Mark Your
Calendars!
Our 10th Festival!
May 5th, 2018

215 Harry Howard Avenue
Hudson, New York 12534

Allisa Grosso

Elizabeth Zunon

Lyn Miller-Lachmann

Ann Haywood Leal

Edward Averett

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

Free Books
Each attendee will receive a free book thanks to our generous sponsors!

Live Performances
From sing-alongs to crazy science, enjoy live performers in the auditorium!

Meet the Authors
Over 75 authors and illustrators will be attending the festival!

Hudson Children's Book Festival

A big thank-you to our festival sponsors!

Authors & Illustrators 2017-10-30T11:21:23+00:00

Authors & Illustrators Attending the 2018  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!

Alexander, Kwame

Kwame Alexander is a poet, educator, and the New York Times Bestselling author of 24 books, including THE CROSSOVER, which received the 2015 John Newbery Medal for the Most Distinguished Contribution to American literature for Children, the Coretta Scott King Author Award Honor, The NCTE Charlotte Huck Honor, the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, and the Paterson Poetry Prize. Kwame writes for children of all ages. Some of his other works include THE PLAYBOOK: 52 RULES TO HELP YOU AIM, SHOOT, AND SCORE IN THIS GAME OF LIFE; the picture books, ANIMAL ARK, OUT OF WONDER and SURF’S UP; and novels SOLO, BOOKEDand HE SAID, SHE SAID.

Kwame believes that poetry can change the world, and he uses it to inspire and empower young people through his writing and publishing program. A regular speaker at schools and conferences in the U.S., he also travels the world planting seeds of literary love: Singapore, Brazil, Italy, France, Shanghai, and recently, Alexander led a delegation of 20 writers and activists to Ghana, where they delivered books, built a library, and provided literacy professional development to 300 teachers, as a part of LEAP for Ghana, an International literacy program he co-founded. In 2015, Kwame served as Bank Street College of Education’s Inaugural Dorothy M. Carter writer-in-residence. The Kwame Alexander Papers, a collection of his writings, correspondence, and other professional and personal documents is held at the George Washington University Gelman Library. www.kwamealexander.com

ELANNA_ALLEN

Allen, Elanna

Elanna Allen is the author most recently of Pet Dad and Poor Little Guy. She graduated from Brown University and studied animation and illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design. She has designed characters and directed animation for Disney Junior, Nick Jr, and PBS. She lives in New York City with her husband and two boys, and is currently learning to play the ukulele. elannaallen.com

3 Fun Facts

1. Elanna designed characters and directed animation for Disney
2. She lives in New York City with her husband and two boys
3. Elanna is learning to play the ukulele.

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 continues in 2018 when Artie will publish two fun joke and riddle books, including The Universe’s Greatest Dinosaur Jokes and Pre-Hysteric Puns.

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.

The Show Me Librarian says: “Bennett’s use of rhyme is excellent; his stanzas flow and exude joviality in a manner that few writers since Dr. Seuss have truly mastered. Simply put, these books are a joy.”

Visit ArtieBennett.com …before someone else does!

3 Fun Facts

1. I’ve loved and been fascinated by dinosaurs since boyhood. My favorite plastic dinosaur figurine was that of a Dimetrodon. But it had an unhappy ending when I accidentally left it sitting under my night-light one evening. By morning, it had turned into a shapeless pool of goo.
2. I belong to a Toastmasters club and have delivered speeches on a variety of topics, including the yeti and the joy of soup, as well as a spooky true ghost story.
3. I’ve kept lists since boyhood of all the colorful, eccentric, and remarkable words I’ve encountered. Please don’t ever call me a snollygoster!

Berger, Samantha

Samantha is the award-winning author of over 80 books for young readers. In the past, she was also a vice president Nickelodeon and an Editor at Scholastic. Samantha believes in traveling the world, and sharing as many stories as you can along the way. She has said her newest book, What If…, created together with her best friend Mike Curato, is the song of her soul. It is about those who are compelled to create, no matter what, and the unlimited power of imagination. www.samanthaberger.com

Never underestimate what your creative freedom is capable of.

3 Fun Facts

1. Samantha creates art projects very single day to warm-up her brain.
2. The craziest thing she ever drew on was sliced ham.
3. Samantha worked at Nickelodeon for 12 years and LOVES cartoons.

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.

Biedrzycki, David

The moment his brother showed him how to draw a face when he was 4 years old David Biedrzycki has been hooked on drawing ever since. In his early years he created stories for his parents and friends. A commercial artist since 1980 his work has appeared in magazines, newspapers, book covers, billboards and even ice cream boxes. The supermarket is like a gallery of his work.

Now he has now returned to his first love of picture book storytelling. He has illustrated close to 30 books including self-authored and award winning Ace Lacewing, Bug Detective series, Me and My Dragon series and his newest series Breaking News Bear Alert, a Junior Library Guild Selection and winner of book the Illinois Monarch Picture Book Award and the Georgia State Picture Book Award. David travels the world extensively to over 100 schools a year sharing his digital book making process with aspiring young writers, illustrators and readers. www.davidbiedrzycki.com

3 Fun Facts

1. I love to fish but I leave it up to my son to take fish off the hook. I hate touching slimy fish.
2. I have not used paints and brushes in almost 20 years. I do all my art digitally.
3. I met my wife of 36 years in kindergarten.

Bildner, Phil

Phil Bildner is the author of numerous children’s picture books including the Margaret Wise Brown Prize winning Marvelous Cornelius, Martina & Chrissie, Twenty-One Elephants, The Soccer Fence, and The Unforgettable Season. He is the author of A Whole New Ballgame, Rookie of the Year, and Tournament of Champions, the first three books in the middle grade Rip & Red series, and he is also the co-creator of The New York Times Bestselling middle grade chapter book serial, Sluggers. A former middle school teacher in the New York City public schools, Phil spends much of the year visiting schools around the country conducting writing workshops and talking process with students. He lives in Newburgh, New York with his husband and dog. www.philbildner.com

3 Fun Facts

1. I’ve been to the Super Bowl, the NBA Finals, and the World Series
2. I’ve ran the New York City Marathon twice.
3. I’ve visited 48 of the 50 United States.

