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CJ Article The TV anchorman who became an author
In his spare time, KARE's Kupchella has taken to writing children's books

Written by Cheryl Johnson,
Minneapolis Star Tribune,
June 10, 2003, page B4

TV newsrooms are like pre-school playgrounds. Small wonder, then, that KARE-11's Rick Kupchella's first book, "Tell Me What We Did Today," is for children 2 to 5. "I'm not afraid of saying that television is a wonderful training ground for children's books," he said with a laugh. "You get simple messages. You find creative ways of engaging your audience." The hope is that you learn how to play nicely with others and aren't traumatized by the teacher's methods. Already working on a contract for his second children's book, Kupchella said "Tell Me What We Did Today" started when he wondered whether there was a way to celebrate the everyday moments of a child's life. "It's a bedtime ritual children's book," he said. "My wife [Leslie] and I felt that it was a great thing to do with our kids." Because dads sometimes have unusual ways of relating to their kids through teasing, part of this book comes from Kupchella's parenting style with Caroline, 7, and Elizabeth, 4. Whenever he would ask his girls to recap their day, he would always get them going by saying "obviously insane things" that never happened, he said. When the dad in the book says these crazy things, the kid's response - No, this never happened - is designed to get to child to recap the day in her own words and set Dad straight on what really happened. The book is "32 pages of whimsy," Kupchella said. He's especially tickled that the verse is illustrated by Warren Hanson, of "A Cup of Christmas Tea" fame. The book comes out in mid-August.

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