Posted by: Kathy Temean | November 19, 2018

Humor Interview with Dr. Mira Reisberg

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Hi Mira, Thank you for doing this interview. I know you’re a very busy lady, but I wanted to share you with all my followers.

For those of you who do not know Mira, I’m happy to introduce you to the woman who does it all. Dr. Mira Reisberg, the Queen of Silly, multi-published award-winning children’s book illustrator and author, whose books have sold over 600,000 copies, and also runs the Children’s Book Academy. She is acquiring Editor and Art Director at Clear Fork Publishing’s children’s book imprint Spork. Mira is a former children’s literary agent, and a university professor who taught kid lit writing and illustrating courses as well as teacher ed. She has a PhD in Education and Cultural Studies with a focus on children’s literature and has helped MANY writers and illustrators get published. She’s a humor writer and story development extraordinaire whose always just a joy to talk with. 

I’m here with Mira today to talk about the genuine need for humor in children’s books.

Thank you Kathy, I’m so happy to be here. That was a lot wasn’t it? It’s been a glorious journey. I’m truly blessed to be able to make a living doing what I love. Kids are our future and I believe that we have the responsibility as adults to teach them all about this beautiful world and the trials and treasures that they will encounter.

Mira, I know you have a bevy of insight when it comes to humor and writing both, so, could you share a bit about what drove you to create a course geared specifically towards writing humor?

Kathy, you’re so sweet. I’d LOVE to. As you may know, humor is the number one thing that gets and keeps kids reading, and since my calling in this life is to get and keep kids reading – I simply answered the call.

If I can be of any help getting kids reading, than I’m all for it. Since it should be worked into every story, weather you’re writing a funny story, adding humor to an existing story or softening a story for some light relief, authors and illustrators should have access to the golden key to getting the funny flowing.

Humor can be used in so many different ways, and, it’s vital that authors and illustrators know the importance of as well as the techniques with which they can use humor to benefit their stories.

So, what is it about humor that gets and keeps kids reading?

Well, everybody is different of course, but ultimately I believe that it’s all about the power of a good solid laugh. Kids are reading for an escape, just as adults do. Kids are such peaceful creatures, that their idea of a grand escape is something that builds mystery and intrigue but that also makes them feel good – feel happy.

Children’s books generally tend to have an underlying purpose or a message that they share with the child in a way that is not preachy, but that allows them to absorb the ideas as if the ideas were theirs all along. Acting as if right? As if they decided to learn, not that they were being taught.

When it’s a difficult message, humor makes the taking easy. Humor can turn a childhood trauma into a transformative and enriching experience while relieving some of the surface pain associated with the issue or trial. Who knows, a book can even help turn tears into laughter.

So, there’s more to making kids laugh than just the enjoyment of hearing their little giggles. As authors and illustrators it’s our responsibility to enrich the lives of our readers and to help them be the best version of themselves. Reading has a lot to do with the devolvement of beautiful, strong, little minds.

Oh I love that, “beautiful, strong, little minds…” So, what are the main concepts that you share within the course?

Oh there’s so much good stuff. The first thing we’ll do is get familiar with the various types of humor found in children’s books: anthropomorphism, irony, in-congruency, slapstick or visual humor, exaggeration, wordplay – lots of wordplay. Kids also love dark humor and potty humor, gross and slimy things. There are so many different types of humor – and we touch on all of ‘em.

Students will learn what’s funny for what ages and how to develop a story and create structure that conveys their mission or purpose. Then we’ll break down each type of humor with tons of videos, references, and interactive exercises with printable worksheets that help students develop their story as they work through the course.

At their own pace, students can access the content and develop their own story. Because of the way we break down each type of humor they can easily take what they’ve learned and apply towards their own manuscript. We’ve included examples from stories that they can grab from the library for inspiration.

Students also have the option of an in-person one-on-one critique with me to develop their manuscript even more so, so that their even closer to being mail to the publisher ready.

I really cherish meeting with my students and hearing about their books and ideas, we’re a bit of a tribe here. Plus it’s usually a hilarious time really, we’ll laugh and joke and bounce ideas off each other all focused on their work – it’s a pretty awesome thing.

I like that. Thank you so much for sharing with me.

Thank you Kathy. Thank you for having me.

If you are interested in Mira’s Online Humor Writing Course, click below.


Special Introductory Price of 297.00 Click Right Here To Score That!


Talk tomorrow,


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