Robin Rector Krupp Books & Biography
In Her Own Words...
"I am an artist who also writes. This is part of my story. At age three I found out I liked to draw, and at age fourteen I discovered that writing helped me to find out what I was thinking and feeling. At age thirty-three I began to study how to illustrate children's books. Homework assignments convinced me that I wanted to write books, too. At age thirty-nine I had my first book published.
"As a child I always drew and was the "family artist." My mother says that if she didn't give me paper, I would draw on my skin! I am grateful that my parents have always encouraged me. However, I was not the "class artist" or the best. Lots of people still draw better than I do. I got better at drawing by taking lots of lessons. I still take art and writing classes. Classes are my idea of fun, along with gardening, going to thrift stores, reading, and traveling.
"I come from a family who has seriously indulged in the luxury of travel for over half a century. As a kid I collected states. Could I visit all fifty by the time I was twelve? North Dakota, Hawaii, and Alaska were the hardest, and I didn't make it. I feel thankful to be able to take my love of art and travel and turn it into books.
"Now, as a visiting author and illustrator, I have been to the tiny Alaskan Yup'ik Eskimo villages at the edge of the Bering Sea. A man in Anchorage told me that even people in Alaska don't get to fly to those villages way out in the tundra. He said, "You only get to visit those places if you teach or preach." I said, "Oh, good. I do a little of each."
"I also feel very privileged to visit many schools and meet many children. I dress in costume from one of my books. I get kids to help me on the stage. Several years ago, I discovered how much we all hunger to watch someone draw. That discovery gave me the courage to draw in front of huge audiences. They see my mistakes and the electric eraser I use to correct them. I show kids the long development of a book, from sketches to printer's press sheets. I usually work on a book for two years. I am attracted to the complexity of books. Many of the steps aren't easy for me, but now I even enjoy rewriting. The best moments come when I look through one of my just-published books for the first time. Sometimes it takes hours!
"I like working with publishers, editors, children's booksellers, teachers, parents, and, of course, children. I am a teacher at heart and have thirteen teachers in three generations on both sides of my family. I like to help people get started. Everyone needs lots of chances to create. Luckily, we have many opportunities each day!
"Sometimes I work with my husband, Dr. E. C. Krupp, who wrote the Big Dipper and You, which I illustrated He is an astronomer and the director of Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles. When he was five years old, a children's book inspired him to become an astronomer.
"I have received hundreds of letters from children. One of my favorite letters came from a first grader who was encouraged to use inventive spelling. Decorated with a drawing of the sun, the moon, me, and 152 stars, the letter says, I lick Mrs. Robin Krupp bekus sey is neto and bekus sey is difrit and bekus sey is not lick a nomal gronup. "