Kevin Henkes Here is Wisconsin. Kevin Henkes was born on November 27 1960. He grew up in Wisconsin, where he still lives today.
Kevin Henkes He liked to draw, read and reread books when he was young. "I remember drawing at a very young age. I loved it. My parents and teachers told me I was good at it - and that made me love it all the more."
Kevin Henkes As a child, Kevin went to the public library every two weeks. He still owns some of his childhood books! Some of his favorite books as a child were…
Kevin Henkes Henkes was the fourth of five children. For six years he was the baby of the family. No, he didn't torment his youngest sibling as Lilly does Julius, but he says he clearly remembers feeling jealous of the new baby.
Kevin Henkes Kevin Henkes published his first book when he was only 19 years old! He has published over 30 books!
Kevin Henkes Kevin Henkes is married to Laura, a painter, and they have two children, Will and Clara. "He reads to them each day at breakfast and at bedtime … “ He and his wife read three books to each child every night one-on-one.
Kevin Henkes As an adult Kevin Henkes reads every night before he goes to bed.
Kevin Henkes Henkes' fondness for mice as characters doesn't stem from personal experience. He has never had a pet mouse, only uninvited house mice!
Kevin Henkes Look at his mouse characters. Can you tell how they are feeling?
Kevin Henkes Kevin Henkes has drawn many mice as characters. Sometimes, he uses the mice’s tails to show how they feel.
Kevin Henkes Look at the tail on Owen’s mom. She has a good idea.
Kevin Henkes Look at Lilly’s tail. She knows she made a mistake.
Kevin Henkes How do you think Chrysanthemum is feeling? How can you tell?
Caldecott Honor Medal Owen, 1994 Newbery Honor Medal Olive’s Ocean, 2003 written for older children. Kevin Henkes Caldecott Medal for his picture book Kitten’s First Full Moon, 2005
Kevin Henkes Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse is still his best seller! Lilly is his most popular character! Do you know in which books Lilly appears?
Kevin Henkes “Lilly makes her first appearance in Chester’s Way. I had a story about two boys, and I wanted to shake up their friendship somehow. It just seemed right that the new person would be a girl. So that is why Lilly happened the way she happened. And one could make the case that Lilly is a female Wendell.”
Kevin Henkes "It's amazing how certain things in everyday life can turn into a book, and the people who inspired it never know it." Such was the case with Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse.
Kevin Henkes Kevin Henkes started writing in high school because he was encouraged by a teacher. Now he says that the words always come first and then the pictures.
Kevin Henkes Today Kevin Henkes writes and draws in his office which is a bedroom in his house.
Kevin Henkes Is there any bit of Kevin Henkes in Lilly? “Not very much! Maybe the me I wish I were... I’m probably her opposite. She’s much more out there. I was a very shy kid. I wish I could be as open and bold as she is, but that’s not me.” So which characters do you think are the most like the author?
Kevin Henkes “I've been a worrier all of my life. I think it's because I've been an artist all my life--a good imagination can be deadly to a worrier because you imagine all the terrible things that can happen and that is me. I still am a worrier. Hence, we have Wemberly!”
Kevin Henkes Do you remember what your first day of kindergarten was like? “I remember being terrified. I did not like kindergarten at all. It was a huge adjustment for me. I was always very comfortable being home, drawing, comfortable in my family, comfortable in my neighborhood. But making the leap from that to school was a huge one for me. Lilly probably loved school from the minute she went, but Owen... I think it was probably a harder transition for him.” So… do you think Henkes used his own experiences to write Wemberly Worried?
Kevin Henkes “Everyone has story to tell. If you want to write, look at your own personal experiences. Don’t worry about creating masterpieces. Don’t worry if your work is not perfect. Rewrite and keep on working… enjoy what you are doing. Have fun!”