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KUED's online series exploring creativity

Writing for Children

Robert Neubecker’s award-winning children’s books are directly inspired by his own children. As a father of two, he was able to draw inspiration from his own life experiences. “I am very childlike myself, says Neubecker. “I spend a lot of time in the worlds of imagination.”

Robert has published over 30 books, including beloved titles such as: “Every Corner Needs a Monster,” the 2013 Colorado Book Award winner “I got Two Dogs,” “Beasty Bath,” and “Sophie Peterman Tells the Truth.”

His illustrations have appeared in The New York Times, Time Magazine, Newsweek, The Chicago Tribune, The Wall Street Journal, and more.

Robert writes many of his books in verse. “Which can be a blessing or a curse,” he says. “When writing children’s books … every word counts.” With children’s books, Neubecker explains that the words and pictures must create a perfect story or ‘a little gem’, as he calls it. “It has to read well, and all that other stuff,” says Neubecker, “but I look at it as more of a work of art.”

Quoting children’s author Mo Willems, Robert says, “The most important thing is that the page turn … So just keep moving the narrative forward.” Neubecker does just that with his charming and heartwarming books. His illustrations have a complexity and a playfulness that relates to children of all ages and adults alike.

Robert has taught at the School of Visual Arts in New York, Brigham Young University and the University of Utah. An ex-New Yorker, Robert now lives in Park City, Utah. He is married with two teenage kids and “a whole bunch of dogs and cats”.

You can learn more about Robert’s work on his website and his illustrations will be on display at the Salt Lake City Public Library Children’s Gallery until August 17.