Teaching in elementary school, and watching kids in action, I came to appreciate how effortlessly kids learn when they play. Babies learn to talk without taking multiple-choice talking tests. Toddlers learn to toddle without writing toddling essays. How do they do it? By playing around.
So from teaching I learned to respect kids as natural learners, supply them with the tools to learn, and then get out of the way. I learned to inspire instead of lecture. I learned to trust play. That philosophy is at the heart of everything I write for kids. I want my readers to laugh, of course. But then I want them to question, to argue, to wonder — What if? I want them to play. I want them to learn for themselves.
— Jon Scieszka, “What’s So Funny, Mr. Scieszka?,” A Family of Readers, edited by Roger Sutton and Martha V. Parravano, p. 169