Interview with Brown Sugar Baby Author, Kevin Lewis
Q: What inspired you to write Brown Sugar Baby?
A: Short answer: Babies! Everywhere! And each one cuter than the next. How could I not be inspired? The more literary answer: Paul Lawrence Dunbar’s “Little Brown Baby,” an amazingly tender poem that captures the immense joy of being a father without glossing over the hardships that came with being Black. But also picture books like RUNAWAY BUNNY and MORE, MORE, MORE, SAID THE BABY that celebrate that restless curiosity so many babies have.
Q: Your favorite verse from Brown Sugar Baby?
A: It’s hard to have a favorite when a text has to be short (due to the audience) and you can’t waste a word. Each choice has to be a favorite. That said, “legs that dance away my chance to taste their tipping toes” was a lot of fun to write. “Where my skin ends and yours begins — the cradle of my arms,” took more than a few tries, so I’m really glad I stuck with it.
Q: Your favorite childhood memory?
A: Do I even have a favorite? There are definitely a few that I cherish, but if I had to choose one off of the top of my head it would driving with my Uncle Leroy from New York back to South Carolina. I remember gas station junk food, staying up really late since Uncle Leroy didn’t mind me asking about a million questions, and finally falling asleep to SIDESHOW by Blue Magic on the car radio. I must have been around six or seven and it felt like a huge adventure.
Q: Your favorite book as a child?
A: My first favorite was WHAT DO YOU SAY, DEAR by Sesyle Joslin. Cracks me up ‘til this day. And then came HAROLD AND THE PURPLE CRAYON and WHY MOSQUITOES BUZZ IN PEOPLE’S EARS, because the best thing about having a favorite book is you don’t have to stop at just one... or three.
Q: What's next in the Brown Sugar Baby series?
A: A holiday book about family coming together to celebrate the hope and joy that should surround the birth of each and every child.
About Kevin Lewis
Kevin Lewis loves recognizing that bouncy, busy brown sugar baby spirit, especially when he sees it in the fans of his popular picture book favorites Chugga Chugga Choo-Choo and My Truck is Stuck! Kevin lives in a 200-year-old farmhouse in Newburgh, New York, with his husband, Phil, a dog named Kat, and two cats named Prim and Rue.