Keller, Joy

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!

Bulion, Leslie

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!

Schmidt, Tiffany

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.

Leno, Katrina

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.

Stark, Hannah

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

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!

Thermes, Jennifer

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!

Vernick, Audrey

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.

Tucker, Laura

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.

Freedman, Deborah

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!

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