All About Adolescent Literacy

All about adolescent literacy. Resources for parents and educators of kids in grades 4-12.
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A video interview with

Timothy Basil Ering

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Timothy Basil Ering grew up on Cape Cod in Massachusetts with water, boats, and fisherman all around him. He remembers vividly when he was able to read a book the whole way through all by himself. That book was Green Eggs and Ham, and Dr. Seuss remains one of his great inspirations, teaching Ering that you can be wildly silly and creative at the same time.

Ering studied at the Art Center College of Design in California, before setting sail as a boatswainsmate aboard the USS Kitty Hawk, travelling to Hawaii, Japan, the Philippines, Australia, Sri Lanka, and Africa. When he returned from his world travels, he decided to return to his art and try to make a living at it.

He illustrated his first children's book in 2001 (Sad Doggy) which was quickly followed by the enormously successful Newbery winning book, The Tale of Despereaux, originally published with black and white pencil drawings and later in a full-color specially bound edition. The Story of Frog Belly Rat Bone and Necks Out for Adventure gave Ering a chance to write as well as illustrate. All of his picture books reveal an inventive, experimental approach to the process of painting and drawing.

When Ering is not busy creating art and stories for children's books, you can find him in the studio painting images of fish, seascapes, and landscapes that reflect his life on the New England shore. Ering's artwork has appeared in magazines, theater sets, private murals, and fine art galleries. Creativity and the outdoors are his two passions. He says:

"If the ocean or the mountains or rivers or woods were taken away from me, my soul would be taken away from me with them! My play in the outdoors is critical. Out there, I find peace, happiness, freedom, adventure, and scores of other magical elements needed to replenish an artist's brain to create."

Ering lives with his wife and two kids, Finn and Sawyer, in Plymouth, Massachusetts — still close to the ocean.

Selected Books

from Timothy Basil Ering

The Diary of Victor Frankenstein

Age Level: Teen

Ering channels the mind of Dr. Frankenstein in this imaginary re-creation of the doctor's long-lost sketchbooks, including detailed anatomical studies, views of his laboratory, and images of his "monster." The text is handwritten, the drawings are dark and gothic in feel, and the pages themselves feel old and discolored as if from age.

Buy The Diary of Victor Frankenstein

33 Snowfish

Age Level: Teen

Three disaffected, abused teenagers come together in this raw, stark, and unsettling novel intended for sophisticated readers. Three voices are presented — one revealed through his drawings only — are disturbing but riveting and not without hope.

Buy 33 Snowfish