Saturday, July 14, 2007

Jon Scieszka: In the Flesh

Jon Scieszka, a well-known children's author, was born in Flint, Michigan on September 8, 1954. His father, Louis Scieszka was an elementary school principal, and his mother, Shirley was a registered nurse. Jon grew up with five brothers, of which he was the second oldest.

As a child, Jon Scieszka always wanted to become an author, but he decided to attend military school first. He graduated after three years from Culver Military College in Indiana. Jon
then moved to Albion College where he started to study medicine, but ended up getting his B.A. in writing in 1976. He was accepted into John Hopkins Medical School, but instead went to Columbia University where he received his Master of Fine Arts in 1980. Today Jon Scieszka and his wife, Jerilyn, son, Jake, and daughter, Casey, live in Brooklyn, New York.

His influences can basically be summed up in one word: "anything." His inspirations are a combination of what he is reading, the music he is listening to, the movies he watches. However, he considers his two kids as his biggest inspirations. He likes kids because he thinks that kids are the perfect audience since they are willing to be goofy and wonder what if. However, one of his biggest influences has been Dr. Seuss and his famous book, Green Eggs and Ham, which made The Stinky Cheese Man possible. After reading Dr. Seuss books over and over, Scieszka realized that books could also be goofy.

In 1986, he met up with his illustrator Lane Smith and they became instant friends. He already received numerous awards including The 1994 Rhode Island Children's Book Award for The Stinky Cheese Man; Math Curse was an American Library Association Notable Book in 1996; in 1995 he received a Blue Ribbon Book from the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Book, and many more.

He always takes into consideration his audience, especially when he is creating new ideas for his wacky children's books. He uses imagination, creativity and fun to bring three different themes into his works. The themes are putting a new twist into old tales, hearing the other side of the story before judging, and simply having fun.

~~~.xoxo, Ace Gapuz :)

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