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 & Illustrators2024-02-17T10:42:34-05:00

Authors & Illustrators Attending the 2024  Book Festival

2024 Author Applications will be available in January 2024 for our 2024 festival! Please follow us on our social media platforms for updates and return to this page to see who will be attending in 2024!

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!

Baker, Jennifer

Jennifer Baker is a publishing professional of 20 years, the creator/host of the Minorities in Publishing podcast, and a faculty member of the MFA program in Creative Nonfiction at Bay Path University and a writing consultant at Baruch College. Jennifer is also the editor of the short story anthology Everyday People: The Color of Life (Atria Books, 2018) and the author of the YA novel Forgive Me Not (Nancy Paulsen Books, 2023). Her fiction, nonfiction, and criticism has appeared in various print and online publications. Her website is: jennifernbaker.com.

Awards

Jennifer Baker’s essay “What We Aren’t (or the Ongoing Divide)” was listed as a Notable Essay in The Best American Essays 2018. She received a 2017 NYSCA/NYFA Fellowship and a Queens Council on the Arts New Work Grant for Nonfiction Literature. In 2019, she was named Publishers Weekly Superstar for her contributions to inclusion and representation in publishing. Forgive Me Not was listed by New York Public Library as a “Best Books for Teens 2023,” included on the Texas Library Association’s 2024 TAYSHAS Reading List, and Electric Literature’s “Best Novels of 2023.”

3 Fun Facts

1. Jennifer is an amateur baker who has won local competitions.
2. Jennifer is an active cyclist and a big fan of NYC’s new bike lanes.
3. Jennifer’s biggest goal is to travel to every country in Asia and eat all the things!

Balkan, Gabrielle

Gabrielle Balkan is best known for non-fiction books that delight readers ages 0-12 with curious and essential facts about the United States, animal record-breakers, ground-breaking artists, and foundational tools, like maps! Her books include The 50 States, Book of Bones, Who’s That Dinosaur, What a Map Can Do, and Meet the Megafauna. Reviews say: “A standout picture book that both entertains and teaches.” — Kirkus, Starred Review. Teachers say: “Gabrielle’s presentation was rooted in student friendly, higher order, fun, and rigorous material! I was HOOKED and invested! She was EXEMPLARY!”. Visit her at www.gabriellebalkan.com and @gabriellebalkan.

Awards

International Literacy Association Teacher’s Choice Pick (2018)
A Texas Topaz Nonfiction Reading List Title (2019)
Indiana Authors Award Shortlist title (2022)
Indiana Authors Award Shortlist title (2020)

3 Fun Facts

1. Grew up across from the Indiana State Fair
2. Recently got her braces off.
3. Once spent the night in the crypt of a cathedral

Balouch, Kristen

Kristen Balouch has created almost a dozen books for children. She has collaborated on projects from exclusive designed toys and furniture for the Guggenheim Museum, fabric collections for Little House Cottons, fine art shows in New York City, and teamed with various licensing partners. Kristen splits her time between the Adirondacks and a tiny top-floor apartment in Brooklyn, New York. She likes cooking for friends and family, wandering to scout out good food, and being outside. www.kristenbalouch.com

Awards

Ezra Jack Keats Award, Charlotte Zolotow Commended, CCBC Best Book of the Year, Middle East Book Award, Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year, The Golden Kite Honor Award, Illustration Category.

3 Fun Facts

1. Kristen has a new puppy named Porter.
2. Kristen likes Chocolate.
3. Kristen does not like marshmallows.

Bennett, Artie

Artie Bennett has always dreamed of being a published author. He’s the author of an inspiring, humorous biography of a hapless, though beloved, racehorse, The True Story of Zippy Chippy: The Little Horse That Couldn’t. He’s also the author of several award-winning hilarious rhyming picture books: his classic The Butt Book, his “number two” picture book Poopendous!, Peter Panda Melts Down!, the explosively funny Belches, Burps, and Farts—Oh My!, and What’s Afoot! Your Complete, Offbeat Guide to Feet. He lives in Brooklyn, New York. HuffPost says: “It appears there is no topic Mr. Bennett can’t make funny and educational.” http://www.artiebennett.com/

Awards

The True Story of Zippy Chippy: The Little Horse That Couldn’t: The Magnolia Book Award (Mississippi),A CCBC Choice, A Horse Lover’s Guide to Staying Inside Children’s Book from America’s Best Racing, A Picture-Book Biography You Need to Know About Citation from Imagination Soup, A Gift Guide Great Book for the Book Lover in Your Life from The Bookworm Sez.

Belches, Burps and Farts—Oh My! A World Science Festival Selection, A Kentucky Bluegrass Award Nominee for Informational Text, A Pragmatic Mom Best Nonfiction Book for Kids, A HuffPost (One of) 26 Entertaining and Educational Books for Back-to-School Season.

Poopendous! A Bright Horizons Notable Book in the Humorous Books for Children Category, A Book Vine for Children Growing Green Book

The Butt Book  Reuben Award Winner for Book Illustration, Best Feel-Good Children’s Book (HuffPost), A New York State Assembly/NYPL Suggested Reading Title, A Starred Review from the Horn Book Guide

3 Fun Facts

1. 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.
2. I swim every weekday morning and get some of my best book ideas while doing the crawl.
3. I have a serious, three-scoop-a-day ice cream habit, but I’m trying to break it.

Berger, Carin

Carin Berger is the award-winning author and illustrator of almost a dozen picture books for children, including The Little Yellow Leaf, a New York Times Best Illustrated Book, All of Us, and Finding Spring. She is also the illustrator of Behold the Bold Umbrellaphant by Jack Prelutsky and Are We Pears Yet? by Miranda Paul. She and her family divide their time between NYC and Cupcake, their home, in the Hudson Valley. Carin spends all of her spare time tending her garden. Cupcake makes an appearance in and was the inspiration for In the Night Garden. http://www.carinberger.com/

Awards

New York Times Best Illustrated Book (The Little Yellow Leaf)

3 Fun Facts

1. My house in Hillsdale appears in the book.
2. I really do have a hoot owl in my garden.
3. The cat in the book is inspired by my daughter’s cat, Cosy.

Bobrick, Rick

I enjoy the solitude of country living in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains with my wife Cathleen and my big dog Bean. I am a retired teacher and now spend my time fly fishing, skiing, gardening, practicing yoga, and playing with my grandson. Being a visiting author at the Hudson Children’s Book festival is a dream come true.  www.rickbobrick.com

3 Fun Facts

1. I spent most of my 40-year teaching career at the Hudson JHS which of course is the home of the Hudson Children’s Book Festival!
2. I am an avid home gardener and an amateur poultry farmer raising and caring for laying hens, broiler chickens, and Heritage Bronze turkeys.
3. I was very fortunate to have a niece talented enough to illustrate our book series; it became a family collaboration that has exceeded our wildest expectations.

Bolling, Valerie

Valerie Bolling was an educator for 30 years and is passionate about creating stories in which all children can see themselves and feel seen and heard, valued and validated. Her debut picture book, LET’S DANCE!, was published in March 2020 and won SCBWI’s Crystal Kite Award in 2021.

Valerie is the author of five more picture books (Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection I SEE COLOR; Kirkus Prize Finalist TOGETHER WE SWIM; TOGETHER WE RIDE; RIDE, ROLL, RUN: TIME FOR FUN!; and BING, BOP, BAM: TIME TO JAM!) as well as a Scholastic Acorn early reader series, RAINBOW DAYS.

Sharing her books with children and inspiring them to write their own stories brings Valerie immense joy! Valerie and her husband live in Connecticut and enjoy traveling, hiking, reading, going to the theater, and dancing. 
linktr.ee/ValerieBolling

Awards

SCBWI Crystal Kite Award fro LET’S DANCE! Kirkus Prize Finalist for TOGETHER WE SWIM My books have also been on “Best of” lists.

3 Fun Facts

1. I grew up in an extended family. I was the only child in a house of seven adults, living with my mother, grandmother, three great-aunts, and great-grandparents.
2. I have traveled to five of seven continents. In the future, I hope to have the opportunity to visit Australia and Antarctica.
3. I am never without a book. I have always loved to read. I read in the car, while waiting in lines, and on exercise equipment.

Bontigao, Lynnor

Lynnor Bontigao is a Philippine-born author-illustrator. Her debut as an author-illustrator, SARI-SARI SUMMERS, is a nostalgic love letter to the Philippines and grandmothers with a bonus sweet recipe. She also illustrated THE WORLD’S BEST CLASS PLANT(one of Kirkus Reviews’ 2023 Best Picture Books) written by award-winning authors Liz Garton Scanlon & Audrey Vernick. Lynnor loves stories where family relationships, culture, and food are intertwined. Lynnor Bontigao lives in NJ with her family and 1 tiny dog.

