If you've picked up a children's book lately, you may have noticed that they're a little outdated, not to mention out of touch. Seriously, do you know anyone who owns a farm with one red barn containing one chicken, one pig, and one cow? We didn't think so.
Fortunately for this genre of (very) young adult literature, three dads-turned-business-partners are setting out to change all that with a new Arizona-based startup, Need To Know Publishing.
Founded by R. Bradley Snyder, Marc Engelsgjerd, and their late partner Robert Kempe, Need To Know Publishing produces books that touch on a wide range of 21st-century topics that every child needs to know, from music icons to food to everyday adult experiences.
"We have a very simple method for picking what were going to write about." Snyder says. "We sit down together and we look around us. We think about what we did this week, what did we talk to our kids about, what was something we struggled with or what was something that we enjoyed but maybe we had a different take on it."
The company's first three books, What Every Child Needs To Know About Elvis, What Every Child Needs To Know About Coffee, and What Every Child Needs To Know About Cancer, will make their debut with a special Need To Know Publishing Inaugural Book Launch Wednesday, March 26, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Phoenix BikeLab.
In addition to scoring a free downloadable copy of What Every Child Needs To Know About Elvis, peanut butter and banana sandwiches, and photo ops with an Elvis impersonator, guests of this free event will also have a chance to meet the authors and find out what Need To Know Publishing is all about.
"Our books are really meant to start a conversation and introduce a topic," says Snyder, who admits that, although the books are simple, they by no means sugar-coat the conversation. "They really encourage that interaction between an adult and a child, getting that kid interested in books but also interested in talking with adults."
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The third book in the series, What Every Child Needs To Know About Cancer, was already underway before the group's third partner Robert Kempe was diagnosed with, and ultimately lost, his battle with cancer.
Currently, Need to Know Publishing has a distribution deal for 18 books, with the next three, What Every Child Needs To Know About Pizza, What Every Child Needs To Know About Punk Rock, and What Every Child Needs To Know About The Economy set to be released this fall.