Bloom, Suzanne

Drawing, painting and making things, reading and writing have always been my stepping stones

I studied at Cooper Union and began collecting picture books. I was an architectural renderer and wooden toy maker .

After my first two books were published, I declared myself an artist; claiming the messiness, devotion and the magpie eye, all in service to the creation of beautiful art that will end up in the hands of children.

18 books later, there are still more ideas and characters to explore. www.suzannebloom.com

3 Fun Facts

1. Stripy socks are my favorite.
2. My summers are planned around reading and weeding.
3. “Lilo and Stitch” makes me cry.

Bruel, Nick

Nick Bruel is the author/illustrator of the New York Times bestselling Bad Kitty series as well as the picture books “Who Is Melvin Bubble” and “A Wonderful Year”. He lives in Briarcliff Manor, NY with his wife Carina, his daughter Izzy, their dog Toby, and his not-quite-good-not-quite-bad cats Esme and Rose. www.nickbruelbooks.com

3 Fun Facts

1. I like licorice.
2. I do not like bleu cheese.
3. I’ve never tried licorice with bleu cheese, and I probably never will.

Castaldo, Nancy

Nancy Castaldo, a Hudson Valley native, has written about our planet for over 20 years. Her book, THE STORY OF SEEDS, earned the Green Earth Book Award and a Junior Library Guild Selection. Her latest is BACK FROM THE BRINK: Saving Animals from Extinction. We all have the ability to make a difference and Nancy 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. www.nancycastaldo.com @NCastaldoAuthor

3 Fun Facts

1. My favorite reading spot, as a kid, was up in a tree.
2. I have a sand collection.
3. I was the president of my college science club and co-editor of my college literary magazine

Castle, Jennifer

Jennifer Castle is the author of ten books for children and teens. Her YA novels include The Beginning of After, You Look Different in Real Life, What Happens Now, and Together at Midnight. Her four-book middle grade fantasy series is Butterfly Wishes. She’s also the co-author of two non-fiction books, Friends and Frenemies: The Good, the Bad, and the Awkward and Famous Friends: Best Buds, Rocky Relationships, and Awesomely Odd Couples from Past to Present. She lives in New Paltz, NY with her husband, two daughters, and two cats/writing assistants. www.jennifercastle.com

3 Fun Facts

1. BUTTERFLY WISHES was inspired by my daughters, the mysterious woods behind our house, and my fascination with butterflies.
2. I’m a Ravenclaw.
3. My favorite book of all time is A SWIFTLY TILTING PLANET by Madeleine L’Engle.

Cline-Ransome, Lesa

Lesa Cline-Ransome’s first book was the biography Satchel Paige, an ALA Notable Book and a Bank Street College “Best Children’s Book of the Year. She later created Quilt Alphabet, a collection of alphabet poems, Quilt Counting, Major Taylor: Champion Cyclist, Young Pele, Words Set Me Free, Light in the Darkness, Benny Goodman and Teddy Wilson, Light in the Darkness, Freedom’s School, My Story, My Dance, Just a Lucky So and So: The Story of Louis Armstrong and Germs: Fact and Fiction, Friends and Foes. Her verse biography of Harriet Tubman, Before She Was Harriet received five starred reviews and was nominated for an NAACP image award. Her newest titles, Finding Langston, her first middle grade novel, and the picture book biography Game Changers: The Story of Venus and Serena Williams, will be released in 2018.

Lesa’s books have received numerous honors and awards including NAACP Awards , Kirkus Best Books, two Top 10 Sports Books for Youth, and an Orbis Pictus Recommended Book. She lives in the Hudson Valley region of New York with her husband, and frequent collaborator, James Ransome and their family.  www.lesaclineransome.com

3 Fun Facts

1. I am a die hard New England Patriots fan.
2. I am left handed.
3. Liver is my favorite food.

Connor, Leslie

As a kid, Leslie Connor loved to be upside down in odd places such as the middle of the stairway at her family home where she could look out and gain new perspective. She studied visual art at the University of Connecticut and is happily surprised to be writing today. Leslie is the author of several award-winning books for children, including Waiting for Normal, winner of ALA’s Schneider Family Book Award, and All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook, an E.B. White Read Aloud Honor book. She lives with her husband and rescue dogs in a little house in the Connecticut woods. www.leslieconnor.com

3 Fun Facts

1. Dogs are always welcome at my house.
2. My two most important writing tools are listening and daydreaming.
3. I caught and released forty mice from our screen porch last summer.

Craft, Jerry

Jerry Craft has illustrated/ written 2 dozen children’s books, graphic novels and middle grade novels including his acclaimed anti-bullying book, “The Offenders: Saving the World While Serving Detention!” In 2014, Jerry received recognition from the Junior Library Guild for illustrating “The Zero Degree Zombie Zone” for Scholastic. He is the creator of Mama’s Boyz, an award-winning comic strip that was distributed by King Features Syndicate from 1995 – 2013. Jerry has won five African American Literary Awards and is co-founder of the Schomburg’s Annual Black Comic Book Festival which draws more than 7,000 fans each year. He is currently awaiting the release of “New Kid,” a middle grade graphic novel for HarperCollins (Jan 2019).. www.jerrycraft.net

3 Fun Facts

1. My book, “The Offenders,” got a great cover blurb from the writer of the Iron Man 3 movie.
2. Me and my sons were some of the first authors to sign at Jeff Kinney’s bookstore, “An Unlikely Story.”
3. I’m excited for the release of my middle grade graphic novel called “New Kid.” It will be published by Harper Collins in January of 2019.

