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Paul Brewer Illustrator & Author
I was a kid, I was never my teacher's favorite student. Not even
close. I goofed off like crazy, told jokes, and doodled when I was
supposed to be paying attention. Now I get paid for doing these very
same things. How completely ironic is that?!
children's book I ever illustrated was French Fries Up Your Nose: 208
Ways to Annoy People (Avon Books). It was written by thirteen-year-old
Alden Nusser, and I'll bet that he was probably not his teacher's
favorite student either.
I have written and illustrated several joke books including You Must Be Joking! and You Must Be Joking, Two! (Cricket Books). Besides jokes, they also include tips for remembering and telling jokes, plus how to perform them like a stand-up comedian. They have become bestsellers, found in many public and school libraries across the country. I believe joke books can seek out the reluctant readers, and then prep them for many more fun books to follow.
I illustrated the popular "Robert" series of
chapter books for grades 2-3, written by Barbara Seuling. Oh No, It's
Robert, Robert and the Attack of the Giant Tarantula, Robert Takes a
Stand, and Robert and the Practical Jokes are just a few of the
thirty-one books in the series, produced over the past ten years, with
over a million copies in print. Published by Cricket Books in
hardcover, they are also available in Scholastic paperback in stores
and from the Scholastic Book Club. Reviewers have raved about these
humorous school stories, describing the artwork as "quirky," "offbeat,"
My full-color picture books are How to Trick or Treat in Outer Space and Clip, Clip, Clip: Three Stories about Hair. Both were published by Holiday House and written by my wife, Kathleen Krull. School Library Journal found "great wit and a wild palette of colors" in the "vibrant" illustrations.
Our newest collaboration is Fartiste (Simon & Schuster, illustrated by Boris Kulikov), the true story of Joseph Pujol, the man who could make his pants dance. His performances in the 1890's at the Moulin Rouge in Paris are legendary. And yes, they were quite a gas, if you know what I mean. Book Links recently included Fartiste in their article "The Gross and the Gory: Making a Reading Connection with Boys" - about reaching the reluctant reader with this particular genre. The list of books to read also included Dav Pilkey's "Captain Underpants" series.
Kathy and I live in San Diego, California, where I have done a number of school and library visits over the last ten years or so. I have two daughters, Jacqui and Melanie, and a three-year-old grandson, Ethan, who loves to laugh but is still too young to get the jokes that I try to tell him. I cannot wait for that day!
Illustrator/Author School Visits
My talks are always full of joke-telling, from both me and the kids. I show a PowerPoint presentation that's a visual journey from my earliest artwork, up until what I am working on right now. I also show how a children's book is created, from idea to manuscript to final art to a completed book. If a PowerPoint presentation is not possible, then I can give an alternate show and tell. I also bring books that I've worked on, plus some of the original art for everyone to look at. I leave the last ten minutes or so to answer questions, or listen to jokes anyone might have. The jokes are usually flying around the room at this point.
My favorite audience is second through fifth graders (the kindergarten through 1st grade students are just a bit too young for my presentations). I will do up to three presentations in one day and will travel just about anywhere, including internationally, to come and speak to your students.
I have also spoken to adult audiences on a number of occasions at colleges, clubs and organizations, conferences and conventions around the country. My talk is basically the same as for kids, the world of children's book writing and illustrating, but I can tailor it to your specific needs if that's what you would like.
For information regarding my fees, and travel arrangements (if any) please email me and we can discuss the details. Information about me and my books, plus a lot more, can be found at my website.