Thomas Amoriello Jr. with the National Association for Music Education got in touch recently for a Q&A about my 2016 fiction picture book 88 Instruments, which was illustrated by Louis Thomas and published by Knopf Books for Young Readers.

We talked about how 88 Instruments came to be, the roles of parents, persistence, and problem-solving in the story, and more. I truly appreciate Thomas’ interest in this book, which I’ve always loved reading aloud.

And he paired the resulting exchange with a similar conversation that he had with Kwame Alexander about Kwame’s 2011 picture book Acoustic Rooster and His Barnyard Band, illustrated by Tim Bowers and published by Sleeping Bear Press.