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 & Illustrators2020-03-13T22:29:37-04:00

Authors & Illustrators Attending the 2020  Book Festival

It is with a heavy heart and great sadness that, in conjunction with our superintendent of schools, we have decided to cancel the 2020 Hudson Children's Book Festival. In addition, several of you had planned on coming into our schools for author visits prior to the festival, and we have to cancel those visits, as well.

It is the highlight of our year, and we look forward to hosting this event. We are deeply disappointed to have to make this decision, but we feel it is in the best interest of all those involved in making the festival possible.

We will hold your spot for our 2021 event which will be scheduled for Saturday, May 1st. We will plan on getting back in touch with all of you towards the end of summer to confirm your participation for 2021. We will also be using the same poster that Brendan Wenzel beautifully illustrated for 2021.

We wish all of you health in these uncertain times, and we will look forward to hosting you all in 2021.

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!

Albee, Sarah

Sarah Albee is the New York Times bestselling author of (mostly) nonfiction books for kids. Recent and forthcoming titles include North America: A Foldout Graphic History, Dog Days of History,POISON: Deadly Deeds, Perilous Professions, and Murderous Medicines, and Alexander Hamilton: A Plan for America. Other nonfiction titles include Why’d They Wear That? Bugged: How Insects Changed History, and Poop Happened: A History of the World from the Bottom Up. She lives in Connecticut with her husband, a high-school history teacher and administrator, and has three children. She loves visiting schools and presenting to kids of all ages. www.sarahalbeebooks.com

Eureka! Gold and Silver medals
Bank Street Best Books
NCSS Best Books [National Council for Social Studies] Nerdy Book Club awards
Starred reviews

3 Fun Facts

1. Sarah wants kids to love history as much as she does. Many of her books are a mash-up of history and science.
2. Sarah once played semi-pro basketball in Cairo, Egypt.
3. Sarah’s first job was working at Sesame Street.

Baskin, Nora Raleigh

Nora Raleigh Baskin, a 2001 Publisher’s Weekly FLYING START, is the author of thirteen novels for young adults and a contributor to several short story collections. Her personal narrative essays have appeared in WRITER MAGAZINE, Boston Globe Sunday Magazine, and NCTE Voices From the Middle.  Her books have won several awards, including the 2010 American Library Association Schneider Family Book Award for Anything But Typical (S&S), and in 2016, an International Literacy Association Notable Books for a Global Society for Ruby on the Outside (S&S). Ms. Baskin has taught creative writing classes and workshops around the country for over twenty years in such places as Gotham Writers Workshop, Fairfield Co. Writers Studio, Manhattanville College, and S.U.N.Y Purchase.  Her newest middle-grade novel Finding Joy, a collaborative two-voice project will be published Spring, 2020 (Knopf).  www.norabaskin.com

3 Fun Facts

1. Nora has recently become addicted to elaborate wooden jig saw puzzles.
2. She works with incarcerated moms, and their children on the outside, bringing them together through books.
3. Loves her dog Eli more than she could ever describe.

Bennett, Artie

Artie Bennett is an executive copy editor by day and a writer by night. He’s the author of The True Story of Zippy Chippy: The Little Horse That Couldn’t. He’s also the author of several hilarious rhyming picture books: The Butt Book, his first “mature” work; Poopendous!, his “number two” book; Peter Panda Melts Down!, an adorable departure from derrières and doo; the explosively funny Belches, Burps, and Farts—Oh My!; and his newest, What’s Afoot! Your Complete, Offbeat Guide to Feet, which is guaranteed to knock your socks off. He’s also written The Universe’s Greatest Dinosaur Jokes and Pre-Hysteric Puns and The Universe’s Greatest School Jokes and Rip-Roaring Riddles. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, where he spends his time moving his car to satisfy the stringent demands of alternate-side-of-the-street parking. HuffPost says: “It appears there is no topic Mr. Bennett can’t make funny and educational.” Visit ArtieBennett.com . . . before someone else does!

Belches, Burps and Farts—Oh My!
A 2015 World Science Festival Selection
A 2015 K-2 Kentucky Bluegrass Award Nominee for Informational Text
A Pragmatic Mom Best Nonfiction Book for Kids
A Huffington Post (One of) 26 Entertaining and Educational Books for Back-to-School Season
A Brooklyn Family New & Noteworthy Citation
Poopendous!
A Cybils Award Nominee for Best Non-Fiction Picture Book
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 (The Huffington Post)
A New York State Assembly/NYPL Suggested Reading Title
A Starred Review from the Horn Book Guide

3 Fun Facts

1. My favorite food is ice cream and I have a three-scoop-a-day habit. Whenever I travel, I love sampling exotic or unusual flavors, such as Agenaise (French prune!).
2. I swim every weekday morning. It clears away the cobwebs, making mornings my most productive time of day. I even get some of my best book ideas while afloat.
3. I was a crossword puzzle prodigy and sold my first one to the New York Times when I was only thirteen years old! It’s been downhill ever since.

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 BookwormBirdie. 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

ON A BEAM OF LIGHT AWARDS:
New York Times – Editors’ Choice
Best Children’s Books of the Year – Kirkus Reviews
NPR – 2013’s Great Reads
Horn Book – Best Non-Fiction Books of 2013
Eric Carle Museum “Best of the Best” 2014
Bank Street College of Education – 2014 Best Books of the Year

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.

Bildner, Phil

Phil Bildner is the New York Times bestselling author of numerous books for kids. His latest middle grade novel is the highly acclaimed A High Five for Glenn Burke. He is the author of many children’s picture books including the Margaret Wise Brown Prize winning Marvelous Cornelius, the Texas Bluebonnet Award winning Shoeless Joe & Black BetsyMartina & ChrissieTwenty-One Elephants, The Soccer Fence, The Hallelujah Flight, The Greatest Game Ever Played, Night at the Stadium and The Unforgettable Season. He is also the author of A Whole New BallgameRookie of the YearTournament of Champions, and Most Valuable Players in the wildly popular middle grade Rip & Red series. www.philbildner.com

New York Times Bestseller (Sluggers series)
Margaret Wise Brown Prize (Marvelous Cornelius)
Texas Bluebonnet Award (Shoeless Joe & Black Betsy)

3 Fun Facts

1. I’ve been to the World Series, the Super Bowl, and the NBA Finals.
2. I’ve been bitten by a lion.
3. I have a pitbull rescue dog named Katniss. We call her Kat. So I have a dog named Kat.

Bloom, Suzanne

Living in the middle of nowhere but only a jet ride away from Ireland or China means i can be both worldly and a stick in the mud. Travel is inspiring but so is a trip to the grocery store. My art school days at Cooper Union equipped me well for becoming an illustrator and author. Raising two sons was a different sort of education and now two baby grands have filled up my cre- ative bucket with motivation and delight. I’m twenty books in and ready to create more, keeping in mind this assessment from a third grader in Texas: “Ma’am, you were born to draw.” www.suzannebloom.com

Theodore Seuss Geisel Honor ALA Honor
Texas 2×2 (twice)
PA One Book
For Every Young Child (twice)
I JUST LIKE YOU has been nomi- nated for the 2019-2020 Keystone to Reading Elementary Book Award.

3 Fun Facts

1. Gray skies, blueberry pies and picture books are a few of my favorite things.
2. If they gave awards for procrastination I’d get first prize – or maybe last. How does that work?
3. A rambunctious book fest followed by some quiet studio time is my idea of balance. Also pie and coffee.

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. 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.

Bulion, Leslie

Leslie Bulion creates award-winning science poetry steeped in hands-on learning experiences, field observations, research, humor and imagery in a variety of poetic forms. Her illustrated collections invite readers on multi-layered science adventures exploring birds, insects, entire ecosystems, and even human anatomy. Leslie’s graduate science background and her years as a school social worker inform both her poetry and her science-infused novels for young readers. Check out her newest funny science poetry collection, AMPHIBIAN ACROBATS (Peachtree March 2020)! www.lesliebulion.com

NCTE Notable Poetry, NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Book, Bank Street College Best Books, Parents’ Choice Awards, AAAS Outstanding Science Book

3 Fun Facts

1. The first critter I ever saw while scuba diving was a common mudpuppy (a large, freshwater aquatic salamander—an amphibian) in the depths of freezing cold Cayuga Lake, Ithaca, NY.
2. My parents were teachers who also worked as summer camp counselors, so I started summer camp when I was three years old. My favorite camp was just about an hour south of Hudson, in Beacon, NY.
3. On April Fool’s Day, 2019, a raccoon unhooked one of my bird feeders and hung it back up upside-down. Good one, Ranger Rick!

