I had the pleasure of interviewing Kim Wayans and Kevin Knotts, the authors of Amy Hodgepodge. I stumbled upon the book series and just had to check it out. The book centers around Amy Hodges, a 9-year-old girl, who goes to school for the first time after being home-schooled. Amy Hodges soon becomes Amy Hodgepodge because her grandparents are Korean, Japanese, African-American and white. Enjoy!
Honeysmoke: What inspired Amy Hodgepodge?
Kim and Kevin: AMY HODGEPODGE was inspired by our nieces and nephews, many of whom are multiracial, and by our desire to see more diversity reflected in mainstream children’s literature.
Honeysmoke: Why did you aim the books at young readers?
Kim and Kevin: Aside from wanting to target children in the same age-range as our young nieces and nephews, we believe you can have the most impact on young minds that are still open and impressionable. Each book imparts valuable lessons to children about various subjects like friendship, kindness, tolerance, generosity, and honesty to name a few.
Honeysmoke: My daughters Simone and Nadia, 5 and 2, loved the covers of the two books I brought home. They each took one and studied the cover. Will you produce any picture books for the younger set?
Kim and Kevin: Children, especially those of color, are almost magnetized by the covers of the books, because it’s so rare that they get to see beautiful images of kids that look like them on a book cover! Sad, but true. Eventually, we would like do some picture books for the younger set.
Honeysmoke: What is next for Amy Hodgepodge?
Kim and Kevin: Well, book number six, “Digging Up Trouble” will be out on May 27th. In addition, we’re putting out feelers to different Animation studios – we’d love to do an AMY HODGEPODGE cartoon. In time, we plan on expanding the property in a variety of ways, including merchandising.
Honeysmoke: Anything I didn’t ask that you would like readers to know?
Kim and Kevin: For all your readers who would like to know more about AMY HODGEPODGE and her friends, visit our website at www.amyhodgepodge.com