As a ten-year old boy, Jack Prelutsky was considered something of a singing sensation. He was being paid regularly to sing at weddings and other events, and he was even being coached by the choir master of the Metropolitan Opera. Somewhere along the way, he realized that singing was not where his passion lay, so he started trying other things. After an eclectic list of careers, which included potter, woodworker, and guitarist, Prelutsky discovered within himself a poet. And that poetry has been tickling the funny bones of children and adults ever since.
Prelutsky has penned dozens of books of his own poetry, including The New Kid on the Block, The Frogs Wore Red Suspenders, and Something Big Has Been Here. He has also worked as an anthologist, gathering together wonderful tidbits written by other authors and creating collections that readers can enjoy. He writes about animals, friendship, imaginary creatures and bullies, along with anything else that might interest him, or his readers. Prelutsky has demonstrated time and again in the last thirty-odd years that he understands that children and adults are looking for literature that is funny and wise and profound -- literature that they respect, and that respects them as readers.
There are literally thousands of children's books published each year, but there are only a few authors who become household names. Prelutsky is one of those. He is the heir to the throne that has been previously occupied by the likes of Lewis Carroll, Edward Lear, Hillaire Belloc and Shel Silverstein. His playful wisdom and marvelous insight are what have made him one of the most anthologized, memorized, and idolized poets of our time.
In addition to Jack Prelutsky's event at the Met, there are several other youth events planned in conjunction with Get Lit! but taking place a week later. On Friday, April 18, a small army of local writers will be making visits to District 81 schools as part of Get Lit! Writers in the Schools Day. Later that night, don't miss local author Sarah Conover, who's hosting the Youth Poetry Slam at West Valley High School, 8301 W. Buckeye Ave. Sign-up takes place at 5:30; the poetry slam begins at 6 p.m. For more information visit www.ewu.edu/dcesso/press/getlit/sched.htm or call 623-4286.