Crowl, M. Tara

M. Tara Crowl is the author of EDEN’S WISH and EDEN’S ESCAPE, released by Disney-Hyperion in 2015 and 2016. She has loved reading and writing stories since she was a kid growing up in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. She studied Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California and worked in Hollywood after graduation, but then moved to Sydney, Australia for a Master’s program in writing at Macquarie University. She now lives with her husband between New York City and their farm in the northern Catskills. www.mtaracrowl.com

3 Fun Facts

1. The M. in my name stands for my first name, Meagan.
2. I’m also a farmer. My husband and I have a farm where we raise cattle.
3. My sister is a librarian in Atlanta.

Curato, Mike

Mike is the author and illustrator of everyone’s favorite polka-dotted elephant, Little Elliot. His debut title, Little Elliot, Big City, released in 2014 to critical acclaim and has won several awards. Other titles in the series include Little Elliot, Big Family; Little Elliot, Big Fun; and Little Elliot, Fall Friends. Mike also illustrated Worm Loves Worm by J.J. Austrian and All the Way to Havana by Margarita Engle. His newest book, What If…, was written by his best friend, Samantha Berger! It’s all about being creative no matter what, something Samantha and Mike know a lot about! www.mikecurato.com

3 Fun Facts

1. Mike loves drawing and writing almost as much as he loves cupcakes and ice cream (and that’s a LOT!).
2. Mike’s Little Elliot books have been translated into 13 languages!
3. Mike has a dog named Princess Leia. She’s his only hope!

Czajak, Paul

Paul Czajak got an ‘F’ with the words “get a tutor” on his college writing paper and after that, never thought he’d become a writer. But after spending twenty years as a chemist, he knew his creativity could no longer be contained. Living in New Jersey with his wife, and two little monsters, Paul has become an award-winning author for his books in the Monster & Me series as well as for Seaver the Weaver. www.paulczajak.com

3 Fun Facts

1. We are raising a Newfoundland dog which is like raising a bear.
2. I have two new books coming out in 2019
3. Skittles are still my favorite food.

Davis, Jacky

Jacky and David, are the creators of the New York Time’s Best-Selling LADYBUG GIRL series. They live with their two children and rescue dog in Rosendale, NY. www.ladybuggirl.com

3 Fun Facts

1.Our dog, Pico, is a very messy drinker.
2. Ladybug Girl is based on our daughter who is now 16, and Bumblebee Boy is based on our 14 year old son.
3. If you ask David he’ll share his trade secret- of how to draw a tutu.

Dee, Barbara

Barbara had two books out in 2017–STAR-CROSSED (Goodreads nominee for Best Middle Grade of the Year, 2017 Goodreads Choice Finalist, Cybils nominee, nominated for the 2018 ALA Rainbow List, named one of Chicago Public Library’s Best Books of the Year, King County Library System (which includes Seattle) has named it to their 2017 Best Books of the Year list ), and HALFWAY NORMAL (Junior Library Guild selection, starred reviews from Kirkus and School Library Journal, Cybils nominee, YALSA list “Surviving Middle School”). She is the author of six other middle grade novels, including TRUTH OR DARE. Her next novel for middle graders, EVERYTHING I KNOW ABOUT YOU, publishes on June 19, 2018. A former teacher and lawyer, Barbara lives with her family in Chappaqua, NY, where she is one of the directors of the Chappaqua Children’s Book Festival.

STAR-CROSSED and HALFWAY NORMAL were named to the 2018 CBC Notable Books listHalfway Normal has been named to the Vermont State Dorothy Canfield Fisher list for 2018.

Visit her at www.BarbaraDeeBooks.com.

3 Fun Facts

1. Whenever I can’t think what to write, I take my dog Ripley for a walk.
2. My favorite band is Radiohead. I listen to their music every day.
3. My next middle grade novel, EVERYTHING I KNOW ABOUT YOU (Aladdin/Simon & Schuster), publishes on June 19, 2018.

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 still have my Teddy Bear that I got when I was about three. He lived in a suitcase for long time, so he’s quite flat. His name is Teddy.
2. I have 2,684 picture books on my shelves, alphabetized by illustrator.
3. I still dislike the color orange.

Devine, Eric

Eric Devine is the author of multiple works of Young Adult fiction, most recently, Look Past. He is also a veteran high school English teacher who spends as much time teaching as he does completing field research for his novels. His work has been listed by YALSA and Booklist for reluctant readers and for Best in Sports. He is married to his high school sweetheart, and his wife and he have two wonderful daughters and two not-so-wonderful Labradors. Find out more at ericdevine.org, facebook.com/ericdevineauthor, or Twitter: @eric_devine  www.ericdevine.org

3 Fun Facts

1. I have a dog named after Miley Cyrus
2. I cannot live without coffee
3. I have been mistaken for G-Eazy

Donnelly, Jennifer

Jennifer Donnelly is the author of eight acclaimed novels for YA and middle-grade readers: the current bestseller Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book; These Shallow Graves; Sea Spell; Dark Tide; Rogue Wave; Deep Blue; Revolution; and A Northern Light, winner numerous literary awards including the Britain’s Carnegie Medal and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.  She grew up in New York State, in Lewis and Westchester counties, and currently lives in the Hudson Valley. www.jenniferdonnelly.com

3 Fun Facts

1. I wish I had a kangaroo.
2. I live for dark chocolate.
3. I think Hudson, NY is one of the coolest towns on the planet.

Ferry, Beth

Beth Ferry is the author of the New York Times best seller, Stick and Stone, as well Land Shark, Pirate’s Perfect Pet and A Small Blue Whale. She lives and writes by the beach in New Jersey. You can learn more at www.bethferry.com.

