Q&A: Colorado children’s book author Nicole Magistro knows books can transport you

Author Nicole Magistro stands alongside book illustrator Alice Feagan.
Courtesy photo

Nicole Magistro will be at Off the Beaten Track on December 4th to sign her new children’s book, “Read Island”.

The book will delight kids and adults alike with catchy rhymes and a compelling story about a girl, her furry friends, and their adventures. In hopes of fostering a love of reading and the places it can take you, Magistro told us about the real ‘Reading Island’, her idea for the book, and her top tips for encouraging. young readers.

Explore the steamboat: How did the concept of “Read Island” come about?

Nicole Magistro: I have owned an independent bookstore in Edwards for 15 years. After selling it, I wanted to get back to writing – I had written before becoming a bookseller and an entrepreneur – the idea for this book came from the fact that I wanted to share with the children the pleasure I have in read ; that it is an adventure, not something that must necessarily take place in school or in a library but one that is in life. Reading can take us wherever we want to go. During COVID and lockdown, this idea was even more present to me. The books took me and my family wherever we wanted to go. Doing a lot of visualization and meditation with my 10 year old son helped crystallize the idea.

ES: What is the real “reading island”?

NM: It is located on the coast of British Columbia and our family has been visiting it for decades. It is literally my favorite place in the world. Once, after my son and I did a visualization and meditation exercise, I asked him where he had gone and he said, “Reading Island.” I said: “Me too!”

ES: Have children’s books always been a part of your life or a dream of writing?

NM: They were a big part of my childhood. I was a big reader when I was a kid and the books really helped me through one of my biggest transitions – when my family moved. My dad always read to me at night and my mom was a teacher, so books were everywhere. When I had my son in 2011, books lined the shelves in his nursery, and we started reading all the classic children’s books to him every night. It is still very present in our house.

ES: What are some things parents can do in everyday life to instill a love of reading?

NM: You don’t have to sit down and read anything from cover to cover to make books a part of your life. Visiting the library and bookstore helps. Reading outdoors is a great way to connect our lives here in Colorado with the experience of the indoors and out. Memorizing poems is another really fun thing for kids and adults to do together. It also helps get you through other times, like when you’re doing household chores or getting stuck in traffic, for example – maybe you can recite a poem. It can help pass the time and bring your mind to another place. It is a tool that you can use throughout your life.

ES: Top three favorite children’s books?

NM: There is a wonderful book called “Dog Loves Books” by Louise Yates. Another one that I read a lot at story time is “Waking Dragons” by Jane Yolen and Derek Anderson. It has a good cadence and is a short poem where an unlikely little knight has to awaken a dragon before school. “Bear Says Thanks” by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman is about gratitude, and it’s great for this time of year because it teaches that there are many ways to help a gathering – you don’t. you don’t always have to bring food; there are always stories to share. This is a message that I have tried to share with the children, especially at this time of year.

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