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Chicken Littleby Steven Kellogg
Synopses & Reviews
An Interview with Steven Kellogg Q. HarperCollins asked: Steven, what are some recollections from your childhood that might explain the fact that you've created over one hundred popular children's books? Is there anything in your background that would explain your career choice?
A. As a child, I loved the times when an adult would read a story to me. I remember being fascinated with the chance to study each illustration spread out before me, and how excited I got when the page turned and a new picture appeared.
Other formative memories center around a beautiful woodland that was near my house in Connecticut where I spent countless tranquil hours sketching birds, animals, and trees. I began collecting magazines and books about wildlife, and the illustrations inspired me to turn out drawings and paintings of animals from all over the world. I wallpapered my room with my pictures, continually replacing the older ones with my latest work until finally, to my parents' dismay, the walls were peppered with thousands of thumbtack holes.
As a boy I was also an enthusiastic storyteller. I would sit between my younger sister with a stack of paper in my lap concocting a convoluted tale while busily scribbling illustrations to accompany the narration. The drawings were passed alternately to my audience of two, and the story rattled along nonstop until my poor sisters were buried under piles of paper. We called this activity "telling stories on paper."
Q. And since then, you have persisted in "telling stories on paper!" How did that come about?
I returned from Italy determined to find a way to make a living that would be in harmony with the person I was then discovering myself to be. I decided to combine my love of creating stories and pictures with my strong feelings about the importance of books and education, and to make an all-out effort to establish a career in children's books.
I began writing stories and submitting them to major publishers and traveling to New York to show them samples of my artwork. There were some disheartening rejections, but I kept trying to improve the quality of my work. I was overjoyed when I received some concrete encouragement and even more thrilled when my first books were published.
Q. What intrigues you about writing and illustrating picture books?
Q. Among your best-known and most-loved books are your retellings of American tall tales. How did that series come about?
Q. You have been recognized for your body of work by such awards as the Regina Medal, the David McCord Citation, the New England Booksellers Award, and the Jo Osborne Award for Humor in Children's Literature. What do you think when you look back over the more than thirty years that you have been publishing books for children?
In my books I try to provide young readers with a sense of fun and a positive interaction with literature in the hope that they will incorporate an ongoing relationship with reading and the visual arts into their lives and will enjoy all of the enrichment and benefits that they provide.
Q. How would you describe your life outside of the details of your career?
"The sky is failing! The sky is failing!" Chicken Little and her feathered friends are all aflutter when she gets a mysterious bump on the head. Steven Kellogg's hilarious retelling and irresistible illustrations bring fresh delight to this timeless classic of chain reaction panic.
Steven Kellogg's hilarious retelling and irresistible illustrations bring fresh delight to this timeless classic of chain reaction panic. Full color.
About the Author
Steven Kellogg is the illustrator of over eighty picture books for children, including his own retellings of Johnny Appleseed, Paul Bunyan, which School Library Journal declared "one of Kellogg's best books," and Pecos Bill, which Booklist called "a read-aloud treat for the family or classroom." Mr. Kellogg is also the author of Chicken Little, which Booklist said was "one of Kellogg's best efforts to datea winner every child will like," and Aster Aardvark's Alphabet Adventures, which Kirkus said was "an ingenious alliterative tour-de-farce, perfect accompaniment to the author's zany illustrations. Just try keeping a straight face as you read this aloud."
Steven Kellogg lives in Sandy Hook, Connecticut.
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