3 Fun Facts

1. Beth once swam with a manatee.
2. Beth’s favorite breed of dog is the bulldog.
3. Her guinea pig’s name is Marshmallow.

Funk, Josh

Josh Funk writes silly stories and somehow tricks people into publishing them as books – such as the Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast series Dear Dragon, Pirasaurs!, Albie Newton, How to Code a Sandcastle and more! Josh grew up in New England and studied Computer Science in school. Today, he still lives in New England and when not writing Java code or Python scripts, he drinks Java coffee and writes manuscripts.

For more information about Josh Funk, visit him at www.joshfunkbooks.com and on Twitter at @joshfunkbooks.

3 Fun Facts

1. Josh Funk plays a mean rhythm guitar – he wrote and sang the songs for all of his book trailers.
2. Josh Funk has a system for eating pancakes so the bottom pancake gets the same amount of syrup as the top.
3. Josh Funk can only think of 2 fun facts about himself.

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 is an Emmy winning writer and journalist from upstate New York. When his puppy Samuel died at just six months of age John decided to turn the sadness into something positive that could help any child who goes through the loss of a pet. That is how “God Needed A Puppy” was born. He is donating $1 from each book sold to animal shelters around the country and to date has given away more than $10.000. He is currently working on his second children’s book- Keller’s Heart. View John’s Facebook page.

3 Fun Facts

1. John used to train German Shepherds in something called Schutzund which involved him putting on a protective sleeve and letting dogs attack him for fun.
2. John’s first job was delivering the Troy Record newspaper at the age of 11. When he grew up he went back to work there as a weekly columnist and has written more than 1,000 columns over 20 years.
3. John has different colored eyes, his right eye is blue and his left is half brown/half blue. But DMV won’t allow him to put both colors down on his driver’s license.

Hasbrook, Sarah D.

Sarah D. Hasbrook wrote and illustrated her first self-published book “Sadie Mae’s Constant Song” in the summer of 2017. In addition, Sarah is a second grade special education teacher. She holds an Associate in Arts from Columbia-Greene Community College, Bachelor of Science in Education from SUNY New Paltz and two Master’s degrees, one in Childhood Special Education and most recently (2017), a second Master’s degree in Childhood Literacy Education both from SUNY New Paltz. Her passion for teaching and literacy prompted her to write this story. She wanted people to know that even when life is difficult, it is important to always see the good in every situation. In her free time she loves photography, to travel, and of course spend time with her favorite four legged friend, Sadie Mae. Visit Sarah’s website.

3 Fun Facts

1. Sailing is one of my favorite things to do on vacation.
2. My second grade teacher inspired me to be a second grade teacher.
3. I love to travel, but I have never been in an airplane.

Janowitz, Jessie

Jessie Janowitz is a graduate of Princeton University’s undergraduate creative writing program and holds a J.D. from University of Pennsylvania Law School. She’s currently in the Writing for Children MFA program at Vermont College of Fine Arts. The Doughnut Fix is her debut novel and the first book in a middle grade series. She lives in New York City with her husband and three children. www.jessiejanowitz.com

3 Fun Facts

1. I love the machines that I grew up with but that we don’t use anymore, like air poppers, typewriters, and cassette players, and I try to sneak them into my stories.
2. I never baked anything until I had kids, not even chocolate chip cookies.
3. I hate bats (the flying kind).

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 book OOPS! His newest book, just in time for Father’s Day, is If I Didn’t Have You. www.alankatzbooks.com

Alan is a six-time Emmy-nominated writer for TV 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.

3 Fun Facts

1. Alan’s favorite food is cantaloupe
2. Alan has never had a cup of tea
3. Most nights, Alan sleeps in a bright orange shirt

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!

Kimmelman, Leslie

Leslie Kimmelman is the author of several dozen popular and prize-winning picture books for children, including We’re Amazing, 1, 2, 3!; Write On, Irving Berlin; Here Come the Helpers!; and Hot Dog! Eleanor Roosevelt Throws a Picnic. She is also an editor at Sesame Workshop. She lives in New York with her family. www.lesliekimmelman.net

3 Fun Facts

1. I’ve been an editor at Sesame Workshop for over 20 years, so yes, I know the way to Sesame Street.
2. If I weren’t a writer, I’d be a wildlife photographer.
3. To any question, the correct answer—in my opinion—is “good-quality chocolate.”

LaMonica, Lisa

Lisa LaMonica is an author and award-winning illustrator living in upstate New York.  She was nominated for the Columbia County Council on the Arts Artist of the Year award in 2001.  She is currently working on Folktales of the Caribbean, a favorite travel place of hers, and Halloween Stories of the Hudson Valley.  LaMonica gives private art lessons and also teaches at her community college and the Hudson Youth Department.  With her books and portfolio in tow, she has attended the Hudson Children’s Book Festival, the largest such festival in the Northeast, every year since its inception. www.lisalamonica.com

3 Fun Facts

1. I like to paint trees.
2. I’ve been to pirate places in the Caribbean.
3. WMHT made a TV show with my Haunted Catskills book.

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 more than a dozen books for children, including Warning: Do Not Open This Book!, Chicken in Space, I Will Not Eat You, Wordplay, and This is a Good Story. He has traveled to six continents, performed on Broadway, and lived on a communal farm. Adam firmly believes that opening a book is a good thing, even if there are monkeys in it. He currently lives in the suburbs of Philadelphia, PA, with his wife, two sons, and two bizarre dogs. Follow Adam on Twitter and Instagram @Lehrhaupt, facebook @adamlehrhaupt, and at adamlehrhaupt.com.

3 Fun Facts

1. Every 2-3 years I donate my hair.
2. I used to own a wolf.
3. I spend hours trying to come up with fun passwords to use and I keep a list of them in a completely unprotected notebook.

