Kutztown artist and author Kevin McCloskey is displaying the original art from his Toon Books in the Kutztown Community Library, including art from his latest children’s book “Snails Are Just My Speed!” coming out in May.
The exhibit went up during National Library Week in early April. The toon art will be on display until June 28.
On display are the framed original artwork for his four recent children’s books: “We Dig Worms!,” “The Real Poop on Pigeons!,” “Somethings Fishy!,” and “Snails Are Just My Speed!” They are published by Toon Books, New York, and are called the Giggle and Learn series.
“I am very fond of the Kutztown Community Library. My wife, Patt, was once the director here. More recently, she was an itinerant storyteller for the Berks County Library system. She read stories at Kutztown and other local libraries. Patt asked me to write a funny, but true book about worms for her story hour, and that is how this series began,” said McCloskey.
A professor at Kutztown University in the Communication Design Department, he has access to Rohrbach Library, but he still uses the public library, too.
“Kutztown Community Library has a great collection of childrens’ graphic novels. Even though my Toon Books are informational, they are drawn in a comic book style and get shelved with the graphic novels,” he said.
Librarian Assistant Joanne Englehart requested that McCloskey display his toon art at the Kutztown Community Library.
“I am delighted that Joanne invited me to display my art here. I’ve exhibited these works at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary and the American Library Conventions in San Francisco and Chicago. Since the artwork is already framed, it is an easy thing for me to hang a show,” said McCloskey. “I know I was inspired to become an author by visits to my public library growing up in Elizabeth, N.J. Perhaps a child in Kutztown will be inspired by my simple artwork to pursue a career in the arts.”
Patriot editor Lisa Mitchell’s daughter, Anna, 6, was excited to have the opportunity to read an early release of “Snails Are Just My Speed!” The illustrations make learning facts about snails fun. The book includes instructions on how to draw McCloskey’s snail, much to Anna’s joy who immediately created her own snail.
McCloskey will be signing copies of his newest book, “Snails are Just My Speed!” at Firefly Bookstore at Kutztown’s Block Party on April 29 at 1 p.m., and again at Firefly on May 5 at 2 p.m. On both dates and through the end of May, he will donate his profit from the sales of new book at Firefly to the Kutztown Community Library.