KB Anne

Jennifer Castle

Isabella Sementilli

Jennifer Sattler

Ryan Smithson

Allisa Grosso

Rhett Miller

John Gray

Elizabeth Zunon

Lyn Miller-Lachmann

Edward Averett

Just a few of the many authors and illustrators that have attended the Hudson Children's Book Festival

Authors & Illustrators2019-05-28T11:12:20-04:00

Authors & Illustrators Attending the 2019  Book Festival

We’re always adding new authors and illustrators to our listing! Please check back often to see who’s coming! You can look for your favorite author by clicking a letter — the listing will then sort by the last name of the authors. Click the “#” to reset the listing to ALL!

Abbott, Tony

Tony Abbott writes books for young readers aged 6 to 14, including Kringle, Underworlds, and the long-running series, The Secrets of Droon. He is also author of the realistic novels Firegirl (2006 Golden Kite Award for Fiction) and The Postcard (2008 Edgar Award for Best Juvenile Mystery), and the civil-rights drama, Lunch-Box Dream. His latest novels are The Summer of Owen Todd (2017), Denis Ever After (2018), and The Great Jeff (2019). Tony has been on the faculty of Lesley University’s MFA in Creative Writing, is a frequent conference speaker and visitor to schools. www.tonyabbottbooks.com

3 Fun Facts

1. I play the guitar middling fair, the violin terribly, and the trombone not at all.
2. I wrote poetry for twenty years before writing novels for children, and am now combining the two disciplines.

Anne, KB

KB once smashed into a tree while skiing. The accident led to a concussion, a cracked sternum, temporary notoriety as a sixth grader returned from the dead, and the realization that fictionalized accounts are way more interesting than just slipping on the ice.

Druids live among us, or at least they do in her YA series WIDE AWAKE released October 2018. When Gigi reverses the spell her mom died casting, she discovers that witches, werewolves, and magic aren’t just bedtime stories. They’re her story.

Be the FIRST to find out about new releases from Best-Selling Author, K.B. Anne. PLUS, receive Newsletter Subscriber Only Bonus Content! Join the Circle today! www.kbanne.com

3 Fun Facts

1. Gryffindor who enjoys fighting dark forces and thinks Severius Snape is the greatest.
2. Believes dark chocolate is the cure to everything that ails you.
3. Be kind is her motto.

Baskin, Nora Raleigh

Nora Raleigh Baskin is an award-winning author of a number of young adult books, including Anything but Typical, Nine Ten: A September 11 Story, and Ruby on the Outside. Nora has led workshops on writing, publishing, disabilities, religion, and the impact of reading on young lives. Her fiction stems from life experiences, and the fact-to-fiction process of her writing inspires young readers to look closely at the everyday experiences that inform their lives and to draw meaningful insights, as well as creative impulses, from them.  www.norabaskin.com

3 Fun Facts

1. My dog is named after a NY Giant football quarterback.
2. My younger son is a writer for Sports Illustrated and my older son is a retire Hip Hop artist
3. I am and will forever consider myself a hippie

Bennett, Artie

Artie Bennett is an executive copy editor by day and he writes a little on the side (but not the backside!). He was hailed as “the Dr. Seuss of your caboose” for The Butt Book, his first “mature” work. His “number two” book, most fittingly, was Poopendous! His third was Peter Panda Melts Down!, an adorable departure from derrières and doo. But Artie got right back on track with the uproarious—and educational!—Belches, Burps, and Farts—Oh My! The merriment continued with two riotous joke and riddle books: The Universe’s Greatest Dinosaur Jokes and Pre-Hysteric Puns and The Universe’s Greatest School Jokes and Rip-Roaring Riddles. And another hilarious, educational picture book, What’s Afoot! Your Complete, Offbeat Guide to Feet, will follow later in 2019. He lives deep in the bowels of Brooklyn, New York, where he spends his time moving his car to satisfy the rigorous demands of alternate-side-of-the-street parking and shaking his fist at his neighbors. They shake their fists back. Visit ArtieBennett.com …before someone else does!

3 Fun Facts

1. I find a dime a day. Should a day go by without my finding a dime, I’ll find two the next day. I can’t explain it, but it all evens out in the end. A few days went by recently without a single dime. And then, on one magical day, I found five dimes, my personal record! Now, don’t get me wrong. Dimes are great. But dollars would be greater!
2. I’m a lifelong Yankee fan and even taught myself to switch-hit way back in Little League, in emulation of my idol, Mickey Mantle.
3. When I was a boy, I had a metal detector and would spend my days digging up city parks (and neighbors’ yards!) looking for pirates’ gold. I never uncovered that elusive treasure chest, but I did once find an old silver dollar.

Berne, Jennifer

Jennifer Berne is the award-winning author of ON A BEAM OF LIGHT: A Story of Albert Einstein and CALVIN CAN’T FLY: The Story of a Bookworm Birdie. She grew up in New York City where she was active in dance and theater as a child. She studied art and design, worked for Andy Warhol at “The Factory.” After a successful career in advertising, Jennifer began writing for Nick Jr. Magazine and writing books about the subjects she loves most – our amazing universe and the people who discover its secrets. She lives in a house she designed in the rolling hills of Columbia County, NY. www.jenniferberne.com

3 Fun Facts

1. I lived on a sailboat for 2 years, with my husband and our cat.
2. I love to eat pomegranates.
3. I write my books on paper first. I only use a computer for editing.

Castle, Jennifer

Jennifer Castle grew up writing stories in her head on long school bus rides and was constantly looking for ways to turn her ideas into reality. Eventually, one of her “big ideas” became a published novel, and since then she has written twelve books for kids and teens, including Butterfly Wishes series, Together at Midnight, and Famous Friends. Jennifer lives in New Paltz with her husband, two daughters, and two striped cats, who also work part-time as her writing assistants. www.jennifercastle.com

3 Fun Facts

1. Blaire Wilson, American Girl’s Girl of the Year 2019, and I share two things in common: we both live in the Hudson Valley and we both have food sensitivities.
2. I’m a Ravenclaw.
3. My favorite book of all time is A SWIFTLY TILTING PLANET by Madeleine L’Engle.

Chima, Cinda Williams

New York Times bestselling author Cinda Williams Chima nearly failed first grade because she was always daydreaming instead of listening. By junior high, she got in trouble for writing novels in class. Yet the magic of books took her from first grade failure to first generation college graduate to college professor to best-selling author of the Seven Realms and Heir Chronicles teen fantasy series. In her newest novels, the Shattered Realms series, she indulges her longtime obsession with pirates and dragons. Visit her at www.cindachima.com.

3 Fun Facts

1. Cinda once went hot air ballooning and ended up landing in the middle of the Interstate.
2. Cinda has a fraternal twin. named Linda. But maybe you could’ve guessed that.
3. Cinda was named for a character in a book that her mother was reading before she was born. She’s met several other Cindas named for that same character.

Craft, Jerry

JERRY CRAFT is an author and illustrator who has worked on numerous picture books, graphic novels, and middle grade novels, including New Kid, a middle grade graphic novel from HarperCollins. Jerry is the creator of Mama’s Boyz, an award-winning syndicated comic strip. He has won five African American Literary Awards and is a cofounder of the Schomburg Center’s Annual Black Comic Book Festival. He received his BFA from the School of Visual Arts and now lives in Connecticut. Visit him online at www.jerrycraft.net.

3 Fun Facts

1. I was a reluctant reader until I was an adult.
2. I met Queen Elizabeth when I was a kid.
3. I saw the original Star Wars on opening day. Still have the button they gave me!

Crews, Nina

Nina Crews has written and illustrated many energetic stories for young children including One Hot Summer Day, The Neighborhood Mother Goose and Below. She uses photographs and photo collages to create distinctive illustrations. Her work has been recognized by the ALA Notable Committee, NCTE, Cooperative Children’s Book Council, Junior Library Guild, and Bank Street College of Education. Her latest book is Seeing Into Tomorrow: Haiku by Richard Wright. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and son. www.ninacrews.com

3 Fun Facts

1. My favorite color is every color.
2. I eat pizza for dinner almost every Friday.
3. Many photographs in my most recent book were taken in Columbia County.

