Children’s Literature | Miguel Lopez, Hematocritique: “Children are readers and want to be, no matter how much they love screens”



A prolific author of children’s literature, early childhood teacher on vacation, active speaker and even Community manager TV personality is some of the jobs Michael Lopez (A Coruña, 1976), better known by his Twitter pseudonym, hematocrit; It has a large number of children’s titles published by Anaya Publishing House like the series Tales forest (Happy Big Bad, Agent Goldilocks, The Wolf in Boots…); Children’s comic group Recreation Legends Tales before readers My brother’s dog And Gourmet seagulls; Collective selections ghost…he is also an author Fun writing notebook, my summer diary (both with Blackie Books) and the series bubble max (B for block). next to Noel Ceballos A signed novel for adults The Five Super Detectives: We didn’t drink ginger beer here (Ediciones Martínez Roca) and also wrote an article on childhood and education: Listen to them! To nurture empathy (Payments).

In recent months he has published a pirate story: GrandmaIllustrated by Eugenia Abalos and published by Nórdica Infantil, In addition to a new title for his series Tales foresttitled starving With these novelties under his arm, EL PERIDICO DE ESPAÑA meets through Madrid Book Fair, which he has been going to for 15 years. “It’s my favorite time of the year, in fact,” he explains. “Every year is a different experience, but it’s nice to be here: the atmosphere, the conversations…”

s. GrandmaWhere did the idea come from?

R. Thinking about where to put the stories, it occurred to me that I wanted to write about the great children’s universes. In my head, the great children’s universes, as well as fairy tales, for example, dinosaurs or even traditional children’s universes: firefighters, cowboys, Indians … And one of those worlds is the world of pirates.

Q: Why are pirate stories so fascinating?

A: Well, pirates are wild, they do whatever they want and they hop around all day doing their ass. They pay people. They are like adults without rules who move around and do whatever they want. I loved them as a child. It was my favorite movie The dreaded mocker, which is a Burt Lancaster hacker movie that was amazing to me. that’s cool. I’ve seen it a million times. They’re off-limits, they’re rebellious, which, of course, is great for kids.

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Q: And to the adults.

R. Well, of course, but in another way. They’ve also changed a lot. As a child, I hated the books we had on hand. They were children’s versions of books by Emilio Salgari. I mean, now you go to a children’s library and it’s full of great books. When I went I was so, so was it Ivanhoechildren’s version, or Treasure Island In the children’s version and that was boring for me.

Q: Grannybeard is a grandmother who in her previous life was a pirate, but in the book, where are the girls left? The novelty is pioneering, but it seems that in addition to being pioneering, it is unique & mldr;

s. deserted and forgotten On his grandson’s ship there are no memories of his life as a pirate. It’s like Grandma had her moment, but then had to give it up to do the things women have to do. He gave up all this to really become the stereotype. Suppose she was a pioneer at the time, but then, for whatever reason, perhaps because she had to raise her own son, she became fond of all things from all the great-grandmothers in the world.

Q: And why did you want to tell her that way?

R. I like to write humorous stories that have elements of surprise, so this book is like a crescendo of surprises. First surprise is that grandma arrives, then grandma fills the whole boat with habits and grandma stuff, finally there’s an ace in the sleeve, and the book escalates from revelation.

Q: You are a prolific author working with different publishers. How do you choose which projects to participate in?

R. Well, Anaya is like my home, I always have projects there, and I always get things going. But later on, for example, in this specific case, I wanted to work with Euge Ávalos, a friend of mine, I really admire his work and because he had a hacking story in his head, I thought it was perfect and good, just like my home is Anaya, also Euge’s house is from the north. I discussed it with her, I discussed it with the editor, they liked the project and we immediately found a way to implement it.

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Q: What other projects would you like to embark on?

R. I have embarked on several projects. I even have an audiovisual project with Alberto Vasquez, who is an illustrator Said fierce And Hermono And all these are my books, and he’s also a director Unicorn Wars which already has four goyas. I would like more time to develop this project. We have a very good idea and it’s in an embryonic moment, but let’s say I’d like to do something in other media as well. I’m making all my literary dreams come true, and I’m taking a little extra to connect with my favorite artists. For me it was great working with Euge Ávalos, with Paco Roca, with Albert Monteys… I really enjoy the experience.

Q: You are a teacher but you left the class in 2021 and said in an interview that you miss the children, is that true?

R. The time has passed since then, not anymore. This year I visited & mldr; Well, I’ve been to over 100 schools on this course. And I am amused.

Q: What I really wanted to ask was, does the way you interact with kids change a lot now that you’re out of class?

A. Totally. I’ve always had a close relationship with them and love talking to them, enjoying myself, but now they’re visits where I’m with them for an hour, which is different. But those little encounters with them are so much fun to me. I’ve had encounters between 3-year-olds and 5th and 6th graders, some even with adults, but it’s a joy to get to school and then leave. Children ask me: “Don’t you miss school?” “No, I’m here, I don’t miss it because I’m here with you.” But then I look the teachers in the eye and tell them “I don’t have to make an appointment, I don’t have meetings.” Let’s see, of course, there were dynamics in school that I love, and that I miss. But I’ve had such a hectic few years that I haven’t had time to sit still. I tell the children that my whole life is related to school, because I was a child, and then I studied teaching, which is like going to school, and then I worked as a teacher for 20 years and said here, now I will devote myself to writing. But I’m trapped by colleges. This term I visit three cabbage every day.

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Q: Twenty years is a long time. I suppose you also saw that not only the children had changed, but also the way schools functioned.

R. Children too. A three-year-old is not like a three-year-old of five, ten, fifteen, or twenty. very different. Before that, when a three-year-old reached school, the interest in programming was that he learn shapes and colors. Today, for a three-year-old playing mobile games without blinking an eye, rotating pictures is the easiest thing in the world. But maybe they lack other things, other skills. For example, children are now less independent, and they are more dependent on their family. Every year I find interesting nuances.

s. But the way they are treated in class has also changed a lot, right?

A: Absolutely yes, yes. They completely changed learning styles, didactic style. I don’t even tell you how the laws have changed. When I started, nursery classes were full of notebooks and clippings and stickers and now very few, very few classrooms still have that kind of learning. Classrooms are like mobile phones, children spend a little time sitting at a desk and this is of course good, it is fun and more in line with children’s needs.

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Q: Is this reflected in children’s interest in reading, in the stories they love to read?

A: Yes, children are readers and they want to be. As much as they love screens, in an early childhood education class or in the first cycle of elementary school, by the time the teacher brings out a story in class to read, their eyes widen and they drool. They want to learn to read. And I think children are readers, and teens are readers. When we get into early adulthood, we start to have other worries, other things to do.

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