HGTV’s Property Brothers to read new children’s book at Austin’s BookPeople

Property Brothers Drew and Jonathan Scott will be heading back to Austin in October. This time, though, it’s not to shoot an episode of their HGTV show “Property Brothers.”

Instead, they’ll be at BookPeople Oct. 7 to read “Builder Brothers: Big Plans.” ($17.99, Harper Collins)

The Property Brothers Drew, left and Jonathan Scott, sit in an Austin home on Shoal Creek Boulevard that they remodeled for the show in 2012. AMERICAN-STATESMAN 2012

For the brothers, they are launching the book tour while also shooting in Calgary, where they are doing 14 projects for the show from now until December. They also just finished 16 projects in Nashville for the show.

Austin isn’t on their current list of where to film, but six years ago they did film projects here; we visited with them at one of the homes.

“I was just talking to people about Austin,” Jonathan Scott says. “We had the most fun. We always say, ‘You have to get there.'”

Filming in Austin, he says, was different because every house was completely unique. “There’s a lot of weird stuff we found in the walls and under the houses where we were renovating.”

They had fun filming during the day “and great food and music at night,” Jonathan Scott says.

Drew Scott would like to return to Austin because he’s a huge fan of “Fear the Walking Dead.” He says, he might just have to pop down here to see a filming of that show.

Before that, they’ll be here promoting “Big Plans.”

The Property Brothers have a new children’s book “Builder Brothers: Big Plans.”

The picture book is about two brothers (who happen to have the same names as the Brothers) who want to build something big. Will it be a castle? A treehouse? Or the ultimate doghouse for their two dogs?

The book, they say, is based on who they were as children. “It all comes from us as kids always scheming, always some adventure, it could only be solved by us,” says Drew Scott.

On one such occasion, they noticed that the neighbor’s dog didn’t have a doghouse. They gathered up a bunch of supplies on their farm and their dad took them to pick up some more. They designed and built a doghouse that the dog actually used.

In the book, the story has an unexpected twist. The brothers measure incorrectly, and the doghouse is built too small. They turn it into a birdhouse instead.

“We wanted to show kids you will come across struggles,” Jonathan Scott says. “Failure is not a bad thing.”

“Big Plans” is the first of a series of books. Each book will have a project that kids can make from stuff that they might have at home. In the first book, it’s a birdhouse out of a juice carton.

They use a lot of materials that kids might already have at home and repurpose them. “It’s thinking outside the box,” Drew Scott says.

As children they always were turning appliances boxes into experiences for their friends, he says, or creating their own Halloween costumes or building forts. “It’s so fun for kids not to be stifled, to be creative.”

While the brothers don’t have any children of their own, Drew says they were writing for any future children they might have, as well as their young fans.

Surprisingly, even to the brothers themselves, they have a lot of young fans, who come up to them in public places like airports or at home shows. “It blows our mind,” Drew Scott says of the number of kids that watch them. At home shows, kids bring them sketches of dream homes they are planning.

“Property Brothers” is giving kids inspiration, Drew Scott says. “It’s the reason we wanted to do a children’s book. It warms our heart.”

“It warms our heart . . . as if we only have one heart because we’re twins,” Jonathan Scott jokes.

The Scotts encourage parents to involve their kids in home improvement projects. “It means so much for kids to be involved in some way,” Jonathan Scott says. And that doesn’t mean you have to give your kids power tools. There are a lot of safer things they can do from painting to caulking, he says.

In writing the books, the brothers consulted with a child psychologist to make sure it was developmentally appropriate, but at the end of the day, the goal was to have fun. “This is a fun book,” Jonathan Scott says.

“For Jonathan and me, it’s a fun read,” Drew Scott says. “There’s a great message behind it. Working together is better than working by yourself.”

“It’s positive reinforcement for kids about the things you can accomplish,” Jonathan Scott says. “There are things kids want to do, and they can have fun doing them in a safe environment.”

They see it as a positive thing “with all the chaos in the world,” Jonathan Scott says.

Property Brothers read “Builder Brothers: Big Plans”

When: 4 p.m. Oct. 7

Where: BookPeople, 603 N. Lamar Blvd.

Tickets: You must buy a voucher for $17.99, which is good for admission for four people and a copy of the book, which you can get signed. bookpeople.com/event/property-brothers-builder-brothers-big-plans or at the store.


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