Czajak, Paul

Paul Czajak struggled with reading and writing as a child, and never thought he’d end up writing books. But after working as a scientist for 20 years, he discovered that his creativity could no longer be contained to the laboratory. Now he hopes his books will be the seeds to a new generation of book gardeners! Paul lives in New Jersey, USA. www.paulczajak.com

3 Fun Facts

1. I was a Chemist for 21 years before becoming an Author
2. My babysitter as a kid was once Meg Ryan
3. I’ve been studying Karate for 16yrs

Dadey, Debbie

Debbie Dadey loves learning about the ocean for her Mermaid Tales series. Did you know that some ocean birds can swim? Did you know that Debbie’s newest book is about fairies, diving birds, and a stinky potion? Enjoy the adventure in Debbie’s 165th book, Fairy Chase. Debbie does her research from her home in eastern Tennessee, but loves to travel for research and to visit schools. www.debbiedadey.com

3 Fun Facts

1. I went way too fast on a camel ride in Egypt.
2. I slid into a shark tank!
3. I was born in Kentucky, live in a log cabin, and like to read by the fire.

Dee, Barbara

Barbara Dee is the author of nine middle grade novels which tackle sensitive topics. Everything I Know About You (2018) is a JLG selection. Halfway Normal (2017) which earned starred reviews from Kirkus and SLJ, is a 2018 CBC Notable Trade Book for Young People and on state lists in Pennsylvania, Missouri and Vermont. Star-Crossed (2017) is a 2018 ALA Rainbow List Top Ten, a 2018 Goodreads Choice finalist, and on Best of 2017 lists by public libraries of Chicago, Seattle and Cleveland Heights. Maybe He Just Likes You, a “middle school MeToo,” will be published by Aladdin/S&S on 10/1/2019.

2018 ALA Rainbow List Top Ten; Goodreads Choice Finalist; 2018 Vermont State Dorothy Canfield Fisher award list;2018-19 Pennsylvania Keystone to Reading award list (Middle School); 2019-2020 Nominee, Missouri Assn of School Librarians Mark Twain reader award;Chicago Public Library Best Books of 2017; King County (Seattle) Best Books of 2017; Cleveland Heights/University Heights Best Chapter Books of 2017; CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People, 2018; 2018 ILA Young Adults Choices Reading List; CCBC Choices 2018 (Fiction); Junior Library Guild; Starred reviews, SLJ, PW, Kirkus,

Visit her at www.BarbaraDeeBooks.com.

3 Fun Facts

1. My next middle grade novel, MAYBE HE JUST LIKES YOU, will be out Sept 3, 2019. It’s a #MeToo story set in middle school, and I think it will start some important conversations!
2. Whenever I’m stuck writing, I take my dog Ripley on a long walk.
3. I’m obsessed with the band Radiohead.

deGroat, Diane

Diane deGroat has been illustrating children’s books since 1972, with over 150 books to her credit. She has done artwork for many well-known authors, including Eve Bunting, Lois Lowry, and the Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond. Since1995, she has been writing and illustrating her own stories. Her picture books about Gilbert the opossum include Roses are Pink, Your Feet Really Stink, a New York Times Best Seller, and Trick or Treat, Smell My Feet. Eleven additional books are in this series, which has won three state children’s choice awards. In 2009, a spin-off series of I Can Read books (HarperCollins) debuted, offering beginner readers their own stories to read about Gilbert and his friends. Ms. deGroat resides in Amherst, MA. www.dianedegroat.com

3 Fun Facts

1. I can write with both hands.
2. I can also write in mirror image.
3. The hardest thing for me to draw is feet. But I can write the word TEEF in mirror image.

Ferry, Beth

Beth Ferry is the author of numerous books for young readers, including the NYT bestseller, Stick and Stone. Other titles include Squirrel’s Family Tree, Sealed with a Kiss and Ten Rules of the Birthday Wish. She is mainly inspired by two things: word play and the sea. Luckily, Beth is an avid reader who lives close to the beach so inspiration is never very far away. In addition to picture books, Beth has begun writing graphic novels. When not reading and writing, Beth can be found blowing bubbles for her bulldog, Chaucer. You can learn more at www.bethferry.com.

3 Fun Facts

1. Beth has celebrated all but four of her birthdays in NJ.
2. Beth is a pro at making piñatas and has made over 100 of them.
3. Beth blows approximately 200 bubbles every day.

Furstinger, Nancy

Nancy Furstinger has been speaking up for animals since she learned to talk, and she hasn’t shut up yet. She is the author of nearly 100 books, including many on her favorite topic: animals! She started her writing career in third grade, when her class performed a play she wrote while recovering from chicken pox. Since then, Nancy has been a feature writer for a daily newspaper, a managing editor of trade and consumer magazines, and an editor at two children’s book publishing houses. She shares her home with big dogs, house rabbits, and a chinchilla (all rescued), and volunteers with several animal organizations. www.nancyfurstinger.com

3 Fun Facts

1. I keep a pen that lights up on my nighttable in case inspiration strikes at dark hours.
2. Three of my books were inspired by my rescued animals (dog and rabbits). They loved accompanying me to book events!
3. I wrote my first story when I was in third grade. My class performed it as a play and I so loved hearing my words spoken that I decided to become a writer.

Gantos, Jack

JACK GANTOS is the author of forty-nine books for children from the “ROTTEN RALPH” picture books, collections of “JACK HENRY” short stories, upper elementary and middle school “JOEY PIGZA” and “NORVELT” novels, young adult books—LOVE CURSE OF THE RUMBAUGHS, DESIRE LINES, HOLE IN MY LIFE and THE TROUBLE IN ME. His work can lead readers from the cradle to the grave.

Mr. Gantos was a professor at Emerson College where he developed the Master’s Degree Program in Children’s Literature, Writing and Publishing. He now spends his time writing and is an active speaker at book and literacy conferences, schools and libraries. His works have received a Newbery Award, Scott O’Dell Award, Newbery Honor, Printz Honor, Sibert Honor, National Book Award Finalist nomination, and he is the 2010 recipient of the NCTE/ALAN AWARD for his contribution to the field of Young Adult and Children’s Literature. DEAD END IN NORVELT received both the 2012 John Newbery Award and the Scott O’Dell award for Historic Fiction. This was followed by the companion novel, FROM NORVELT TO NOWHERE. THE KEY THAT SWALLOWED JOEY PIGZA, the final book in the “Joey Pigza” series was released in 2014 and nominated for the Kirkus Prize. His most recent book, THE TROUBLE IN ME, is now available. www.jackgantos.com

Gray, John

John Gray is an Emmy award winning journalist and writer from upstate New York. Donations from the sales of his first children’s book have helped more than 30 animal shelters all over the country. His new book ‘Keller’s Heart’ is based on his blind and deaf dog Keller. View John’s Facebook page.

3 Fun Facts

1. My children’s books are based on real events from my life. In fact I do have a dog named Keller who is blind and deaf and helps run our household.
2. For 20 years I have written a weekly column for the very newspaper that I once delivered as a young child in my hometown. Paperboy was my first job.
3. I’m a huge fan of Broadway and have seen RENT 12 times and can sing the entire score without missing a single word.

Gray, Karlin

Karlin Gray is a picture book writer who lives in Westport, CT. Inspired by her childhood love of gymnastics, she wrote NADIA: THE GIRL WHO COULDN’T SIT STILL — “a winner of a sports story that both boys and girls will enjoy” (El Paso Times). And, inspired by her son’s love of moths, she wrote AN EXTRAORDINARY ORDINARY MOTH—“a perfect reminder that everyone and everything, no matter how seemingly ordinary, is extraordinary to the right person” (San Francisco Book Review). Her next book SERENA: THE LITTLEST SISTER will be published May 7, 2019 by PageStreet Kids. www.karlingray.com

3 Fun Facts

1. I lived in Japan for four years, ages 10-14.
2. If I could only have one dessert for the rest of my life, it would be ice cream.
3. My favorite childhood book was Little Women

Grimes, Nikki

New York Times bestselling author Nikki Grimes is the recipient of the 2017 Children’s Literature Legacy Award, the 2016 Virginia Hamilton Literary Award, and the 2006 NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children. Her distinguished works include the much-honored books Garvey’s Choice, ALA Notable book What is Goodbye?, Coretta Scott King Award winner Bronx Masquerade, and Coretta Scott King Author Honor books Jazmin’s Notebook, Talkin’ About Bessie, Dark Sons, Words with Wings, and The Road to Paris. Creator of the popular Meet Danitra Brown, Ms. Grimes lives in Corona, California.

