When it comes to family dynamics and connecting with kids, the Property Brothers are experts at their craft – much like they are with the home renovations that have made them famous. So it seems like a natural next step that twins Drew and Jonathan Scott would (briefly) put aside their hard hats and tool belts to try their hands at co-authoring kids’ books.
As to how they’ve managed to interact so well with their pint-sized fans (of which they’re legion) – well, that’s an easy answer according to the brothers. “[It’s] because we’re very childish,” Jonathan laughs.
Jokes aside, it’s clear that the connection they have with kids first inspired the siblings to venture into the world of kid’s publishing last year with the first in a planned series, Builder Brothers: Better Together. Coming off the celebrated success of that initial hardcover edition, Drew and Jonathan are back at it with another kid-friendly tale culled from their childhood – Builder Brothers: Big Plans (which hits shelves Sept. 10). The story traces the (mis)adventures of the young twins as they scramble to prepare for a soapbox derby race by making a car entirely from materials found around the house. (The last page of the book even includes a How-To for parents and teachers looking for some car-themed DIY ideas to entertain the kids.)
The book series has also allowed the brothers to interact with their younger fans on a level that goes deeper than the opportunities provided on all their TV series – Property Brothers, Property Brothers: Buying & Selling and Property Brothers: Forever Home.
“One of the most entertaining things [about the book series] is that, when we do our book tour, we read it to groups of kids and get to see the reactions on their faces,” Drew explains. “That is gold. It’s the most heartwarming thing in the world and I absolutely love it.”
Jonathan traces their natural connection with kids back to their TV series. “We’re actually just about to hit 400 episodes of Property Brothers, so we’ve managed to help 400 families over the years,” he says. “The majority of those families have kids of all ages and it’s fun to get them excited [about a project]. There’s nothing more infectious than a child’s giggle.”
It’s obvious that the Scott brothers grew up in a household filled with laughter. When Drew and Jonathan harken back to their own childhoods, it’s apparent that family and teamwork is at the core of everything they do.
“[Growing up], I remember we had our parents and teachers inspire us to think creatively,” Drew says. “That’s the whole purpose of the Builder Brothers books. We realized we had a lot of fans that are just kids and we wanted to do something that would inspire them.”
Jonathan recalls, “We actually used to build these little [race] tracks around our dad’s office and make cardboard forts. Over the holidays we would create a bunch of ornaments, even if it had nothing to do with Christmas, we’d still build things to hang on the tree.”
In the end, the Scott brothers want their young audiences to take home valuable lessons about banding together. “A lot of the lessons in this book are ones we learned when we were younger, especially when it comes to working together and being open to other opinions and ideas,” Jonathan says. “That’s what shaped who we are today and it’s how we run our companies, too.”
Drew adds, “We focus on bringing a tactile, exciting environment while also teaching lessons to kids that are valuable – like working together and the idea that failure is OK.”
At the end of the day, they’re just kids at heart.
Builder Brothers: Big Plans is available for purchase on Sept. 10, 2019, wherever books are sold.