Lewis, Kevin

Kevin Lewis plays with words like kids play with blocks. He can arrange them in rhythmic rows (CHUGGA CHUGGA CHOO CHOO, 1998), stack them up (THE LOT AT THE END OF MY BLOCK, 2001) and then knock them down again (THE RUNAWAY PUMPKIN, 2003). He takes them on the car (MY TRUCK IS STUCK, 2002), to the playground (DINOSAUR DINOSAUR, 2006), in the tub (TUGGA TUGGA TUG BOAT, 2006), and he’s even been known to use them to get his own way (NOT INSIDE THIS HOUSE, 2011). He lives in a large, 200-year old farmhouse in New York’s Hudson Valley with his husband and a dog named Kat.

3 Fun Facts

1. I have a huge model train collection.
2. I have a dog named “Kat.”
3. I like to bike and hike.

Mack, Jeff

Jeff Mack spent his childhood drawing monsters, making comic books, and building haunted houses in his basement. He has spent most of his adulthood doing the same things.

He has written and illustrated a long list of award- winning picture books, chapter books, and early readers, including the Clueless McGee series, Good News Bad News, Hush Little Polar Bear, Look!, and Mine!.

He has also illustrated James Howe’s Bunnicula and Friends series and Eve Bunting’s Hurry! Hurry!.

Now from Western Massachusetts, he travels widely visiting schools and talking with kids about creating books. Visit him at www.jeffmack.com.

3 Fun Facts

1. My favorite children’s book author/illustrator is William Steig.
2. I named Clueless McGee after my dog McGee.
3. Clueless McGee was originally going to be about a dog who wears pajamas and solves mysteries, but I didn’t want it to be like Scooby-Doo. So I turned the dog into a fifth-grade boy.

Magaziner, Lauren

Lauren Magaziner is the author of Wizardmatch, Pilfer Academy, and The Only Thing Worse Than Witches. She grew up in New Hope, Pennsylvania. She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York, where she writes full-time and frequently uses her wizard power: the ability to turn vegetables into cookies. Her upcoming fourth book, a pick your path mystery series called Case Closed, releases in August 2018. www.laurenmagaziner.com

3 Fun Facts

1. I’ve been in three different food fights! (Which came in handy for when I had to write a food fight scene in Wizardmatch.)
2. I started writing novels at 13… but it took 11 years of practice before one got published!
3. Most of the characters in Wizardmatch are named after my real life cousins. Like the main character Lennie, I have a large and loud extended family!

Maldonado, Torrey

Voted a NBC and more have spotlighted Maldonado and his critically acclaimed novel Secret Saturdays (Penguin). Maldonado was raised in Brooklyn, New York and overcame what he calls “the boy crisis” that prevents boys from becoming the best men they can be. He graduated Vassar then went on to earn a Masters in Educational Administration. He approaches his twelfth year as a schoolteacher. Secret Saturdays is an American Library Association’s Quick Pick, develops readers to embody the Common Core State Standards, and is inspired by Maldonado’s and his students’ struggles with being their true selves, friendships, family, and bullying. www.torreymaldonado.com

3 Fun Facts

1. I got hooked on comic books in the third grade. By age fourteen, I had almost two hundred collectibles. I also had a cat named Snow White and she peed on and scratched my collection down to fifty comics. So I secretly wish I had the super power of pausing and redirecting pets to pee in the right places freeze to prevent people from losing things we love.
2. I’m fairly certain that, wherever I am, no one in a five mile radius can beat me in Scrabble OR no one in a five mile radius would enjoy losing as much as me in Scrabble. I love the game and even saying Scrabble gets me pumped!
3. As a teen, for about a month, I taped my ears to my head with black electrical tape because I thought that would flatten my then big ears. It didn’t work. Good thing that the high school and middle school students I’ve taught think my head has grown and caught up with my ears.

Manushkin, Fran

I have written over 75 picture books and easy readers. I’m especially proud of my 41 Katie Woo and 8 Pedro books. www.franmanushkin.com

3 Fun Facts

1. I write in my pj’s with my cats beside me.
2. I must eat chocolate every day.
3. I read a lot!

Marchese, Allison Guertin

Allison Marchese is a graduate of Fordham University in New York City with a degree in communications and creative writing. She spent much of her professional career in public relations. In her work as a writer, Allison has created plays, and written short fiction, feature articles, and essays on the people, places and events in her adopted home of Columbia County, NY where she has lived for 30 years. Allison says she has always been a writer at heart and has history in her genes. Her family on her father’s side has kept meticulous records of the family dating back to the early 1600s in Anjou, France. Her idea of writing local histories blossomed when she and her husband purchased a historic 1740s colonial home in the hamlet of Malden Bridge, NY. They have lived there for many yeas with their two cats and possibly several other previous inhabitants. The Hidden History of Columbia County, NY, is Allison’s first history book. She follows up with her newest local history book, Hudson Valley Curiosities which contains some of the region’s most suspenseful stories and features some of the most infamous people to step foot in the region.

3 Fun Facts

1. I love history and reading.
2. I ride horses
3. I have a metal detector

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 57 (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!

McAnulty, Stacy

Stacy McAnulty is a children’s book author, who used to be a mechanical engineer. She’s still better at multiplying than spelling. Stacy is the Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Honor Recipient for Excellent Ed. Her debut middle grade novel, The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl, hits shelves May 1, 2018. She writes fiction and nonfiction picture books, including Earth! My First 4.54 Billion Years and Max Explains Everything: Grocery Store Expert, and the chapter book series Goldie Blox and The Dino Files. Originally from upstate NY, she now lives in Kernersville, NC with her 3 kids, 2 dogs, and 1 husband. www.stacymcanulty.com

3 Fun Facts

1. In fourth grade, I checked out the same book from the library over and over until the librarian put a stop to it. Where The Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein.
2. I’ve dug for dinosaur fossils in Wyoming.
3. he playlist on my iPhone is 95% from musicals. I love Broadway.

