Wallmark, Laurie

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.

Kimmelman, Leslie

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.”

Olien, Jessica

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.

McDonough, Yona Zeldis

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.

Biedrzycki, David

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.

Curato, Mike

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!

Bloom, Suzanne

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.

McCarthy, Deirdre

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.

Hasbrook, Sarah D.

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.

Miller, Sam J.

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.