Karla Kuskin was born on July 17, 1932, in Manhattan, New York, and became a talented poet and author who wrote delightful books and poems for children. With her playful words and creative ideas, Karla filled her work with imagination, fun, and a love for language. Today, her poems and stories continue to bring happiness and inspiration to young readers all around the world.
Karla’s Journey as a Writer
Karla Kuskin loved reading and writing since she was a young girl. She studied art and writing in college and started her career as a children’s book writer and illustrator. Her first book, Roar and More (1956), was written and illustrated by her and was a big success. Karla went on to write and illustrate more than 50 books, including The Philharmonic Gets Dressed (1982) and Moon, Have You Met My Mother? (2003).
A Magical World of Poetry
Karla Kuskin was especially talented at writing poems for kids. Her poems were full of playful language, funny ideas, and beautiful images that made readers feel like they were part of a magical world. She believed that poetry should be fun and exciting, and her work is a perfect example of that.
Karla’s poems often explored everyday life and experiences, showing young readers that there is wonder and beauty in even the smallest things. Her poems also encouraged children to use their imaginations, play with words, and find their own voices as writers and readers.
The following is an example of one of her poems, from the book Moon, Have You Met My Mother? Notice how the poem uses very simple language, but still draws a vivid picture in your mind, and ends with a cheery surprise.
A bug sat in a silver flower
thinking silver thoughts.
A bigger bug out for a walk
climbed up that silver flower stalk
and snapped the small bug down his jaws
without a pause
without a care
for all the bug’s small silver thoughts.
It isn’t right it isn’t fair that big bug ate that little bug
because that little bug was there.
He also ate his underwear.
Inspiring Young Minds
Karla Kuskin also enjoyed teaching kids about poetry and writing. She visited many schools to talk to students about her work and to share her love for language and storytelling. Karla believed that reading and writing could bring joy and inspiration to children’s lives and help them learn about themselves and the world around them.
Remembering Karla Kuskin
Karla Kuskin may have passed away on August 20, 2009, but her fantastic stories and poems still make readers happy today. You can even read more about Karla and her life as a poet in this article by Jack Prelutsky. As we remember her life and work, we can enjoy her humorous and creative poems, tell her stories to our friends, or even give poem-writing a try, using her work as our inspiration. Karla Kuskin’s love for language and her enchanting world of poetry continue to spark imagination and excitement in young readers, keeping her spirit alive for many years to come.