Awards
Lynnor is the recipient of the 1st annual 2020 SCBWI Tomie dePaola Professional Development Award, the 2020 Kweli/SCBWI Emerging Voice Award, and the 2021 Kweli Sing the Truth! Mentorship. PRAISE FOR SARI-SARI SUMMERS(Candlewick 2023)

Lively text provides an engrossing picture of the Philippines. . . thoughtful portrayals of Filipino customs along with speech bubbles featuring both Tagalog and English lend an authenticity. Bontigao’s debut brims with heart-warming delight as the loving intergenerational relationship between Nora and her lola making ice candy shows how food brings a community together. —The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

Delectable. . . This sweet summer tale has Tagalog words interspersed throughout the dialogue, mostly terms of endearment that reflect the cozy relationships with family and the community. . . . Like a sari-sari store, brimming with joy and heart. —Kirkus Reviews

Readers get to share Nora’s eagerness as they are treated to a two-page spread depicting colorful, delectable items stacked neatly on the store shelves. . . . This sweet story of intergenerational love will resonate with many readers. —Booklist

This is a love letter to grandparents who live far away and the special bond that develops when grandchildren get to spend time with them. . . . The illustrations, digitally created, capture the busy street where the store is located as well as the love shared between Nora and her lola. . . . Celebrating the special bond between a child and an older relative, along with the setting and language details of the Philippines, makes this a highly recommended title. —School Library Journal

Familial bonds burnish Bontigao’s affectionate solo debut in this empowering intergenerational tale featuring a child’s creative problem-solving. . . . Digital art mimics colored pencil and pastel textures, and standout images portray a bustling community, the shop’s myriad contents, and the feel of hot days in this story of how thoughtful entrepreneurship can serve and delight. —Publishers Weekly

3 Fun Facts

1. I ❤️ watching KDramas,
2. I am learning to play the ukulele
3. I am terribly afraid of caterpillars.

Bruel, Nick

Nick Bruel is the creator of the New York Times Bestselling “Bad Kitty” series. He lives in Pleasantville, NY with his wife Carina, their son Carson, their dog Skyler, and their sometimes-good-sometimes-bad cats Rose and Noodles. www.nickbruelbooks.com

Awards

Bad Kitty Meets The Baby
2012 Third and Fourth Grade Book of the Year—Children’s Book Council
Bad Kitty For President
2013 Third and Fourth Grade Book of the Year—Children’s Book Council

3 Fun Facts

1. Uncle Murray is based on my own real life Uncle Murray.
2. Toby in “Bad Kitty: Camp Daze” is based on my real life dog named Toby.
3. Baby is based on my real life daughter named Izzy from when she was a baby. She’s 11 years old now.

Budhos, Marina

Marina Budhos is the author of several books for young adults and adults. Her newest novel, We Are All We Have, was a Best Kirkus Book of 2022. Among her prior books are Watched, which received a Walter Award and an Asian Pacific American Honor, The Long Ride, Tell Us We’re Home, and Ask Me No Questions, recipient of numerous honors. She has also published the adult novels The Professor of Light and House of Waiting, and three works of nonfiction, including her co-authored books with husband Marc Aronson, Sugar Changed the World, an LA Times Book Finalist and Eyes of the World: Robert Capa, Gerda Taro & The Invention of Modern Photojournalism, both of which were YALSA Nonfiction Finalists. Her books have been published in several countries and her short work has appeared in publications such as The Daily Beast, LitHub, The Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, The Nation, Travel & Leisure, the Los Angeles Times, and in anthologies. She has received an NEA Literature Fellowship, a Rona Jaffe Award for Women Writers, three Fellowships from the New Jersey Council on the Arts, and has been a Fulbright Scholar to India. She is a professor emerita at William Paterson University. She frequently gives talks around the country and abroad. https://marinabudhos.com

Awards

Watched​ received an Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature YA Honor (APALA) and a Walter Award Honor (We Need Diverse Books), ​Eyes of the World​ was a 2017 YALSA Finalist in Nonfiction. I have received an NEA Literature Fellowship, a Rona Jaffe Award for Women Writers, three Fellowships from the New Jersey Council on the Arts, and have been a Fulbright Scholar to India.

3 Fun Facts

1. My sister-in-law’s brother has operated the Howard Hotel and Ca’Mea for years.
2. I was the first girl to wear pants at my elementary school once it was allowed (first day it was announced).
3. I once hitchhiked with a college roommate from the state of Washington to San Francisco, much to the horror of my young adult sons.

Call, Kirsti

Kirsti Call is an award winning author who co-hosts the Picture Book Look Podcast and hosts the Coaching for Creatives podcast as a therapist trained life coach. Kirsti loves teaching writing workshops, and visiting schools! She is the author of Mootilda’s Bad Mood (Little Bee), Cow Says Meow (Clarion) Cold Turkey (Little Brown), The Big Screen (Little Simon) and Smarty Ants (Capstone, 2023). Kirstine has an MSW from Boston College and is represented by Charlotte Wenger at Prospect Agency. www.kirsticall.com

Awards

THE BIG SCREAM, (2022, Little Simon) Julia Howard Award, Praiseworthy award.

3 Fun Facts

1. I have lived in Brazil and Japan.
2. I have five children.
3. I have a song for each of my books on youtube.

Castaldo, Nancy

Award-winning Hudson Valley author, Nancy Castaldo has written books about our planet for over 20 years. Nancy believes that we all have the ability to make a difference in our world and always instills that theme in her books. Her research has taken her all over the world, from the Galapagos to Russia, and she loves sharing her adventures with her readers. Her latest book, The World that Feeds Us, is a companion to her popular book, The Farm that Feeds Us, inspired by our sustainable local farms. Her upcoming title, Riverkeeper, releases in September. www.nancycastaldo.com @NCastaldoAuthor

Junior Library Guild Gold Selection, Eureka Honor Awards for Nonfiction, State lists, Green Earth Book Award, Art & Literature Award (NYSOEA), Crystal Kite Awards

3 Fun Facts

1. I’ve climbed a volcano
2. I held a koala in Australia
3. I have two different color eyes

Clark, Yvette

Yvette Clark is the author of the middle-grade novels Glitter Gets Everywhere and The House Swap, which was a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection. A Brit by birth and a New Yorker by design, Yvette lives in Manhattan with her husband, children, and a small blue cat. www.yvetteclark.com

Awards

Glitter Gets Everywhere: Booklist Starred Review. The House Swap: Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection and OwlCrate Junior March Selection.

3 Fun Facts

1. I organize my bookshelves by color.
2. I decided aged ten to move from England to New York after reading Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume. I moved here fifteen years later!
3. I love to trampoline.

Cline-Ransome, Lesa

Lesa Cline-Ransome is the author of more than twenty books for young readers including the award-winning Finding Langston trilogy. Her work has received a plethora of honors, including dozens of starred reviews, NAACP Image Award nominations, a Coretta Scott King honor, the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction and a Christopher Award. Her work has been named to ALA Notable Books and Bank Street Best Children’s Book lists and she lives in the Hudson Valley region of New York. https://www.lesaclineransome.com 

Awards

Lesa and her books have received the NAIBA Legacy Award, dozens of starred reviews, NAACP Image Award nominations, a Coretta Scott King honor, the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction and a Christopher Award.

3 Fun Facts

1. Lesa loves to uncover and share little known pieces of history.
2. Lesa loves to dance!
3. Lesa is a proud member of the Hudson Valley community.

Conklin, Melanie

Melanie Conklin grew up in North Carolina and worked as a product designer before she began her writing career. She is the author of Counting Thyme, Every Missing Piece, A Perfect Mistake, Crushed (2024), and her debut picture book, When You Have to Wait (2024). Her books have won awards such as the International Literacy Association Teacher’s Choice Award, Bank Street Best Children’s Book, and nominations to six state reading lists. When she’s not writing, Melanie spends her time doodling and dreaming up new ways to be creative. She lives in New Jersey with her family. https://www.melanieconklin.com/

Awards

The International Literacy Association Teacher’s Choice Award, Bank Street Best Children’s Book, and nominations to six state reading lists.

3 Fun Facts

1. Before I started writing, I was a product designer. I’ve designed some strange things: eye-wash stations, label makers, baby incubators, and pencil cups.
2. I didn’t always want to be a writer! I’ve always loved books, but it took me a long time to write one of my own.
3. I hated middle school. My hair never cooperated, no matter how much hairspray I used!

Crews, Nina

Nina Crews is an award-winning children’s book author and illustrator of picture books for children from PreK through 3rd grade. Her titles include One Hot Summer DayI’m Not SmallNot Done Yet: Shirley Chisholm’s Fight for ChangeA Girl Like MeThe Neighborhood Mother GooseSeeing Into Tomorrow: Haiku by Richard Wright, and Below. Known for her distinctive photocollage style, Nina has recently put her camera aside to create digitally rendered and collaged illustrations in her latest projects. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and son. www.ninacrews.com

Awards

Nina is the recipient of the 2023 New York State Library Association’s Empire State Award. Nina’s work has been recognized by the ALA Notable Committee, the Black Caucus of the ALA, The Horn Book, Junior Library Guild, NCTE, CCBC, New York Public Library, Chicago Public Library, Bank Street College of Education, and many others.

3 Fun Facts

1. I always wanted to be an artist.
2. I love to be outdoors in green places.
3. I live in the city and the green places are parks.I am lucky to live very near a big beautiful park in Brooklyn.

Cummins, Lucy Ruth

Lucy Ruth Cummins is an author, illustrator, and art director of children’s books. Her author-illustrated books include “Stumpkin,” “Vampenguin,” and “Our Pool.” She is also the illustrator of “Truman,” written by Jean Reidy, and the author of “Sleepy Sheepy,” illustrated by Pete Oswald, among others. She lives with her little family in Brooklyn, New York.

Awards

Governor General’s Award shortlist, Publisher’s Weekly Best Book, New York Times best book, NPR best book, Irma Black Honor book.