3 Fun Facts

1. I once sang, danced, and acted my way down the east coast of China.
2. I sang a solo at the Concert House in Stockholm, Sweden.
3. Muhammad Ali once gave me a standing ovation.

Groenink, Chuck

Chuck hails from an overgrown village among the peat bogs in the north of the Netherlands, where he spent his formative years climbing trees, drawing, reading, and cycling. He attended the Artez Institute of Visual Arts in Kampen, graduating from the department of Illustration in 2004. His work has been featured and selected by the Society of Illustrators, The Fox is black, Pikaland, Illustration Friday, and Spike Jonze’s blog: We Love You So

Karina has written copy and essays about food, fashion, film and art; scouted and developed film scripts; and worked as a writer-producer of documentaries. She studied film and writing in New York, Paris and Dublin and now lives in Manhattan with her dogs, Barry and Luca. www.karinawolf.com  www.chuckgroenink.com

3 Fun Facts

1. Karina wrote this story when her rescue dog Luca was turned away from a New York City dog park because the other dog owners thought he was a fox!
2. Chucky has a spotted dog and several fluffy cats.
3. He likes to draw pictures, bake bread and go for walks.

Hartland, Jessie

Jessie Hartland has lived and worked in Lower Manhattan for over 30 years. She has painted murals at a Japanese amusement park, designed Christmas windows for Bloomingdale’s, and illustrated posters, ceramics, packaging, fabrics, watches and all sorts of other things.

Jessie has written and illustrated numerous children’s books on a variety of subjects, from meteorites & dinosaurs to Julia Child and Steve Jobs. Coming out this year is “My Tiny Pet” about a girl and her tartigrade. Her books have now been translated into over 13 languages. www.jessiehartland.com

3 Fun Facts

1. I collect CANDY. I have a candy collection that I’ve picked up from all over the world
2. I like poodles and jazz. I have a standard poodle named Django, after Django Reinhardt.
3. My next book coming out, “My Tiny Pet” is about a pet TARTIGRADE

Hiranandani, Veera

Veera Hiranandani is the author of The Night Diary, which received the 2018 Malka Penn Award for Human Rights in Children’s Literature, is a Junior Library Guild Selection, and a New York Times Editor’s Choice Pick, The Whole Story of Half a Girl, which was named a Sydney Taylor Notable Book and a South Asian Book Award Finalist, and the chapter book series, Phoebe G. Green (Grosset & Dunlap). She earned her MFA in fiction writing at Sarah Lawrence College. A former book editor at Simon & Schuster, she now teaches creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College’s Writing Institute. www.veerahiranandani.com

3 Fun Facts

1. I once almost bought a horse
2. I was on the swim team in high school
3. If I weren’t a writer, I’d be a chef or a painter.

Hood, Susan

Susan Hood is the award-winning author of more than 200 books for young readers who loves talking with kids at author school visits nationwide. ADA’S VIOLIN was the recipient of the 2017 Christopher Award, the 2017 Flora Steiglitz Straus Award from Bank Street, the 2017 América’s Award, and was named a 2017 E.B. White Read-Aloud Honor Book. New for 2018 were SHAKING THINGS UP: 14 Young Women Who Changed the World and Susan’s first middle grade novel LIFEBOAT 12, which School Library Journal called “an edge-of-your-seat survival tale, an extensively researched work of historical fiction, and an exemplar of the form.” Next up? Susan is collaborating with Thai journalist Pathana Sornhiran and Thai illustrator Dow Phumiruk on a brand-new picture book entitled TITAN AND THE WILD BOARS: The True Cave Rescue of the Thai Soccer Team. In bookstores May, 2019. www.susanhoodbooks.com

3 Fun Facts

1. I was the youngest child in my town to have a library card.
2. I’ve had lunch with Big Bird.
3. I’ve sailed a 38’ sailboat through the Bermuda Triangle where we lost our engine, navigation equipment and lights. We had to reach Bermuda using a handheld sextant and the stars

Jackson, Ty Allan

Ty Allan Jackson is an award-winning children’s book author, literacy advocate, publisher and captivating motivational speaker. He is the founder of Big Head Books, LLC, a literacy organization that aims to introduce children to the joys of reading. Ty travels to schools, youth organizations and various professional settings nationwide inspiring children and educating adults about the impacts of illiteracy. A two time TedX presenter, Ty believes that literacy is the foundation for a successful life and promotes it with humor and enthusiasm. www.bigheadbooks.com

3 Fun Facts

1. I shave my head daily.
2. I love chocolate chip cookies!
3. Despite being 51 years old, I still play with superhero action figures.

Johnston, Jeffry W.

Author of young adult mysteries and thrillers. FRAGMENTS was a 2008 Edgar nominee by the Mystery Writers of America for Best Young Adult Mystery and a Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers selection by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). THE TRUTH was also a YALSA Quick Pick, for 2017, and a 2017 In the Margins Top 10 Award winner. Jeffry has also publishing numerous short stories and articles covering various genres and subjects, and has worked as a film and theatre reviewer. His website is at jeffrywjohnston.com

3 Fun Facts

1. When I was in 5th grade, I lived in England for a year.
2. I’m a big baseball fan and my favorite team is the Philadelphia Phillies
3. I was born in a military hospital in Corpus Christi, TX.

Kaltman, Alice

The daughter of a Merchant Marine and a Rockaway beach babe, Alice Kaltman’s life has always been ocean-centric. Now when she’s not in the water she writes about surfers, mermaids, and other odd balls. In addition to Wavehouse, Alice is the author of the short fiction collection Staggerwing and the forthcoming The Tantalizing Tale of Grace Minnaugh. Alice’s work can also be read in numerous journals, magazines and fiction anthologies. She splits her time between Brooklyn and Montauk, New York where she swims, surfs, and writes; weather and waves permitting. www.alicekaltman.com

3 Fun Facts

1. I’m a bonafide surfer, and though I still rip at age 60, I’ve never been as awesome as Anna.
2. As a young girl I longed to be a mermaid. My idol sat demurely on the Chicken of the Sea tuna fish cans. I peeled labels off to save her image. Every night before bedtime I squeezed both legs in to one side of my pajama bottoms and shuffled around the house pretending I was as beautiful as the tuna fish mermaid.
3. I also wanted to be ventriloquist or a hand model but I was pretty lame at the former and couldn’t handle the constant gloving and care necessary for the latter, so I became a professional surfer instead.

Katz, Alan

Alan has written 35 highly acclaimed children’s books, including Take Me Out of the Bathtub and Other Silly Dilly Songs, Don’t Say That Word!, and the award-winning poetry bookOOPS! His first two Awesome Achievers non- fiction books, combining facts and laughs, will be released in August.

Alan is a six-time Emmy-nominated writer for series including The Rosie O’Donnell Show, Taz-Mania, Pinkalicious and Peterrific, The Grammy Awards and Tony Awards, various Nickelodeon shows, network specials and game shows. He has also created comic books, trading card sets, web videos, TV commercials and hundreds of other special projects for kids and their parents. www.alankatzbooks.com

3 Fun Facts

1. Alan’s favorite food is cantaloupe
2. Alan is the creator of Dogseeds—a new seed project that lets you try to grow a dog!
3. Most nights, Alan sleeps in a bright orange shirt

Kaufman Orloff, Karen

Karen Kaufman Orloff is the author of11 books for children including the popular “I Wanna” series of picture books. Her more recent books include “Some Days,” “Goodnight, Little Bot,” and “Miles of Smiles.” A 12th picture book, “Dudley’s Day At Home” will be out in 2020 from Flashlight Press. www.karenkaufmanorloff.com

3 Fun Facts

1. My favorite children’s book is “Horton Hears A Who”
2. Our family once had two iguanas, which, of course were the inspiration for “I Wanna Iguana!”
3. I owned and ran an antique store for 21 years.

