The Curiosity Cruiser Interviews: Emma Steinkellner, Author of The Okay Witch

The Curiosity Cruiser Interviews: Emma Steinkellner, Author of The Okay Witch

An image with Emma Steinkellner at the center with the two volumes to the right and left of her image. The background is a diagonal gradient of blue, purples, and yellow. There are gold ellipses splattered throughout the background.

A perk of working on the Curiosity Cruiser is getting to preview books to potentially add to our giveaway shelves. When I came across a synopsis of The Okay Witch by Emma Steinkellner, I knew her work would be perfect for our program. One of the reasons the Curiosity Cruiser team looks for graphic novels is that many reluctant readers gravitate to them. In fact, out of all of our giveaways, graphic novels get chosen the most often. Don’t be fooled though- just because there are pictures on every page, doesn’t mean that these books are “easier” to read than a typical chapter book. You may not know this, but people have and grow graphic literacy by looking at graphics; from graphs, charts, and yes, pictures in books. Illustrations in graphic novels help carry the story and build an understanding of socializing, actions & movement between panels, and power your imagination to fill in the blanks with the story. Graphic novels are quite literally “show don’t tell” and are as important as typical novels in helping children grow as readers. Some children find them more engaging than a book without pictures and this is something that should be supported, not discouraged. Any kind of reading is good for kids! In the below video interview, Emma Steinkellner and I discuss the inspiration behind The Okay Witch duology, her reading experiences growing up, and how her books have made an impact with the Curiosity Cruiser.

If you’re interested in some of the books we discussed, including The Okay Witch, take a look yourself by checking them out from HCPL!

Go to for the original book review on The Okay Witch.

Check out for more Harris County Public Library related blogs!

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Curiosity Cruiser is a state-of-the-art mobile library that provides Houston children with access to books and exciting educational programs that integrate reading with science, math, technology, writing, and the arts.

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The Harris County Public Library system provides a broad range of traditional and online library services through 26 branch libraries in Harris County, Texas.