My son’s class is currently studying The Book of Awesome, so you can just imagine just how excited we were to find out that author Neil Pasricha was launching a new kid’s book. Call it fate or kismet but the timing couldn’t be more perfect. In my son’s eyes he’s just as big as any pop star out there right now! Pasricha is currently touring with his latest book in the Awesome series, Awesome is Everywhere.
“Two years ago I asked my publisher if we could do a kid’s book,” said Pasricha in a letter posted on his site 1000 Awesome Things. His publisher immediately thought it would be a sticker and crossword puzzle type of book but Pasricha had something else in mind. “Can we do something visually stunning and hyperrealistic? Something that sends people’s minds to crazy places? Something that teaches them mindfulness and meditation without banging a rubber mallet on their foreheads about it? Oh, And can we let them control the entire book? Like, their fingers make the book zoom in, their breath blows the waves bigger, and they flip the book to flip themselves under water?”
We had the opportunity to chat with Pasricha about his new book and what’s awesome.
You’re a dad now so how has that affected how you see awesomeness?
Well, my son has shown me a new world, honestly. He’s much more aware of the world than I am. It was pouring rain the other day and he desperately wanted to go outside and play. It made me realize that I’ve stayed away from rainstorms for years — and when I’m out, I’m under an umbrella. We ended up jumping in puddles in the alley behind our house. It was a really beautiful moment.
Many kids (and adults) are so fixated on their tech devices these days, so, how does your new book fit in? It’s an interesting concept!
Haha, well, Awesome is Everywhere is hopefully an antidote for that! The book is interactive. So it works like an iPad does with lots of tapping and zooming. But it’s tactile. It’s real. It’s meant to remind people of the power and beauty of books. How they can send our minds all over the world. Awesome really is everywhere, after all.
The first person that comes to mind who you think is awesome and why?
Probably my parents. I always think they did all the hard work. Leaving East Africa and India in their early 20s and arriving in a country where they didn’t know a single person. And no grandparents around, either! They provided great lives for my sister and I and everything I’ve been able to do with The Books of Awesome is really a reflection of an immigrant’s wonder and appreciation for all the pleasures we have around us.
As a dad, what advice do you have for us parents to remind us that life is awesome?
Well, I’m in advice hunting mode more than advice giving mode when it comes to fatherhood! I sat beside a little old lady on a plane recently and she was telling me all about her massive brood of kids and grandkids. I asked her for her two biggest pieces of advice on raising good kids. She thought about it a long time and said “Listen to them. And put the computer in a public part of the house.” Haha, I liked that!
Check out the book trailer here…