Calkhoven, Laurie

Laurie Calkhoven has never swallowed a frog, knocked over a rabbit hutch, or sung too loud in music class. She is the author of more than 50 books for young readers, including the G.I. Dogs series and You Should Meet Kids Who are Saving the Planet. www.lauriecalkhoven.com

3 Fun Facts

1. love to learn random presidential facts (like my character Roosevelt).
2. I have never swallowed a frog.
3. My birthday is the same day as Harry Potter’s!

Castaldo, Nancy

Nancy Castaldo has written books about our planet for over 20 years and received numerous awards and accolades. Her recent book BACK FROM THE BRINK: Saving Animals from Extinction has garnered starred reviews, a Eureka Award for Nonfiction honor, Sigurd Olsen Nature Writing honor, and is on state lists. Her recent titles include a biography of Ada Lovelace, a picture book about farms, and a middle grade/YA book about water issues facing our planet. Nancy believes that we all have the ability to make a difference and instills that theme in her books. www.nancycastaldo.com @NCastaldoAuthor

Green Earth Book Award
SCBWI Crystal Kite Award
NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Book
Eureeka Silver Honor
Sigurd Olsen Nature Writing Honor
Nerdy Book Club Award
Multiple stars and state lists

3 Fun Facts

1. I’ve held a koala.
2. I’ve climbed into the shell of a Galapagos tortoise.
3. I’ve talked with a bonobo

Collins, Leroy

I grew up Hudson NY.  I graduated from Hudson High in 1995.  I was the new york state rushing leader while attending Hudson.  I attended Dean junior college, Alfred st college and the University of Louisville.  I played football at each school. I also have an Associate, Bachelor, and Masters degrees.  I live in Fulton NY and currently I am married with 3 boys. This true story follows a young man’s journey as he battles back from injuries sustained in a tragic automobile accident.  From the vantage point of his wheelchair an NFL game on TV inspires him to dream the impossible.

3 Fun Facts

1. I was in a terrible car accident
2. I grew up in Hudson
3. I played football in the NFL

Connor, Leslie

Leslie Connor is the author of the middle grade novels, CrunchWaiting for Normal, winner of the ALA Schneider Family Book Award, All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook, a finalist for the E.B. White Read Aloud Award, and The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle, a National Book Award finalist and winner of the ALA Schneider Family Book Award. Leslie has a new title for 2020, A Home for Goddesses and Dogs. She lives with her husband and three rescue dogs in a little house in the Connecticut woods. www.leslieconnor.com

Finalist for the National Book Award
Two-time winner of the ALA Schneider Family Book Award.

3 Fun Facts

1. I’m surprised that I’m a writer.
2. I eat weird things like peanut butter and pickle sandwiches.
3. I love being upside down.

Corrigan, Caroline

Caroline Corrigan is a freelance graphic designer and illustrator. She works out of her home studio in Upstate New York, where she lives with her husband, Harrison, and their son, Graham. Her favorite color is blue and her favorite museum is Musée d’Orsay. http://www.carolinecorrigan.com/

3 Fun Facts

1. The author and illustrator are friends who decided to make a book about the artists they loved one day.
2. Melanie studied women and art in college while raising her son, Julian, so this book is a culmination of those two experiences.
3. Caroline is an amazing illustrator, artist, and graphic designer whose visual signature can be seen all over upstate New York.

Craft, Jerry

JERRY CRAFT is an author and illustrator. New Kid is his middle grade graphic novel that has earned five starred reviews, including one from Booklist magazine, which called it “possibly one of the most important graphic novels of the year.” Kirkus Reviews called it “an engrossing, humorous, and vitally important graphic novel that should be required reading in every middle school in America.”

He is the creator of Mama’s Boyz, a comic strip that was distributed by King Features Syndicate from 1995-2013, and won five African American Literary Awards. Jerry is a co-founder of the Schomburg’s Annual Black Comic Book Festival. He was born in Harlem and grew up in nearby Washington Heights. He is a graduate of The Fieldston School and received his B.F.A. from the School of Visual Arts. Visit him online at www.jerrycraft.com

New Kid (HarperCollins) Starred reviews from School Library Journal, Kirkus, Booklist, and Publishers Weekly. Featured in Horn Books, NY Times Book Review. NAIBA’s Book of the Year Award. NEIBA Book Award. Junior Library Guild Selection. 2019 Harvey Award Nominee. 

3 Fun Facts

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

Crews, Nina

Nina Crews is a children’s book author and illustrator based in Brooklyn, New York. She uses photographs and collage to create energetic stories that center on the experiences of young children. Her work has been recognized by the ALA Notable Committee, Cooperative Children’s Book Council, Junior Library Guild, and Bank Street College of Education. Nina’s books include Seeing Into Tomorrow: Haiku by Richard Wright,  One Hot Summer Day, and The Neighborhood Mother Goose. Her most recent book, A Girl Like Me was written by Angela Johnson and encourages all children to embrace their individuality and follow their dreams. www.ninacrews.com

SEEING INTO TOMORROW: NCTE Notable Poetry Books for 2019, Junior Library Guild Selection
THE NEIGHBORHOOD SING-ALONG: Bank Street Children’s Book Committee – Building Blocks Selection for Children Five & Under
BELOW: ALA Notable Book 2007, Junior Library Guild Selection
THE NEIGHBORHOOD MOTHER GOOSE: ALA Notable Book 2005, New York Public Library 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing 2004, CCBC (Cooperative Children’s Book Council) Choice 2004

3 Fun Facts

1. Creating children’s books is the family business. My parents, Donald Crews and Ann Jonas Crews, have written and illustrated numerous award-winning books.
2. When I started my publishing career, I worked for animation studios and once assisted, Nick Park, the creator of Shaun the Sheep.
3. I love learning about new things. I now know more about soccer than I ever imagined. It is my twelve-year-old son’s favorite sport.

Czajak, Paul

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

Moms Choice Award Gold for Monster Needs a Costume and Monster Needs a Christmas Tree
Silver Moon Beam Children’s Award for Best Picture Book series Monster&Me
Gelett Burgess Children’s Book Award for Seaver the Weaver

3 Fun Facts

1. I was a Chemist for 21 years before becoming an Author
2. I am a 4th degree black belt in Uechi Ryu Karate
3. In college at one point I swam 8.5 miles a day.

Dadey, Debbie

If you see an author in fins or polka-dots, it’s most likely Debbie Dadey! She is the author and co-author of 168 traditionally published children’s books. Her first book, co-authored with Marcia Thornton Jones, Vampires Don’t Wear Polka Dots became The Adventures of the Bailey School Kids series with sales of over 42 million. The Narwhal Problem is the newest in Debbie’s Mermaid Tales multi-cultural series from Simon and Schuster.

Debbie has lived in many states, but now lives in a log cabin in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. She visits schools around the world. debbiedadey.com and Facebook.com/debbiedadey

ALA Children’s Choice awards

3 Fun Facts

1. Debbie floated in the lowest spot on the earth, The Dead Sea. No narwhals were spotted.
2. Debbie has ridden two camels and doesn’t plan to ride any more!
3. Debbie once slid into a shark tank to help write a story.

Dee, Barbara

Barbara Dee is the author of ten middle grade novels, including 2019’s Maybe He Just Likes You, the first middle school #MeToo story. Everything I Know About You is one of the 2019 Bank Street Best Children’s Books of the Year, and included on A Mighty Girl’s Best of 2018.  Halfway Normal (2017)  appears on state lists in Pennsylvania, Missouri, South Carolina, Maryland and Vermont. Star-Crossed (2017) is an ALA Rainbow List Top Ten, a 2018 Goodreads Choice Finalist, and on many Best of 2017 lists. Barbara’s next book, My Life in the Fish Tank, will be published Fall 2020. www.BarbaraDeeBooks.com.