3 Fun Facts

1. I am the youngest of six children
2. I have met the president
3. I prefer pie to cake.

Czajak, Paul

Writing was never Paul’s thing. In fact written on the top of his college writing paper, in bold red, was “F get a tutor”. So Paul went into science. Though his love for writing creative stories never went away and after having kids ideas for stories flooded his brain. When one of those ideas became a book his writing career was born! With books like Monster Needs A Costume, Trees Make Perfect Pets, The Book Tree and his newest tile, The Peculiar Haunted House to be released August 2024, look for Paul to keep doing what he loves, writing stories for awesome readers! www.paulczajak.com

Awards

“The Book Tree” is the Winner of Premio Canpoy-Ada

3 Fun Facts

1. I’m a chemist.
2. I am currently learning how to forge metal.
3. My family owns a Newfoundland named Seamus who is 130lb!

Dadey, Debbie

Writing can be super fun when it’s about dragons and mermaids! Debbie Dadey’s newest books are The Dolphin Dream (mermaids and dolphins-super fun!) and Dragons Don’t Cook Pizza (two of her favorite things!) She hopes you’ll stop by her table at the book festival to tell her which is better: mermaids or dragons!debbiedadey.com and Facebook.com/debbiedadey

Awards

Children’s Choice; ABC Best Books for Children; Best STEM Book of 2024

3 Fun Facts

1. My greyhound thinks my bottom is her pillow at night!
2. I used to climb to the top of a man pyramid in a ski show.
3. I rode a camel near the Pyramid of Giza in Egypt.

Dee, Barbara

Barbara Dee is the award-winning author of fourteen middle grade novels published by Simon & Schuster, including Unstuck, Haven Jacobs Saves the Planet, Violets Are Blue, My Life in the Fish Tank, Maybe He Just Likes You, Star-Crossed and Halfway Normal. Her books have been named to many best-of lists, including the Washington Post’s Best Children’s Books of the Year, the ALA Notable Children’s Books, the ALA Rise: A Feminist Book Project List, the ALA Rainbow List Top Ten, and SLJ’s Best Books of the Year. She lives in Chappaqua, NY. www.BarbaraDeeBooks.com.

Awards

School Library Journal’s Best Books 2022 and 2021; 2020 ALA Notable Book; 2020 ALA Rise: A Feminist Book List; 2018 ALA Rainbow List Top Ten; Washington Post Best Children’s Books of the 2019; NCSS-CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People; Bank Street Best Books of the Year (several times); A Mighty Girl’s Best Books of the Year (several times); 2020-21 and 2021-22 Project Lit selections; Goodreads Choice finalist; multiple state book award nominations; multiple starred reviews.

3 Fun Facts

1. I’m scared of roller coasters.
2. My favorite band is Radiohead.
3. My favorite team is the NY Yankees.

Ekster, Carol Gordon

Carol Gordon Ekster grew up in Brooklyn, New York. After graduating from Boston University and getting a Master’s degree in reading and language she was a passionate elementary school teacher for 35 years. At the end of her career she began writing unexpectedly. Carol is a member of SCBWI, 12×12, The Writing Barn’s Courage to Create, and part of the group blog, Writers’ Rumpus. When Carol is not immersed in her writing life she might be doing yoga, walking or biking. You can find out more about her books and writing life here: https://carolgordonekster.com.

Awards

Where Am I Sleeping Tonight?-A Story of Divorce, Boulden Publishing, 2008, was a finalist for About.com’s Readers’Choice Awards for Best Children’s Book for Single Parent Families, 2012. Ruth the Sleuth and the Messy Room, Character Publishing, 2011, received the Children’s Literary Classics Seal of Approval in July 2013. Before I Sleep: I Say Thank You, 2015, Pauline Books and Media, was a finalist for the ACP Excellence in Publishing Awards 2016 and a third place winner in the Catholic Press Association awards in the children’s book category, 2016. And You Know What?, Clavis Books, 2017, was a CLEL Bell Picture Book Awards Nominee for Talk (2018) and an SCBWI Crystal Kite Award finalist 2018 in the New England region. Some Daddies was a finalist for the SCBWI Crystal Kite Awards 2022 in the Northeast Region.

3 Fun Facts

1. I was a 4th grade teacher for 35 years.
2. My daughter and grandson live in Italy.
3. My favorite books from childhood was the Nancy Drew series.

Ferry, Beth

Beth Ferry is the author of numerous picture books for children including The Scarecrow, Swashby and the Sea, and the New York Times bestseller, Stick and Stone. She lives with her family by the beach in New Jersey where she finds inspiration in the salty air. In addition to writing picture books, Beth also writes graphic novels for emerging readers. You can learn more at bethferry.com.

Awards

NY Times Bestseller, Amazon Best Book of the Year

3 Fun Facts

1.  I have a pet cactus named Henry
2. I only grow pumpkins in my garden
3. I have a bulldog named Chaucer who eats all the pumpkins I grow.

Foody, Amanda

Amanda Foody has always considered imagination to be our best attempt at magic. She is a New York Times, USA Today, and indie bestselling author of fantasy novels, including the Wilderlore series, the All of Us Villains duology, and more. You can find her on Instagram @amandafoody or www.amandafoody.com.

Awards

The Accidental Apprentice was a NYT bestseller, a Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year Selection Title, and has been nominated for state awards and reading lists in four states, including the Connecticut 2023 Nutmeg Awards. It received starred reviews from Kirkus and Publisher’s Weekly. On the YA side of my career, All of Us Villains was a NYT, USA Today, and national indie bestseller, a Junior Library Gold title, and Amazon’s Best YA Book of 2021.

3 Fun Facts

1. Amanda has a Beastly companion of her own, a rambunctious orange tabby named Jelly Bean.
2. Amanda learned how to read by playing Pokemon.
3. Amanda’s favorite hobby outside of writing is cooking. (You could call her a foodie Foody.)

Freedman, Deborah

Deborah Freedman was an architect once-upon-a-time, but now she prefers building worlds in picturebooks. She is the author and illustrator of 11 of them, featuring protagonists that include an earthworm searching for its purpose in life, a house that dreams of its origins, and a character that is almost too shy to appear in its own book. Her stories have been translated into ten different languages, adopted in classrooms across the country, and honored with many starred reviews and awards. She daydreams and makes books in her colorful home in Connecticut.

Awards

Multiple starred reviews and state awards lists
Junior Library Guild gold standard selection
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library
Kirkus Best Books, Booklist Editor’s Choice
Society of Illustrators “The Original Art”
Parents’ Choice Gold Award
Crystal Kite Award
Indie Next List, Amazon Books of the Month
Best Books on Huffington Post, Buzz Feed, Chicago Public Library & NYPL
CLA Notable Books, Bank Street Books

3 Fun Facts

1. In school, I studied architecture, not illustration! But now I prefer making books for kids to buildings.
2. I live in a fantastically playful and colorful house.
3. I love meeting readers—so please stop by my table and say hello!

Frost, Maddie

Maddie Frost is the author-illustrator of the Wombats! graphic novel books, Smug Seagull, Just Be Jelly, Capybara is Friends with Everyone, and more. www.maddie-frost.com

Awards

Capybara is Friends with Everyone has been nominated for the Monarch Award. Wombats! series is JLG selection for graphic novels for early elementary plus.

3 Fun Facts

1. I wrote my first book on my lunch break while working at Barnes and Noble.
2. Madison is my full name.
3. I have two dogs and a daughter named Birdie.

Funk, Josh

B is a software engineer and the author of books like the Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast series, How to Code a Sandcastle, Dear Unicorn, Dear Dragon, My Pet Feet, Lost in the Library, and more. For more information about Josh Funk, visit him at www.joshfunkbooks.com and on social media at @joshfunkbooks.

Awards

2023 Massachusetts Book Award Must-Read Picture Book (MY PET FEET)
2022 Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance Read This Next! Title (MY PET FEET)
2020 Mississippi Magnolia State Award Short List (LOST IN THE LIBRARY)
2020 Wisconsin Golden Archer Award Nominee (LOST IN THE LIBRARY)
2019 International Literacy Association (ILA) Teacher’s Choice Reading List (HOW TO CODE A SANDCASTLE)
2018 Smithsonian Ten Best Children’s Books (HOW TO CODE A SANDCASTLE)
2018-19 Missouri Association of School Librarians (MASL) Show Me Readers Award Nominee (DEAR DRAGON)
2018-19 Indiana Library Federation (ILF) Young Hoosier Book Award Nominee (DEAR DRAGON)
2017-18 Maine Chickadee Award Nominee (DEAR DRAGON)
2017 Bank Street Best Children’s Books of the Year (DEAR DRAGON)
2017 International Literacy Association (ILA) Teacher’s Choice Reading List (DEAR DRAGON)

3 Fun Facts

1. Josh plays guitar and sings in all of the Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast musical book trailers.
2. Josh has visited over 750 schools and libraries (both in-person and virtually) since 2015.
3. Josh is vegan.

Gopal, Jyoti Rajan

Growing up, Jyoti lived in Thailand, Indonesia, Myanmar, China and India. She finally settled in New York where she raised two daughters with her husband (who also grew up all over the world). As a child, she adored and devoured books but did not enjoy writing. At all.

