Ken Stark

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General Information

Name: Ken Stark

Pen Name: None

Birth Year: N/A

Place of Birth: N/A


Email: N/A

Illinois Connection

Ken grew up in Kankakee, Illinois.

Biographical and Professional Information

Ken Stark is an award-winning book illustrator, editorial cartoonist, painter, and freehand graphic artist who has mostly lived and worked in rural Wisconsin and Illinois. The lifelong artist, now of southwestern Wisconsin, is largely self-taught.

Oh Brother!, the first book Ken both wrote and illustrated--gives a true glimpse of Ken and his brother's 1950s country life in rural Illinois which fostered their art careers. Orphan Train (by Verla Kay), the third inter-generational history-based book he illustrated, follows three orphans as they ride the orphan train west from New York City. Ken illustrated the book Orphan Train as he felt a kinship with the children in the book. As a young child, Ken stayed five months at a children's home when his mother was ill.

The first book Ken illustrated was Growing Seasons. It was written by his former long-time neighbor Elsie Lee Splear and was named an International Reading Associations Teachers' Choice, a Smithsonian Magazine Best Book of the Year, a CCBC Children's Choice, a Society of Midland Authors Honor Book, a Wisconsin Library Association Outstanding Children's Title for Illustration, and was chosen for the Illinois State Historical Library collection of history of 20th Century farm life. The paintings from Ken Stark's books have been shown in museums and galleries and are available for future exhibitions.

Ken paints in rural Kankakee, Illinois and in Southwestern Wisconsin where he and his wife have reconstructed an 1800's log house.

Published Works

  • Growing Seasons, written by Elsie Lee Splear and Carolyn Splear Pratt, illustrated by Ken Stark, G. P. Putnam`s Sons , 2000
  • Orphan Train, written by Verla Kay, illustrated by Ken Stark, G. P. Putnam`s Sons, 2003
  • Oh, Brother!, written and illustrated by Ken Stark, G. P. Putnam`s Sons, 2003
  • Seeing the Elephant: A Story of the Civil War, written by Pat Huges and illustrated by Ken Stark, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007

Titles for Purchase and at Your Library

Growing Seasons

ISBN: 0399234608
Release Date: 2000-06-19

Find on World Cat

Oh, Brother!

ISBN: 0399237666
Release Date: 2003-03-10

Find on World Cat

Seeing the Elephant: A Story of the Civil War

ISBN: 0374380244
Release Date: 2007-09-18

Find on World Cat

Literary Awards

  • Growing Seasons - A Smithsonian Notable Book, An International Reading Association Teachers' Choice Book, A Society of Midland Authors Notable Book, A Wisconsin Library Association Outstanding Children's Book for Illustration.

Speaking Engagements and Upcoming Appearances

Speaking Engagement Availability: (No)

External Links

Ken Stark on WorldCat

Ken Stark on Amazon


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