Kelly, David A.

David A. Kelly is the author of the Ballpark Mysteries and MVP sports series from Random House. The Ballpark Mysteries chapter books features cousins Kate and Mike, who solve mysteries at different major league ballparks. Mr. Kelly is also the author of the early reader, Babe Ruth and the Baseball Curse and the picture book Miracle Mud: Lena Blackburne and Secret Mud that Changed Baseball. He has written about travel and technology for the New York Times, the Boston Globe, and many other publications. He can be found at www.davidakellybooks.com.

3 Fun Facts

1. I once met home run king Hank Aaron.
2. I get to go to baseball parks and watch games as part of my job!
3. I was a terrible baseball player!

Kirk, Daniel

Daniel Kirk is the author and illustrator of over forty books for children. He grew up in Ohio, writing and drawing as soon as he was big enough to hold a pencil, and hasn’t stopped since. He currently lives in New Jersey with his wife, and works on his many creative projects every day. www.danielkirk.com

3 Fun Facts

1. Daniel Kirk loves music, and has written hundreds of songs and recorded albums for adults as well as children.
2. Daniel Kirk loves to travel, and has visited many far-away places doing research for his projects.
3. Daniel Kirk is a vegetarian and loves to cook. Anything with peanut butter in it is a favorite!

Kirk, David

David Kirk grew up in the wild and boundless suburbs of Ohio, where he learned about small creatures and art. He is the creator of Miss Spider, who appears in many well-loved children’s books and even her own television series. David is also the author and illustrator of over a dozen other books for children. His latest book, My Hugging Rules, arrives this May, just in time for the Hudson Children’s Book Festival. He lives in a happy forest with his family, where they nurture and groom a variety of fluffy friends, many of whom appreciate a good hug. www.davidkirktreehouse.com

3 Fun Facts

1. When I was a Cub Scout, I met astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon.
2. My big brother Daniel Kirk is also a children’s book author.
3. I have a pet hamster named Baby Ham. Her rapper name is Lil’ Chunk.

Lampman, Doug

Doug Lampman resides in Surprise, NY with his wife, children and his hunting dog. He works for a local construction company in the summer and teaches high school physical education during the school year. He also coaches boys basketball and is a department leader at his school. His hobbies include coaching, hunting, fishing, sports, carpentry, snowmobiling, listening to music, playing guitar, farming, cooking and spending time with family and friends. With a real passion for travel and new experiences, he hopes to spend his days of retirement seeing the world with his lovely wife Stephanie.

3 Fun Facts

1. I love the sound of a gym full of bouncing basketballs.
2. My favorite color is that bluish green color inside a snow bank on a sunny day.
3. The Fall is my absolute favorite time of the year.

Lehman, Barbara

Barbara Lehman mostly makes children’s picture books that have no text! Just pictures. That means the readers can create with their own words from the images. Her illustrations have been included in exhibitions at The Art Institute of Chicago and the Central Children’s Room of the New York Public Library. She has shared her book work with children at the Whitney Museum of American Art and at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. THE RED BOOK was awarded a Caldecott Honor. She attended Pratt Institute, and now is based in Albany NY. www.barbaralehmanbooks.com

3 Fun Facts

1. I can juggle. But I only juggle things that are ok to drop!
2. I grow a lot of my own vegetables even though I live in a city.
3. I like striped shirts! Immoderately!

Lehrhaupt, Adam

Adam Lehrhaupt is the award-winning author of multiple books, including Warning: Do Not Open This Book!, Please: Open This Book!, Chicken in Charge, I Will Not Eat You, Wordplay and Idea Jar. He has traveled to six continents, performed on Broadway, and lived on a communal farm. He firmly believes that opening a book is a good thing, even if there are monkeys in it. Adam currently lives in the suburbs of Philadelphia, PA, with his wife, two sons, and two bizarre dogs. Follow Adam on twitter, Instagram, and Google+ @lehrhaupt for the occasional brilliant thought or picture, and at adamlehrhaupt.com.

3 Fun Facts

1. My mom has a farm with both chickens and sheep.
2. I enjoy skiing.
3. I’m really not this short, it’s an optical illusion. I’m just really far away.

Lerangis, Peter

Peter Lerangis has written more than 160 books, which have sold more than 6 million copies and been translated into 34 languages. His nine New York Times bestsellers titles include the entire Seven Wonders series and several books in The 39 Clues series. His YA novel Somebody, Please Tell Me Who I Am, written with Harry Mazer, won the ALA Schneider Award and made the Best Fiction for Young Adults list. He’s spoken in 41 states and nine foreign countries, acted in a Broadway musical, earned a degree in biochemistry from Harvard, and eaten LOTS of chocolate along the way. www.peterlerangis.com

3 Fun Facts

1. Rock-climbed in Yosemite Park while it was being evacuated for an earthquake.
2. Ran and finished the New York City Marathon
3. Acted and sang in a Broadway musical

Magaziner, Lauren

Lauren Magaziner is the author of Case Closed: Mystery in the Mansion, Wizardmatch, Pilfer Academy, and The Only Thing Worse Than Witches. She is originally from New Hope, Pennsylvania, and she currently lives in Philadelphia, where she writes full-time. Lauren is also a secret undercover international detective—but don’t blow her cover. You can visit Lauren at www.laurenmagaziner.com

3 Fun Facts

1. I once broke my arm tripping over my shoelace. Tie your shoes!
2. I started writing novels at 13… but it took 11 years of practice before one got published!
3. I wrote the first draft of Case Closed: Mystery in the Mansion in 18 days. But it took about two years of re-writes and revisions before it looked like the final version.

Maldonado, Torrey

Growing up, Torrey hated reading. No. He hated boring books and ones that seemed to hate or dismiss him and where he was from. With school failing him in a neighborhood that LIFE called “1 of the 10 Worst Neighborhoods in the U.S.”, he unplugged so hard from books that he repeated a grade, almost twice. Luckily, he was introduced to NOT boring and culturally responsive books and educators who cared. It inspired him to be a middle school teacher and author. For nearly 20 years, he’s used the formula that hooked him to books. Provide mirror, window, and sliding door books that show readers love, they’ll love books back, and book-lovers will grow. He still teaches in the Brooklyn neighborhood where he was born and raised and uses his students’ & his experiences to write what readers say “don’t feel like books”. Voted a “Top 10 Latino Author” & best Middle Grade & Young Adult novelist for African Americans, NYC’s former and current Chancellor spotlighted him as a top teacher. His writing is praised for its current-feel, realness, & universal themes. www.torreymaldonado.com

3 Fun Facts

1. I had every hairstyle that Michael Jackson had and got to meet him.
2. I’m a super fan of super hero stuff, including comic books, shows, and movies.
3. I actually did the unbelievable thing you’ll read in Tight and Secret Saturdays.

Manushkin, Fran

Fran Manushkin is the author of over 100 books, including the popular Katie Woo series, as well “Happy In Our Skin,” and the best-selling board books “Big Girl Panties” and “Big Boy Underpants.” She loves to meet her readers! www.franmanushkin.com

3 Fun Facts

1. I’ve written over 100 books.
2. I am always singing songs in my head.
3. I need chocolate every day!

Masiello, Ralph

Ralph was born, raised in the state of Massachusetts. He now resides in Connecticut where he lives with his daughters Alexa and Talia. A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design (BFA, Illustration, 1985), Ralph has illustrated for magazines, newspapers and books, created posters and prints, and shown his fine art paintings in galleries throughout the world. Since 1987, he has visited over 2,700 schools all over the nation and the world, inspiring children with his life story, humor, and art. While visiting schools, he is often inspired himself by the enthusiasm, creativity, and hard work of the students and teachers. This led him to create his unique “How to Draw” book series which has become his most popular books yet!  www.ralphmasiello.com

3 Fun Facts

1. I am 58 (as of the book festival) and race motocross for fun.
2. I am a certified Advanced Open Water SCUBA diver and have logged over 300 dives (although I haven’t lately since hurting an eardrum) and have swam with sharks, stingrays, moray eels, and manatees.
3. I have been skiing since I was 5 years old, but not as much as I would like!

