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Neil Patrick Harris recently sat down with Huffington Post to discuss parenting and his new young readers book, 'The Magic Misfits.'
The successful actor draws on his childhood to guide him in his parenting techniques saying,
“In my upbringing, I was a voracious reader. When I was 9 or 10 years old, I lived in a bookshop in the small town I grew up in.”
The love of reading is something Harris and his husband David Burtka would like to pass onto their two children, 7-year-old twins, Gideon and Harper. The couple started reading passing along their love of books early
“We’ve read to them since they came home from the hospital. We read to them every night. I think the world in which you exist expands greatly through reading about new places and new experiences. We’re all creatures of habit ― we go to the same restaurants and travel in the same vehicles to the same places. But when you get to read a book, you’re suddenly entirely in a new world, whether it’s real or created. And from that, you can learn so many things.”
It makes sense then that Harris would branch out into writing for children. His first fiction book is for young readers aged 8 to 12. 'The Magic Misfits.' is the first book of a four-part series. Harris hopes that the message of strength and honesty in the book is something that he and his husband and continue to give to their children.
“In the book, you have these ‘misfits’ who are joined by their love of magic, not the otherworldly warlock magic but magician magic ― magic with cards and coins and through their appreciation of learning that and through their individuality, they actually become stronger when they’re together. So it includes messages of strength in honesty. Honesty is important, being proud of what makes you different is important, taking responsibility is important.”
Not only is honesty a running theme throughout the book, it is something Harris practices at home with his children.
“They’re at the age that they’re starting to question most everything, and I think our job as parents, as fathers, is being honest, constantly honestWe use our vocabulary very specifically so that when they ask a question, we won’t lie. They’ll know that they can come to us for actual truths.”
Of course, being totally honest with children can at times be like walking a tight rope.
“It’s a tricky thing to do because sometimes you can’t be too blunt with the truth. You have to word yourself in particular ways. If they ask about certain mythical holiday figurative people, for example, you just can’t be blunt.”
When asked about his favorite books growing up, Harris replied,
“I was a huge Roald Dahl fan growing up. I just really enjoyed his acerbic sense of humor combined with his fantastical story ideas."
The Magic Misfits is already off to a great start on the New York Times Children's Best Seller List.
Fans are already giving it great reviews.
H/T: Huffington Post