Bedtime stories inspire author to write for children

“[Clorinda’s] auditions and fateful, lumbering jeté into her partner’s arms are a hoot.”

Clorinda (Simon and Schuster, 2003, $15.95) is the story of a cow with big dreams: She wants to be a ballerina. This charming children’s book, written by Robert Kinerk ’62, was named one of the best books for 2003 for ages 6-8 by Child magazine. “Her auditions and fateful, lumbering jeté into her partner’s arms are a hoot, both visually and textually,” wrote the editors.

Kinerk says his interest in children’s stories began when he was reading bedtime stories to his two children. “I liked the playfulness of the things I read,” he explains. “I’d always had an interest in related kinds of writing-in song lyrics and light verse. It seemed natural to add rhymed children’s stories.”

A writer since his days at SCU, Kinerk says a short story of his was published in the Owl (the precursor to the Santa Clara Review, the literary magazine at SCU). He adds that his SCU experience had many long-lasting effects on him as a writer. “I came away from my obligatory theology classes with a belief that grace is something we can’t earn and which nobody deserves but which is bestowed on us by God out of the abundance of His love,” he says. “To a writer, whose stock in trade is inspiration, which is unmerited and mysterious, freely given but erratic, and always surprising, that idea reverberates.”

Kinerk is also the author of Slim and Miss Prim, which won the 1999 Storyteller Award from Western Writers of America. His next book, Timothy Cox Will Not Change His Socks, is due in May 2005.

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