As a grown up, she is a forever kindergarten teacher and mom. She still adores and devours books. But now, she likes to write! https://www.jyotirajangopal.com/

Awards
NYPL Best Books 2022, SLJ Best Books 2022, Bank Street Best Books 2022, Book Page 10 Best Books of 2023, Shortlisted for Neev Literary Award (India, 2023), Kirkus Star, PW Stars, SLJ stars, BookList stars

3 Fun Facts

1. I drank horse milk when I traveled in Mongolia.
2. I once was in a commercial for ramen.
3. I speak 6 languages

Green, John Patrick

John Patrick Green is a human with the human job of making books about animals with human jobs, notably the smash-hit graphic novel series InvestiGators. John is definitely a multiple New York Times-bestselling human author and not just a bunch of animals in a trench coat pretending to have a human job. With over a million copies of InvestiGators in print, John is a successful human being with only two hands and a normal amount of fur. He lives in a Brooklyn apartment that doesn’t allow animals other than the ones living in his head. https://investigatorsbooks.com

Awards

The InvestiGators are a New York Times best-selling series. His graphic novel Hippopotamister has won the Children’s Crown Gallery Award, and InvestiGators received the Denise McCoy Literacy Award 2022.

3 Fun Facts

1. I got my start making comics as a little kid, by selling drawings of Garfield in third grade.
2. I went to School of Visual Arts in NYC for graphic design, but while I was there I started self-publishing comics with a friend, Dave Roman, starting a fantasy series called Jax Epoch.
3. I work traditionally, meaning that I draw my comics with pencils and pens on paper.

Gutman, Dan

Dan Gutman was born in a log cabin in Illinois and used to write by candlelight with a piece of chalk on a shovel. Oh, wait. That was Abraham Lincoln. Actually, Dan has written 175 books for beginning readers (“Rappy the Raptor”), young readers (“My Weird School”), and advanced readers (“The Genius Files”, “Flashback Four”). Dan lives in New York City. You can visit his web site (www.dangutman.com) and follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. www.dangutman.com

Awards
A few state book awards. More importantly, My Weird School has sold 35 million copies. So who cares about awards, right?

3 Fun Facts

1. I’m left handed.
2. I’m partly color blind.
3. I love watermelon and ShopRite bran flakes.

Hagan, Ellen

Ellen Hagan is a writer, performer, and educator. She is the author of Don’t Call Me a Hurricane and Reckless, Glorious, Girl and the coauthor with Renée Watson of Watch Us Rise. Her poetry collections include Blooming Fiascoes, Hemisphere, and Crowned. Her work can be found in ESPN Magazine, She Walks in Beauty, and Southern Sin. Raised in Kentucky, she now lives in New York City with her family. www.ellenhagan.com • @ellenhagan

Awards

Ellen is the recipient of the 2020 New York Foundation for the Arts fellowing in poetry, the 2013 NoMAA Creative Arts Grant and received grants from the Kentucky Foundation for Women and the Kentucky Governor’s School for the Arts.

Hiranandani, Veera

Veera Hiranandani is the award-winning author of several books for young people. Her most recent book, a companion to her Newbery Honor-winning THE NIGHT DIARY, is called AMIL AND THE AFTER. She’s also the author of HOW TO FIND WHAT YOU’RE NOT LOOKING FOR, which received the 2022 Sydney Taylor Book Award among other accolades. She earned her MFA in fiction writing at Sarah Lawrence College. A former editor at Simon & Schuster, she’s now a faculty member with the MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults program at The Vermont College of Fine Arts. www.veerahiranandani.com

Awards

A Newbery Honor, A Sydney Taylor Award, A National Jewish Book Award Finalist, The Jane Addams Award, the New York Historical Society Children’s History Book Prize, a Walter Dean Myers Honor, and the Malka Penn Award for Human Rights in Children’s Literature.

3 Fun Facts

1. I’m from Fairfield County, CT.
2. I LOVE cats.
3. I used to think I’d grow up to be a painter or an actor.

Hood, Susan

Susan Hood is the award-winning author of many picture books and middle grade books for young readers, including ADA’S VIOLIN; ALIAS ANNA; HARBORING HOPE; THE LAST STRAW: Kids vs. Plastics; LIFEBOAT 12; and SHAKING THINGS UP: 14 Young Women Who Changed the World. LIFEBOAT 5, a companion book to the acclaimed LIFEBOAT 12, will be published in Fall 2024. Susan lives with her family and six-year-old pup in Connecticut and enjoys spending her summers on the water—swimming, kayaking, and sailing with her husband along the New England coast. susanhoodbooks.com

Awards

Susan is the 2024 recipient of the Bank Street Flora Stieglitz Straus Award for HARBORING HOPE, an award given annually for “a distinguished work of nonfiction that serves as an inspiration to young people.” Susan has also been awarded an E. B. White Read-Aloud Picture Book Honor, a Mathical Honor Award, two Christopher Awards, the Américas Award for Children’s and Young Adult Literature, the Golden Kite Award, and a second Bank Street Flora Stieglitz Straus Award. ALIAS ANNA was named a 2023 Sydney Taylor Notable Book and was a finalist for the 2023 National Jewish Book Awards.

3 Fun Facts

1. I’ve had lunch with Big Bird.
2. Sailing on the Atlantic Ocean in a 38-foot boat, we suddenly found ourselves with no engine, lights, or navigation. We had to find Bermuda using the stars and handheld sextant.
3. My great-great-grandfather was a lighthouse keeper.

Hooper, Don P.

Don P. Hooper is a writer and filmmaker of Jamaican heritage (and a programmer in a former life). His short story “Got Me a Jet Pack” is part of the New York Times bestselling anthology Black Boy Joy. His directing work has been featured in the Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival, the New York Television Film Festival (award winner), the New York City Horror Film Festival, the New Jersey Horror Con and Film Festival (award winner), and more. He does voice-over in video games and documentaries. True True is his debut novel. www.donphooper.com

Awards

True True received a starred review by Publisher’s Weekly, who wrote, “Hooper presents valuable lessons on the healing power of community, forgiveness, and sharing one’s truth.”
“BIPOC youth will find resonance here; privileged audiences, perhaps, need this most of all.” —School Library Journal, starred review of Audio Book.
Black Boy Joy was an instant New York Times bestseller and received 5 starred reviews.

3 Fun Facts

1. I’m a voice over actor, who has voiced several commercials.
2. I received a martial arts scholarship to college.
3. I was once part of a team that designed solar cars and made dogs play soccer.

Kantorovitz, Sylvie

Sylvie Kantorovitz was born in Casablanca, Morocco, grew up in France, and now lives in the beautiful Hudson Valley. She is the author-illustrator of SYLVIE, a middle-grade graphic-novel about her young years in France. SYLVIE has been called “enchanting and witty” (School Library Journal), “a delightful graphic-novel memoir of artistic coming-of-age for children ages 8-14.” (Wall Street Journal). Her latest book, also a graphic novel, is MONTI AND LEO, A NEWCOMER IN POCKETVILLE. She is also the illustrator of the bestseller, WHEELS ON THE BUS, A RAFFI SONG TO READ. www.sylviekantorovitz.com

Awards

SYLVIE is a Bank Street Best Book of the Year and a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard selection. MONTI AND LEO is a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard selection.

3 Fun Facts

1. I’m easy to recognize: I have very short hair and a French accent
2. I love spirals! I manage to include 2 in my autograph
3. I have learned a new word: knolling. I love the practice of knolling the treasures I bring back from nature walks.

Katz, Alan

Alan Katz has written 50+ highly acclaimed books for young readers, including Take Me Out of the Bathtub and Other Silly Dilly Songs and OOPS!, Alan is the co-author (with the Today Show’s Dylan Dreyer) of Misty the Cloud, a New York Times Bestseller. Alan’s other recent titles include Got Your Nose!, Really Stupid Stories for Really Smart Kids, three Lieographies, and the first five books in the Society of Substitutes series. Alan has also created comic books, trading card sets, TV series and commercials, and hundreds of other special projects for kids and their parents. Visit him at alankatzbooks.com

Awards

NY Times Bestseller
Utah Children’s Poetry Book Award Winner
North Carolina Children’s Book Award Winner
Colorado Children’s Picture Book of the Year Winner

3 Fun Facts

1. My daughter Simone is getting married on June 21st!
2. My favorite food is cantaloupe.
3. I am the biggest NY Mets fan ever.

Kaufman, Daniel Newell

DANIEL NEWELL KAUFMAN is an Emmy-nominated filmmaker whose documentaries and short films have played at SXSW, Tribeca and Cannes Lions film festivals. Raised in both Los Angeles and Vermont, Daniel’s life is driven by a deep curiosity and love of people. This is Daniel’s debut picture book. He lives with his wife and co-author, Esmé Shapiro, in an old farmhouse in the Hudson Valley.

3 Fun Facts

1. I’ve driven back and forth across the United States 10 times–once through a super storm.
2. My childhood cat lived to be 25 and used to ride on the back of my childhood dog.
3. The secret ingredient in my family’s chicken stew recipe is black currant jelly.

Kelly, David A.

David A. Kelly gets to go to Moon, baseball stadiums, and football games for his job. David is the author of over 30 children’s books that have sold over 1.5 million copies, including his bestselling Ballpark Mysteries series in which cousins Kate and Mike visit MLB ballparks to solve mysteries, and the Football Mysteries series, in which they visit NFL stadiums. David’s latest picture book, Tee Time on the Moon, takes readers to the Moon with Alan Shepard as he hits two golf balls during the Apollo 14 mission. www.davidakellybooks.com.

Awards

Booklist Top 10 Sports Books for Youth, Children’s Book Committee at Bank Street College Best Children’s Book of the Year, Library Media Connection Editor’s Choice, Maine Chickadee Award, Maryland Blue Crab Award, Missouri State Teacher’s Association Reading Circle selection, New York Public Library Best Books for Kids.