McCarthy, Deirdre

Deirdre McCarthy has earned a Master of Science in Education, with distinction. In addition, she has earned a certification, Certified Financial Education Instructor, through the National Educator’s Council. Currently, Deirdre is a teacher in the Hudson Junior High School. In addition, she has a financial literacy company for children, Counting with Common Cents. In her free time, Deirdre loves spending time with her family and dog. www.countingwithcommoncents.com

3 Fun Facts

1. In sixth grade, I modeled for a book cover that Diane de Groat created.
2. I am a teacher in the Hudson City School District.
3. I love spending my free time with my family and dog.

McCully, Emily Arnold

I have been illustrating children’s books since 1967 and writing them since 1980. After college, I moved to NYC and worked on the fringes of advertising. My first children’s book came about by happy accident. I have also published adult novels and a Y/A biography of Ida M Tarbell, the Woman Who Challenged Big Business- and Wonwww.emilyarnoldmccully.com

More biographies of Ada Byron Lovelace and 21 other important women are coming later this year.

3 Fun Facts

1. I wrote my first book at 3
2. I once acted in an Of-Broadway play
3. I eat weeds

McDonough, Yona Zeldis

Yona Zeldis McDonough is the author of 28 books for children, including several in the highly popular WHO WAS…? series. She has also published seven novels for adults as well as articles, essays and short fiction. She lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband, photographer Paul McDonough.

3 Fun Facts

1. I love Pomeranians and I’ve had as many as three at once.
2. My husband built a doll house for me. It inspired one of my books (The Doll House Magic) and it has pride of place in our living room.
3. I like to memorize poetry an know over sixty poems by heart.

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. Michelson received a 2016 Massachusetts Cultural Council Fellowship for his latest poetry collection. He is the host of Northampton Poetry Radio, served two terms as Poet Laureate in Northampton MA, and is the owner of R. Michelson Galleries. www.RichardMichelson.com.

3 Fun Facts

1. I own R. Michelson Galleries which represents many well know illustrators, including 2018 Hudson Book Fest participants Wendell Minor, Mark Teague, Mike Curato and Diane DeGroat.
2. In the last year I’ve gotten to travel to South Korea, Israel and Costa Rica to sign my books.
3. I’ve written books about Hebrew and Yiddish and don’t speak either.

Miller, Sam J.

Sam J. Miller is a writer and a community organizer. His debut novel The Art of Starving (YA/SF) was published by HarperCollins in 2017, and will be followed by Blackfish City from Ecco Press in 2018. His stories have been nominated for the Nebula, World Fantasy, and Theodore Sturgeon Awards, and have appeared in over a dozen “year’s best” anthologies. He’s a graduate of the Clarion Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Workshop, and a winner of the Shirley Jackson Award. He lives in New York City, and at www.samjmiller.com

3 Fun Facts

1. I grew up in Hudson; my family owned Sam’s Supermarket on Warren Street!
2. I was Most Valuable Player on the Hudson High Swim Team (also, I was the only player on the Hudson High Swim Team)
3. Joan Rivers made fun of me once, and it was The Greatest Thing.

Minor, Florence

Florence Minor’s newest book, How To Be a Bigger Bunny, features a cast of very adorable bunnies illustrated by her husband, Wendell Minor. She likes to say that this book is kind of autobiographical, as her big sister usually left her behind when she went out, and like Tickles, the hero of How To Be a Bigger Bunny, Florence stayed home and read books! Kirkus Reviews said “…the illustrations pay homage to ‘legends of the past’ Beatrix Potter, Leonard Weisgard, and Garth Williams.” They also praised the encouraging message to “never give up.” Florence’s previous titles include If You Were a Penguin and If You Were a Panda Bear.

Florence and Wendell live in rural Connecticut where they share their studio with their furry assistant, Cindercat. Visit Florence at www.minorart.com and Facebook and Twitter.

3 Fun Facts

1. I love taking pictures of clouds and sunsets.
2. In warm weather my favorite place to be is on the beach with a good book after a swim. In cold weather I love to sit and read by the fireplace, with Cinder on my lap.
3. Sharing my love of animals and nature with children, makes my heart happy.

Minor, Wendell

Wendell Minor loves creating books for children and young adults. He has illustrated and/or written close to 70 books and has no intention of stopping any time soon! He enjoys creating books that not only entertain, but inspire children of all ages to use their imaginations, and appreciate the subjects that are near and dear to him, especially the natural world and historical figures. In April, his retrospective exhibition of art created for children’s books “Wendell Minor’s America,” originally hosted by the Norman Rockwell Museum, will travel to the Heritage Museums & Gardens in Sandwich, Massachusetts, and be on display from mid-April through mid-October 2018. A 25th Anniversary, newly designed edition of Wendell’s classic book with Charlotte Zolotow, The Seashore Book was published in 2017, as was Ben’s Revolution by National Book Award–winning author Nathaniel Philbrick, and How To Be a Bigger Bunny, written by Wendell’s wife Florence Minor. Upcoming 2018 books include Wild Orca and Night Train, Night Train. Visit Wendell at www.minorart.com

3 Fun Facts

1. I love trees, and one of my favorites is the Sycamore.
2. I am constantly learning new things because I’m very curious.
3. I am a bird watcher. My favorites are the Catbird, the Barred Owl and the Piliated Woodpecker.

Mojica, Barbara Ann

Barbara Ann Mojica is a historian and retired educator. She writes historical articles for the Columbia Insider under the banner “Passages.” Using the whimsical Little Miss History character, Barbara hopes to inspire children to learn about historical people and places. Little Miss History’s antics make reading nonfiction a fun-filled adventure for all ages. LittleMissHISTORY.com

3 Fun Facts

1. Little Miss HISTORY began her hiking career in the nearby Catskill Mountains.
2. I once took a trip behind “The Iron Curtain.”
3. I am one of the judges for The Cybils Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers Literary Awards this year.

