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!

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.

Lewis, Kevin

Lewis, Kevin

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

3 Fun Facts

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

Mack, Jeff

Mack, Jeff

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

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

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

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

3 Fun Facts

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

Alexander, Kwame

Alexander, Kwame

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

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

Reynolds, Jason

Reynolds, Jason

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

3 Fun Facts

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