3 Fun Facts

1. I once met baseball superstar Hank Aaron.
2. I used to wear a cowboy hat for my job.
3. I watched the last Space Shuttle take off in person.

Kimmelman, Leslie

Leslie Kimmelman is the author of more than fifty popular books for children, whose subjects range from the rainforest adventures of a bat and sloth, to a hot dog picnic Eleanor Roosevelt hosted for the king and queen of England, to the New York City marathon. lesliekimmelman.com

Awards

Five Sydney Taylor Honor and Notable Titles. Many state awards, such as the Charlotte award, given by the New York State Reading Association.

3 Fun Facts

1. I know the way to Sesame Street; I worked there for almost 25 years.
2. If I hadn’t been a children’s book author, I would’ve loved to be a wildlife photographer.
3. My cure for writer’s block (and everything else) is dark chocolate.

Ko, Christine

Christine J. Ko is an author, mother, practicing physician, and a Professor of Dermatology and Pathology at Yale University. Her debut children’s book, Sound Switch Wonder, was inspired by her son, Owen Whang, and was written to include more representation of deaf people and the spectrum and range of deafness. Christine lives with her husband and their daughter and son in New Haven, Connecticut. https://soundswitchwonder.com

Awards

SCBWI Virtual ShopTalk

3 Fun Facts

1. I read books out of page order.
2. I LOVE chocolate!
3. I also love the endorphin-rush of exercise.

Kramer, Jackie Azúa

Jackie Azúa Kramer- Many lives ago I was born into a Puerto Rican and Ecuadorian loving family. Together we travelled to far away places.Now I’m an author, and wile away my time writing children’s picture books. What ties these all together are my dreams and imagination. Most of the time you’ll find me reading, watching old movies, globe trekking and whenever possible sharing laughter & food with my family. jackieazuakramer.com/

Awards

Bank Street College Best Children’s Books of the Year; Junior Library Gold Selection; Best Books Canadian Children’s Book Centre; Chicago Public Library-Best of the Best Books; Winner of Japan’s 31st Bronze Kembuchi Picture Book Award; Winner of 2021 SCBWI Crystal Kite Award; Silver Medal-Parents’ Choice Awards.

3 Fun Facts

1. I swam with dolphins.
2. I speak Spanish fluently.
3. I once worked as an actor.

LaRocca, Rajani

Rajani LaRocca was born in India, raised in Kentucky, and now lives in the Boston area, where she practices medicine and writes award-winning books for young readers, including the Newbery Honor winning middle grade novel in verse, Red, White, and Whole. She’s always been an omnivorous reader, and now she is an omnivorous writer of fiction and nonfiction, novels and picture books, prose and poetry. She finds inspiration in her family, her childhood, the natural world, math, science, and just about everywhere she looks. Learn more about Rajani and her books at www.RajaniLaRocca.com. She also co-hosts the STEM Women in KidLit Podcast.

Awards
Newbery Honor; Walter Dean Myers Award; Golden Kite Award; Crystal Kite Award; New England Book Award; Massachusetts Book Award and numerous other state award nominations; featured on the Today Show; “Best of” lists from Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, SLJ, and others. Numerous starred reviews. See more awards and honors at https://www.rajanilarocca.com/awards-praise/

3 Fun Facts

1. I love to travel, cook, and bake.
2. I have an impossibly cute dog named Boomer.
3. I’m a practicing doctor.

Larsen, Mylisa

Mylisa Larsen has been telling stories for a long time. This has caused her to get gimlet-eyed looks from her parents, her siblings and, later, her own children when they felt that certain stories had been embellished beyond acceptable limits. She now writes children’s books where her talents for hyperbole are actually rewarded. She is the author of the picture books All Of Those Babies, How To Put Your Parents To Bed, If I Were A Kangaroo and Ho Ho Homework and the novels Playing Through The Turnaround and Quagmire Tiarello Couldn’t Be Better. She has lived in eight states and two countries and has loved things about all of them. Right now, she lives in upstate New York near one of the Finger Lakes where she loves the water and the trees and the old libraries. https://www.mylisalarsen.com/

Awards

Playing Through The Turnaround-starred reviews in Kirkus and Publishers Weekly
If I Were A Kangaroo-chosen by Raising Readers to be distributed to 11,000 kids in Maine
If I Were A Kangaroo-selected for Imagination Library selection in 2018 and 2019

3 Fun Facts

1. I grew up on a farm
2. I’ve lived in eight different states and in Brazil.
3. I have a dog named Sophie who is convinced that pirates are trying to break into the house at all hours.

Lavin, Nanette Torchia

Nanette Torchia Lavin, a Hudson native, attended Greenport Elementary and Hudson High. As a social worker in a preschool for the past 25 years, she knows how children connect with food. No suitcase is required for Nanette’s debut, Recipe Road Trip, Cooking Your Way Across the USA. This book was created out of her love of travel, cooking, and children. Nanette lives in Lynbrook, New York with her daughter, Emma, and their three-year-old Wheaten Terrier Maddie. www.kitcheninkpublishing.com

Awards

A fantastic Kirkus review “A colorful celebration of food and culture—children will delight in cooking (and eating) their way around the nation”- Wonderful five star reviews including profile on Net Galley and a bulk sale to the Junior Library Guild (JLG).

3 Fun Facts

1. Born and raised in Hudson, NY
2. Children’s yoga teacher
3. Won a Today Show costume contest and the prize was a trip to Harry & Meghan’s royal wedding in London

Lazar, Tara

Tara Lazar- Street magic performer. Hog-calling champion. Award-winning ice sculptor. These are all things Tara Lazar has never been. Instead, she writes quirky, humorous picture books where anything is possible! taralazar.com

Awards

SCBWI Crystal Kite, SCBWI Golden Kite, Irma Black Book Award

3 Fun Facts

1. My wheelchair is “sky blue”.
2. I used to be a competitive figure skater.
3. My favorite food is tacos!

Madison, Megan Pamela Ruth

Megan Pamela Ruth Madison, Ph.D. is a lifelong student of Black feminism and early childhood education. She grew up in Northern Michigan, and now lives on Lenape land in Harlem. With Jessica Ralli, Dr. Madison co-authors “First Conversations,” a series of award-winning board books on topics like gender, consent, bodies, love, grief, justice, and disability. Their debut book, Our Skin: A First Conversation about Race, has sold more than 100,000 copies and is being used to support anti-racist teaching and caregiving around the world. They are both proud members of Jews for Racial and Economic Justice. Ceasefire NOW! https://www.firstconversations.com/

Awards

Bank Street Los mejores libros infantiles en Español, Bank Street Best Books, Rise: A Feminist Book List, “Read with Pride” Book Pick, Kirkus Best Book, Parents Magazine Best Book, School Library Journal Best Book, National Council for the Social Studies Notable Book, ALA Notable Book and a bunch of starred reviews.

3 Fun Facts

1. I love being Black and queer.
2. I danced ballet when I was a kid.
3. It took me a long time to learn how to read.

Magaziner, Lauren

Lauren Magaziner is the author of The Mythics series, the Case Closed series, The Only Thing Worse Than Witches, Pilfer Academy, and Wizardmatch. 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.

Awards:

International Bestseller, Junior Library Guild Selection, Kirkus starred review, Indie Next List Pick, translated into 10 languages, and movie rights optioned to Nickelodeon.

3 Fun Facts

1. Lauren wrote the first Mythics book in 9 days… after thinking about it for 4 years.
2. Lauren once stuck her face in a faerie river of eternal youth in Scotland.
3. To write the pick-your-own-path series Case Closed, Lauren uses a giant whiteboard and five different color markers to plot everything out.

Masiello, Ralph

In 1961, the year of the Ox, I was hatched from an opal colored dragon egg that lay in a dung heap on a skunk cabbage farm near my parent’s house. Taking pity on me, they raised me as one of their own, but always wondered about me. They knew I was “different” from my brothers somehow. www.ralphmasiello.com

Awards

Charlotte Award NYSRA, Society of Illustrators Certificate of Merit, ABA Kids’ Pick of the Lists, NCSS/CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Book, Early Childhood News Director’s Choice Award, ABC Best Books for Children, IRA/CBC Children’s Choices

3 Fun Facts

1. I love sharks, but am terrified of frogs.
2. I am an extreme skier, but a bad skater.
3. I love to fly on airplanes but am afraid of balconies.

Michalak, Jamie

Jamie Michalak is a former editor and the author of many children’s books. Her titles include the multiple-star reviewed NIKI NAKAYAMA: A CHEF’S TALE IN 13 BITES, co-written with Debbi Michiko Florence and illustrated by Yuko Kato-Jones; DAKOTA CRUMB: TINY TREASURE HUNTER and DAKOTA CRUMB AND THE SECRET BOOKSHOP: A TINY TREASURE HUNT, illustrated by Kelly Murphy; the FRANK AND BEAN early reader series, illustrated by Bob Kolar; the JOE AND SPARKY early readers series, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz; and COME ON IN: THERE’S A PARTY IN THIS BOOK!, illustrated by Sabine Timm. www.jamiemichalakbooks.com

Awards

Children’s Book Council 2023 Favorites Award Winner, Florida SSYRA Jr Award Nominee, Cybils Award Finalist, Junior Library Gold Standard Selection, Amazon Best Book of the Year, Kirkus Best Book of the Year, Chicago Public Library Best Book of the Year, Bankstreet Best Book of the Year, Library of Congress 52 Great Reads for Kids, CBC Notable Social Studies Book, Mighty Girl Book of the Year, Louisiana Young Readers’ Choice Award, Sakura Medal Nominee, Panda Award Shortlist, Young Hoosier Book Award Nominee.