State reading lists in Pennsylvania, Missouri, Maryland, Vermont, South Carolina;2018 ALA Rainbow List Top Ten; Goodreads Choice Finalist; Best Books of 2017 Lists for Public Library Systems in Chicago, King County (Seattle) and Cleveland Heights/University Heights, Ohio; 2018 Texas Lone star Annotated Reading List; CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People, 2018;CCBC Choices 2018; 2018 ILA Young Adult Choices Reading List; Bank Street Best Books of the Year 2019; A Mighty Girl’s Best Books of 2018; Starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Kirkus and School Library Journal. Visit her at

2020 ALA Notable Children’s Book (Middle Grade—Older Readers).
2020 ALA Rise List (formerly known as the Amelia Bloomer List for feminist literature).
2020 CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People.
MAYBE HE JUST LIKE YOU is one of  the 2019 Washington Post Best Children’s Books of the Year.

3 Fun Facts

1. My favorite band is Radiohead. I’ve seen them perform live in seven cities…so far.
2. I love baseball in general, the NY Yankees in particular (though I grew up a Mets fan).
3. Whenever I have writer’s block, I walk my rescue hound dog, Ripley.

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. Since 1995, 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

#1 NY Times Bestseller list
Children’s Choice – 3 states
ABA Pick of the List
Time Magazine top ten books
Oppenheim Toy Portfolio- Platinum

3 Fun Facts

1. I can write and draw with both hands.
2. I’m allergic to cats, but I like to draw them. With both hands.
3. I can write in mirror image with my right hand, but not my left. I wish I had 2 brains.

Demas, Corinne

Corinne Demas  is the award-winning author of thirty-four  books including numerous picture books (Saying Goodbye to Lulu, The Littlest Matryoshka, The Disappearing Island, Pirates Go to School ), YA novels (Returning to Shore),  and books for adults.  She is the co-author, with her daughter Artemis Roehrig, of Are Pirates Polite?Do Doodlebugs Doodle? Amazing Insect Facts, and Does a Fiddler Crab Fiddle?, and the forthcoming The Grumpy Pirate  and Do Jellyfish Like Peanut Butter? Amazing Sea Creature Facts. She is a professor at Mount Holyoke College and lives in Western Massachusetts and on Cape Cod. www.corinnedemas.com

Two National Endowment of the Arts Awards, Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship, ASPCA Henry Bergh Children’s Book Award for Saying Goodbye to Lulu. Finalist, Massachusetts Book Award for The Disappearing Island. California Reading Association Silver Eureka Award for Do Doodlebugs Doodle?

3 Fun Facts

1. I have two miniature donkeys.
2. I babysat for my daughter’s tarantula when she went away to college.
3. My favorite color is purple.

Devine, Eric

Eric Devine is also the author of Look Past, Press, Play, Dare Me, and Tap Out. His work has been listed by YALSA for reluctant readers, a Junior Library Guild selection, and twice a “Best in Sports” for Booklist. He is an English teacher and lives with his family in Waterford, NY. You can find him at ericdevine.org, @eric_devine on Twitter, @ericjohndevine on Instagram, and Eric Devine: Author on Facebook.

Booklist Top 10 Sports Book for 2013; 2013 Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers (Tap Out)
Booklist Top 10 Sports Book for 2015; 2015 Junior Library Guild Selection (Press Play)

3 Fun Facts

1. I have three Labrador Retrievers (Yellow, Chocolate, and Black)
2. I am married to my high school sweetheart
3. My grandmother used to read the original Grimm’s Fairy Tales to me as bedtime stories (it explains a lot)

Dyckman, Ame

Ame Dyckman is the goofy l’il award-winning picture book/board book author of BOY + BOT; TEA PARTY RULES; WOLFIE THE BUNNY; HORRIBLE BEAR!; YOU DON’T WANT A UNICORN!; READ THE BOOK, LEMMINGS!; MISUNDERSTOOD SHARK; MISUNDERSTOOD SHARK: FRIENDS DON’T EAT FRIENDS; DANDY; the WEE BEASTIES board book series (HUGGY THE PYTHON HUGS TOO HARD; ROARY THE LION ROARS TOO LOUD; TOUCHY THE OCTOPUS TOUCHES EVERYTHING); and Ame’s latest picture book, THAT’S LIFE! Come by and say, “HI!” www.amedyckman.com

New York Times Bestseller
Amazon Best Book of the Month
Kids’ Indie Next List
Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award
Junior Library Guild Selection
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Selection
Parents Magazine Best Fictional Picture Book
Bank Street College Best Children’s Book
Etc.

3 Fun Facts

1. I change my hair color more frequently than some people change their socks. (And don’t lend your shoes to those people. EW!)
2. When I was a kid, a moose chased me. So now I guess I’m “It.” I love chatting with readers but if THAT moose shows up at our Festival, I’m gonna hafta go chase it.
3. One year, I came in last place in our neighborhood’s BBQ Ribs Cook-Off and everybody laughed at me. So for the entire next year, I practiced cooking ribs like crazy. “What’s for breakfast?” “Ribs.” And that year, I won first place!
(This is the personality you’re dealing with here, folks!)

Erwin, Kimberly Y.

Kimberly Y. Erwin (Author), received her MS in Education: Intercultural Communication from the University of Pennsylvania and has worked extensively in academia for well over three decades.  She is an author, an entrepreneur, an international journalist and writer, a Reading Instructor & was a high school Language Arts Dept. Chair in Florida, an English college professor, and among various and numerous other titles enjoyed Director of Multicultural Student Affairs (Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY) most as that is what propelled her into researching and writing on the topic of race & ethnicity. Currently, Ms. Erwin is on the board and program chairperson of the library in the city of Hudson, NY where she resides and runs a media company that seeks to publish and promote positive works, i.e. diversity appreciation and self-awareness and love—in photography, film/video, and of course, books!

Look for her also at: https://twitter.com/kyerwinauthor

Ms. Erwin also would like to recognize the book’s, Photographer

Zoey Catlin,  High School student & budding photographer, taking photos of family, friends, and just about any and every engagement she is invited to, including weddings—and loves her little sister (and one of this book’s models, Bailiegh)!

3 Fun Facts

1. I met my Italian American beau when I was 6 years old—and wrote this children’s book DUE to an engagement I had had with him. At 8, he understood better than the adults around us that the little African American girl on the steps outside of “her” neighborhood didn’t have to “Go back home!” The “older” boy sat and chatted with her making her feel like she was just where she belonged (period)
2. I gave myself a “stage” name because of course, I was going to be a famous 1) ballerina, 2) actor, and 3) Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader! In perhaps that order!
3. I’m a HUDSONIAN! (Whoo-Whoo!) I lived in over 16 cities, states, and countries altogether on both coasts & the mid-west and on 2 continents & an island in the Caribbean. Yet, I came back 2 give back! And yes, it’s MORE than worth it–seeing the eyes of young students in elementary and junior high school as well as hearing from teens who are about to graduate from high school how much I (just being Ms. Erwin) MATTER to them. It’s not usual for them to have someone to whom they can relate—just upon 1st glance! PRICELESS.

Ferry, Beth

Beth Ferry is the author of numerous books for young readers, including Stick and Stone, Ten Rules of the Birthday Wish and The Scarecrow. She is inspired by two main things: word play and the sea. Luckily, Beth is an avid reader who lives close to the beach so inspiration is never far away. In addition to picture books, Beth has begun writing graphic novels. You can learn more at bethferry.com.

New York Times bestseller
Amazon Best Book of the Month
Amazon Best Book of the Year
Indie Kids’ Next List Pick
Junior Library Guild Selection
State Awards

3 Fun Facts

1. Beth only plants pumpkins in her garden.
2. She has an English bulldog named Chaucer.
3. Her favorite word is ‘anticipation’.

Freedman, Deborah

Deborah Freedman was an architect once, but now prefers building worlds in picturebooks. She is the author and illustrator of, most recently, Shy, This House, Once, and CARL and the Meaning of Life. Her books have been translated into seven different languages, adopted in classrooms across the country, and honored with many starred reviews and awards. She lives in a colorful house in Connecticut, where she is always busy at work on her next books. Learn more about Deborah at www.deborahfreedman.net, and please stop by at the festival, and say hello!

Multiple starred reviews, state award nominations, “best of the year” lists —Kirkus, Bookpage, Booklist, Bank Street, Huffington Post, NY & Chicago Public Libraries, and others.

Other awards include:
Crystal Kite Awards
Parents’ Choice Award
Nerdy Book Club Awards
Amazon Books of the Month
Society of Illustrators’ Original Art
Indie Next List
Junior Library Guild

3 Fun Facts

1. I used to be an architect.
2. I have books in every room of my house.
3. I love to plant things and watch them grow, with the aid, of course, of hard-working earthworms!