McAndrew, Phil

Phil McAndrew is an illustrator, cartoonist, and writer. He has illustrated books like Monster Science by Helaine Becker and the Caveboy Dave series of graphic novels by Aaron Reynolds. He has also contributed comics and humor to publications like MAD Magazine, The New Yorker, The Nib, and many others. www.philintheblanks.com

3 Fun Facts

1. I’ve played drums in a few bands.
2. I’ve drawn things for Cartoon Network and MAD Magazine.
3. I live with three cats and over thirty house plants.

Michelson, Richard

RICHARD MICHELSON’s many books for children, teens and adults have been listed among the Ten Best of the Year by The New York Times, Publishers Weekly, and The New Yorker. He has two Sydney Taylor Gold Medals from the Association of Jewish Libraries, and he is the recipient of the 2017 National Jewish Book Award and received a 2016 Massachusetts Cultural Council Fellowship for poetry. www.RichardMichelson.com.

3 Fun Facts

1. I own R. Michelson Galleries which represents many well know illustrators, including many Hudson Book Fest participants
2. Leonard Nimoy and I spoke or emailed each other every day for the last 10 years of his life.
3. I have a musical theater piece about the artist Edvard Munch opening in 2019 (not for children).

Miller, Rhett

Rhett Miller is a singer-songwriter known for fronting the popular rock band Old 97’s. Between projects with the Old 97’s Miller has released six solo albums, most recently 2018’s The Messenger. In addition to his songwriting, Miller has branched out to write fiction and nonfiction. He has authored short stories, essays and articles that have been featured in Rolling Stone, Bookforum, Sports Illustrated, McSweeney’s, The Atlantic and Salon. When not on tour, Miller resides in New Paltz, New York with his wife and two children.

3 Fun Facts

1. I performed in public for the first time when I was 15 years old, a solo acoustic set at Dallas’ 500 Café.
2. I live on three acres in New York’s Hudson Valley on property that features a swimming pool with a slide as well as a big treehouse.
3. Born in Austin and raised in Dallas, I’m a seventh generation Texan. My kids however are second generation New Yorkers.
4. Bonus fun fact. I can recite the alphabet backwards in under four seconds.

Minor, Florence

Florence lives and works with her husband Wendell in Connecticut. Her love of animals and the natural world are reflected in her books If You Were a Penguin – a Pennsylvania One Book Literacy Program selection, If You Were a Panda Bear – a Bank Street College of Education’s Best Children’s Books of the Year and How To Be a Bigger Bunny, of which Kirkus said “The soft visual texture is appealing and well befits the gentle narrative with its encouraging message to ‘never give up.’”

Florence and Wendell have been honored with the New England Independent Booksellers Association (NEIBA) President’s Award for lifetime achievement in arts and letters, and were Honorees of the Boston Public Library’s 27th annual Literary Light, which recognizes outstanding writers from the Northeast for their inspiring work.  Visit Florence at www.minorart.com and Facebook and Twitter.

3 Fun Facts

1. I never say no the chipmunks who beg for peanuts at my front door.
2. My great-nieces look a lot like me, and sometimes people think I’m their mother. I love that!
3. I talk to animals, and the best thing is when they talk back-especially dolphins.

Minor, Wendell

Wendell Minor has illustrated, written and collaborated with many awesome authors. As a nature lover and history buff, Wendell loves sharing those interests with children through more than 60 books he has had published.

His newest books are WILD ORCA: The Oldest Wisest Whale in the World, NIGHT TRAIN, NIGHT TRAIN and THE MAGIC OF LETTERS.

His books have received the Cook Prize, Bank Street College of Education’s Best Children’s Books of the Year, Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young Children, Outstanding Science Trade Books, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library selection, Pennsylvania One Book Every Young Child selection, ALA Notable Book, John Burroughs List of Nature Books for Young Readers. Wendell was honored to be named the 2018-2019 Artist Laureate of the Norman Rockwell Museum. Visit Wendell at www.minorart.com

3 Fun Facts

1. My next book, HI, I’M NORMAN, about Norman Rockwell, will be published in October.
2. My favorite bird is the Hummingbird.
3. I love banjo music.

Mojica, Barbara Ann

Barbara Ann Mojica is a historian and retired educator with forty years experience as a teacher, special educator, principal and school administrator. Her mission is to entertain, inspire and inform children about historical places and people. Little Miss HISTORY’s motto is, “If you don’t know your history, you don’t know what you’re talking about.”  LittleMissHISTORY.com

3 Fun Facts

1. I like to plan ahead and meet deadlines way ahead of schedule.
2. I dislike hypocrisy of any kind.
3. Autumn is my favorite season.

Mojica, Victor Ramon

VICTOR RAMON MOJICA was born and raised in Manhattan, New York, but has lived in the Hudson Valley region since 1986. He has authored and/or illustrated children’s books, comics, screenplays, and now his first book of poetry titled The SECRETS of LIFE. Aside from winning awards for his illustrations, children’s books and comics, he has also won The Cecil Hemley Memorial Award for his poem “Friend or Foe,” which is included in his latest book The SECRETS of LIFE. www.eugenus.com

Fun Facts

1. I love rain more than the sun.
2. I’d rather learn than relax.
3. Creating is a need not a means to an end.

Murray, Diana

Diana Murray loves to sit on her patio writing stories and poems, especially to the sound of passing showers. She is the author of many children’s books, including City Shapes, Grimelda: The Very Messy Witch, Doris the Bookasaurus, Unicorn Day! and more. Her poems have appeared in magazines such as Highlights for Children, and Spider. Diana grew up in New York City and still lives nearby with her firefighter husband, two daughters, and an assortment of pets–all of whom enjoy sunny summer days. www.dianamurray.com

3 Fun Facts

1. My pets include two birds, two lizards, and a new puppy who loves to go on long hikes in the woods.
2. I taught myself to juggle and play ukulele.
3. I have a collection of witch hats.

Northrop, Michael

Michael Northrop is the New York Times bestselling author of the TombQuest series and other books for kids and teens. His first young adult novel, Gentlemen, earned him a Publishers Weekly Flying Start citation, and his second, Trapped, was an Indie Next List selection. His first middle-grade novel, Plunked, was named one of the best children’s books of the year by the New York Public Library and was selected by NPR for its Backseat Book Club. A former senior editor at Sports Illustrated Kids, he now writes full-time from his home in New York City. Visit him online at www.michaelnorthrop.net

3 Fun Facts

1. I am dyslexic and repeated second grade.
2. I once stepped on a yellowjacket nest and was stung approx.75 times.
3. According to family lore, I am related to Jonathan Swift, who wrote Gulliver’s Travels.

