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PW talks to Max Greenfield

PW talks to Max Greenfield

PW talks to Max Greenfield

Max Greenfield is best known as an actor and has appeared in recurring roles on television series such as Veronica Mars, Ugly Betty and New Girl. Since 2018, Greenfield has played Dave Johnson on the CBS sitcom The Neighborhood. Greenfield has previously published three picture books; his fourth picture book, Good night thoughts, illustrated by James Serafino, will be published in September. Greenfield is currently filming an indie film in Portland, Oregon titled Let’s have childrenand wrote his answers to P.Whis interrogatories.

You wrote Good night thoughts in tribute to a friend, Leslie Jordan. Why did you choose to honor your friend with a picture book about night worries?

Before Good night thoughts was conceived, both Jennifer Klonsky (publisher of Penguin Young Readers) and I were drawn to the idea of ​​making a more traditional children’s book. It was right around the time of Leslie Jordan’s disappearance. Leslie was a dear friend, and one topic we often discussed was fear. The basics of the story we’re telling Good night thoughts builds on some of these discussions.

Do you remember when you were a kid, what were your biggest bedtime worries? It was the same kinds of exaggerated fears as the character Good night thoughts It has?

I’m glad I don’t remember what I was afraid of when I was a kid. I’m sure it was no different than what I fear now as an adult. We tried to cover a lot of ground in the book, allowing readers with different fears to have an access point. Unfortunately, they all rang true for me.

Do you think kids these days are growing up with more anxiety than previous generations of kids?

It’s hard to say. However, my experience has been that fear and anxiety are part of everyone’s lives, whether we like it or not. I think I’m more interested in how we approach the subject of his acceptance.

What do you think of James Serafino’s illustrations?

James’ illustrations make the book. It was set up like this: I really wanted to teach an artist to bring these thoughts to life, and James exceeded all expectations.

You are a busy and successful actor and this kind of work takes time with long days of shooting. However, this is the fourth children’s book. What is your process? Do you write between takes or do you write between projects?

Writing these books has been one of the great joys of my life. I think the process blends into everything I do. It is also very collaborative. I loved working with everyone at Penguin, James and Mike Lowery, who illustrated the first series of books. It never feels like work.

The previous three picture books focused on literacy: I don’t want to read this book, This book is not a giftand I don’t want to read this book out loud. The last book, about not wanting to read aloud, had any impact on your decision to write Good night thoughts?

Yes. The first three books are all about fear. Fear of reading in general, fear of a different approach to learning, and fear of reading aloud. Again, I think the purpose of these books et al Good night thoughts it’s finding a way to accept that fear and then build a different relationship with it.

Does the prospect of being surrounded by thousands of librarians later this month give you any anxiety or even nightmares, or is it worth the chance to visit San Diego?

Being surrounded by thousands of librarians in the heart of San Diego is exactly where I always thought I would end up in my life.

What do you hope readers take away from reading it? Good night thoughts?

I want readers to have their own experience with the book. Far be it from me to underestimate their ability to extract more from the book than I could have ever imagined.

Max Greenfield is an ALA special speaker; he will be in conversation with Kit Ballenger on the main stage in Ballroom 20 at the San Diego Convention Center on Sunday, June 30 at 9:30 am10:30 AM PST.

Good night thoughts by Max Greenfield, illus. by James Serafino. Putnam, $18.99 Sept. 3 ISBN 978-0-59-369789-4.