Gavigan, Jenna

Jenna Gavigan grew up dreaming of Broadway. As a teenager, she made her Broadway debut in Gypsy, opposite Bernadette Peters. Since then, she’s appeared in a handful of films, on a gaggle of television shows, and on stages east and west. A fourth generation New Yorker, Jenna holds a BA in creative writing from Columbia University, where she focused on fiction, television, and screenwriting. She is the author of Lulu the Broadway Mouse, and Lulu the Broadway Mouse: The Show Must Go On. Like Lulu, Jenna loves cheese, regularly quotes musicals, and continues to dream of Broadway. Visit her online at iamjennagavigan.com or on Twitter and Instagram @Jenna_Gavigan www.iamjennagavigan.com

The audiobook of Lulu the Broadway Mouse is Parents Choice Recommended!

3 Fun Facts

1. I was eleven when I first auditioned for a Broadway show, and I made my debut at sixteen in Gypsy at the Shubert Theatre. It was worth the work and the wait.
2. I went to regular school during the day while performing on Broadway at night.
3. As a kid, I never planned on becoming an author. But I’m thrilled it happened!

Gray, John

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

3 Fun Facts

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

Grimes, Nikki

New York Times bestselling author Nikki Grimes is the recipient of the 2017 Children’s Literature Legacy Award for substantial and lasting contributions to literature for children, the 2016 Virginia Hamilton Literary Award, and the 2006 NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children.  The author of Coretta Scott King Author Award-winner Bronx Masquerade, and recipient of five CSK Author Honors, her most recent titles include the much-honored Words With Wings, Garvey’s Choice and Boston Globe-Horn Book honor, Between the Lines, and One Last Word, winner of the 2018 Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award.  Her much anticipated memoir in verse, Ordinary Hazards, releases on October 8, 2019. www.nikkigrimes.com

Children’s literature Legacy Medal, Coretta Scott King Award and five CSK Honors, Virginia Hamilton Literary Award, NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children, Arnold Adoff Poetry Award, Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor, ALA Notable Book

3 Fun Facts

1. Once sang on the stage of the Stockholm Philharmonic in Sweden.
2. In Sweden, I was known as a singer who also wrote.
3. In addition to writing, I also paint. The first time I exhibited my watercolors, I won a blue ribbon.

Ignatow, Amy

Amy Ignatow is the author and illustrator of THE POPULARITY PAPERS and THE ODDS TRILOGY, and the author of JEDI ACADEMY: CHRISTINA STARSPEEDER STORIES, and THE CUTEST THING EVER. She lives in Philadelphia with her family.

3 Fun Facts

1. I once played an entire game of Pictionary with Lemony Snicket on my team without knowing who he was
2. I’m excellent at cutting bagels
3. This is not my natural hair color

Jackson, Tiffany D.

Tiffany D. Jackson is the author of critically acclaimed YA novels including the Coretta Scott King — John Steptoe New Talent Award-winning Monday’s Not Coming, the NAACP Image Award-nominated Allegedly, and her ode to 90’s hip-hop Let Me Hear A Rhyme. www.writeinbk.com

CSK John Steptoe for New Talent
Walter Dean Myers Honor

3 Fun Facts

1. I’m obsessed with horror movies
2. Love cookie dough
3. I don’t do clowns.

Johnston, Jeffry W.

Jeffry W. Johnston is the author of the Edgar-nominated FRAGMENTS and the In the Margins Top 10 Book award winner of THE TRUTH, and both are Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers selections by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). His latest teen mystery/thriller is FOLLOWING. He is never without a book to read and is passionate about movies, TV binging, and baseball. His website is at jeffrywjohnston.com

FRAGMENTS: 2008 Edgar nominee for Best Young Adult Mystery
FRAGMENTS and THE TRUTH: YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers
THE TRUTH: 2017 In the Margins Top 10 Book Award winner

3 Fun Facts

1. I love disaster movies.
2. I taught myself to play guitar when I was 13.
3. I grew up reading DC comics. My favorite super hero is Batman.

Katz, Alan

Alan has written 40 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 first two Awesome Achievers non- fiction books, combining facts and laughs, were released in August 2019.

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

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. Alan’s favorite food is cantaloupe
2. Alan used to host a game show on XM Kids Place Live
3. Most nights, Alan sleeps in a bright orange shirt

Keller, Joy

Joy Keller is the author of fun and fantastic picture books, including MONSTER TRUCKS, MISS TURIE’S MAGIC CREATURES, and FUNGUS IS AMONG US! When she’s not writing about mythical beasts and weird science, she can be found teaching fourth graders how to write their own stories. She lives in Fairport, NY, with her husband, kids, and lots of pets. www.joykellerauthor.com

All my books have received positive reviews from Kirkus, Booklist, and School Library Journal.

3 Fun Facts

1. I’m a fourth grade teacher, so I get lots of story ideas from the students I work with every day.
2. My family fosters cats. We ended up adopting our last foster kitten, so now we own FOUR cats!
3. I play ukulele—it’s so much fun!

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.

MVP series chosen as “Best Books of 2016” by Chicago Public Library
Miracle Mud is a Maryland Blue Crab Award Winner
The Wrigley Riddle (Ballpark Mysteries #6) was selected as one of Amazon.com’s Best Books of 2013

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 many popular and prize-winning picture books for children, including the new Bat and Sloth series; Write On, Irving Berlin; Here Come the Helpers!; and Hot Dog! Eleanor Roosevelt Throws a Picnic. She is also an editor at Sesame Workshop, where she was one of the creators of the new Muppet, Julia, who has autism. She lives in Westchester County, New York, with her family. www.lesliekimmelman.net

We’re Amazing, 1, 2, 3 (the book which introduced the character of Julia and the entire autism initiative at Sesame Workshop) received a prestigious 2017 Smithsonian Ingenuity Award.

Everybody Says Shalom: Sydney Taylor Honor Book

Hot Dog! Eleanor Roosevelt Throws a Picnic: Eureka Honor Book (California Reading Assoc.); NCSS-CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Book

Many more starred reviews, Sydney Taylor Notable books, CELI finalists, Bank Street Best Children’s Books of the Year

3 Fun Facts

1. I’ve been an editor at Sesame Workshop for over 23 years, so yes, I know the way to Sesame Street.
2. I cook a mean homemade pizza. Not to mention making my own ice cream. Yum!
3. I love to swim, and get some of my best writing ideas in the pool. I might have been a fish in my last life.

LaBarge, Melanie

Melanie LaBarge is a writer living in Upstate New York with her partner, Shane, and her son, Julian. She holds a BA and MA in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Her favorite color is yellow and her favorite museum is MoMA. https://melanielabarge.com/books

3 Fun Facts

1. The author and illustrator are friends who decided to make a book about the artists they loved one day.
2. Melanie studied women and art in college while raising her son, Julian, so this book is a culmination of those two experiences.
3. Caroline is an amazing illustrator, artist, and graphic designer whose visual signature can be seen all over upstate New York.

Laiz, Jana

Jana Laiz is a writer with a purpose. The author of the triple award-winning novel, Weeping Under This Same Moon, Moonbeam Silver Medal Winner, The Twelfth Stone, Elephants of the Tsunami, “A Free Woman On God’s Earth, The True Story of Elizabeth “Mumbet” Freeman, The Slave Who Won Her Freedom, Thomas & Autumn, Simon Says ~ Tails Told By The Red Lion Inn Ambassador, Billy Budd in the Breadbox, The Story of Herman Melville & Eleanor, and Blanket of Stars, Jana believes that honoring diversity can change the world. She is the very first Writer-In-Residence at Herman Melville’s beloved Arrowhead. www.janalaiz.com

ForeWord review Gold Medal Winner
Moonbeam Children’s Book awards Silver medalist
International Reading Association Notable

3 Fun Facts

1. I have a Pitbull
2. I play the Irish penny whistle and the harp
3. I was the Jacks Champion in high school

LaMonica, Lisa

Lisa LaMonica is an author and illustrator in upstate New York who has received awards for her art and books including a grant from the Kaplan Fund. She was nominated for Artist of the Year in 2002 by the Columbia County Council on the Arts. Lisa teaches art privately, previously also at her local community college, and at the Hudson Youth Department. www.lisalamonica.com

3 Fun Facts

1. I have been to several places in the Caribbean where pirates roamed.
2. I have twice been featured on PBS/WMHT
3. I buy, fix up and sell old houses.