Perelman, Helen

Helen Perelman is the author of the Candy Fairies series (Simon & Schuster) and enjoys thinking of new adventures in Sugar Valley. She worked in a children’s bookstore, was a children’s book editor, and now writes full-time. She lives in Westchester, NY with her husband and two daughters. www.helenperelman.com

3 Fun Facts

1. I love candy!
2. I am a horrible speller
3. I have twin teen daughters

Phelan, Matt

Matt Phelan is the illustrator of many books for young readers, including The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron, winner of the 2007 Newbery Medal. He is the author/illustrator of four graphic novels: the Scott O’Dell Award-winning The Storm in the Barn, Around the World, Bluffton, and the New York Times Bestseller Snow White. His latest books include the picture books Pignic and A Kite for Moon (by Jane Yolen and Heidi Stemple) and the novel Knights vs. Dinosaurswww.mattphelan.com

3 Fun Facts

1. Can play the ukulele
2. Studied acting in college instead of art.
3. Lives with his family in Pennsylvania.

Preller, James

James Preller lives in Delmar, NY, and frequently visits area schools as a guest author. He has – insanely — 10 books coming out in 2019. Three titles in the new “Big Idea Gang” series, including EVERYBODY NEEDS A BUDDY. A picture book in haiku, ALL WELCOME HERE, illustrated by Mary GrandPre (of “Harry Potter” fame), BLOOD MOUNTAIN, a middle-grade novel of wilderness adventure and suspense, plus 5 more Jigsaw Jones titles: THE CASE OF THE HAT BURGLAR, plus 4 newly revised titles that were temporarily out-of-print. www.jamespreller.com

3 Fun Facts

1. James is trying to become a better writer of haiku.
2. James is trying to learn how to identify trees (it’s been a slow process).
3. James loves music

Pyros, Andrea

Andrea Pyros is a writer, editor, and former teen magazine staffer. A native of New York City, she now lives in New York’s Hudson Valley with her husband and their two children. She is the author of two middle-grade books. Pink Hair and Other Terrible Ideas, from Capstone, was hailed as, “an empathetic story about learning to face problems both great and small,” from Foreword Reviews. Her first #kidlit novel, My Year of Epic Rock, was called “a perfect read for anyone who feels BFF-challenged” by Booklist, with School Library Journal saying Epic Rock is “a charming addition to upper elementary and middle school collections.” www.andreapyros.com

3 Fun Facts

1. I grew up in NYC but now I love living in the Hudson Valley
2. My Greek family is just like the characters in the movie, MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING
3. My handwriting is getting worse by the year. If I write something and then go back to look at it a few days later, I can’t even tell what I’ve written down.

Raff, Anna

Anna Raff is an award-winning illustrator of several books for children. Before her career as an illustrator, Anna was a designer at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and several children’s book publishers in New York City. She is on the faculty of the School of Visual Arts, and lives in New York City, where there are reportedly four rats per human resident. www.annaraff.com/

3 Fun Facts

1. Once I drew a bird every day for a year.
2. I use to play baseball, and I was pretty good at it.
3. I love pie!

Ransome, James

James Ransome has illustrated over sixty picture books including Uncle Jed’s Barbershop, Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt, Satchel Paige, This is the Rope, and Before She Was Harriet. He is also the author and illustrator of three titles, New Red Bike, Gunner and My Teacher. James received his BFA from Pratt Institute in New York and is the winner of numerous awards for his illustrations including the Coretta Scott King, Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor and NAACP Image awards. In 2018, he was awarded the Coretta Scott King Honor for Before she Was Harriet, written by his wife, author Lesa Cline-Ransome.

His work is part of both private and public children’s book art collections and his commissioned murals are featured in the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis and the Underground Railroad Museum in Cincinnati. The Metro-North Railroad selected James to illustrate a poster for the New York City Subway system. James is a Professor and coordinator of the MFA Illustration Graduate Program at Syracuse University and lives in New York’s Hudson River Valley region with his family. www.jamesransome.com

3 Fun Facts

1. I used to be a hip hop dj.
2. I am a hot dog connoisseur.
3. I am an avid chess player.

Robertson, Chris

Ruining giraffes. Escaping hot lava. Dancing alligators. Whisper tickles and whisker tickles. Yellow umbrellas. The Statue of Liberty as a toddler. These are just a few of the fun and engaging topics tackled by Chris in the wide array of his children’s picture books. www.chrisrobertsonbooks.com

With an extensive career in both animation and children’s literature, Chris uses his strengths as a story artist to his benefit when he’s writing and illustrating picture books. He has been published by Simon & Schuster, Random House, Scholastic, Chronicle Books, Bloomsbury, Sterling, and Xist Publishing.

3 Fun Facts

1. I’ve probably drawn some of your favorite cartoon characters you or your parents have seen on TV!
2. I have an IDENTICAL TWIN! That means that somewhere, there’s someone who looks exactly like me!
3. My favorite thing to draw in is…CRAYON! Just like you!!!

Rogers, Jacqueline

Jacqueline Rogers has been illustrating picture books for over 30 years. She is the most recent illustrator of the Beverly Cleary backlist, including the Ramona series. She also illustrated “Our Great Big Backyard” written by Laura Bush and Jenna Bush Hager, and the “LIttle Ree” books written by Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman. She has a new author illustrated book coming out in 2019, “Goblin Moon” will be released on July 23, 2019. www.jacquelinerogers.com

3 Fun Facts

1. I love to make all kinds of art, including pottery, sculpture,and mosaics, as well as painting and drawing.
2. Monsters are my favorite things to draw.
3. Ramona and Beezus are exactly like my daughters.

Rotner, Shelley

Shelley Rotner is the author and photo-illustrator of 50 award-winning children’s books. Her books are mostly about diversity and the environment. It is her hope that they will lead children and their parents to engage in conversations about the world they live in.

Her most recent books include, Hello, Spring!, Grow! Raise! Catch! How We Get Our Food, Whose Eye am I?,Families, Body Actions, Body Bones, I like the Farm, Homer, and, All Kinds of Friends. Rotner is also a noted free-lance photojournalist, whose work has appeared in Time Magazine, National Geographic’s World Magazine, Conde Nast Traveler, Outside Magazine, Food and Wine, GoNomad Travel and numerous others.

She has traveled extensively for UNICEF documenting programs about children and education.

Currently, Ms Rotner is working on a collection of large hand-painted photographs that capture beautiful and sacred places she has discovered in her travels. www.shelleyrotner.com

3 Fun Facts

1. I never went to kindergarten
2. I stand on my head almost every day
3. I’m a photographer because I don’t know how to draw very well.

Sadlowski, Dan

Dan Sadlowski is the author of Finding Brooklyn – And The Next Great Superhero. Finding Brooklyn boasts the first original female SUPERHERO specifically for a children’s book with an origin story that is fun for all ages! Be ready for more super inspiring books by this up-and-coming author. See why fans are calling Finding Brooklyn, “Brave!”, “Empowering”, “Original”, “AWE-MAZING”, “This book has a lot of HEART and it shows!”

#gofindingbrooklyn  findingbrooklyn-book.com

3 Fun Facts

1. I love to play basketball.
2. I have Superpowers (You do too!)
3. Let’s save the universe & grab a slice of pizza.

Sattler, Jennifer

Jennifer Sattler is the award winning author and illustrator of several children’s books including SYLVIE, the popular series CHICK ‘N’ PUG and PIG KAHUNA,FRANKIE THE BLANKIE and a new line of original board books from Sleeping Bear Press including Dirty Birdies, Jungle Gym and Bundle Up. In February her newest book “Dollop and Mrs. Fabulous” was released along with the board book “Go to Sheep” illustrated by Benson Shum. Her books have won The Mockingbird Award for picture books and The Georgia Children’s book Award. www.jennifersattlerbooks.com

3 Fun Facts

1. I wear yellow sunglasses on cloudy days to make it look like it’s sunny.
2. I will do just about anything to make my kids (or any kid ,really) laugh.
3. I was alive when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. Although I wasn’t there.

Sementilli, Isabella

My name is Isabella Sementilli and I am 15 years old. In 5th grade, I was the victim of a bully who pulled out my chair as I went to sit down. I suffered a concussion, fractured tailbone and back and neck injuries. I was diagnosed with a rare and debilitating headache disorder (effects from the concussion). Everyday activities for most people-reading, watching television, using a computer, washing my hair, even chewing are extremely painful for me. Since I could no longer tap dance or play tennis, I learned to knit and bake. I sell my cookies and donate to anti-bullying and brain injury awareness organizations. I wrote The Short Story of One Tough Cookie. A True Story to share my story so that no one else has to go through something like me. I am on home instruction. I live in Niskayuna with my mom Pola, dad Guy, brother Santino, and my chocolate lab Luca.

3 Fun Facts

1. I love the 80’s!
2. I never leave home without my sunglasses or my pink earplugs!
3. I love to learn about Italy~the language, food, recipes and history!

