind, what is your opinion about the lack of access to books in developing nations and how it impacts young children?
I’ve never really thought about it. I’ve always had books. Reading is just something I’ve always done. But it does make sense that lack of resources would lead to less reading. That’s why I think libraries are so important! They provide tons of books at very little cost to the patron. Oddly enough I was a struggling reader in elementary. The past couple of years I’ve shared that story with students. Now that I’m much, much older I do see the value in being able to read and have access to books.
The main thing I learned from my interview with Rena Traxel, is to pursue reading and to be thankful that I live in a country where having access to literature is as easy as having access to water. Rena shows a fondness to the world of literature and she encourages young children to learn to love books and appreciate their value. Her work as a librarian allows her to share her passion to people in all walks of life, inspiring new writers and readers alike.