Working on collaborative books and podcasts that empower kids to talk about the big stuff.
What do you do when you need to talk to a kid in your life about a difficult subject but aren’t sure where to start? Enter A Kid’s Company About, a media company built on the belief that kids are ready to have challenging, important and empowering conversations with the grown-ups in their lives. The company has published over 50 books to date, ranging from topics like divorce, cancer, and shame to racism, gratitude, empathy, and being non binary. In 2021, they expanded their focus from telling stories through books aimed at five to nine year olds to telling stories through words, video, audio and beyond for kids of all ages. In this episode, we talk to audio project and podcast writer/editor/producer Ari Mathae and editor Denise Morales Soto about the importance of approaching difficult subjects with empathy, the company’s unique submission process, how big of a role kids play in each book’s development, and how AKCA’s mission inspires them.
Ari Mathae (they/them) is an Associate Producer at A Kids Company About, where they work on writing, editing, hosting, and producing podcasts and audio based projects. They received their MA in Book Publishing from Portland State University, where they researched the transmedia storytelling relationship between book publishing and podcasts. Ari has a soft spot for dynamic audio storytelling of all kinds, but especially for queer narratives with uncanny and horror vibes. When not immersed in podcasts, editing, and audiobooks, you can find Ari obsessing over D&D or trying to bake a perfect macaron.
Denise Morales Soto (she/her) is a story lover from Puerto Rico that somehow made her way to Portland, OR. She got her BA in English Literature and Linguistics at the University of Puerto Rico at Cayey and has an MA in Book Publishing from Portland State University. She’s an editor at A Kids Book About, a children’s media company, and does freelance work where she continues to indulge her love of storytelling. She’s the author of the soon the be released children’s book A Little Book About Culture and is actively working on her next project. When she’s not reading, writing, or making books, she’s probably playing video games or watching something she’s already seen a thousand times.
Mentioned on this episode:
- A Kids Company About website
- @akidscoon Insta
- @akidsco on Twitter
- Denise on Twitter @dmoralessoto
- Ari on Twitter @ari_mathae
- Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
- Buy Yourself the Fucking Lilies by Tara Schuster
- The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin