Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Author: David Kirk

William Kates of Associated Press has an article with a nice photo of author/illustrator David Kirk. According to the article, Kirk was working as a one-of-a-kind toymaker when publisher Nicholas Callaway purchased one of his toys and "became enamored with the box with its rich illustration and recognized Kirk's ability to bring a character to life."

I love this description of Kirk's home:

In many ways, Kirk's real world is as magical as Miss Spider's: His 140-year-old Gothic-style farmhouse sits on a wooded hillside overlooking the vineyards of Cayuga Lake in this small hamlet, 50 miles southwest of Syracuse, where he lives with his second wife, Kathy, and three daughters - Violet, Primrose and Wisteria.

His house is stuffed with bright-colored paintings, children's books and all sorts of toys, especially robots. Outside, a two-story Victorian-style tree house sits nestled in a towering black walnut in the backyard.

The idea for Miss Spider came from Kirk's oldest daughter, Violet, now 17.

"When she was little, she could pick up a little caterpillar and carry it around for hours," he says. "I would worry because kids aren't usually very careful. Hours later, she would still have her little bug, and it would still be happy, crawling around. When she was ready, she would let it go. She was the inspiration for Miss Spider. Someone who might cause a little trouble, but always very nice."

David Kirk's books are featured at Scholastic.com. There are coloring sheets, biographical info.

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