Mojica, Victor Ramon

Illustrator, cartoonist, writer and publisher, Victor has produced comic strips, comic books, coloring books, children’s books, authored web-sites, written poetry and screenplays. He is mostly self taught in all these endeavors too. I’ve been writing and drawing since the age of five. I love producing art and stories so much I started my own publishing company in 1992.  www.captaincrossbones.com

Fun Facts

1. I still study human anatomy even though people say I could teach it.
2. I build my own computers.
3. I don’t like being more than a foot off the ground.

Olien, Jessica

Jessica is the author and illustrator of four books for Balzer+Bray/Harpercollins including RIGHT NOW, ADRIFT: AN ODD COUPLE of POLAR BEARS, THE BLOBFISH BOOK and SHARK DETECTIVE. Jessica’s cartoons have been published in the New Yorker and the New York Observer and Conde Nast Traveler and her writing for adults has been published in Slate, the Atlantic, McSweeney’s and many others. www.jessicaolien.com

3 Fun Facts

1. When I’m stressed I look at pictures of Corgis.
2. My favorite fruit is pomegranate.
3. I used to live in Egypt.

Preller, James

James Preller lives in Delmar, NY. He visits schools all over the country, making roughly 100 presentations to grades K-8 each school year. www.jamespreller.com

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. I live in New York City.
2. My nickname is “Banana.”
3. I know how to juggle.

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. 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. In 2017, the MTA Metro-North Railroad selected James to illustrate one in a series of posters for the New York City subway system. James is a Professor at Syracuse University and lives in upstate New York with his wife and frequent collaborator, author Lesa Cline-Ransome and their 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.

Reynolds, Jason

New York Times bestselling author Jason Reynolds is the author of the critically acclaimed When I Was the Greatest. He is a National Book Award Finalist, a Kirkus Prize winner, a Walter Dean Myers Award winner, an NAACP Image Award Winner, and the recipient of multiple Coretta Scott King honors. His work includes the recently published Long Way Down and Miles Morales: Spider Man , as well as, The Boy in the Black Suit, All American Boys (cowritten with Brendan Kiely), As Brave As You , the first two books in the Track series, Ghost and Patina . He is on faculty at Lesley University, for the Writing for Young People MFA Program. www.jasonwritesbooks.com

3 Fun Facts

1. I know how to crochet…REALLY well.
2. I have thirteen tattoos.
3. My last haircut was 14 years ago.

Rotner, Shelley

Shelley Rotner is the author and photo-illustrator of over 50 award-winning children’s books. Her most recent books include, Grow! Raise! Catch! How We Get Our Food, Whose Eye am I?Hello, Spring! Hello, Autumn, Families, Body Actions, Body Bones, and All Kinds of Friends.

She 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, women 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 stand on my head every day
2. I just finished publishing my 50th book
3. I eat spaghetti every day

Roy, Jennifer

Jennifer Roy is an award-winning, bestselling author or many books including Yellow Star, the Trading Faces series with Julia DeVillers, Jars of Hope, Mindblind, and her newest book Playing Atari with Saddam Hussein, inspired by the true story of a boy growing up in Iraq during the first Gulf War. Ms. Roy’s books have won numberous honors including the Boston Globe. She lives near Albany, NY and loves to read. www.jenniferroy.com

3 Fun Facts

1. I have an identical twin sister Julia DeVillers, who is also an author.
2. I spent childhood summers on my grandparents’ farm in Copake, Columbia County.
3. I have a Shih Tzu-Maltese mix and a rescue cat.

Sadlowski, Dan

I love stories. I believe they can uplift, inspire, and change people’s lives. I love spending time with my family, my goddaughter Lola, playing basketball, exploring, adventures, superheroes, daydreaming, nonsense, the ocean, and nature. I love teaching K-8 Technology and Physical Education at Richmond Consolidated School.

Finding BrooklynAnd The Next Great Superhero has hosted numerous Superhero Days and visits at schools, child health care facilities, historic places, & more. Want to learn how to become a superhero? By reading Finding Brooklyn you will find that even YOU, yes YOU have AWE-MAZING Superpowers too! findingbrooklyn-book.com

3 Fun Facts

1. “Baby Groot was here” (Hey! who wrote that?)
2. I have Superpowers (You do too!)
3. Let’s save the universe and grab a slice of pizza. #gofindingbrooklyn

Sales, Leila

Leila Sales is the author of six young adult and middle grade novels, including This Song Will Save Your Life, Once Was a Time, and, most recently, If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say. Leila grew up outside of Boston, Massachusetts, and graduated with a degree in psychology from the University of Chicago. Her hobbies include riding her bike, eating chocolate, and sleeping. Leila lives in Brooklyn, New York, and works in children’s book publishing. Follow her @LeilaSalesBooks or at leilasales.com.

3 Fun Facts

1.I type using only two fingers.
2. I did gymnastics for eight years.
3. I can recite the names of every student in my high school class in alphabetical order.

Sattler, Jennifer

Jennifer Sattler is the award winning author and illustrator of several children’s books including Sylvie, Uh Oh Dodo! the popular series Chick ’n’ Pug and Pig Kahuna and Frankie the Blankie.  She has two original board books out earlier this year, My Friend Moe and Who’s Hatching. And this spring marks the launching of a new line of Jennifer Sattler Board Books from Sleeping Bear Press! Featuring Dirty Birdies and Jungle Gym. www.jennifersattlerbooks.com

3 Fun Facts

1. When the sun is out I turn into a total goofball. My teenaged daughters pretend to hate it, but they can’t stop smiling.
2. I wish it was socially acceptable to wear wigs and hats all the time.
3. It takes next to nothing to make me laugh. Sometimes just the word “ butt.”

