Children’s Author Chris Barton Takes on a New Identity

Bestselling children’s author, Chris Barton, is known for his award-winning picture books The Day Glo Brothers and Shark Vs. Train. But these days, he’s donning a new disguise – or genre, if you will.

His young-adult book Can I See Your I.D.? True Stories of False Identities recently hit bookstore shelves with rave reviews. Publisher’s Weekly says “Barton’s prose captures the daring, ingenuity, and quick thinking required of each imposter.

So I had a chance to ask Chris, “If you could assume the identity of any literary figures who would make it to your top 5?”

I was positive that his #1 would be the Shark from Shark Vs. Train. However, being the creative and completely noble guy that he is, his answer took a surprising twist.

Here’s what Chris had to say:

“Over the years, I did a long series of blog posts ( about children’s books covering various periods of U.S. history, and I can think of *lots* of real-life figures from those books that I would like to be:

• Cesar Chavez: Because of the courage he managed to summon and the way he transformed the lives of so many people taken for granted.

• Madam C.J. Walker: So few people can say they’ve done something no one else before them has done. When you’re the first African-American woman millionaire, it’s a different story.

• Charles Ives: He heard unusual sounds in his head and brought them into this world in dynamic fashion, all while keeping his day job.

• Lt. Gail S. Halvorsen: Adored, even revered, by the former children of East Berlin to this day, more than six decades after the Berlin airlift.

• Joe Switzer: His brother Bob left behind an extensive first-person account of how the two of them worked together to, among other things, invent Day-Glo. I’d love to know Joe’s perspective firsthand.

Wow! What a guy! WHAT A GUY! Now I get why the Shark didn’t make the list.

Get to know Chris and his fabulous new book at his other blog tour stops:

On Peter Salomon’s blog
On Penny Blubaugh’s blog Wednesday, May 4
On Ruth McNally Barshaw’s blog, Saturday May 7

On Jenny Ziegler’s blog in June

You can also follow Chris and his amazing kid lit adventures at:

And don’t forget to check out Can I See Your I.D?

5 Responses to “Children’s Author Chris Barton Takes on a New Identity”

  1. Deborah Underwood

    Great post. Loved the Ives choice. My chorus, which specializes in new music, performed one of his pieces in which the men and women sing in different keys. Written c. 1898, it was the oldest yet most dissonant piece on the program. Unusual, indeed!

  2. Lynda Mullaly Hunt

    Love this! I'm going to have to go with the original Candy Bomber, Lt. Gail S. Halvorsen as my favorite from the list. WWII has so many inspirational stories like his.