Why You May NOT Like Michael’s Storytime

For adults & caregivers with a sense of humor… but also, we should get some stuff out of the way.

1. I am a nearly thirty-year-old gay man, who lives with his mother and films a children’s show in his garage after work. How’s that for a LinkedIn bio?

2. When you Google Michael Kinsell (AKA, me, the host of Michael’s Storytime), headlines from over a decade ago come up about a teenage “Imposter” who “Angered PBS” for trying to have an event for Fred Rogers of Mister Rogers Neighborhood.


No, it was not fake news. 95% of everything written in the articles is true. At seventeen, Fred Rogers was my hero. I thought he was being removed from PBS stations when people needed him most. So, I tried to have an event to honor Mister Rogers and make a new show based on his values. It was a disaster, and it was entirely my fault.

Am I sorry it happened? Yes, for anyone hurt as a result, and there are a few who come to mind. But also—NO! Absolutely not. It turned me into a lifelong skeptic, made me stop reading books like The Secret, and excreted hollow phrases from my vernacular, like, “If you build it, they will come!” It likewise motivated me to make good on what I said I was going to all along and make a children’s show that could uphold the values Fred Rogers dedicated his life to.

3. Michael’s Storytime is not for everyone.

A single mom raised my younger brothers and me. We often had to look after each other when she had to work. I like to think I make each episode for kids like us.

4. Book Permissions

After episode 12, I have not always received formal written consent from each of the respective rights holders for some of the books I share. Now, before you get all, “Woody pushed Buzz out the window!” on me, allow me to explain. While the publisher owns the book, the authors and illustrators may retain the film and dramatic rights. Well, is Michael’s Storytime

– A dramatic reading, like one that might take place on a stage in a theater?

– Is the book used as a prop in a film?

– Is it an audio broadcast?

Michael’s Storytime is not really any of those things, and it may not have been outlined in the original publishing agreement. This means the author isn’t always comfortable offering permission without the illustrator and publisher’s consent. The first 12 episodes took over a year and a half to get final approval from everyone. One book often had two agents, the publisher’s rights department, and even family members of estates involved. If I share a book you’ve worked on, and you’d like to discuss what efforts went into contacting the respective rights holders, by all means, please email me, and we can discuss it.

New Episodes Tuesday!


Watch full-length episodes of Michael’s Storytime Tuesdays, along with the Book Only videos and clips Thursdays.