Skinny Dip with Kenneth Kraegel

Kenneth Kraegel
Ken­neth Kraegel

We’re pleased to wel­come author and illus­tra­tor Ken­neth Kraegel for a Skin­ny Dip this month. His newest book, Wild Hon­ey from the Moon, is due to be pub­lished on Novem­ber 5, 2019. School Library Con­nec­tion said, “The rich and lus­cious illus­tra­tions are what make this book so spe­cial; read­ers will want to exam­ine every detail on every page. Even the text box­es are like small jew­el boxes.”

You will remem­ber his ear­li­er pic­ture books, Green Pants, King Arthur’s Very Great Grand­son, and The Song of Del­phine. Vis­it Ken­neth’s web­site to learn what he did before he began cre­at­ing books. He’s also made avail­able col­or­ing pages that leave room for adding your­self to the pic­ture! Let’s learn more:

Wild Honey from the MoonWhat would your auto­bi­og­ra­phy be called? Ken­neth Kraegel: A Real Piece of Work

What’s your favorite can­dy? Licorette or salt water taffy

If you could take cred­it for any great piece of art, song, film, or book, which one would you claim? Maybe The Wind in the Wil­lows by Ken­neth Gra­hame or Gilead by Mar­i­lynne Robinson

The best thing any­one has ever said about you. My eighth grade Eng­lish teacher asked me to stay after class and said, “You know, I could give you a D- and you could stay on the wrestling team, but I am going to give you an F instead, because you are sit­ting on your brains, Kraegel, you are sit­ting on your brains and I’d like to see you try.” I left feel­ing great — Mr. Downey thought I had brains!

What’s your bev­er­age of choice? a stout

Your go-to book to rec­om­mend to young read­ers. I always sing the prais­es of the Frog and Toad stories.

Your favorite day: rain, snow, storms, or sun­shine? That is a very tough deci­sion. I love them all. I would rank them as 1. snow 2. rain 3. storms 4. sunshine.

If you could invite four peo­ple to share break­fast with you, who would they be? Just three: Pope Leo I, Atti­la the Hun, and W.H. Auden. Auden wrote a poem about the mys­te­ri­ous moment when Atti­la and Leo meet, so he gets invit­ed. Here is the mys­tery: Atti­la was poised to sack Rome, Rome had no real defense left. Pope Leo came out and met Atti­la. He said some­thing to Atti­la and then Atti­la just turned around and left, spar­ing Rome. Nobody knows what Leo said, solv­ing that over pan­cakes would be a real treat.

Your favorite place to work? My studio

Kenneth Kraegel's studio
Ken­neth Kraegel’s studio

Kenneth Kraegel's picture books

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Virginia Euwer Wolff
4 years ago

I’m pret­ty sure I speak for a lot of oth­ers in say­ing I love see­ing Ken­neth Kraegel’s stu­dio: It’s a treat to see where he works, and an encour­age­ment for many of us, look­ing into the fur­nace where the ore under­goes the mys­ti­fy­ing process of trans­for­ma­tion. Thank you!