• Reviews and Trends

New Children’s Book Highlights the Good in the World

Minneapolis author's breakthrough title reminds families there are lots of reasons to be optimistic...even during a global pandemic.


When author Kevin Kunkel wrote the first draft for his debut children’s book, The World We Choose, he had one goal: to write the first book he would read to his new son. Kunkel had been feeling anxious about the stories he saw on cable news and social media and had to keep reminding himself that the world is better than the one he saw on the news chyron.

“Whenever I felt pessimistic, I remembered the truth: over time, the world is mostly improving.”

“Whenever I felt pessimistic, I remembered the truth: over time, the world is mostly improving,” Kunkel explained. He knew he wanted to share that optimism with his son. After two years of rewrites, professional illustration, and a crowdfunding campaign—and even the birth of a second son—he was ready to launch the book. The only obstacle: a pandemic.


Book launches rely on physical events to drive excitement and sales. Book launch parties, book fairs, and school visits are all critical tools for successful new books. As The World We Choose went to the printers it became clear that those events would not happen in a conventional sense. Kunkel weighed the option of pushing back the launch.


Kunkel described, “I knew publishing at this time would be a challenge, but the more I thought about it the more I realized the world needs a dose of optimism more than ever.” Kunkel’s modified launch strategy includes a virtual book launch party, classroom visits via Zoom, and a crafty social media strategy.


In addition to traditional messages about the book on his Instagram account @kevinkunkelauthor, Kunkel utilizes his background as a former stand-up comedian to reach an adult audience with his dad blog, DadHard.net, and a meme-heavy Instagram feed @dad_hard.


Although he’s adjusted his strategy and put in the work, Kunkel knows selling physical books in a digital and distanced world will be a challenge. Fortunately he has a strategy for overcoming challenges: he stays optimistic.


For more information, visit www.kevinkunkelauthor.com or request a copy at your favorite independent bookstore.


Kevin Kunkel believes people are good. He hopes his books help unlock that goodness. He lives in Minnesota with his wife and two boys, which means he can never see a movie featuring snow without commenting that “Hollywood doesn’t understand real cold.” Kevin is a former stand-up comedian and writes humor for adults on his parenting blog DadHard.net—"the hardest dad blog on the planet.”


Melissa Favorite enjoys balancing the dance between writing and illustrating. She gathers inspiration from an adventurous childhood with six brothers and sisters. Today, she lives in Minnesota, planning new adventures with her husband and toddler. Melissa has a BFA in illustration from the College of Art and Design in Saint Paul, Minnesota. She is the author-illustrator of Tide Day and the illustrator of other titles including Who Cooks for You?, Who Sees Your Scrunchy Face?, and Growing Young Spirits.

The World We Choose author Kevin Kunkel.


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