Spotlight on Jon Scieszka

The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid TalesIf you have a young reader at home, you may have heard of the author Jon Scieszka. This children’s book author has been making kids laugh for more than 25 years. His books have definitely made an impression on my family.

My nephew first introduced me to Jon Scieszka about 12 years ago. Although he was not an avid reader, my nephew enjoyed reading the book The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, again and again. He loved the comical, off the wall ‘fairy tales.’

When my son was in 2nd grade he discovered the Time Warp Trio series. He was entertained by the mix of history, humor and time travel. The Time Warp Trio series helped my son find joy in reading.
Time Warp Trio
For those of you who are not familiar with Jon Scieszka, following are brief descriptions of some of his work and accomplishments.
The True Story of the 3 little Pigs!
Jon Scieszka’s first book written in collaboration with illustrator Lane Smith, was The True Story of the 3 little Pigs!, published in 1989.
Math Curse, Squids will be Squids, Baloney, (Henry P.), Science Verse, Seen Art?, and Cowboy and Octopus
Smith and Scieszka went on to create many popular picture books, including Math Curse, Squids will be Squids, Baloney, (Henry P.), Science Verse, Seen Art?, and Cowboy and Octopus, as well as the aforementioned The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales and the Time Warp Trio series . These books introduce young readers to fairy tales, fables, math, art and science in a fun way.
The Frog Prince, Continued, The Book that Jack Wrote, Battle Bunny, and Robot Zot
Over the years, Scieszka has worked with many other illustrators including Steve Johnson, Daniel Adel, Mac Barnett, and David Shannon to create a variety of engaging picture and easy chapter books such as The Frog Prince, Continued, The Book that Jack Wrote, Battle Bunny, and Robot Zot.
Truck Town series
Together with illustrators David Shannon, Loren Long and David Gordon, Scieszka created the Trucktown series for preschool and kindergarten children. With characters like Dump Truck Dan, Gabriella Garbage Truck, and Monster Truck Max, these popular books deliver dirty fun for the youngest readers. They continue to publish easy readers, board books and picture books about these much loved characters.
Spaceheadz
Spaceheadz, illustrated by Shane Prigmore, is a multiplatform series for older readers that includes chapter books as well as online content. At Spaceheadz.com readers can create an account to upload photos and stories, read other users content, and print stickers.
Frank Einstein
Scieszka’s most recent chapter books series Frank Einstein, illustrated by Brian Biggs, tells the story of a kid genius and his two self-assembled robots. Elementary school children will be delighted by the abundance of science details and comic illustrations.

Knucklehead: Tall Tales
Finally, if you would like to find out more about Jon Scieszka, you may want to read his memoir Knucklehead: Tall Tales and Mostly True Stories about Growing Up Scieszka. With a mixture of photographs and short chapters, Scieszka tells laugh out loud stories about growing up with five brothers. Readers will gain some insight as to how he developed his unique brand of humor.

Scieszka’s influence does not just stop with his own books. He founded the web-based literacy initiative for boys called Guys Read. The Guys Read website offers book recommendations for boys and gives adults tips to encourage more boys to read. Additionally, Scieszka was appointed the first ever National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature by the Librarian of Congress in 2008.

Jon Scieszka will celebrate his birthday on September 8. Why not check out one of his books to honor this champion of children’s literature?

-Briana Cahill

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