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Q&A with Carl Lennertz, Executive Director, The Children’s Book Council and Every Child A Reader | November 28, 2016

by Alexa Frank (The Children's Book Council and Every Child A Reader)


1) What was your first job in publishing?

A bookseller first, and then a Midwest sales rep for Random House adult and children’s books.

2) As the new CBC executive director, what role do you believe The Children’s Book Council plays in the children’s publishing world?

I could give a very long answer, but I won’t, both as it’s still evolving and we have the member survey just finishing up. But mostly, I want us to partner with dozens of other groups to reach more children and those who get them to read more: teachers, parents, librarians, and booksellers. And more publicity – a LOT more – about the value of reading. I’d like the power of Children’s Book Week to reach out over 52 weeks, not one. I’d like more member publishers, give all our committees even more support, and have fun doing it!

3) What drew you to the non-profit world?

First, my daughter inspired me with her work in high school and college running fundraising efforts, and she is currently involved in autism research funding at Mt. Sinai. So, I joined the Goddard Upper West Side board; Goddard runs social service programs from pre-K to retirees. Next came my four years at ABA starting up the children’s and adult Book Sense (now IndieBound) national pick lists and bestseller lists. And then, I started up the World Book Night US literacy program and ran that for three very exciting years. And now here! I could not be happier.

4) What upcoming CBC/Every Child A Reader projects are you excited about?

I can’t reveal some things in the early planning stages, but THE big news will be a greatly expanded Children’s Book Week! Shooting for 1,000 participating libraries, schools, and stores!

5) What is your favorite children’s book from the past or present?

Oldie: Big Ball of String, by Marion Holland; current fave is The Breadwinner, by Deborah Ellis. Oh one more: Good Dog, Carl. Ha!

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