Leno, Katrina

Katrina Leno was born on the East Coast and currently lives in Los Angeles. She is the author of five critically acclaimed novels, The Half Life of Molly Pierce, The Lost & Found, Everything All at Once, Summer of Salt, and You Must Not Miss. Her sixth book, Horrid, is out September 15, 2020. You can visit her online at Katrinaleno.com

– You Must Not Miss received starred reviews from Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, and Booklist
– Summer of Salt paperback is coming out this summer and that book received starred reviews from Kirkus and School Library Journal
– The Lost & Found received a starred review from Booklist
– The Half Life of Molly Pierce received a starred review from Publishers Weekly and a paperback edition.

3 Fun Facts

1. I have a cat named Milo! He thinks he’s a dog but I love him regardless.
2. I’ve worked in fashion for a long time in various roles and my resolution for 2020 is to buy no “new” clothes – thrifted and secondhand only! Better for our planet and also (it must be said) a lot more fulfilling when you find that PERFECT piece.
3. My favorite movie of all time is Practical Magic. It was a big inspiration for Summer of Salt! I can genuinely watch it every single day forever and never get sick of it.

Lerangis, Peter

Peter Lerangis’s books have sold over 6 million copies and been translated into 34 languages. His nine N.Y. Timesbestsellers include the entire Seven Wonders series and his 39 Clues contributions.  His YA novel Somebody, Please Tell Me Who I Am, won an ALA Schneider Award and is being adapted into a musical. He’s also performed on Broadway, run a marathon, rock-climbed in Yosemite during a 6.1 earthquake, and graduated Harvard with a degree in biochemistry. www.peterlerangis.com

ALA Schneider Award for best book depicting the disability experience
ALA Quick Picks
Multiple Junior Library Guild Awards
ALA Best Books
New York Public Library Best Books
Bank Street Library Best Books

3 Fun Facts

1. My left pinkie has camptodactyly, which means it can’t straighten, and I have worked it into the plot of a book.
2. I sang and acted in a Broadway show.
3. The letters of my full name can be rearranged into Sergeant Peril.

Macris, Amy

Author Illustrator Amy Macris began her career as a kindergarten teacher more than thirty years ago. She holds a Masters degree in Early Childhood Development. She is thrilled to bring these tender and true stories to children everywhere.  At age six Amy dreamed of becoming a teacher, an artist, a children’s book author and of living on a farm.  She doesn’t live on a farm yet, but who knows what the future holds. amydeweerd.wixsite.com/mysite

3 Fun Facts

1. Amy has been drawing and writing stories since she was six years old.
2. Amy loves to read to small children.
3. Amy makes a huge mess when she is writing and painting!

Magaziner, Lauren

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

The Case Closed series has sold in five countries: Italy, Spain, Greece, the UK, and at auction in France. It received great reviews from Booklist and School Library Journal, and it was featured in a Publishers Weekly story about Choose-Your-Fate fiction.

Wizardmatch (March 2018) is a Junior Library Guild Selection. It has received glowing trade reviews from Kirkus, Booklist, SLJ, and School Library Connection.

Pilfer Academy (February 2016) has been optioned for a TV movie by Nickelodeon. The book has received excellent trade reviews from Kirkus, Booklist, School Library Connection, and Publishers Weekly.

The Only Thing Worse Than Witches (August 2014) was chosen by booksellers for the Indie Next List and received rave reviews, including acclaim from the Chicago Tribune and a star from Kirkus Reviews.

3 Fun Facts

1. I started writing novels at 13… but it took 11 years of practice before one got published!
2. I use a giant whiteboard to draft each book in the pick-your-path Case Closed series. I write each plotline in a different color. My whiteboard holds many secrets: including where the dead ends are and who the culprit is!
3. When I lived in Scotland, I dunked my face in a fairy river of eternal youth. Legend says that if you leave your face in for exactly seven seconds, you will never age.

Maldonado, Torrey

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

Praise for Tight
-A Christopher Award
-A Washington Post Best Children’s Book of 2018
-An ALA Notable Book>
-An NPR Best Book

3 Fun Facts

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

Masiello, Ralph

Ralph resides in the state of Connecticut, USA, 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 2,800 schools all over 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. In 2011, his work appeared in a strange and mysterious book called The Mystic Phyles: Beasts. Newest in the series his series of How to Draw books is the Ralph Masiello’s Alien Drawing Book. March 2020 is the release of his Fantastic Fruits: A Grimal Grove Coloring Book, which is about rare and unusual tropical fruits.  www.ralphmasiello.com

Society Of Illustrators Award of Merit (twice)
Charlotte Award (NYSRA 2004)
IRA/CBC Children’s Choice Award
NCSS/CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Book
Early Childhood News Director’s Choice Award
ABA Kids’ Pick of the Lists
Bank Street College of Education’s Best Children’s Books of the Year

3 Fun Facts

1. I have an imaginary friend…ask me about him!
2. I race motocross (dirtbikes) and still jump over 90 feet in the air! I’m 58 and still a kid.
3. I was raised by dragons. Just kidding!
Alternate fact: My oldest daughter, Alexa, has Rett Syndrome. Google it!

McAnulty, Stacy

Stacy McAnulty is a children’s book author, who used to be a mechanical engineer, and who dreams of being an astronaut. She’s written over twenty-five books, including her middle-grade novels The World Ends in April and The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl, which was an Indie Bestseller and winner of the Mathical Book Prize. Her picture books include Earth! My First 4.54 Billion Years,Moon! Earth’s Best Friend, Max Explains Everything: Puppy Expert, and the Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Honor Excellent Ed. She’s also authored two chapter book series. Originally from upstate NY, she now lives in NC. www.stacymcanulty.com

3 Fun Facts

1. I don’t know how to type correctly. (I only use 4 fingers.)
2. I share my home office with 3 dogs. I’d love to adopt another, but my children say we have enough.
3. As a kid, I wanted to be an astronaut.

Miller, Kayla

Kayla Miller is an illustrator and cartoonist with a BFA from the University of Arts in Philadelphia. She is the author of two previous graphic novels about OIive, Click and Camp, and creator of Creep, a web comic series about a boy who gains weird superhero-like powers. Kayla regularly attends conventions to promote her work and meet other artists. tapastic.com/series/Creep. www.kayla-miller.com

CLICK – named a Best Children’s Book of 2019 by Parents

-The New York Times/NY Public Library’s: Best Illustrated Children’s Book of 2017.
-The American Library Association’s: Pura Belpré Honors
-The Christopher’s Award
-The Golden Kite Award from The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators

3 Fun Facts

1. My hair has been pink, purple, blue, black, red, and green… but it’s naturally brown.
2. I didn’t always want to be a cartoonist. Growing up, I wanted to be a paranormal investigator with a specialty in ghosts and aliens… and, presumably, ghosts of aliens.
3. I really like Scooby-Doo. My dream job would be writing and illustrating a Scooby-Doo graphic novel.

Miller, Sharee

Sharee Miller has a BFA in communication design from Pratt Institute. She lives in Brooklyn, where she enjoys spending time with her two cats and illustrating fun stories. Sharee is the author and illustrator of Princess Hair. She invites you to visit her website at shareemiller.com and her Instagram @coilyandcute.

Sharee Miller’s books have been featured in Entertainment Weekly and The New York Times. Don’t Touch My Hair! was an African-American Literary Award Winner in the “Children’s Book” category.

3 Fun Facts

1. Sharee can wiggle her ears
2. She was born in Athens, Greece.
3. She has two cats whose names are Pumpkin and Spice.

Minor, Florence

Florence’s transition from film editor for TV to author and collaborator with her husband Wendell has been working out very well for many years. Her love of animals and the natural world are reflected in her books If You Were a Penguin – a Pennsylvania One Book Literacy Program selection, If You Were a Panda Bear – a Bank Street College of Education’s Best Children’s Books of the Year andHow To Be a Bigger Bunny. She has loved cats since she was a child, so it’s no surprise that her next collaboration with Wendell will feature lots of felines!

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

3 Fun Facts

1. I love all animals, and writing about them.
2. My next book will be filled with lots of adorable kittens!
3. I like to write funny poems for my friends on their birthday.

Minor, Wendell

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

His newest books are TINY BIRD: A Hummingbird’s Amazing Journey, HI, I’M NORMAN, THE MAGIC OF LETTERS, WILD ORCA: The Oldest Wisest Whale in the World, and NIGHT TRAIN, NIGHT TRAIN.