Shapiro, Esme

Esmé Shapiro grew up amongst the succulents and coyotes of Laurel Canyon, California. She currently resides in a plant-filled apartment in Brooklyn, New York. A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, Esmé is a past recipient of both the Nancy Lee Rhodes Roberts Scholarship and the SILA West 53 Gold Award-Phillip Hayes Scholarship. She has exhibited at The Society of Illustrators and her work has been featured in Taproot, Quill and Quire, and Plansponsor Magazines. Her first book, OOKO, was nominated for a Governor General’s Literary Award and was # 1 on the National Post Best Seller’s List. www.esmeshapiroillustrations.com

3 Fun Facts

1. I know how to Irish Jig
2. If I could be any food I would be a bagel
3. My dog is a fuzzy alien

Silvestro, Annie

Annie Silvestro is a lover of books who can often be found shuffling piles of them around so she has a place to sit or someplace to put her teacup. She is the author of BUTTERFLIES ON THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL, illustrated by Dream Chen, THE CHRISTMAS TREE WHO LOVED TRAINS, illustrated by Paola Zakimi, MICE SKATING, illustrated by Teagan White, BUNNY’S BOOK CLUB and it’s forthcoming sequel, BUNNY’S BOOK CLUB GOES TO SCHOOL, illustrated by Tatjana Mai-Wyss. Annie lives with her family by the beach in New Jersey. Visit Annie online at www.anniesilvestro.com or on Twitter/Instagram @anniesilvestro

3 Fun Facts

1. The library is my happy place.
2. I love to bake, mostly with chocolate.
3. I am terrified of roller coasters

Simon, Seymour

Seymour Simon has been honored with many awards for his work, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science/Subaru Lifetime Achievement Award for his lasting contribution to children’s science literature; the New York State Knickerbocker Award for Juvenile Literature; the Hope S. Dean Memorial Award from the Boston Public Library for his contribution to children’s science literature; The Washington Post/Children’s Book Guild Award for Nonfiction; the Jeremiah Ludington Award for his outstanding contribution to children’s nonfiction; the Empire State Award for excellence in literature for young people; and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Forum on Children’s Science Books. His website, SeymourSimon.com, is a Webby Award honoree and was named one of twelve “2012 Great Websites for Kids” by the American Library Association. More than seventy-five of Seymour Simon’s books have been named Outstanding Science Trade Books for Children by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA).

Seymour Simon (@SeymourSimon), whom the New York Times called “the dean of the [children’s science] field,” is the author of over 300 highly acclaimed science books, more than seventy-five of which have been named Outstanding Science Trade Books for Children by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA). He has introduced tens of millions of children to a staggering array of subjects, and says: “I’m more interested in arousing enthusiasm in kids than I am in teaching the facts. The facts may change, but that enthusiasm for exploring the world will remain with them for the rest of their lives.”

3 Fun Facts

1. Seymour Simon’s Einstein Anderson science mysteries are based on puzzles he used to do with his middle school students; whoever figured it out would be dubbed “Einstein for a Day.”
2. While in high school, Seymour was a member of the Junior Astronomy Club at the American Museum of Natural History, where he ground a mirror to make his own telescope.
3. One of Seymour Simon’s earliest books is dedicated to his wife, “as partial repayment for the ants in the refrigerator” (for a science project, of course!)

Smithson, Ryan

Ryan Smithson was a reservist in the Army Corps of Engineers. He spent one year in Iraq and, upon returning, began writing about his experiences there, culminating in his first book, “Ghosts of War,” a memoir of his service. Visit my website.

3 Fun Facts

1. I learned to play the guitar while in the army.
2. My favorite band in Pink Floyd.
3. My dream vacation is Rome, Italy

Stamper, Vesper

Vesper Stamper’s debut novel, What the Night Sings, has been longlisted for the National Book Award and received numerous accolades for recounting the seldom-told story of what happened to Holocaust survivors in the aftermath of World War 2. For twenty years, Author-Illustrator Vesper Stamper has created work through which asks the central question: how do people, especially children, who suffer trauma, go on to rise above their experiences as victims and go beyond surviving to flourishing? She believes in the dignity of every human being as made in the image of God, and in the resilience of the human spirit. www.vesperillustration.com

Stemple, Heidi E.Y.

Heidi didn’t want to be a writer when she grew up. In fact, after she graduated from college, she became a probation officer in Florida. It wasn’t until she was 28 years old that she gave in and joined her mother, author Jane Yolen and both her brothers in the family business. Since then, she has published 20 books as well as numerous short stories and poems, mostly for children. www.heidieystemple.com

Heidi lives on an old tobacco farm in western Massachusetts where she writes, reads, cooks, sews, and once a year, calls and counts owls for the Audubon Christmas Bird Count.

3 Fun Facts

1. After college I attended the corrections part of the police academy. I had no intention of becoming a writer.
2. I love to sew. I spent the last 10 year making ballet costumes for my daughter’s ballet school.
3. I love Brussels Sprouts but hate bacon

Stolarz, Laurie Faria

Laurie Stolarz is the author of several popular young adult novels including the Dark House series, the Touch series, Project 17, Shutter, and Bleed, (all published by Disney/Hyperion Books for Children), as well as the bestselling Blue is for Nightmares series (Flux Publications). With over a million books sold worldwide, Stolarz’s titles have been translated into thirty languages, been named on numerous award lists, including the Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers list and the Top Ten Teen Pick list, both through the American Library Association, and have been optioned for TV. Her newest book, Jane Anonymous, was recently acquired by Wednesday Books/St. Martin’s Press, in a two-book deal. It will be released in the fall of 2019. For more information, please visit her Web site at www.lauriestolarz.com

3 Fun Facts

1. I’m currently learning American Sign Language (Ask me to sign the synopsis to Welcome to the Dark House.)
2. I write creepy books but I’m scared of the dark, old dolls, basements, attics, creepy phone calls, clowns, haunted houses, etc., etc.
3. I love Bravo TV.

Strasser, Todd

Todd Strasser is the author of many award-winning YA novels, including The Wave, Price of Duty, No Home, and Fallout, which the New York Times called, “Superb entertainment… and gripping suspense.” Todd’s newest novel is the mostly-autobiographical novel, Summer of ’69, about that trippy summer 50 years ago that revolved around Led Zeppelin, the first manned moon landing, Vietnam, and Woodstock. Todd’s Help! I’m Trapped In … middle-grade series sold more than 5 million copies world-wide. His books have been translated into more than twenty languages, and several have been adapted for TV and film, including The Wave (2008), which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and will be a Netflix series in 2019, and the 1997 movie, Drive Me Crazy.

3 Fun Facts

1. Most of Summer of ’69 actually happened.
2. I spend each summer in Montauk, surfing.
3. I just adopted a rescue dog named Cooper.

Talbott, Hudson

Born and raised in Louisville,KY, came to NYC and worked as an illustrator where a children’s book editor saw my work and invited me to do a book.That became a movie by Steven Spielberg. Have done about 25 books since then. Now living in the Hudson Valley ,helping to develop my village of Catskill. Hudson’s latest book, PICTURING AMERICA – Thomas Cole And The Birth of American Art, is about the founder of the Hudson River School of art, whose dramatic landscape paintings gave us the original iconic images of America the Beautiful. www.hudsontalbott.com

3 “Fun” Facts

1. I was a slow reader in my third grade class so I focused on drawing. I got so good that the school principal didn’t believe I was doing my drawings and asked me to draw something in front of him while he watched me. He was surprised and happy to see that I wasn’t faking it! I didn’t know I was good, but he did.
2. Hudson Talbott is originally from Louisville, Kentucky. He went to school in Rome for fine art, came back to NYC, and now lives in Greene County.
3. He has been a full time author/illustrator since 1986.

Turetsky, Bianca

Bianca is the author of the new chapter book series, Magic On the Map, co-written with Courtney Sheinmel, and published by Random House Kids. She is also the author of The Time-Traveling Fashionsta, a historical fiction series published by Little, Brown and Company. The books have been translated into nine languages. Bianca is the Brooklyn regional manager at Writopia Lab, an award winning non-profit that fosters joy, literacy, and critical thinking in children and teens from all backgrounds through creative writing. You can find her at www.biancaturetsky.com

3 Fun Facts

1. My grandmother Louise can read palms and tell fortunes (my character in my Time-Traveling Fashionista books is named after her!)
2. My great-grandmother Alice Mills was a professional football (soccer) player in England and that is how she came to America.
3. I was a competitive swimmer from when I was 5 years old through college and still feel happiest when I’m underwater.

