Marina Budhos is the author of several books for young adults and adults. Her newest novel, We Are All We Have, was a Best Kirkus Book of 2022. Among her prior books are Watched, which received a Walter Award and an Asian Pacific American Honor, The Long Ride, Tell Us We’re Home, and Ask Me No Questions, recipient of numerous honors. She has also published the adult novels The Professor of Light and House of Waiting, and three works of nonfiction, including her co-authored books with husband Marc Aronson, Sugar Changed the World, an LA Times Book Finalist and Eyes of the World: Robert Capa, Gerda Taro & The Invention of Modern Photojournalism, both of which were YALSA Nonfiction Finalists. Her books have been published in several countries and her short work has appeared in publications such as The Daily Beast, LitHub, The Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, The Nation, Travel & Leisure, the Los Angeles Times, and in anthologies. She has received an NEA Literature Fellowship, a Rona Jaffe Award for Women Writers, three Fellowships from the New Jersey Council on the Arts, and has been a Fulbright Scholar to India. She is a professor emerita at William Paterson University. She frequently gives talks around the country and abroad. https://marinabudhos.com
Watched received an Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature YA Honor (APALA) and a Walter Award Honor (We Need Diverse Books), Eyes of the World was a 2017 YALSA Finalist in Nonfiction. I have received an NEA Literature Fellowship, a Rona Jaffe Award for Women Writers, three Fellowships from the New Jersey Council on the Arts, and have been a Fulbright Scholar to India.
3 Fun Facts
1. My sister-in-law’s brother has operated the Howard Hotel and Ca’Mea for years.
2. I was the first girl to wear pants at my elementary school once it was allowed (first day it was announced).
3. I once hitchhiked with a college roommate from the state of Washington to San Francisco, much to the horror of my young adult sons.
DANIEL NEWELL KAUFMAN is an Emmy-nominated filmmaker whose documentaries and short films have played at SXSW, Tribeca and Cannes Lions film festivals. Raised in both Los Angeles and Vermont, Daniel’s life is driven by a deep curiosity and love of people. This is Daniel’s debut picture book. He lives with his wife and co-author, Esmé Shapiro, in an old farmhouse in the Hudson Valley.
3 Fun Facts
1. I’ve driven back and forth across the United States 10 times–once through a super storm.
2. My childhood cat lived to be 25 and used to ride on the back of my childhood dog.
3. The secret ingredient in my family’s chicken stew recipe is black currant jelly.
Raakhee Mirchandani is a journalist, children’s book author, activist and mom — not necessarily in that order. Previously a feature writer and columnist for the New York Post, a managing editor at the New York Daily News and associate editor at the Boston Herald, Raakhee’s work has also appeared in Elle, Glamour, the Wall Street Journal, Redbook and HuffPo, and she was the editor-in-chief of Moneyish, published by Dow Jones. The New Jersey-born daughter of immigrants, Raakhee is a proud supporter of many nonprofits, serving on the boards of the the Hoboken Public Library, Stevens Cooperative School, the Hoboken Shelter and Drag Story Hour NY. When she isn’t reading or writing, Raakhee is either organizing her bookshelves, running races to raise money for the fight against pediatric cancer — or styling her very curly hair with new oils and potions. She lives in Hoboken, N.J., with her husband and daughter, the inspirations for Hair Twins and Super Satya Saves the Day. Raakhee invites you to follow her on Twitter @Raakstar and on Instagram @RaakstarWrites.
Publisher’s Weekly Indie Bookseller Best Of List Starred reviews in PW and SLJ for previous books.
3 Fun Facts
1. I wish I could have dinner with Ramona Quimby, Harriet the Spy and Charlotte the spider. I have a lot of questions I want to ask them.
2. French fries are my favorite food.
3. I wish I could turn my apartment in to a library and am constantly building bookshelves all over the place!
Kirsti Call is an award winning author who co-hosts the Picture Book Look Podcast and hosts the Coaching for Creatives podcast as a therapist trained life coach. Kirsti loves teaching writing workshops, and visiting schools! She is the author of Mootilda’s Bad Mood (Little Bee), Cow Says Meow (Clarion) Cold Turkey (Little Brown), The Big Screen (Little Simon) and Smarty Ants (Capstone, 2023). Kirstine has an MSW from Boston College and is represented by Charlotte Wenger at Prospect Agency. www.kirsticall.com
THE BIG SCREAM, (2022, Little Simon) Julia Howard Award, Praiseworthy award.
