About the Author
Stuart J. Murphy is a visual learning specialist. A graduate of the
Rhode Island School of Design, he has a strong background in design
and art direction. He also has extensive experience in the world of
educational publishing. Drawing on all these talents, Stuart J.
Murphy brings a unique perspective to the MathStart series. In
MathStart books, pictures do more than tell stories; they teach
math. Stuart J. Murphy and his wife, Nancy, live in Boston. Frank
Remkiewicz illustrated the MathStart Books Rabbit's Pajama Party
and Just Enough Carrots. He lives in Sarasota, FL. In His Own
Words... "I was the kind of kid who was always reading or drawing.
Since I was drawing well before I started school, I always
considered art to have seniority over the likes of long division
and medieval history. This attitude got me into difficulties more
than once. My favorite subjects were horses, cartoons, wildlife,
and contraptions that rolled, floated, tooted, or flew. My heroes
of the day were illustrators like Bill Peet, Robert Lawson, and
Kurt Weiss. They provided me with a screenful of imagery that I'll
never forget. "Winter in kindergarten found us all painting Santas
at our tables. Mine came out so good that I was asked to do it over
again on a huge piece of brown paper that covered the chalkboard.
Santa would be bigger than me. I was excused from the regular
stuff, given larger brushes, more paint-and sure enough, here came
Santa. This was only the beginning. Other teachers, seeing the
mural-sized figure, 'borrowed' me to do the same for first- and
second-grade classrooms. Flattered but somewhat embarrassed, I took
heart, since these gigs were getting me out of a lot of tedious
activities like nap time, scissors, yarn, and flash cards. 'All I
ever needed to know, I learned in kindergarten' may be true. Twenty
years later I found myself on Madison Avenue at Norcross Greeting
Cards-yes, drawing Santa Claus. "I've always been drawn to the
field of humor. Since I'm writing and illustrating my own stories
now, I try to make them funny in an outrageous or off-the-wall way.
During classroom presentations, I again find myself by the
chalkboard in front of the kids. Now we are seeking ways to write
and draw those ideas that squeeze their way through the everyday
chores of our minds. It's a thrill to watch my own book being read
by a group of children, and I like it when they smile. But I love
it when they laugh."