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

Visit Wendell at www.minorart.com

3 Fun Facts

1. My new book, TINY BIRD is about my favorite bird – the Hummingbird!
2. I’ll never give up my dream that one day I will learn how to play the banjo.
3. I love watching my cat do silly things.

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. 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. 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.”  LittleMissHISTORY.com

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

3 Fun Facts

1. I once got locked inside my elementary school.
2. I nearly got thrown out of the Moscow Circus.
3. I love pistachio ice cream.

Mojica, Victor Ramon

Illustrator, cartoonist, writer and publisher, Victor has produced comic strips, comic books, coloring books, children’s books, authored websites, written poetry and screenplays. He is mostly self-taught in all these endeavors. “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.eugenus.com

The Cecil Hemley Memorial Award for poem “Friend or Foe.”
The BRAG Medallion Award for Captain CROSSBONES in The Treasure Hunt.
Hollywood Book Festival’s Award for Best Graphic Novel eugenus, The Next Step in Human Evolution!

Fun Facts

1. I once broke into my own office after locking myself out.
2. I was mistaken for Tony Danza in a casino he frequented.
3. I beat at chess a Columbia University Chess Champion 3 times in a row and left undefeated.

Muntean, Michaela

Michaela Muntean has written dozens of books including many for Sesame Street, the Muppets, and Little Golden Books. Two of her most recent books include Do Not Open this Book! and Do Not EVER be a Babysitter! Both feature an incredibly crabby (but funny) Pig. She is also the author of Stay, a true story about a circus performer who rescued ten dogs no one else wanted and trained them to perform in a circus act. She lives in Ghent, New York, with her husband, author Nik Cohn, and their rescue dogs, Beau and Tess.

Keystone to Reading Book Award
Grand Canyon Reader Award
Charter Oak Children’s Book Award
Bank Street CBC Best Children’s Books of the Year

3 Fun Facts

1. I wish I could sing, but I can’t. In fact, a music teacher once asked if I could just “mouth the words” so that those around me wouldn’t be thrown off key.
2. I might stink as a singer, but I am excellent at mini-golf.
3. I went to welding school. So, if you ever need something welded, I could do it for you.

Parra, John

John Parra is an award winning illustrator of books for young readers, including Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos by Monica Brown, named a NY Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book, and Marvelous Cornelius, by Phil Bildner, which won the SCBWI Golden Kite for Picture Book Illustration. Other awards include the ALA Pura Belpré Honors, and The Christophers Award. In 2015 John was invited by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NY to present a special event about his career and illustrations. His art can also be seen at the U.S. Post Office on six Forever Stamps titled: Delicioso. John’s most recent book, Little Libraries, Big Heroes, with author Miranda Paul, was released this Fall that tells the inspiring story of the Little Free Library organization and the community heroes who support it. To learn more visit: https://www.johnparraart.com/

-The New York Times/NY Public Library’s: Best Illustrated Children’s Book of 2017.
-The American Library Association’s: Pura Belpré Honors
-The Christopher’s Award
-The Golden Kite Award from The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators

3 Fun Facts

1. I play guitar
2. favorite color is green
3. My mom is a retired school teacher who also use to be a Catholic nun.

Preller, James

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

3 Fun Facts

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

Raff, Anna

Anna Raffis 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/

– Starred reviews: Kirkus, Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly.
– Junior Library Guild Selections
– Bank Street Best Book of the Year

3 Fun Facts

1. When I was a kid, I had a robot factory in my basement.
2. I can juggle.
3. Orange is my favorite color, so much so that my kitchen is orange.

Reidy, Jean

Jean Reidy’s fun, best-selling and award-winning picture books have earned their spots as favorites among readers and listeners of all ages and from all over the world.  She loves writing, but she loves chatting with her readers even more. That’s why she’s a frequent presenter on writing and reading and at schools and storytimes across the country. Jean writes from her home in Colorado where she lives just across the street from her neighborhood library … which she visits nearly every day. To learn more about Jean and her books, please visit https://jeanreidy.com

3 Fun Facts

1.I’ve never had a tortoise, but I have resided with an assortment of not-so-well-behaved turtles, parakeets, lizards, goldfish, hamsters and even one feisty, fire-bellied toad.
2. My favorite food is crunchy peanut butter … right off the spoon.
3. I’m a fan of football, train trips and tall, tall mountains.

Rissi, Anica Mrose

Anica Mrose Rissi is the author of the Anna, Banana chapter-book series; the picture books Watch Out for Wolf!, The Teacher’s Pet, and Love, Sophia on the Moon; and a YA novel, Always Forever Maybe. 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. Find out more at anicarissi.com, and follow @anicarissi on Instagram and Twitter.

3 Fun Facts

1. Played the National Anthem on her viola at a Boston Celtics game
2. Grew up on a small island off the coast of Maine, where there were only 24 kids in her class at school
3. Lives with a very good dog named Arugula

Roehrig, Artemis

Artemis Roehrig is the author (with co-author Corinne Demas) of three nonfiction picture books with Cornell Lab/Persnickety Press: Do Doodlebugs Doodle? Amazing Insect Facts, Does A Fiddler Crab Fiddle?, Do Jellyfish Like Peanut Butter? Amazing Sea Creature Facts and two rhyming picture books with Scholastic: Are Pirates Polite? and The Grumpy Pirate (out in June). Artemis is also the author for Storey Publishing’s Tattoos That Teach series. When she isn’t busy with her two kids or finishing her YA manuscript, she works with invasive insects for the Department of Environmental Conservation at UMass Amherst. www.artemisroehrig.com

California Reading Association Silver Eureka Award for Do Doodlebugs Doodle? Amazing Insect Facts

3 Fun Facts

1. I have four pet tarantulas.
2. I have been playing the violin since I was four and a half.
3. I didn’t go on an airplane until I was 18.

Rogers, Jacqueline

Some of my notable published work is the Beverly Cleary’s backlist, including the wonderful Ramona series in 2013-14. I loved working with Laura Bush and Jenna Bush Hager on the picture book, “Our Great Big Backyard” in 2016, a NY Times #1 Bestseller.  Recently, I illustrated two picture books for Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman.  The first, “Little Ree” also a bestseller, and then “Little Ree, Best Friends Forever”  came out in 2018.  2019 welcomed “Goblin Moon” published by Harper Collins.  An original halloween poem I wrote and illustrated. While I still love to illustrate other authors’ manuscripts, I have found that my love for developing characters has led me to writing and illustrating my own picture books and now graphic novels. Writing for an older age group is very exciting, and I am working in photoshop and procreate to build a digital style to go with these stories. www.jacquelinerogers.com

Our Great Big Backyard written by Laura Bush and Jenna Bush Hager was a #1 New York Times bestseller in 2016.
Little Ree written by The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond reached #4 on the NY Times bestselling list in 2017.

3 Fun Facts

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

Rotner, Shelley

Shelley Rotner is the author and photo-illustrator of 50 award-winning children’s books. Her books are mostly about

diversity and the environment. It is her hope that they will lead children and their parents and/or teachers to engage in conversations and inspire observations and curiosity about the world they live in.

Some of her recent books include: Colors, Hello Autumn!, Hello Spring!, Hello Winter!, Hello Autumn, Grow! Raise! Catch! How We Get Our Food, Whose Eye am I?, Families,  Body Actions, and All Kinds of Friends. Coming this year: Shapes and What’s the Weather?  www.shelleyrotner.com

University of Maine Correll Book Award for Excellence in Early Childhood Informational text- Families.-packed with photographs of families of many different sizes, shapes, ages and colors.”
Hello, Spring! Starred Kirkus review
Grow, Raise, Catch!  Subaru nonfiction finalist and Green Earth Book Award.
Garbage Helps our Gardens Grow– Green Earth Book Award-

3 Fun Facts

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

Sadlowski, Dan

Dan Sadlowski is the author of the newly released children’s book, The Universe Is Rooting for You! An awe-inspiring tale that reminds us to appreciate the natural world around us, connect with nature, and give back. His first book, Finding Brooklyn – And The Next Great Superhero boasts your first original female superhero in a children’s book. This resilient children’s book encourages readers to feel empowered, be different, and believe they have superpowers within. Dan Sadlowski is dedicated to spreading uplifting messages through storytelling, empowering school visits, and inspiring readers everywhere. #gofindingbrooklyn  findingbrooklyn-book.com

3 Fun Facts

1. I love all movies by Laika Studios. One of my favorite characters of all time is Coraline Jones.
2. I spent most all of my time as a child playing basketball. Challenge me to a game of 1 on 1!
3. I love superheroes. Come say hi and tell me who your favorite superheroes are?

