Kanzler, John 1963-

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Kanzler, John 1963-

Personal

Born 1963; married; wife's name Diane. Hobbies and other interests: "Learning more about paleontology, archaeology, and astronomy."

Addresses

Home and office—Greenfield, MA. E-mail—[email protected]

Career

Illustrator.

Illustrator

Sherry Garland, Goodnight, Cowboy, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1999.

Anita Reith Stohs, Hush, Little One: A Lullaby for God's Children, Concordia (St. Louis, MO), 2002.

Frank Asch, Class Pets: The Ghost of P.S. 42, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2002.

Frank Asch, Survival School, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2003.

Frank Asch, Battle in a Bottle, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2003.

The Big Rock Candy Mountain, Mondo (New York, NY), 2004.

Susan Ring, Safari Sounds, Innovative Kids, 2004.

Nina Hess, Whose Feet?, Random House (New York, NY), 2004.

Martha Hamilton and Mitch Weiss, Priceless Gifts: A Folktale from Italy, August House (Little Rock, AR), 2007.

Margaret Read MacDonald, The Old Woman and Her Pig: An Appalachian Folktale, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2007.

"THE STORY OF DR. DOLITTLE" SERIES

Diane Namm, adapter, Animal Talk (also see below), Sterling (New York, NY), 2006.

Diane Namm, adapter, The Circus Crocodile (also see below), Sterling (New York, NY), 2006.

Diane Namm, adapter, Doctor Dolittle's Great Adventure (also see below), Sterling (New York, NY), 2006.

Diane Namm, adapter, Doctor Dolittle's Magical Cure (also see below), Sterling (New York, NY), 2006.

Diane Namm, adapter, The Story of Doctor Dolittle (omnibus; contains Animal Talk, The Circus Crocodile, Doctor Dolittle's Great Adventure, and Doctor Dolittle's Magical Cure), Spotlight (Edina, MN), 2008.

Sidelights

Drawing animals comes naturally to John Kanzler: he gains his inspiration from the critters of all sorts that he and his wife, Diane, care for on their farm in Greenfield, Massachusetts. Along with its resident sheep, llamas, and cats, the Kanzlers' farm is home to mice, woodchucks, foxes, and occasionally even brown bears. Although Kanzler often uses his fellow farm-dwellers as models for his illustration assignments, he sometimes has to go further afield, as in his work creating art for Margaret Read MacDonald's The Old Woman and Her Pig: An Appalachian Folktale. The Kanzler farm is not, in fact, home to swine.

Despite his affinity for drawing animals, Kanzler's first two illustration assignments—Sherry Garland's Goodnight, Cowboy and Anita Reith Stohs' Hush, Little One: A Lullaby for God's Children—feature human protagonists. However, animals reclaim the spotlight in Kanzler's work for Frank Asch's Class Pets: The Ghosts of P.S. 42, which finds two homeless mice setting up a new home in the walls of an elementary classroom. "Kanzler's charming sketches provid[e] … a mouse's-eye view," wrote a critic in appraising Class Pets for Kirkus Reviews. The illustrator's "softly shaded drawings … add atmospheric details that help cement the book's appeal for the elementary crowd," a Publishers Weekly critic concluded.

Another book featuring Kanzler's art, The Big Rock Candy Mountain, pairs the lyrics of a popular U.S. folk song with pictures that bring to life a candied landscape. "The illustrations are definitely the most charming component here," wrote a Kirkus Reviews contributor, the critic citing as a favorite Kanzler's humorous depiction of a sugary sweet Mt. Rushmore. Humor is also an important element of Kanzler's art for The Old Woman and Her Pig, in which the illustrator's "textured paintings play up the expressions and sauciness of the old woman, her little boy and the animals," according to a Kirkus Reviews writer. Another traditional tale, Martha Hamilton and Mitch Weiss's retelling titled Priceless Gifts: A Folktale from Italy, prompted Jayne Damron to write in School Library Journal that "Kanzler's warm-hued paintings evoke traditional images." GraceAnne A. DeCandido, reviewing the same book for Booklist, enjoyed Kanzler's inclusion of "colorful fairy-tale effects" within his art.

In addition to picture books, Kanzler also illustrates books for beginning readers. Among these are Whose Feet? by Nina Hess, in which Kanzler portrays all sorts of animal feet, from those of moles to those of orangutans. He has also illustrated Diane Namm's series of easy-reader adaptations of Hugh Lofting's classic children's novel Doctor Dolittle, as well as a lift-the-flap book titled Safari Sounds, in which he matches humorous riddles by Susan Ring with pictures chock full of noisy animals.

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Booklist, December 15, 2002, Gillian Engberg, review of Class Pets: The Ghost of P.S. 42, p. 759; June 1, 2003, Eva Mitnick, review of Battle in a Bottle, p. 1774.

Kirkus Reviews, August 1, 2002, review of Class Pets, p. 1121: June 1, 2003, review of Battle in a Bottle, p. 800; March 1, 2004, review of The Big Rock Candy Mountain, p. 224; December 1, 2006, review of The Old Woman and Her Pig: An Appalachian Folktale, p. 1223.

School Library Journal, October, 2002, Beth Tegart, review of Class Pets, p. 98; January, 2004, Teri Markson, review of Survival School, p. 87; May, 2004, Mary Elam, review of The Big Rock Candy Mountain, p. 133; February, 2007, Martha Simpson, review of The Old Woman and Her Pig, p. 110; June, 2007, Jayne Damron, review of Priceless Gifts: A Folktale from Italy, p. 133.

ONLINE

August House Web site,http://store.augusthouse.com/ (March 5, 2008), profile of Kanzler.

Harper Collins Web site,http://www.harpercollins.com/ (March 5, 2008), profile of Kanzler.

John Kanzler Home Page,http://johnkanzler.com (March 5, 2008).

Simon and Schuster Web site,http://www.simonsays.com/ (March 5, 2008), profile of Kanzler.