The Balkin Buddies Blog Catherine Balkin's Facebook
 

KEVIN O'MALLEY

Author & Illustrator

BIOGRAPHY I BOOKS I PRESENTATIONS I BOOK ORDERING

Kevin O'Malley was in the fourth grade when he decided to illustrate books for children.

 

As punishment for acting out in class, Kevin was often sent to the library for a "timeout." Resigned to his fate, he grudgingly started to leaf through a pile of picture books. There were pictures of cute little ponies, cute little puppies, and cute little children with smiling parents beaming behind them. Yuck, yuck, and double yuck! Then, just when he thought he would fall off his chair and die of cuteness, Kevin came upon a picture of a boy in a wolf suit who was threatening to eat his mother. In another picture he was chasing his dog with a fork. This was somebody Kevin could relate to. He kept reading as the boy cavorted through the forest with big hairy monsters. Kevin loved it! The book was, of course, Where the Wild Things Are. From then on, Kevin wanted to illustrate children's books. Not cute children's books, but books for kids like him.

 

He has a wild sense of humor and it comes through loud and clear in his books. In 1992, he made his children's book debut with Froggy Went A-Courting, based on a well known folk ballad. That same year (1992), he wrote the text and created the art for Bruno, You're Late for School, an amusing tale of a young boy rhinoceroses whose mighty sneeze launches his homework out of his apartment window. Both books have delightful full-page colored pencil drawings.

 

Kevin has illustrated books written by other writers, such as Cinder Edna, Big Squeak, Little Squeak, and Chanukah in Chelm and has worked in animating multimedia displays for clients including the Smithsonian Institution. His latest books range from nonfiction to outrageous humor. He has always loved drawing and shares his enthusiasm with kids in the talks he gives at schools.

 

Kevin lives in Baltimore, Maryland with his artist wife and two sons.

 

In His Own Words

 

It's been written of me that I could be found "crouched over my drawing table chuckling with maniacal glee and emitting little snorts of guilty laughter." I've been accused of inspiring more mirthful moments than any author has a right to. And, yes, I am guilty of a raucous personality that demands attention. Humor owns me. Whether I'm writing or illustrating a new book, or doing a school presentation, it's the humor that grabs my audience and tells them:  I'm one of you. I find life funny too!

With thirteen books that I've authored and illustrated, and twenty more that I've brought my zany style and quirky color and texture to, I still yearn for the taste of new fun and the dribble of laughter.