LaReau, Kara

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LaReau, Kara

Personal

Born in Stratford, CT.

Addresses

Home and office—RI. E-mail—[email protected]

Career

Author and editor.

Writings

Rocko and Spanky Go to a Party, illustrated by sister, Jenna LaReau, Harcourt (Orlando, FL), 2004.

Snowbaby Could Not Sleep, illustrated by Jim Ishikawa, Little, Brown (New York, NY), 2005.

Rocko and Spanky Have Company, illustrated by Jenna LaReau, Harcourt (Orlando, FL), 2006.

Ugly Fish, illustrated by Scott Magoon, Harcourt (Orlando, FL), 2006.

Rabbit and Squirrel, illustrated by Scott Magoon, Harcourt (Orlando, FL), 2008.

Sidelights

Kara LaReau teams up with her sister, illustrator Jenna LaReau, to create a series of entertaining children's books in which sock monkeys take the leading roles. The sisters' "Rocko and Spanky" series—which includes the books Rocko and Spanky Go to a Party and Rocko and Spanky Have Company—find the frisky twin monkeys rushing headlong into every adventure that comes their way. In a Publishers Weekly review of Rocko and Spanky Go to a Party, the critic deemed the work a "kicky debut" and a "fashionable and sweet-natured romp."

In addition to her work with her sister, Kara LaReau has also penned several children's books illustrated by other artists. Featuring cartoon art by Scott Magoon, her picture book Ugly Fish presents readers with a lesson about sharing and bullying. Ugly Fish, an intimidating and aggressive scaly green fish, rules the aquarium and does not like to share his watery "turf." Smaller fish fear him and often fall victim to his bite, and eventually Ugly Fish gets his wish and has the tank all to himself. This does not last long, however; the bully is soon joined by a new fish that is far bigger that Ugly Fish … and a bigger bully as well. Julie Roach, reviewing Ugly Fish for School Library Journal, remarked that while LaReau's story is "not for the faint of heart," young children will "thoroughly enjoy its humor and shock value."

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Booklist, January 1, 2006, Jennifer Mattson, review of Snowbaby Could Not Sleep, p. 117.

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, December, 2005, review of Snowbaby Could Not Sleep, p. 190; July-August, 2006, Deborah Stevenson, review of Ugly Fish, p. 505.

Kirkus Reviews, October 1, 2005, review of Snowbaby Could Not Sleep, p. 1082; May 15, 2006, review of Ugly Fish, p. 519.

Publishers Weekly, May 31, 2004, review of Rocko and Spanky Go to a Party, p. 73; November 28, 2005, review of Snowbaby Could Not Sleep, p. 50; May 22, 2006, review of Rocko and Spanky Have Company, p. 54; June 26, 2006, review of Ugly Fish, p. 50.

School Library Journal, October, 2004, Sheilah Kosco, review of Rocko and Spanky Go to a Party, p. 120; January, 2006, Dristine M. Casper, review of Snowbaby Could Not Sleep, p. 106; July, 2006, Zeilstra Sawyer, review of Rocko and Spanky Have Company, p. 81, and Julie Roach, review of Ugly Fish, p. 82.

ONLINE

Cynsations Web site,http://cynthialeitichsmith.blogspot.com/ (July 18, 2007), Cynthia Leitich-Smith, review of Ugly Fish.

Harcourt Web site,http://www.harcourtbooks.com/ (July 18, 2007), interview with the LaReau sisters.

LaReau Sisters Home Page,http://www.lareausisters.com/ (July 18, 2007).

Raincoast Books Web site,http://www.raincoast.com/kids/ (July 18, 2007), interview with the LaReau sisters.