3 Fun Facts

1. By day, I’m a writer at a toy company. One of my jobs is naming toys.
2. My best friend is my dog, Lucy Caboose.
3. I love to go surfing with my son (although we’re not very good at it!).

Michelson, Richard

RICHARD MICHELSON’s children’s books have been named among the Ten Best of the Year by The New York Times, Publishers Weekly, and The New Yorker; and among the Best Dozen of the Decade by Amazon.com. Michelson has received a National Jewish Book Award, and two Sydney Taylor Gold Medals from the Association of Jewish Libraries. Other credits include two Massachusetts Book Award Honors, three Skipping Stones Multicultural Book Awards, three Junior Library Guild Gold Medals, and an International Reading Association Teacher’s Choice Award. Michelson owns R. Michelson Galleries which represents many of the country’s premier illustrators. www.RichardMichelson.com

Awards

National Jewish Book Award, Sydney Taylor Gold Medal, New York Times Ten Best Books of the Year, Publishers Weekly Ten Best Books of the Year, Amazon.com Best Dozen Books of the Decade

3 Fun Facts

1. I founded R. Michelson Galleries which was the first fine art gallery in the country to feature children’s book illustrations.
2. When I was having dinner with my good friend Leonard Nimoy (who I wrote a picture book about) someone approached our table and asked for MY autograph.
3. I wrote the libretto for a forthcoming off-Broadway musical on the life of artist Edvard Munch

Miller, Kayla

Kayla Miller is the author and illustrator of the New York Times bestselling Click graphic novel series and co-author of its spin-off series Besties. www.kayla-miller.com

Awards

New York Times Bestseller, Indie Bestseller, USA Today Bestseller, A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection, Little Maverick Reading List Selection.

3 Fun Facts

1. I have a pet turtle named Galahad. Her favorite food is bananas.
2. I didn’t always want to be a cartoonist. Growing up, I wanted to be a paranormal investigator.
3. I can read text when it’s upside down almost as easily as when it’s right side up, which came in handy while working on group projects or sharing books in school.

Miller, Sharee

Sharee Miller is the bestselling illustrator and author of Curlfriends: New in Town. She is best known for her acclaimed picture book Don’t Touch My Hair. Her other picturebooks include Princess Hair, and Michelle’s Garden: How the First Lady planted seeds of Change. Sharee is currently working on the graphic novel adaptation of One Crazy Summer by Rita Willams-Garcia. https://www.shareemiller.com/

Awards

Curlfriends: 2023 indie bestseller, Don’t touch my hair: ALA Children’s Notable Book

3 Fun Facts

1. I have 2 cats names pumpkin and spice
2. I love comics and anime
3. My favorite color is pink!

Miller-Lachmann, Lyn

Lyn Miller-Lachmann is the author of the YA historical novel Torch (Carolrhoda Lab, 2022), winner of the 2023 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Young Adult Literature and a 2022 Booklist Editors’ Choice. She wrote the picture book Ways to Play (Levine Querido, 2023), illustrated by Gabriel Alborozo, and co-authored with Zetta Elliott the middle grade verse novel Moonwalking (FSG, 2022). Her nonfiction includes a biography of Temple Grandin in the She Persisted chapter book series and Film Makers: 15 Groundbreaking Women Directors (co-authored with Tanisia Tee Moore). Her YA historical novel in verse Eyes Open will be published by Carolrhoda Lab in spring 2024. https://lynmillerlachmann.com

Awards

Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Young Adult Literature (Torch) Booklist Editors’ Choice, 2022 (Torch) Kirkus Best Books of 2022 (Torch and Moonwalking) Bank Street College of Education Best Children’s Books + Outstanding Merit, 2023 (Torch and Moonwalking) New York Public Library Best Books of 2022 (Moonwalking) Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection (Eyes Open, Torch, and Moonwalking).

3 Fun Facts

1. I’ve built a giant LEGO town that includes many buildings I’ve designed myself.
2. I used to live in Portugal.
3. I used to DJ weddings and parties but sold my equipment when I moved to New York City.

Mirchandani, Raakhee

Raakhee Mirchandani is a journalist, children’s book author, activist and mom — not necessarily in that order. Previously a feature writer and columnist for the New York Post, a managing editor at the New York Daily News and associate editor at the Boston Herald, Raakhee’s work has also appeared in Elle, Glamour, the Wall Street Journal, Redbook and HuffPo, and she was the editor-in-chief of Moneyish, published by Dow Jones. The New Jersey-born daughter of immigrants, Raakhee is a proud supporter of many nonprofits, serving on the boards of the the Hoboken Public Library, Stevens Cooperative School, the Hoboken Shelter and Drag Story Hour NY. When she isn’t reading or writing, Raakhee is either organizing her bookshelves, running races to raise money for the fight against pediatric cancer — or styling her very curly hair with new oils and potions. She lives in Hoboken, N.J., with her husband and daughter, the inspirations for Hair Twins and Super Satya Saves the Day. Raakhee invites you to follow her on Twitter @Raakstar and on Instagram @RaakstarWrites.

Awards

Publisher’s Weekly Indie Bookseller Best Of List Starred reviews in PW and SLJ for previous books.

3 Fun Facts

1. I wish I could have dinner with Ramona Quimby, Harriet the Spy and Charlotte the spider. I have a lot of questions I want to ask them.
2. French fries are my favorite food.
3. I wish I could turn my apartment in to a library and am constantly building bookshelves all over the place!

Mojica, Barbara Ann

Barbara Ann Mojica, M.A. S.A.S., S.D.A is a historian and retired educator. Her education career spans more than forty years serving as a teacher, special educator, principal, and school district administrator. Now retired, she provides education strategies and tips for parents and teachers through guest podcasting, book reviewing, teaching videos, and personal appearances. Barbara writes monthly historical articles for the Columbia Insider under the banner “Passages.” Using the whimsical Little Miss History character to narrate her book series, Barbara hopes to educate, entertain and inspire children to learn about historical people and places.The author teaches critical thinking skills that will empower our youth to become the leaders of tomorrow. Little Miss History’s antics make reading nonfiction a fun-filled adventure for all ages. She firmly believes, “If you don’t know your history, you don’t know what you’re talking about.” http://www.littlemisshistory.com

Awards

The Little Miss HISTORY book series has garnered more than two dozen awards including B.R.A.G. Medallions, International Book Excellence Awards, Purple Dragonfly, International Readers’ Favorite Awards, Eric Hoffer, and Independent Author Network Book of the Year Awards.

3 Fun Facts

1. I love the water but I can’t swim.
2. I can’t draw but I enjoy visiting art museums and collecting art.
3. I am super organized in my work, but my desk is messy!

Newman, Robin

Raised in New York and Paris, Robin Newman is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College and the City University of New York School of Law. She was a practicing attorney and legal editor, but prefers to write about witches, mice, pigs, and peacocks. Author of the award-winning Wilcox & Griswold Mystery Series and several picture books, she’s a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, National Writing Project’s Writers Council, Bank Street Writers Lab, PEN America (CYAB), and Read Alliance’s Advisory Council. She lives in New York with two spoiled dogs. For more information, visit www.robinnewmanbooks.com.

Awards

THE CASE OF THE MISSING CARROT CAKE (A Wilcox & Griswold Mystery), earned a Kirkus Starred Review, was selected a Kirkus 2015 Best Middle-Grade Book, and is currently an Amazon Teachers’ Pick. Wanda Sykes also recorded an animated reading of the book for the SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s Storyline Online. HILDIE BITTERPICKLES NEEDS HER SLEEP was selected an American Booksellers Association’s 2016 ABC Best Books for Young Readers. The CASE OF THE POACHED EGG (A Wilcox & Griswold Mystery) was a 2019 IPPY Silver Medalist for Juvenile Fiction. DON’T CALL ME FUZZYBUTT! was a 2022 IPPY Bronze Medalist for picture books (7 & under).

 3 Fun Facts

1. I am frequently confused with my identical twin sister who also happens to work in publishing.
2. Am amazed that almost 7 million people have viewed Wanda Sykes’ reading of THE CASE OF THE MISSING CARROT CAKE.
3. I’m a total foodie (as are my two spoiled Spaniels). So, it’s no surprise that food seems to seep into much of my writing.

Oakes, Colleen

Colleen Oakes is the bestselling author of books for both teens and adults, including the acclaimed Queen of Hearts series, The Black Coats, Wendy Darling, and the upcoming Eleven Houses. Her work has been featured in the HuffPost, Entertainment Weekly, the Denver Post and more. The Second Favorite Daughters Club is her first middle grade novel. Colleen recently moved to Connecticut with her husband and son and is eager to explore New England. When not lurking in the back of a coffee shop or planning a trip, she surrounds herself with lovely humans, true crime podcasts and two golden retrievers. She is currently at work on her memoir and an adult thriller. You can visit her webpage at colleenoakes.org or visit her on Instagram at @colleenoakes.

Awards

Colleen’s work has been featured in the HuffPost, Entertainment Weekly, the Denver Post and more.

3 Fun Facts

1. I have a ghost in a jar tattoo.
2. I hate hate hate pickles.
3. Starting this summer, I am trying to visit all the lighthouses in New England.

