Born and raised in Missoula, Montana, Joe Gribnau is a proud son of his
native state. This fifth generation Montanan attended the University of Montana
where he earned a BA in elementary education. During his undergraduate
education, Gribnau worked at the University of Montana Golf Course and later
with Big Sky Outfitting as a cook, guide, and jack-of-all-trades for four
After graduation, he lived in Utah for a ski season where he worked as a
“ski-bum” for a local lodge in Alta. He then moved to Southern California to
begin his teaching career. Gribnau completed a Master's program in literacy at
Walla Walla College in Walla Walla, Washington, in 2000.
Rocky Mountain Night Before Christmas is Gribnau's first book.
The inspiration for the book came after he assigned his fifth-grade class the
task of writing a new version of Clement Clarke Moore's 'Twas the Night
Before Christmas. Gribnau wrote his version side-by-side with his students.
Gribnau currently lives in Walla Walla, Washington, with his wife and three
children. He volunteers as a Young Life Leader in his community and in his spare
time, he enjoys rock climbing and big game hunting with traditional archery
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