Sattler, Jennifer

Jennifer Sattler is the award-winning author and illustrator of many children’s books, including Sylvie , the Chick ‘N’ Pug and Pig Kahuna series, The Jennifer Sattler Board Book series (Dirty Birdies, Jungle Gym, Bundle Up, Oink Oink Moo Cock-a-doodle doo) Bully and One Red Sock. She grew up outside of Philadelphia and then went on to study painting and drawing at the University of New Hampshire, followed by the Hope School of Fine Arts at Indiana University in Bloomington. In 1996, she won a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Her books have won The Mockingbird Award for Picture Books and The Georgia Children’s Book Award. Jennifer lives in upstate New York.  www.jennifersattlerbooks.com

3 Fun Facts

1. The person I talk to most all day is not a person at all… it’s my dog Matilda.
2. I wear yellow tinted glasses around the house in winter to trick myself into thinking it’s sunny out.
3. When I dance, I plant my feet and move the rest of my body. My family says I look like a tree.

Schmidt, Tiffany

Tiffany Schmidt is the author of the YA romcom series: Bookish Boyfriends. The first two novels, A Date with Darcy, and The Boy Next Story are available now, with two more classic-heroes-made-modern hijinks to come in 2020. She has also written several other YA novels including Bright Before Sunrise and the Once Upon a Crime Family duology of Hold Me Like a Breath and Break Me Like a Promise. A former sixth grade teacher, she lives in Pennsylvania with her impish twin sons, their rascally little brother, a pair of spoiled puggles, and her very saintly husband. TiffanySchmidt.com

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

3 Fun Facts

1. I can’t whistle, snap, or wink—and I look ridiculous each time I try.
2. Planning Disney vacations is my favorite stress-reliever.
3. When I was eight, I had a pet frog that kept escaping its tank—we just got a few frog. So far, so good.

Sementilli, Isabella

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

3 Fun Facts

1. My faith is very important to me and I collect rosary beads.
2. I suffered two concussions and now have a rare and debilitating headache disorder-it’s an invisible injury!
3. I love to knit and crochet!

Shapiro, Esme

Esme Shapiro is an illustrator and author of books for children. She spent her childhood roaming around the dry brush and blossomed succulents of Laurel Canyon, California. She eventually ventured east and settled in Brooklyn, New York. It is There she works in a tiny plant filled apartment, surrounded by her two confidants – two tiny scraggly dogs. Her childhood never roamed too far from her heart, and she has a deep held belief that that time in one’s life is immensely powerful. Children are always busy at work, carving out their inner worlds that eventually become the foundation for the rest of their lives. Esme makes books that aim to be fuel for their imaginations, with a strong emphasis on the importance of empathy and friendship. www.esmeshapiroillustrations.com

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.

3 Fun Facts

1. I know how to Irish jig!
2. If I were an animal, I would be an elephant.
3. I can bake a very tall cake

Sibson, Laura

After a career in undergraduate counseling, Laura Sibson pursued an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. When she’s not writing in a local coffee shop, you can find her running the neighborhood streets or hiking with her dog. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and their two sons. The Art of Breaking Things is her debut novel. www.laurasibson.com

3 Fun Facts

1. When I was sorted as a Gryffindor, I wasn’t sure how to feel. I thought for sure I’d be a Hufflepuff, but my sons were like: You’re *so* Gryffindor.
2. I am a “pantser” who wants to be a “plotter.” Please, Plotters, tell me how to mend my wicked ways!
3. I crave the outdoors. I will write on my back deck, weather-permitting. And I always work out plot problems when walking my dog in the woods behind my house.

Stark, Hannah

Hannah Stark is an author and public school teacher in New York City.  She loves teachings kids to write, as well as, making and sharing resources with fellow educators.  Hannah was inspired to write her debut book, TRUCKER AND TRAIN, while playing with her son.  When not writing or teaching, she can be found taking road trips and train rides to unfamiliar places.  www.hannahcarinastark.com

Amazon Editor’s Pick August 2019
Participant and author reader at Chappaqua Children’s Book Festival and Brooklyn Museum of Art Children’s Book Fair 2019

3 Fun Facts

1. I’ve never driven a truck or a train but I used to drive taxi cabs.
2. When I was a kid I was a sock model.
3. I played soccer for 30 years.

Stephens, Dr. Cynthia

Dr. Cynthia Stephens, a recent Hudson resident, earned a doctorate in Deafness Rehabilitation from New York University, and worked as a Speech and Language Pathologist for NYS, as well as various early childhood education settings in NYC. She studied and performed with dance greats such as Shawneequa Baker-Scott, Chuck Davis, LaRoque Bey, and the esteemed Babatunde Olatunji. Cynthia founded The Hear Me Now Project, Inc., an arts program for youth with disabilities, based in Bridgehampton, N.Y.  A career in playwriting developed from her work with the children. Since then, Dr. Stephens has expanded her authorship to children’s fiction. www.sacredgroundproductions.com

I received the (2004) Professional of the Year award from the International Association of Black Women in Business, for my work in the arts.

I was the recipient of the (2012) Lab Award from the LaGuardia Performing Arts Center for my play titled “Painted Red”, which chronicles the life of Henrietta Lacks, the woman from whom the first immortal human cell line was taken.

3 Fun Facts

1. I began my artistic life as a dancer and traveled the country with several African and Afro-Caribbean dance companies.
2. After earning a Ph.D., I began a cultural program for students with disabilities on the east end of Long Island.
3. After retiring from my work with the New York State Office of Developmental Disabilities, I realized a dream and became a playwright (with two off-Broadway performances) and author of 3 children’s books-soon to be 5!

Stolarz, Laurie Faria

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

My titles have been on the Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers’ list, the Top Ten Teen Picks list, the Texas Taysha’s list, and the Popular Paperbacks list.

3 Fun Facts

1. Despite writing scary books, I scare easily.
2. I love mustard so much that I can eat it on its own, with a spoon. (Don’t judge.)
3. Even though I’ve always loved stories, I was a reluctant reader as a young person.

Talbott, Hudson

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

3 “Fun” Facts

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

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.

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!)

Thermes, Jennifer

Jennifer Thermes is a children’s book author, illustrator, and map illustrator. Her recent nonfiction picture books include CHARLES DARWIN’S AROUND-THE-WORLD ADVENTURE and GRANDMA GATEWOOD HIKES THE APPALACHIAN TRAIL. MANHATTAN: MAPPING THE STORY OF AN ISLAND (Abrams, 2019) has received five starred reviews, is a 2020 NCTE Orbis Pictus Honor Book, and a Junior Library Guild Selection. Jennifer weaves maps that give a sense of geography and place into her stories. She is fascinated by the big picture of history and how it connects to our lives today. www.jenniferthermes.com

2020 NCTE Orbis Pictus Honor Book, Fall 2019 Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection, starred reviews from Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, Booklist, School Library Journal, and Shelf Awareness.

3 Fun Facts

1. I loved to draw as a kid, and it is still my favorite thing to do!
2. Most people don’t know that I play the classical guitar.
3. My favorite pizza topping is: anchovies!

Tucker, Laura

Laura Tucker has coauthored more than twenty books, including two New York Times bestselling memoirs. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and daughter, and is a cat person who cheats with dogs. All the Greys on Greene Street is her first novel. www.lauratuckerbooks.com

ALA Notable Book, five starred reviews, five Best of the Year lists, including the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. Edgar award nominee.

3 Fun Facts

1. I am a cat person who cheats with dogs.
2. I’m not an artist! I can barely draw a stick figure but this does not stop me.
3. Like Olympia, I grew up in New York.

