More About the Author
The career of Jon J Muth spans three decades, beginning with Wilmington College hosting his first one-man show as a painter at the age of eighteen. He now exhibits his work internationally. He is a musician and a best-selling writer, and for over twenty years put pictures and words together in comics and graphic novels; culminating in the industry's highest honor, an Eisner Award for "The Mystery Play".
Siting that becoming a father was a profoundly life changing experience, Mr. Muth became aware of the need to explore subjects that spoke to a younger audience. He remarks, "My oldest is eighteen and now we have four year old twins. I love writing for children. Drawing for them. Children see the world in a bright, curious and immediate way. Most of my work in children's publishing has been in watercolor which speaks to that vibrancy.... Being a parent to me reveals something about being alive and a responsibility that is really shattering... An artist is a very selfish position to occupy, but being a parent just throws all that out the window. Becoming a father in my case, did something I can't really explain and it has influenced my creative process."
In 1999 Mr. Muth started what has been over a decade in children's books, first illustrating "Come On Rain!", which won a Gold Medal from the Society of Illustrators. He has received numerous awards and critical acclaim and worked with many talented people, including Neil Gaiman and Mo Willems. He is the author and illustrator of "Zen Shorts" a Caldecott Honor book, which Kirkus Review described as "Every word and image comes to make as perfect a picture book as can be". He is the illustrator of the anthology, "A Family of Poems", with Caroline Kennedy. His book "The Three Questions" has been described as "quietly life-changing" by The New York Times.
In an interview with theÂ Paris Review, E.B. White once said, "You don't write down for children. You write up." Muth wholeheartedly agrees. "Children are completely capable of intuiting wisdom as readily as adults are... they just may not have the ability to put it into words ... [but] they get this stuff very quickly. Even the kids who come to the book (Zen Shorts) because it has this giant panda tend to come back because there's some itch that's set off -- in their minds or in their hearts -- to re-examine what's going on."
Mr. Muth has had a life long interest in Asian Studies, including tai chi chuan, sumi ink drawing and chado, "the way of tea". His work has been translated into more than a dozen languages and he lives with his wife Bonnie and their four children in New York.