Udell,  Dan

New York State author Dan Udell has that kind of life that embraces all things of the mind and soul — music, writing, photography, science, technology and the wonders of nature. He earned degrees in physics and mathematics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, offered his talent as a writer with IBM (science, technology and photoessays and videography presentations for historic events), and curated art exhibitions as well as being the featured artist in many solo photographic exhibitions.

Ventresca, Yvonne

Yvonne Ventresca’s latest YA psychological thriller, Black Flowers, White Lies (Sky Pony Press, 2016) won a National IPPY Gold Medal for YA fiction in 2017. Her debut novel, Pandemic (Sky Pony Press, 2014), won a Crystal Kite Award from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Yvonne’s other work includes two nonfiction books and several short stories selected for anthologies. You can learn more about her books at YvonneVentresca.com, where she also features resources for teen writers.

3 Fun Facts

1. I’m a Sandan (third degree) Black Belt in Isshinryu Karate.
2. Purple pens are my favorite for editing my stories.
3. My family rescued a “schneagle” —a part-Beagle, part-Schnauzer dog named Luna.

Verde, Susan

Susan Verde is a #1 New York Times bestselling author. Her books include The Museum, You and Me, I Am Yoga, I Am Peace, My Kicks and Rock N Roll Soul. A certified yoga and wellness instructor, she lives in East Hampton, New York with her family. Find out more at www.susanverde.com

3 Fun Facts

1. I am a mother of 3 teens
2. My favorite picture book Is The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
3. I have a pet tarantula

Walton, K.M.

K.M. Walton is the award-winning author of Cracked, Empty, and Ultimatum. She recently adapted her debut contemporary YA novel, Cracked, into a full-length play. She edited and contributed to her music-focused YA anthology, Behind the Song. K.M. co-authored Teaching Numeracy: 9 Critical Habits to Ignite Mathematical Thinking for mathematics teachers K – 8. She graduated from West Chester University and taught middle school language arts. She’s so passionate about acceptance that she gives school presentations—middle school through university level—titled: “The Power of Human Kindness.” K.M. lives in PA with her husband, two sons, and cat. Visit kmwalton.com or Instagram: @kmwalton.

3 Fun Facts

1. I recently started painting abstract art, and I’m up to 86 pieces!
2. Napoleon Dynamite is my all-time favorite movie. Gosh.
3. I recently adapted my debut novel CRACKED into a full-length play.

Wan, Joyce

Award-winning author-illustrator, Joyce Wan, designed her first greeting card when she was in first grade for a city-wide greeting card design contest. The design won first place and was subsequently sold through a major department store chain. Twenty years later, that design would inspire a line of greeting cards and eventually a design studio called Wanart. She has now published over twenty-four books for children including the best-selling YOU ARE MY CUPCAKE. Her books have sold a combined total of over 1 million copies worldwide. www.wanart.com

3 Fun Facts

1. Self-taught artist
2. Studied architecture in college
3. Inspired by Japanese pop art

Wenzel, Brendan

Brendan Wenzel is a New York based illustrator, whose work has appeared in picture books, animations and magazines. An ardent conservationist, he is a proud collaborator with many organizations working to ensure the future of wild places and threatened species, especially within South East Asia. He has illustrated several books including Some Bugs by Angela Diterlizzi, One Day in the Eucalyptus, Eucalyptus Tree by Daniel Bernstrom and his 2016 release, They All Saw a Catwww.brendanwenzel.info

3 Fun Facts

1. When I was a kid a pig lived in my house.
2. My parents are also artists
3. I am a big fan of the natural world


Tracey West has written more than 300 books for children, including the bestselling Dragon Masters series, the Pixie Tricks series, and Pokémon chapter books. She lives in the western Catskills where there is plenty of room for dragons to roam. www.traceywest.com

3 Fun Facts

1. When I was 10 I won my library’s summer reading contest for reading the most books.
2. I raise chickens.
3. I have written more than 300 books for children, including many books about Pokémon.

Wolf, Karina

Karina has written copy and essays about food, fashion, film and art; scouted and developed film scripts; and worked as a writer-producer of documentaries. She studied film and writing in New York, Paris and Dublin and now lives in Manhattan with her dogs, Barry and Luca.

Chuck hails from an overgrown village among the peat bogs in the north of the Netherlands, where he spent his formative years climbing trees, drawing, reading, and cycling. He attended the Artez Institute of Visual Arts in Kampen, graduating from the department of Illustration in 2004. His work has been featured and selected by the Society of Illustrators, The Fox is black, Pikaland, Illustration Friday, and Spike Jonze’s blog: We Love You So. www.karinawolf.com  www.chuckgroenink.com

3 Fun Facts

1. Karina wrote this story when her rescue dog Luca was turned away from a New York City dog park because the other dog owners thought he was a fox!
2. Chucky has a spotted dog and several fluffy cats.
3. He likes to draw pictures, bake bread and go for walks.

Yolen, Jane

Jane Yolen, often called “the Hans Christian Andersen of America,” is the author of more than 350 books, ranging from picture books and baby board books, through middle grade fiction, poetry collections, nonfiction,  novels, graphic novels, story collections, and even cookbooks . Her books and stories have won many awards, including two Nebulas, a World Fantasy Award, a Caldecott, the Golden Kite, three Mythopoeic awards, two Christopher Medals, nomination for the National Book Award, and Jewish Book Award. She also won the Kerlan Award and the Catholic Library’s Regina Medal. Six colleges and universities have given her honorary doctorates. www.janeyolen.com


3 Fun Facts

1. I live on a farm called Phoenix Farm for three seasons of the year and in a house called Wayside in Scotland in the summer.
2. All three of my grown children work in children’s books.
3. I hate Brussels Sprouts  and love bacon.

Yoon, Salina

Salina Yoon is the award-winning author and illustrator of over 160 books for children. Her most recent award was the 2018 Geisel Honor for MY KITE IS STUCK AND OTHER STORIES (A Duck Duck Porcupine! Book). As the Kohl’s Cares featured author for summer 2016, seven of her books (nearly 1 million units), and four plush animals based on her characters, were sold nationwide in Kohl’s stores that year. She is the author and illustrator of the six-book Penguin picture book series that begins with PENGUIN AND PINECONE, the creator of the picture book series featuring Bear, that includes FOUND, STORMY NIGHT, and BEAR’S BIG DAY (Bloomsbury), and the early reader series beginning with DUCK DUCK PORCUPINE (Bloomsbury).

Most recent award was the 2018 Geisel Honor for MY KITE IS STUCK AND OTHER STORIES (A Duck Duck Porcupine! Book)
2018 Honor Award: Anna Dewdney Read-Together Award for BE A FRIEND.
2017 Maryland Blue Crab Young Reader Award in the Beginner Fiction category: DUCK DUCK PORCUPINE!
2017 VA Readers’ Choice, FOUND

3 Fun Facts

Penguins have been following me my whole life. Here’s 3 pieces of evidence:

1. My first job was working as a frozen yogurt dispenser, at Penguin’s Frozen Yogurt!
2. My first major book deal was with Penguin Publishing (now called Penguin Random House).
3. My most well known character is Penguin, from the Penguin series!

Zunon, Elizabeth

Drawing and painting have always been among the most important things to illustrator Elizabeth Zunon. Born in Albany, NY and raised in the Ivory Coast (Cote d’Ivoire), West Africa, she cultivated a love of color and pattern, which are fixtures in her works. After returning to the United States, Elizabeth earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 2006 from the Rhode Island School of Design. Her twelfth illustrated children’s book, Grandpa Cacao: a Tale of Chocolate, from Farm to Family (Bloomsbury), will be published in May 2019. It is her first authored-illustrated book: a true story about chocolate! www.lizzunon.com

3 Fun Facts

1. I love chocolate!
2. I always listen to music while painting
3. I imagine the characters in my books as my friends, even if we have never met!