Venkatraman, Padma

Padma Venkatraman is an American author who was born in Chennai, India, the setting of her latest novel THE BRIDGE HOME. She worked as chief scientist on oceanographic ships, and directed a school before becoming an author. THE BRIDGE HOME received 5 starred reviews  (in SLJ, Kirkus, SLC, ALA Booklist and PW), for a total of 17 stars so far, together with her previous 3 novels: A TIME TO DANCE, ISLAND’S END and CLIMBING THE STAIRS. www.padmavenkatraman.com

NYPL Book for the Teen Age, Kirkus BBYA, Booklist BBYA, ALA Notable, ALA/Yalsa BBYA,
Bank Street College of Education Best Book, South Asia Book Award, Julia Ward Howe Boston Authors Club Book Award, Paterson Prize, RI Book of the Year, 2019 Global Read Aloud, Washington Post KidPost Summer Book Club selection, Today Show Summer Read

3 Fun Facts

1. I’ve lived in 5 countries
2. I’ve spent time underwater
3. I’ve explored rain forests

Ventresca, Yvonne

Yvonne Ventresca is the award-winning author of two young adult suspense novels: Black Flowers, White Lies (a psychological thriller) and Pandemic (about teens surviving a deadly illness that strikes our contemporary world). Her latest fiction, The Third Ghost, was selected as the title story for the middle grade adventure anthology, Voyagers: The Third Ghost. Yvonne’s other work includes two nonfiction books and several additional short stories selected for anthologies. You can learn more at YvonneVentresca.com, where she also features resources for teen writers.

3 Fun Facts

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

Vernick, Audrey

Audrey Vernick writes picture books and middle-grade fiction. Her books include the New York Times Notable Book Brothers at Bat, First Grade Dropout, and Is Your Buffalo Ready for Kindergarten? She is also co-author of five books—three with Liz Garton Scanlon – Five Minutes (That’s a Lot of Time) (No, It’s Not) (Yes, It Is); Bob, Not Bob, and Dear Substitute; as well as Two Naomis and Naomis Too with Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich. Audrey received a 2019 Fellowship from the NJ Arts Council. A frequent presenter at schools across the country, she lives near the ocean. Visit her at www.audreyvernick.com.

New York Times Notable Book, California Young Readers Medal, BCCB Blue Ribbon Books, three-time recipient of writing fellowship from the New Jersey State Council of the Arts

3 Fun Facts

1. Grew up in Queens but is a big Yankee fan.
2. Has a one-year-old miniature labradoodle named Winnie who likes to eat mail.
3. Believes she could eat pizza every day of her life and never tire of it.

Viau, Nancy

Nancy Viau is the author of Today Is a Beach Day! (April 2020), First Snow (2019 IPPY/Independent Publisher Book Award Winner), City Street Beat, Storm Song, Look What I Can Do! and Pruett and Soo (forthcoming). Her middle-grade novels include Beauty and Bernice (2018 Foreword INDIES finalist), Just One Thing! (2016 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Gold Award Winner), Samantha Hansen Has Rocks In Her Head, and Something Is Bugging Samantha Hansen. A former teacher and kid-at-heart, she loves to visit schools to share her journey to publication and the writing process. Nancy works as an assistant librarian in New Jersey. Find her on Twitter or Instagram: @NancyViau1 or on: NancyViau.com.

2019 IPPY/Independent Publisher Book Silver Award Winner
2018 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Finalist
2016 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Gold Award Winner

3 Fun Facts

1. I hiked up an active volcano in Guatemala and hiked down IN TOTAL DARKNESS.
2. I once tried to break into the principal’s van—he had the EXACT same one and I thought it was mine! When my daughter didn’t spot her toy on the backseat, I realized my mistake and we ran away.
3. For four sunny months out of the year, I work as an assistant librarian, and I sneak away to the beach to read and eat my lunch.

Wallmark, Laurie

Award-winning author Laurie Wallmark’s debut picture book biography, ADA BYRON LOVELACE AND THE THINKING MACHINE received four starred trade reviews many national awards including Outstanding Science Trade Book and Cook Prize Honor Book. GRACE HOPPER: QUEEN OF COMPUTER CODE earned a Kirkus star and is a Parents’ Choice Gold Medal winner. HEDY LAMARR’S DOUBLE LIFE was long listed for the AAAS/Subaru SB&F Prize and earned a Eureka! Gold Medal. Her latest book, NUMBERS IN MOTION: SOPHIE KOWALEVSKI, QUEEN OF MATHEMATICS, released March 3, 2020. She has an MFA in Writing from VCFA. You can find Laurie at www.lauriewallmark.com and @lauriewallmark.

Outstanding Science Trade Book, Cook Prize Honor Winner, Crystal Kite Winner, Junior Library Guild Selection, Parents’ Choice Gold Medal, Eureka! Nonfiction Children’s Book Award

3 Fun Facts

1. I was the only girl in a boys-only architectural drawing class in junior high.
2. My high school principal told me I would never take advanced math classes because I was a girl, but he was wrong.
3. I used to 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. She has now published 27 books for children including the best-selling YOU ARE MY CUPCAKE. Her books have sold a combined total of over 1 million copies worldwide. www.wanart.com

2019 Cybils Award Board Book Finalist
Mills-Tannenbaum Award for Children’s Literacy from Reach Out and Read of Greater New York
Twice selected for Society of Illustrators Original Art Show

3 Fun Facts

1. Self-taught artist
2. Studied architecture in college
3. I do my work in my studio in the attic of my house

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

Wiklinski, Stanley E.

Stanley E. Wiklinski has an MFA from the Yale University, School of Drama. Following graduation, he acted on Broadway, regional theatre and television.  He is a member of the Naval Academy Class of 1958, a retired U.S. Navy Commander, and a retired New Jersey Commissioner of Maritime Pilotage.  He is married, with four children, and five grandchildren, residing with his wife in New Jersey.

3 Fun Facts

1. Retired U.S. Naval Officer.
2. Graduate of Yale University School of Drama, with Henry Winkler. Former Broadway and television actor.
3. Retired N.J. Commissioner of Maritime Pilotage.

Yoon, Salina

Salina Yoon is a Geisel Honor-winning author/illustrator of a dozen picture books and early readers and nearly 200 innovative novelty books, with over 4.5 million books sold worldwide. KIKI AND JAX, THE LIFE-CHANGING MAGIC OF FRIENDSHIP, a picture book she co-authored and illustrated with international tidying superstar and bestselling author, Marie Kondo, will be out in November 2019.

Other awards include the Award for Excellence in a Picture Book for FOUND, the New York State Reading Association Charlotte Award for PENGUIN AND PINECONE, Maryland Blue Crab Young Reader Award for DUCK DUCK PORCUPINE, and many more. You can read more about Salina and her books at: www.salinayoon.com

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

3 Fun Facts

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

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

Young, Brigit

Brigit Young is the author of the middle grade novels Worth a Thousand Words and The Prettiest. Her poetry and short fiction have appeared in several literary journals, and for many years she taught writing workshops to kids of all ages. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two daughters. www.brigityoung.com

The Italian language translation of Worth a Thousand Words won an Andersen Prize for Books for Kids 12 and Up

Worth a Thousand Words was a Junior Library Guild selection

3 Fun Facts

1. I used to be actress and I met my husband playing boyfriend and girlfriend on an episode of a soap opera!
2. I’m from Michigan, but I’ve lived for about fourteen years in New York City, and yet I’ve never gotten used to it. I still feel like a small town girl in the big city.
3. When I was a kid I wanted to be an orca researcher, and nowadays my dream vacation is to go to Washington and see orcas in action.

Yum, Hyewon

Hyewon Yum is an author and illustrator of many picture books, including Saturday Is Swimming Day, which won a Charlotte Zolotow Honor. She has two sons who hate haircuts. She also doesn’t like haircuts, but she’s never told her kids that. She lives in Brooklyn with her roaring family. www.hyewonyum.com

3 Fun Facts

1. Doesn’t like getting a haircut
2. Was pooped by birds, TWICE!
3. Bad at grammar(her son told her)

Zunon, Elizabeth

Drawing and painting have always been among the most important things to illustrator Elizabeth Zunon. Born in Albany, NY and raised in the Ivory Coast (Cote d’Ivoire), West Africa, she cultivated a love of color and pattern, which are fixtures in her works today. After returning to the United States, Elizabeth earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 2006 from the Rhode Island School of Design. Her twelfth illustrated children’s book, Grandpa Cacao: a Tale of Chocolate, from Farm to Family (Bloomsbury), was published in May 2019. It is her first authored-illustrated book: a true story about chocolate! Elizabeth’s most recent illustrated book, Bedtime for Sweet Creatures by Nikki Grimes (Sourcebooks Jabberwocky) has earned four starred reviews and is one of Amazon’s’ Best Books of the month for January, 2020.! www.lizzunon.com

3 Fun Facts

1. My favorite type of chocolate is dark chocolate.
2. I like to sing along with music when I paint.
3. I love to watch cooking shows and bake in my free time.

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