Dav Pilkey’s words and drawings have entered the imaginations of millions of children. Now the bestselling author of the Dog Man and Captain Underpants series will be welcoming readers inside his mind through Dav Pilkey at Home, a collaboration between the author, the Library of Congress, and Scholastic.
The free online video series, which came about because of the impact of the new coronavirus, will be streamed every Friday morning beginning at 8 a.m. ET, beginning April 3. Pilkey will take to the LOC’s and Scholastic’s websites, which go live on April 1, along with social media channels, to share drawing lessons and read-alouds with young readers. Each show will be accompanied by content drawn from the library’s collections, as well as tips from Pilkey for children to act out scenes from his Dog Man books and for creating new characters of their own. Viewers will be able to access the videos any time after they are first streamed, as well.
“With many communities in lockdown and with schools, libraries, and bookstores temporarily closed nationwide and around the world, we have been inundated with requests from teachers, librarians, and parents for materials or content featuring Dav Pilkey and his books,” said Scholastic Trade president Ellie Berger. “We are grateful to Dav Pilkey for the amazing new content he has created which we know will bring joy, inspiration and comfort, and encourage kids to be creative and have fun.”
Pilkey took an early interest in supporting children during the outbreak. Last month, he posted a short video on Instagram for children in Asia, telling them, “I know that a lot of you have been going through a really difficult time lately,” and encouraging them to “try to keep reading great books, write your own stories, try to be as creative as possible during this difficult time.”
The author may be uniquely poised to understand the challenges children are facing under quarantine. As a child, Pilkey was often separated from his classmates because of his dyslexia and ADHD. In his time alone, he used his imagination to begin creating comics that later evolved into Dog Man and Captain Underpants.
Pilkey’s videos are just one part of a swiftly expanding set of offerings from the LOC and Scholastic during the outbreak. On March 20, Scholastic hosted the first of an ongoing series of book festivals through Scholastic at Home. At the same time, the publisher created a website to teach children about the coronavirus, and also made curricular resources free through Scholastic Learn at Home.
While the doors to the Library of Congress are temporarily closed, its librarians, educators, and curators are creating a number of new online initiatives for young readers. In the coming weeks, the library plans to share family activities that draw from the library’s vast collections, including videos of author conversations from the National Book Festival.
“The Library of Congress is delighted to join forces with our friend Dav Pilkey and the nimble team at Scholastic to bring you Dav Pilkey at Home,” Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden told PW. “Our hope is to combine Dav’s artistic gifts and charisma with the wealth of knowledge in our collections. We know that Dav’s message of Do Good and the Library’s message of Engage, Inspire, Inform are natural partners and will bring children, parents, and teachers many happy and fruitful moments during this difficult time.”
Viewers can find Dav Pilkey at Home beginning April 1, at: