For those who love the many charms of old-fashioned theater and movie optimism, we remember the upbeat presence of actor Mickey Rooney in a lifetime of wide-ranging roles. Rooney's ability to sing and dance his way into our hearts is a key to his lasting popularity. Author Tim Federle, whose books include "Better Nate Than Never" and "Five, Six, Seven, Nate," understands the power of musical theater, having been a Broadway dancer himself. Tim turns his experiences into backstage stories enjoyed by readers of all ages. Here he describes what he appreciates in children's literature and how he tries to write with humor, realism, and as a cockeyed optimist:
Find both of Tim's books at Bank Street Bookstore, 610 West 112th Street, (212) 678-1654. Order online at www.bankstreetbooks.com.