We posed two questions to three of the author/illustrators who are helping raise money for libraries at Moore's tornado-damaged schools.
What does it mean to you to be able to help the children of Moore?
Knowing children are your biggest fans, what did you think when you read about or saw video of the destroyed Moore schools?
Here are their responses:
Dav Pilkey, author/illustrator of the “Captain Underpants” series
I'm very grateful to Jeff Kinney for organizing and setting up this benefit. I hope that in some small way, we'll be able to help bring some fun and laughter (as well as library books) to the schools that were so affected by the tornado last May.
I've been making comics and writing stories since I was in the second grade, always with the goal of entertaining my peers. In a way, I still think of children (my readers) as my peers, even though I'm now old enough to be their grandfather. So the videos and the photos were incredibly difficult for me to watch. I think I probably had a similar reaction to most school-age children who viewed scenes of the tornado that destroyed the Moore schools. It seemed like it was all happening to my friends.
Stephan Pastis, author/illustrator of “Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made” and the “Pearls Before Swine” syndicated comic strip
Being able to help others is the most wonderful part of my job. I've been fortunate enough to visit the troops on USO tours to Iraq and Afghanistan, and those moments are the most rewarding of my career.
There is no sadder story than one in which children are harmed. As a parent, it is especially difficult to fathom.
Lincoln Peirce, author/illustrator of the “Big Nate” series and syndicated comic strip
“A friend of mine has a good definition of children: that they're just people with fewer life experiences. For some of these kids, this might be the first time they've experienced trauma or loss or fear on such a personal level. It's the responsibility of adults in the aftermath of a disaster like this one to help kids work through the difficulties — to provide positive experiences to counteract the negative ones. I'm grateful for the chance to contribute to that healing in even a small way.
It was heartbreaking. When you're a kid, schools seem indestructible; they were there before you were born, and you assume they'll be there long after you've grown up. So I can't imagine how it must feel for the kids to see these seemingly permanent parts of their lives taken away so suddenly. Kids may complain about school, but the more time you spend in school buildings, the more you see the extent to which kids consider them homes away from home. They feel safe there, and the routines of a school day are familiar and comforting. All I could think when I saw the pictures from Moore was how profoundly confusing it must have felt to so many kids. But the good news is that children are incredibly resilient people, and based on everything I've seen and read, the kids of Moore have responded to this crisis with courage and determination.”
Ken Raymond, Book Editor