Parra, John

John Parra is an award-winning artist, illustrator, author, and educator, best known for his, Latino themed, children’s picture books and commercial works. He regularly speaks as a visiting artist at schools and literary conferences across the country, advocating art and reading education. John currently lives with his wife in Queens, New York. To learn more visit: https://www.johnparraart.com/

Awards

Three American Library Association’s Pura Belpré Honors, Two Golden Kite Awards from SCBWI, two Christopher’s Awards, a 2023 Américas Award, and a New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book of the Year award.

3 Fun Facts

1. I have a dog named Luna
2. I like to play guitar
3. My favorite color is GREEN!

Rafer, Angeli

Angeli Rafer is a Filipino-American illustrator and comic artist based in the diner capital of the world (AKA New Jersey). She is a self-taught digital artist, with a passion for telling stories about everyday magic — from cooking and first crushes to cute animals and bad puns. Her first graphic novels include Ghosts Don’t Eat Potato Chips (The Adventures of the Bailey School Kids #3) and Dragons Don’t Cook Pizza (The Adventures of the Bailey School Kids #4). Her work also appears in several anthologies: Hellcat Press’ Screams Heard Round the World, Dark Lady Returns, and the Sequential Artist Workshop’s Rhythms. https://angelirafer.com/

3 Fun Facts

1. I love to draw cute dogs and have drawn over 200 daily dog doodles as an art challenge from 2016 to 2017.
2. I practiced kendo–the modern Japanese martial art based on kenjutsu that uses shinai (bamboo swords) and bogu (protective armor)—for 6 years, and now practice archery for fun.
3. I worked on an archeology dig site in Italy and learned how to reconstruct Roman vases for a museum display.

Raff, Anna

Anna Raff is an award-winning illustrator of many books for children including WORLD RAT DAY, IF I WERE A KANGAROO, YOU MAKE ME SNEEZE!, and the forthcoming PARTY ANIMALS. Her book THE DAY THE UNIVERSE EXPLODED MY HEAD was a Kirkus Best Book of the Year and New York Public Library Best Book., and her science picture book collaboration with author David A. Adler has garnered rave reviews from children and educators alike. www.annaraff.com

3 Fun Facts

1. I am an avid birder
2. I love to cook
3. My favorite color is orange.

Rex, Michael

Michael Rex has been writing and illustrating books for children since 1995. He has made over 50 books including the #1 bestseller “Goodnight Goon,” and the popular “Fangbone!” series, which has been made into an animated TV show. He also is the creator of “Eat Pete” and “Facts vs. Opinions vs. Robots.” His newest graphic novel series, “Your Pal Fred,” is a feel-good comedy about the “nicest boy in the apocalypse.” Mr. Rex has a masters degree in Arts Education and travels the country visiting schools to talk about his work. He lives in Leonia, NJ with his wife, two teen sons and dog. https://www.instagram.com/fangbone_rex/

3 Fun Facts

1. I find writing harder than drawing.
2. I have two sons.
3. I have two dogs.

Rissi, Anica Mrose

Anica Mrose Rissi is the award-winning author of more than a dozen books for kids and teens, including picture books, chapter books, middle grade, and YA. Her essays have been published by The Writer and the New York Times, and she plays fiddle in and writes lyrics for the band Owen Lake and the Tragic Loves. Anica grew up in Maine and spent many years in New York City, where she worked as an executive editor in children’s book publishing. She currently lives in central New Jersey with her very good dog, Sweet Potato. Learn more at anicarissi.com.

Awards

Honors include the Maine Literary Award, the Paterson Prize for Books for Young People, YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers, Horn Book Fanfare Best Books of the Year, Texas Library Association’s Tayshas Reading List and 2×2 Reading List, multiple foreign translations and starred reviews, and Junior Library Guild Selection.

3 Fun Facts

1. Loves writing scary stories, but gets easily spooked
2. Plays the violin in an electro-country band called Owen Lake and the Tragic Loves
3. Lives with a very good dog named Sweet Potato

Rogers, Shannon C.F.

Shannon C.F. Rogers is an award-winning multiracial American writer of Filipinx and European descent. She studied writing at the University of New Mexico and Antioch University Los Angeles while serving as an educator, after-school program director, and lost mitten finder at schools in Albuquerque, Chicago, and NYC. She lives in Brooklyn, NY. https://www.shannoncfrogers.com/

Awards

2024 Asian/Pacific American Award for Young Adult Literature, NYPL’s Best Books for Teens 2023, A Junior Library Gold Standard Selection

3 Fun Facts

1. I have a red belt in Tae Kwon Do.
2. I’m a Saggitarius.
3. I love karaoke.

Roy, Jennifer

Jennifer Roy is the best-selling, multiple award-winning author of YELLOW STAR. Her books MINDBLIND, JARS OF HOPE and PLAYING ATARI WITH SADDAM HUSSEIN also won numerous awards. Roy also co-authored the TRADING FACES series with her twin sister Julia DeVillers. Jennifer‘s latest books are for American Girl, where she and her twin wrote the books for the first historical twin dolls – NICKI and ISABEL! Roy’s books, NICKI’S JOURNAL and MEET ISABEL AND NICKI, were published in February and August 2023, along with the dolls and merchandise they helped envision. Roy lives in Saratoga Springs, New York with her family.

Awards

YELLOW STAR – Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Award, New York Public Library 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing, National Jewish Book Awards Finalist, School Library Journal Best Book, Sydney Taylor Book Awards Honor Book, ALA Notable Children’s Book, William Allen White Award (Kansas State), Lamplighter Award AudioFiles “Headphones Award” (Recorded Books), and received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and School Library Journal. MINDBLIND received a starred review from Booklist and was a ALA/YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults. It was also on numerous state book lists. JARS OF HOPE – Magnolia Book Award. PLAYING ATARI WITH SADDAM HUSSEIN – Sunshine State Young Readers Award Books 2019-2020 List for Grades 6-8 and Bank Street Books Best Children’s Books of the Year.

3 Fun Facts

1. I’m a twin author!
2. I have a rescue pug named Bridget!
3. I love to paint!

Saks, Dan

Dan Saks is a musician, music educator and author. He has lived and taught in NYC, Mexico City, and Switzerland and has traveled the world as a performing musician. He is the creator and host of Noodle Loaf, a popular music education podcast for kids which has been awarded a Webby Honor and the Common Sense Media Seal of Approval. He is the author of a board book series celebrating diverse family experiences, (FAMILIES BELONG, FAMILIES CAN, FAMILIES GROW,) and a board book series about community (WE SHARE THIS SCHOOL, WE SHARE THIS EARTH, WE SHARE THIS NEIGHBORHOOD). www.noodleloaf.com

Awards

FAMILIES GROW – SLJ & Kirkus Starred Reviews, FAMILIES CAN – NCTE Notable Social Studies Book (2022), FAMILIES BELONG – Imagination Library, NOODLE LOAF – Common Sense Media Seal

3 Fun Facts

1. I’ve played banjo in Mexico.
2. I’ve played piano in Switzerland.
3. I’ve sang everyplace I’ve ever been.

Schmidt, Tiffany

Tiffany Schmidt is the author of ten acclaimed books for young readers. Most recently, All is Found – Frozen Anthology, and Once Bitten Twice Dead (7/2024)—set in the original Monster High world. She’s also written I’m Dreaming of a Wyatt Christmas and the four book YA rom com series: Bookish Boyfriends, as well as several other YA novels. A former sixth grade teacher, she currently lives in Pennsylvania with her impish twin sons, their rascally little brother, a spoiled pup, and her very saintly husband. Follow her online at TiffanySchmidt.com or on Twitter and Instagram @TiffanySchmidt.

Awards

YALSA Teen Top Ten nominee, Indie Next List, and Romantic Times Top Pick.

3 Fun Facts

1. I have run three half-marathons at Disney World.
2. I cannot whistle, snap, or wink.
3. When I get stuck writing a scene, I switch to writing by hand.

Sell, Chad

Chad Sell is an author and cartoonist originally from central Wisconsin. His children’s books include The Cardboard Kingdom, Doodleville, and The Stupendous Switcheroo. Chad lives in Connecticut. www.chadsellcomics.com

Awards

2020 Maine Student Book Award
2020 Nēnē Award for Best Graphic Novel
2019 Dwayne McDuffie Award for Kids’ Comics

3 Fun Facts

1. I love video games!
2. I’m weirdly good at croquet.
3. I love cats.

Shapiro, Esmé

Esmé Shapiro is an author and illustrator of books for children. She grew up amongst the succulents and coyotes of Laurel Canyon, California. These days, she lives in an old farm house in the Catskills with her husband and their two scruffy dogs. She is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design. Her next book, ROY IS NOT A DOG will be coming out in 2024. www.esmeshapiroillustration.com

Awards

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. Her most recent book, MY SELF, YOUR SELF, was was listed as one of the Best Children’s Books of the Year 2023 by The Bank Street College of Education.

3 Fun Facts

1. I know how to do an Irish jig!
2. I wish bagels could talk.
3. I have two scruffy dogs named Chebini and Olympia!

Stemple, Heidi E.Y.

Heidi Stemple 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 the family business, publishing her first short story in a book called Famous Writers and Their Kids Write Spooky Stories. The famous writer was her mom, author Jane Yolen. Since then, she has published more than thirty-five books and numerous short stories and poems, mostly for children. Heidi lives and writes on a big old farm in Massachusetts with a dozen deer, a family of bears, three coyotes, two bobcats, a gray fox, tons of birds, and some very fat groundhogs all of whom live outside. Once a year she calls owls for the Audubon Christmas Bird Count. heidieystemple.com

Awards

MA Book Honor and Must Read, The Riverby Award, NSTA Best STEM Book, NSTA Outstanding Science Book, Northern Lights Book Award, Magnolia Award, Short List for the TX Bluebonnet Award, AudioFile Earphones Award, Margaret Wise Brown Honor Book.

