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10 Authors And Illustrators Who Are Keeping Kids Busy (And Parents Sane)

Featuring Dav Pilkey, Oliver Jeffers, Wendy MacNaughton, and more.

Posted on March 31, 2020, at 5:42 p.m. ET

Author and illustrator Oliver Jeffers (The Day the Crayons Quit), is reading his books Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays live on Instagram at 2 p.m. ET. The videos will also live on his website.

2. Lunch Doodles With Mo Willems

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In collaboration with the Kennedy Center, author and illustrator Mo Willems (Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus) is releasing daily videos inviting kids to draw, craft, and create with him, weekdays at 1 p.m. ET. You can find the videos at Kennedy-Center.org or YouTube.

3. Mac's Book Club Show With Mac Barnett

Author Mac Barnett (Sam & Dave Dig a Hole) is hosting three series on Instagram: Every weekday at noon (PT) on Instagram Live, Barnett hosts Mac’s Book Club Show, reading a different picture book β€” and wearing a different hat β€” each day. (Barnett told BuzzFeed Books in an email, "I have a habit of buying hats that I later realize I should never wear out of the house. Now that I never leave my house, I figure it’s the perfect time to wear them.") Every night around 5 p.m. PT, there's Mac’s Book Club Show: Chapter Books After Dark, where Barnett reads from his book Mac B., Kid Spy: Mac Undercover (and wears a tuxedo). Finally, on Saturdays at noon, Barnett and his friend Shawn Harris make Live Cartoons, which is shot in one take.

4. Read-Alouds and Drawing Prompts With Debbie Ridpath Ohi (and Friends)

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Author and illustrator Debbie Ridpath Ohi (Where Are My Books?) is posting daily drawing prompts and activities on Twitter at #KidsDailyDebbieOhi, as well as picture book read-alouds and drawing demonstrations on YouTube. She also has a selection of printables β€” activities, book templates, posters, and bookmarks β€” on her site.

5. DrawTogether With WendyMac

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Author and illustrator Wendy MacNaughton (Salt Fat Acid Heat, Pen & Ink) hosts 30-minute draw-along videos every weekday, live on Instagram at 10 a.m. PT and then available on YouTube. MacNaughton β€” who is also a trained social worker β€” described the videos in an email to BuzzFeed Books as "providing drawing, fun, and silliness, and some talk about feelings too ... but mostly it’s just a fun nonjudgmental space for play." The series will continue through the end of the school year.

6. Draw Every Day With JJK

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Author and illustrator Jarrett J. Krosoczka aka JJK (the Lunch Lady series) is posting 20-to-30-minute draw-along videos on weekdays, live on YouTube at 2 p.m. ET and then archived on YouTube and his website. JJK also has printable activities β€” coloring pages, picture book templates, and illustration prompts β€” available on his site for ages pre-K to second grade or third grade to sixth grade.

7. Story Time With Emma (With Emma Straub and Special Guests)

Now that author Emma Straub's Brooklyn bookstore Books Are Magic is closed, she's turning their weekly storytimes β€” Saturdays and Sundays at 11 a.m. β€” into virtual events, reading personal favorites on IGTV every week until the store reopens. In an email, Straub also teased some "special guests."

8. Storytimes and Drawing Tutorials With Grace Lin

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Author and illustrator Grace Lin (When the Sea Turned to Silver; A Big Mooncake for Little Star) is posting read-alouds and drawing tutorials on YouTube. Her tutorial for drawing a lucky Chinese tiger β€” a character that shows up in three of Lin's books β€” is especially popular.

9. Authors Everywhere by Susan Tan

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Author Susan Tan (the Cilla Lee-Jenkins series) has created the Authors Everywhere YouTube channel β€” featuring read-alouds, writing exercises, art demos, and other activities from children's authors and illustrators. She's also collected printable activity worksheets from various authors on her site.

Starting April 1, author and illustrator Dav Pilkey (the Captain Underpants and Dog Man series), in collaboration with the Library of Congress, will host a weekly video series featuring drawing lessons, read-alouds, and highlights from the library's collections. Videos will go live Fridays at 8 a.m. ET on Twitter (@LibraryCongress, @Scholastic) and Facebook (@LibraryofCongress, @Scholastic). Throughout the week, Pilkey will also share downloadable activities and writing prompts.

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