Words to Live By: Peter H. Reynolds

This segment features exclusive interviews with authors, artists, and community members.


July 1, 2021

Peter H. Reynolds

Peter H. Reynolds is an author and illustrator, with more than 50 children’s books published so far in his career. He also co-founded an award-winning children’s media company, FableVision, Inc., in 1996 alongside his twin brother Paul. They also started also the Reynolds Center for Teaching, Learning, and Creativity (RCTLC), a nonprofit organization that encourages creativity and innovation in teaching and learning. Peter is a champion of creative learning and inspiring children and adults to lead successful and meaningful lives. Peter’s book, “The Word Collector,” will be printed as a special Book Harvest edition by Scholastic in celebration of our10th birthday.

Is there a book or genre that stands out in your memory from your youth?

My older sister would read Charles Dickens’ books to us & then I discovered Roald Dahl who had a Dickens-like way of creating strong children characters making their way through a challenging world.

What kind of reader were you as a child?

I was a slow-but-eager reader. I realized that I was turning text into movies in head, so it took a bit longer than average to get through a book.

What book should everybody read before they turn 18?

“The Chocolate War” by Robert Cormier. This book shows the challenge of self-determination and free will and challenges the reader to ask if we could be as strong the main character, Jerry Renault.

What kind of books are on your bookshelf?

I own a bookshop, so I have so many kinds! At home, I tend to have history books, art books, and also books about learning.

What are you reading currently?

“Kaleidoscope” by Brian Selznick. It’s an amazing treasure box of storytelling and art!

What is your favorite place to read? Pre- and/or during the pandemic?

I love reading in my cozy bed. During the pandemic though, I found a new place to read. I’d go sit inside my bookshop which was, of course, closed and silent, but there I was surrounded by books – and I got the espresso machine working to make myself a cappuccino. Heavenly.

Who is your favorite all-time character from a book?

Matilda. Roald Dahl created a most delightful young reader, storyteller, learner – with a gentle, but brave heart. Miss Honey is right up there as all-time fave!

If you could have dinner with three authors from any period in time, who would you pick?

Spinning the wheel of a thousand authors…. how about Tom Robbins, Reza Aslan and Ray Bradbury. I’d pass out paper and watercolors and ask them all to draw an object that means something to them. We’d pass them along to each other to each add a bit to the drawing, signing our names as we went.

What are the children in your life currently reading?

Jennifer Richard Jacobson’s “Small as an Elephant.” A beautiful journey story of resilience and love.

Do you have a favorite quote from literature? If so, what is it?

“All grown-ups were once children… but only few of them remember it.” Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Author of “The Little Prince.”


We’d like to thank Peter for taking the time to answer our questions, and for lending us his genius in the form of “The Word Collector” for our 10th birthday celebrations! You can read more about Peter on his website at www.peterhreynolds.com, and about our upcoming “The Word Collector” themed Block Party at bookharvest.org/block-party.

Here is a sneak peek of the special Book Harvest edition of The Word Collector! Pick up your free copy on July 17 at our Block Party.

Get Books!