Simon, Seymour

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.” www.seymoursimon.com

3 Fun Facts

1. Seymour’s favorite color is pumpkin orange —- like autumn, which is his favorite season.
2. Seymour grew up with identical twin sisters who often tried to fool people by switching identities. The only person they could not trick was their little brother, Seymour. He always knew which was which!
3. Seymour Simon wrote first book – called SPACE MONSTERS – when he was in second grade.

Soman, David

Jacky and David, are the creators of the New York Time’s Best-Selling LADYBUG GIRL series. They live with their two children and rescue dog in Rosendale, NY. www.ladybuggirl.com

3 Fun Facts

1.Our dog, Pico, is a very messy drinker.
2. Ladybug Girl is based on our daughter who is now 16, and Bumblebee Boy is based on our 14 year old son.
3. If you ask David he’ll share his trade secret- of how to draw a tutu.

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

Stewart, Melissa

Melissa Stewart is the award-winning author of more than 180 nonfiction books for children, including Can an Aardvark Bark?; No Monkeys, No Chocolate; and Feathers: Not Just for Flying. She holds a degree in biology from Union College in Schenectady, NY, and a master’s degree in science journalism from New York University. Melissa believes that nothing brings nonfiction writing to life like firsthand research. While gathering information for her books, she has explored tropical rain forests in Costa Rica, gone on safari in East Africa, and swum with sea lions in the Galapagos Islands. www.melissa-stewart.com

3 Fun Facts

1. My favorite research experience was observing hippos from a hot air balloon floating over the African savannah.
2. I often write in my pajamas.
3. My favorite punctuation mark is the question mark because I’m so curious.

Stolarz, Laurie Faria

Laurie Stolarz is the author of several popular young adult novels including the Dark House series, the Touch series, Project 17, 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. She’s currently working on a new novel, also for young adults. 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. In addition to owning a cat and a dog, I also have a bearded dragon named Mango.
3. I write creepy books but I’m scared of the dark, old dolls, basements, attics, creepy phone calls, clowns, haunted houses, etc., etc. (There’s too much to list.)

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.

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. www.hudsontalbott.com

Teague, Mark

Mark Teague has delighted young readers with more than 20 picture books, and he has written many of them himself, including the popular Pigsty, Baby Tamer, and One Halloween Night. He is also the illustrator of Cynthia Rylant’s beloved Poppleton series for beginning readers and the best-selling books by Jane Yolen, How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight and How Do Dinosaurs Get Well Soon. Mark Teague’s life changed when he moved from San Diego to New York City and he planted the seed for his first picture book, The Trouble with the Johnsons. Each of Teague’s books start as ‘notebooks full of sketches and scribbles, strange little drawings and phrases that suddenly come together,’ Teague explains. And although he had no formal writing training, his endless imagination and understanding nature gives him a permanent place in the hearts of everyone.

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. She loves a good ghost story and studies Isshinryu karate in a haunted dojo. 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. I make all my revisions with a purple pen (when I’m not typing).
3. My favorite way to procrastinate is by reading books and articles about productivity.

Verde, Susan

Susan Verde is the author of The Museum, You and Me, I Am Yoga, I Am Peace and My Kicks. She is a licensed yoga instructor and lives in East Hampton, New York. www.susanverde.com

3 Fun Facts

1. As a kid she kept a piece of chalk in her pocket (for spontaneous hopscotch) and her skate key around her neck, ready for the next adventure.
2. Now Susan lives by the sea in East Hampton, New York with her 3 children and their dog, Gizmo.
3. She is a licensed yoga instructor and teaches yoga and mindfulness to children of all ages

Wallmark, Laurie

Award-winning author Laurie Wallmark’s debut picture book, Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine (Creston Books, 2015), received four starred trade reviews (Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and School Library Journal) and many national awards including Outstanding Science Trade Book and Cook Prize Honor Book. Her latest picture book biography, Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code (Sterling Children’s Books, 2017), earned a Kirkus star and is on several public library’s best of lists. Laurie has an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from VCFA. When not writing, she teaches computer science at Raritan Valley Community College. www.lauriewallmark.com

3 Fun Facts

1. I was the only girl in a boys-only architectural drawing class in junior high.
2. The high school principal told me I would never take advanced math classes because I was a girl, but he was wrong.
3. I teach computer science to students on campus and also those in prison.

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. Products featuring Joyce’s designs are now sold in boutiques and gift shops worldwide and she has published over twenty books for children including the best-selling YOU ARE MY CUPCAKE. Joyce is inspired by Japanese pop culture, modern architecture, and things that make her happy.  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

Williams, Ismee

Williams, Ismee

Ismée Williams is a pediatric cardiologist who trained and practiced at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City for 15 years. She lives in New York with her husband and three daughters as well as a dog who is commonly mistaken for a muppet. Water in May is her first novel. www.ismeewilliams.com

3 Fun Facts

1. Ismee is a pediatric cardiologist and the book is based on her experience in the field.
2. Her mother is a Cuba immigrant and she was raised by her abuelos, which also informed Mari’s familial relationships in the book
3. Her labradoodle has a larger Instagram following than she does: https://www.instagram.com/redrowandoodle

Yeh, Kat

Kat Yeh is the award-winning author of middle grade novels, THE WAY TO BEA (Sept, 2017) and THE TRUTH ABOUT TWINKIE PIE (an NPR Best Book of 2015) from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, as well as picture book, THE FRIEND SHIP, from Disney-Hyperion. Kat and her family live in one of those crooked little nooks along the north shore of Long Island with secret beaches and lots of hidden paths. Learn more about Kat at www.katyeh.com

3 Fun Facts

1. You pronounce my last name YAY!
2. I take dance breaks when I have writer’s block
3. Whenever I cook at home, I like to pretend I’m hosting a cooking show.

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.