Rick Chrustowski grew up in Valparaiso, Indiana, in a house that was the rowdiest one in his whole neighborhood. With six kids in the family, he is number five. Even though the kids were different ages, they still played together, got into fights, and helped each other out of jams. Name any type of kid, and they probably had it covered: cheerleader, jock, computer geek, social butterfly, trombone player. Chrustowski emerged as the artist of the family, because he drew constantly. And still does!
For him, the only thing that came close to his love of art was exploring the outdoors. He wandered far from home, sliding down ravines, swinging from branches, wading into ponds. It was so much fun pretending to be the animals he saw.
Now Chrustowski lives in Wisconsin and has his own yard where he creates huge habitats for the animals his books are about. There is a wildflower meadow, a frog pond, bluebird run, horse pasture, and chicken coop. His children's books include Big Brown Bat, Turtle Crossing, Blue Sky Bluebird, Hop Frog, and Bright Beetle. He also is also an illustrator with titles including Army Ant Parade, Lunch at the Zoo, and Higgledy-Piggledy Chicks.
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