Great news! Mr. Bob Der, publisher of Time for Kids books, has graciously granted our request for an interview. He chats about all sorts of things, including their mission, the ideal subject matter for a Time for Kids book, and how to get your work in front of their editors. So sit back and enjoy, and leave a comment if you like.
For purposes of the interview…
BD = Bob Der
PBD = Picture Book Depot
Here we go!
PBD: Hello Mr. Der, thank you so much for stopping by. Tell us a bit about yourself, including your role at Time for Kids and your length of time there.
BD: I am the Publisher of Time For Kids, and have worked on the title for the past two years. I’m also Publisher and Managing Editor of Sports Illustrated Kids, where I have worked for 18 years.
PBD: Wonderful! Any authors in your family tree?
BD: Not that I am aware of.
PBD: Okay, I’ve always wanted to ask a publisher that question. So tell us more about Time for Kids. How long has it been around, and whose brainchild is it?
BD: Time For Kids has been around for 16 years, and many people were involved in its creation.
PBD: Wow, that’s a long time. And what is Time for Kids’ specific mission?
BD: Our mission is to help teachers and parents use news and current events as a springboard in education.
PBD: Well, these books certainly fulfill that mission. I’ve reviewed several titles (all of which I absolutely loved) and they contain a mind-boggling amount of information, from the first page to the very last. They’ve got enough wonderful, unusual and downright awesome material inside to keep teachers happy and students talking for a long, long time! So my next question is, how can aspiring authors become a part of the Time for Kids family? How can they get their work in front of you?
BD: We’re always open to hearing new ideas. Email pitches tend to work best, as long as they don’t feel like spam and get to the point quickly. You may contact me by
PBD: Switching gears a bit, we here at PICTURE BOOK DEPOT love to celebrate picture books of all kinds. We claim Time for Kids books as picture books, but do you consider them to be “picture books?” Or do you feel they’re more like encyclopedia clones with excellent pictures in them?
BD: I’d like to think we present material in a way that is fresh, informative, and not exactly like a picture book or an encyclopedia clone. That’s certainly the goal in creating the books.
PBD: These books are definitely fresh and informative; in fact, they’re a font of information. I’m curious how you know when a book is long enough and you’ve come to a stopping point. For example, how did you ever figure out when you had enough information to proceed with the publication of The BIG Book of HOW?
BD: If an item starts to feel like a stretch or a filler, I think you’ve reached a natural limit.
PBD: And how long does it take to get a book like BIG Book of HOW from conception to debut?
BD: About one year.
PBD: Mr. Der, thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to chat with us. We’ve learned a lot and we really appreciate you. Before you go, any words of wisdom for aspiring picture book writers out there?
BD: Yes. Think about your reader first. And have fun, it will show in the work you produce.
Wise parting words indeed. And that wraps this interview up, everyone. Be sure to pick up your own copy of Time for Kids Big Book of HOW and Time for Kids That’s Awesome. In case you’d like to read the reviews before you make your purchase, here are two links:
Special thanks to Ms. Jennifer Brod for arranging this interview!
Best wishes and happy reading,
PICTURE BOOK DEPOT