Gnat and Corky Visit for Storytellers Series at ACHS

Courtney Kotloski and Natalie Sorrentino come to Antioch Community High School to share a behind the scenes look at their Gnat and Corky Series.


Grace Rowe

Gnat and Corky speak for Antioch Community High Schools storyteller series.

Award winning children series creators, Gnat and Corky, came to visit ACHS to kick off Storytellers Series. An Antioch Community High School graduate, Courtney Kotloski, writes while her illustrator Natalie Sorrentino creates beautiful paintings to further tell their stories. Their 16 book series is based off of the spirit of real children to emphasize that everyone is special in their own way.

For inspiration, the two created a blog with a questionnaire for children. After creating a few books the partnership went with the first publisher that accepted them. Although a well known publisher, they gave the pairing limited creative control and they knew it was not what they wanted. With the help of a lawyer, they got out of the contract and signed with someone new. Since then, the pair has been publishing books that they are proud of and happy to share with children of all different backgrounds.

The most recent book, “Will It”, is inspired by ACHS student William Barr. Barr has a condition called Bardet-Biedl syndrome that causes retinal degeneration. The condition could possibly cause blindness, but that does not stop Barr. “Will It” is a story of bravery and encourages readers to take risks and make the best of everything. Another story from Gnat and Corky’s presentation is “Addison the Light Catcher”. Addison’s story is about the love and the incredible bond she shares with her special needs brother, to show other children that we all have light and magic inside of us.

These two stories are not the only books that Gnat and Corky have to offer for children, as they have 14 others. Their hope is to inspire children of all kinds and let them know that they are special through Gnat’s beautiful art, and Corky’s words.