Friday, October 3, 2008

Author Spotlight: Kevin Henkes

At age 19, Kevin Henkes gathered his life savings and flew from his hometown of Racine, Wisconsin, to New York City, art portfolio in hand, hoping to find a publisher for his work. Intending to stay in the city for a week, he started on a Monday, visiting a list of his favorite children's publishers. By Tuesday morning, he had a contract with Susan Hirschman - founder, publisher and editorial director of Greenwillow Books, and his first choice for a publisher. All Alone, the debut picture book which he both wrote and illustrated, was published by Greenwillow in 1981.

In an interview with Alice Cary in 1996, Mr. Henkes said, "I was excited in a way that maybe I haven't been since in my book life. It is still a very big deal when Susan calls."

Growing up in Racine, Kevin Henkes desperately wanted to be an artist. By his junior year of high school, he decided he also wanted to write. He was raised in a home that was comfortable and safe - a theme reflected often in his picture books.

To date, Mr. Henkes has written and/or illustrated some 36 picture books, board books, and novels - including his "Mouse books," starring the memorable characters Chester, Chrysanthemum, Julius, Lilly, Owen, Sheila Rae, Wemberly, and Wendell.

No comments:

Post a Comment

So, what's on your mind?