3 Fun Facts

1. I sew rainbow hair ties for a local bookstore to get a discount on books.
2. I think bacon is gross.
3. Before I wrote children’s books, I worked in law enforcement.

Stolarz, Laurie Faria

Laurie Stolarz is the author of eighteen young adult novels, including the Dark House series, the Touch series, Project 17, and Bleed, all published by Disney/Hyperion Books. With over a million books sold worldwide, Stolarz’s titles have been translated into thirty languages, developed into podcast series, and optioned for TV. Her most recent title, Blue is Also for Dreaming, is a companion novella to the bestselling Blue is for Nightmares series. Stolarz’s work has been included on several state and award lists, and the podcast for one of her more recent titles, Jane Anonymous, received a Silver Award for best fiction podcast. For more information, please visit her website,  www.lauriestolarz.com.

Awards

For Jane Anonymous:
New England Book Award Finalist, 2021
Best Fiction Nominee, American Library Association, 2021
Texas Tayshas List, Texas Library Association, 2021
South Carolina Book Award Finalist, 2021
Missouri Gateway Award, 2022
Kirkus Reviews, Best Books of 2020
Silver Award in the category of Scripted Fiction, for the podcast script, by the Signal Awards

3 Fun Facts

1. I’m currently writing a middle-grade graphic novel, a young adult novel, and an adult novel.
2. I’m vegan.
3. I write scary books but scare easily.

Tarpley, Natasha Anastasia

Natasha Anastasia Tarpley is an acclaimed author and children’s media creator. Her beloved, bestselling picture book, I Love My Hair! is a staple on national school and library reading lists. She is also the author of a new picture book series, Keyana Loves… Other titles include the award-winning picture book, The Me I Choose To Be, and the social-justice themed middle grade mystery, The Harlem Charade. Natasha is also the writer and Co-Creator of the award-winning children’s narrative podcast, Opal Watson: Private Eye, and is currently developing new children’s television and podcast series. https://natashatarpleywrites.com

Awards

My books have appeared on Bank Street, Kirkus, and multiple library “Best Book” lists; National Endowment for the Arts fellowship recipient; City of Chicago Esteemed Artist Awardee; We Need Diverse Books Mentor; Zürich James Joyce Foundation Research Fellowship, Zürich, Switzerland; Regional Finalist, White House Fellow Program; PEN Foundation Prize for Multicultural Literature

3 Fun Facts

1. I love to sing and take multiple dance breaks while I write
2. I run marathons
3. I love to travel and explore new places (I speak German and can only use it when I travel)

Taylor, Sophia

Sophie Taylor is an indie children’s author based in upstate New York. When she’s not writing stories, she’s feeding her chickens, cuddling her cat, and teaching kids, teens, and creative adults how to write and create worlds of wonder. https://heymoonpress.com/

Awards

For “What Cats Dream About” a book I put out last year. Amazon Best Seller, Top 10 in cat books during first month.
Currently: Top 100 in Baby & Toddler Bedtime & Dreaming Books, Top 100 in Children’s Cat Books (Kindle Store), Top 100 in Cat, Dog & Animal Humor

3 Fun Facts

1. My furry friend is a cat named Dorian Wilde Gray, who’s as mysterious and adventurous as his literary namesakes.
2. When I was a kid growing up in Texas, I dazzled audiences with my trick horseback riding skills, like a modern-day cowboy!
3. When I’m not spinning tales for kids, I’m delving into the realms of science fiction and fantasy, conjuring up worlds filled with intergalactic adventures and magical quests.

Teague, Mark

Mark Teague is an author and illustrator of more than 60 children’s books. He lives with his family in the Hudson Valley.

Awards

Parents Choice, Christopher Medal

3 Fun Facts

1. I’m the youngest of seven children (not sure if that’s fun.)
2. As a kid, I once got in trouble for drawing pictures all over a new pair of canvas sneakers.
3. Last year I hiked the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada (2,653 miles!)

Terese, Ali

Ali Terese writes funny and heartfelt middle grade and YA stories. FREE PERIOD (Scholastic – March 2024) is her debut novel. It is a story of friendship and period equity complete with laugh-out-loud shenanigans, delightfully disgusting desserts, and some world-changing crafts. Visit Ali online for book bonuses, giveaways, and resources like discussion guides, recipes, craftivism projects, and more at aliterese.com.

3 Fun Facts

1. Searching for sea shells is my favorite way to spend the day.
2. I make the world’s best eggplant parmigiana.
3. I can twirl pens in both hands simultaneously and am thus doubly annoying when I drop them.

Trimmer, Christian

Christian Trimmer is the author of numerous books for children, most recently THE GOOD HAIR DAY (art by J Yang), WOMBAT, THE RELUCTANT HERO (art by Rachel Gyan), and WHAT ARE YOU? (art by Mike Curato). When he’s not writing stories, he’s editing them, most recently for MTV Books. He lives in Hillsdale, New York, with his husband. Learn more at christiantrimmer.com.

Awards

A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2023 (THE GOOD HAIR DAY)
Starred Reviews for THE GOOD HAIR DAY, SNOW PONY & THE SEVEN MINIATURE PONIES, and TEDDY’S FAVORITE TOY
Keystone to Reading Book Award (SIMON’S NEW BED)

3 Fun Facts

1. When I was 11, I broke my left thumb doing the shuttle run in gym class.
2. My favorite book when I was young was THE GIRL WHO OWNED A CITY by O.T. Nelson, a story in which all the adults in the world are gone.
3. I learned to drive stick shift in a Porsche (it wasn’t mine).

Verde, Susan

Susan Verde is a #1 New York Times bestselling children’s book author. She is a former elementary educator, kid’s yoga and mindfulness teacher and mother of 3. Her books celebrate careful attention to ourselves and the world around us. They support the emotional lives of kids in a fun and engaging way. Her bestselling books include I Am Human and I Am Love from her I Am series with Peter H Reynolds, the latest of which is Who I Am. She has just released Are You Listening?, the second in the Sensing Your World Series illustrated by Juliana Perdomo. Find out more at www.susanverde.com

Awards

NY Times bestsellers list, Starred Kirkus reviews, library honors

3 Fun Facts

1. I love yoga.
2. I have a pet tarantula named cuddles.
3. My favorite flavor of ice cream is Heath Bar Crunch!

Wishingrad, Alysa

Alysa Wishingrad writes fantastical stories for young readers, tales that ask; is the truth really true? Her favorite stories are those that meld the historical with the fantastic, and that find ways to shine a light on both the things that divide and unite us all. She is the author of Between Monsters and Marvels and The Verdigris Pawn, which was a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection. Alysa lives in the Hudson Valley with her family and two demanding rescue dogs and a cat-shaped dog, who are either monsters or marvels, depending on the day. www.alysawishingrad.com

Awards

Starred Review SLJ, JLG GOld Standard Selection, DogEarred Book Box

3 Fun Facts

1. I’ve played a zombie in a horror movie.
2. My dogs are from Egypt.
3. I’ve lived in a haunted house.

Wulfekotte, Dana

Dana Wulfekotte is a children’s book author-illustrator and freelance animator. She is the author and illustrator of Peanut Gets Fed Up, and the illustrator of The Remember Balloons, a Schneider Family Honor Award book. She was born in Seoul, South Korea, raised in New Jersey, and currently lives in New York with her husband and two rabbits. http://www.danawulfekotte.com

Awards

Schneider Family Honor, JLG Selection, Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Picture Book

3 Fun Facts

1. I have two pet rabbits.
2. I was born in South Korea and came to the US as a baby.
3. When I was a kid I had a pet iguana named Humphrey.

Yuksel, M.O

M.O. Yuksel is the award-winning author of the critically acclaimed picture books IN MY MOSQUE, illustrated by Hatem Aly (HarperCollins, 2021), and ONE WISH: Fatima al-Fihri and the World’s Oldest University, illustrated by Mariam Quraishi (HarperCollins, 2022). Her forthcoming books include RAMADAN KAREEM, illustrated by Hatem Aly, SAMI’S SPECIAL GIFT: An Eid Al-Adha Story, illustrated by Huseyin Sonmezay (Charlesbridge, 2024), and PRINCE OF STARS: Ulugh Beg’s Quest to Map the Stars and Seasons, illustrated by Zelma Firdauzia (HarperCollins, 2025). Learn more about her at www.moyuksel.com.

Awards

M.O. Yuksel’s books have won several awards including an American Library Association Notable Book, a School Library Journal Best Book, a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection, Orbis Pictus Recommended Book, an American Library Association Rise Honoree, a National Council of Social Studies and Children’s Book Council Notable Book, Notable Books for a Global Society Award, Nerdy Book Club Award for Best Nonfiction Picture Book, Texas Library Association Texas Topaz Nonfiction Gem Award, and Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year.

3 Fun Facts

1. She lived on three continents and crossed two multiple times in one day! (Hint-hint: Istanbul, Türkiye, the city that spans two continents).
2. She speaks three languages – English, Turkish, Uzbek, and understands several – Spanish, Azeri, Kazak, Kyrgyz, Turkmen, Uyghur.
3. If she had her way, she’d eat dessert first at every meal (but don’t tell her kids!).

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