Childrens’ book illustrator of note speaks to Eisenhower Elementary

Times Observer photo by Josh Cotton This is exactly what it looks like – a worm race. It was the highlights of a presentation given by author, professor and illustrator Kevin McCloskey during an assembly held at Eisenhower on Monday.

Kevin McCloskey’s children’s books have become popular for a reason you probably wouldn’t suspect.

Writing primarily to a kindergarten to second grade audience, McCloskey, a professor of illustration at Kutztown University, describes it this way: “The reason that my books became popular? They like to hear yucky stuff.”

McCloskey spoke to elementary students at Eisenhower during assemblies held on Monday morning.

Since 2015, he’s published books on pigeons, works and snails and is currently working on a book on ants.

According to his biography, he is the author and illustrator of the ‘Giggle and Learn’ series of hardcover comics published by Toon Books. His illustrations have also been published in the New York Times.

Times Observer photo by Josh Cotton Kevin McCloskey illustrates while presenting to elementary students at Eisenhower in an assembly held Monday morning.

On Monday, he told stories about his research into the animals that have starred in his books, including some of the interesting facts he’s learned that he has in turn incorporated into his books.

“I try to break it down,” he said, “and explain it to children.”

He also talked about the process of writing and revising and editing a book, explaining that he wants to specifically encourage young writer and authors in school visits like Monday.

He told the students that he and his editor went through 25 versions prior to publication in some instances.

“(There is a) tremendous back and forth,” he said. “Every word counts” in books for young readers. “I try not to use too many adjectives.”

The trick, then, becomes having the text work together with the illustration to tell th story.

But regardless of what he was talking about, the students were undoubtedly engaged, active and interested.

What drew the interest of the students the most?

A worm race.

And, yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like.