In the year since the pandemic began, my 9-year-old son has downloaded 137 Boxcar Children books onto his Kindle—and read them all. He’s also finished stacks and stacks of juvenile mystery, fantasy and fiction books borrowed from the library or delivered to our doorstep from Amazon. If he’s not playing Minecraft or Roblox with friends, practicing karate or arguing with his younger brother, he’s probably reading in his room.
I was just like him when I was a kid. Books were my escape, and I read them quickly, too. My favorite series when I was my son’s age was The Baby-Sitters Club by Ann M. Martin, and I can remember how excited I was each time a new book was published. Eventually, I outgrew the series, but my love of reading remained steadfast.
Naturally, I’m excited that March is National Book Month. To celebrate, we’re shining a spotlight on five local children’s book authors and one very lucky little girl whose artwork is featured in J.K. Rowling’s new book, “The Ickabog.” Our spring intern, University of Maryland senior Jenn Attanasio, did a fantastic job interviewing the talented 8-year-old artist as well as writing about art subscription boxes for crafty kids.
Also in this issue: Writer Aliza Friedlander explores the growing popularity of Little Free Libraries and how you can set one up in your own front yard or neighborhood. Our friends at Montgomery County Public Libraries are joining us for the first time to share books about drawing, painting, sewing, filmmaking and other visual arts. And we take a look at the benefits of theater arts programming for children of all abilities.
For almost a year, Washington FAMILY has been producing only digital editions. So it feels a bit like serendipity that we’re making our return to print in a month that’s all about reading and writing. I hope you enjoy our March 2021 issue as much as we enjoyed making it.
Stay safe and healthy!