Kellogg creates worlds for children at Essex home

ESSEX Chances are that your child can tell you exactly who Steven Kellogg is. Kellogg has illustrated about 120 childrens books, about a third of which he also authored. His works include favorites Pinkerton, Behave!, How Much is a Million? and The Day Jimmys Boa Ate the Wash. His career has spanned 40 years, since hes been illustrating ever since he graduated college. My work is who I am. I put everything I am into my books, said Kellogg. Kellogg and his work are being featured on Art Express on Mountain Lake PBS, which explores the arts in New York, western Vermont, and Quebec. The show is produced by Paul Larson. The program also features John Lloyd Young of Plattsburgh, who won a Tony Award for his performance in Jersey Boys. Part of the special was filmed at the Smith House Health Care Center in Willsboro, with guests from the Willsboro after school program and Elizabethtown Cub Scout Pack 34. He spoke about his childhood, and encouraged children to think of the stories they each had. The youth watched as he retold The Island of the Skog. Teaching is theater, according to Kellogg. He engaged the youth, and earned enthusiastic responses from the children as he rapidly sketched the characters. The kids are wonderful. Education is the most important field in our society, said Kellogg. Kelloggs art is detailed, dramatic and full of action exactly what he enjoyed reading as a kid. He explained that childrens art is extremely important, since it fosters a lifelong love of art. It takes about a year for Kellogg to complete a book, although some take longer. He pointed out one work took 14 years to see print. He usually has about three in various stages of completion. Kellogg uses a variety of media to created his pictures, including acrylics, watercolors, pencils and collage. In his studio, drawings for a re-edition of Come Here Cat are spread over his table. The images are bright and colorful. Kellogg has always loved the area. He summered in Essex with his family, and said he used to dream about living at Block House farm which is where he now makes his home. Kellogg and his wife Helen, who is an art historian, became year-round residents of Essex a couple years ago. He is a recipient of the Regina Medal, which is a prestigious award presented for lifetime contribution to childrens literature. Kelloggs books have been translated into over a dozen languages. Kellogg said creating a book was like making a friend and he refuses to choose a favorite. He added that he had no plans for retiring, since he adored his work. I just love it. Its a very satisfying way to make a living, and I enjoy every aspect, said Kellogg. Tune in! Art Express on Mountain Lake PBS will feature a profile of Steven Kellogg on March 7 at 8 p.m. The show will be rebroadcast on 11:30 a.m. on March 18.

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