3 Fun Facts
1. I have lived in Brazil and Japan.
2. I have five children.
3. I have a song for each of my books on youtube.
Amanda Foody has always considered imagination to be our best attempt at magic. She is a New York Times, USA Today, and indie bestselling author of fantasy novels, including the Wilderlore series, the All of Us Villains duology, and more. You can find her on Instagram @amandafoody or www.amandafoody.com.
The Accidental Apprentice was a NYT bestseller, a Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year Selection Title, and has been nominated for state awards and reading lists in four states, including the Connecticut 2023 Nutmeg Awards. It received starred reviews from Kirkus and Publisher’s Weekly. On the YA side of my career, All of Us Villains was a NYT, USA Today, and national indie bestseller, a Junior Library Gold title, and Amazon’s Best YA Book of 2021.
3 Fun Facts
1. Amanda has a Beastly companion of her own, a rambunctious orange tabby named Jelly Bean.
2. Amanda learned how to read by playing Pokemon.
3. Amanda’s favorite hobby outside of writing is cooking. (You could call her a foodie Foody.)
Sophie Taylor is an indie children’s author based in upstate New York. When she’s not writing stories, she’s feeding her chickens, cuddling her cat, and teaching kids, teens, and creative adults how to write and create worlds of wonder. https://heymoonpress.com/
For “What Cats Dream About” a book I put out last year. Amazon Best Seller, Top 10 in cat books during first month.
Currently: Top 100 in Baby & Toddler Bedtime & Dreaming Books, Top 100 in Children’s Cat Books (Kindle Store), Top 100 in Cat, Dog & Animal Humor
3 Fun Facts
1. My furry friend is a cat named Dorian Wilde Gray, who’s as mysterious and adventurous as his literary namesakes.
2. When I was a kid growing up in Texas, I dazzled audiences with my trick horseback riding skills, like a modern-day cowboy!
3. When I’m not spinning tales for kids, I’m delving into the realms of science fiction and fantasy, conjuring up worlds filled with intergalactic adventures and magical quests.
Yvette Clark is the author of the middle-grade novels Glitter Gets Everywhere and The House Swap, which was a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection. A Brit by birth and a New Yorker by design, Yvette lives in Manhattan with her husband, children, and a small blue cat. www.yvetteclark.com
Glitter Gets Everywhere: Booklist Starred Review. The House Swap: Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection and OwlCrate Junior March Selection.
3 Fun Facts
1. I organize my bookshelves by color.
2. I decided aged ten to move from England to New York after reading Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume. I moved here fifteen years later!
3. I love to trampoline.
Dana Wulfekotte is a children’s book author-illustrator and freelance animator. She is the author and illustrator of Peanut Gets Fed Up, and the illustrator of The Remember Balloons, a Schneider Family Honor Award book. She was born in Seoul, South Korea, raised in New Jersey, and currently lives in New York with her husband and two rabbits. http://www.danawulfekotte.com
Schneider Family Honor, JLG Selection, Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Picture Book
3 Fun Facts
1. I have two pet rabbits.
2. I was born in South Korea and came to the US as a baby.
3. When I was a kid I had a pet iguana named Humphrey.
Don P. Hooper is a writer and filmmaker of Jamaican heritage (and a programmer in a former life). His short story “Got Me a Jet Pack” is part of the New York Times bestselling anthology Black Boy Joy. His directing work has been featured in the Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival, the New York Television Film Festival (award winner), the New York City Horror Film Festival, the New Jersey Horror Con and Film Festival (award winner), and more. He does voice-over in video games and documentaries. True True is his debut novel. www.donphooper.com
True True received a starred review by Publisher’s Weekly, who wrote, “Hooper presents valuable lessons on the healing power of community, forgiveness, and sharing one’s truth.”
“BIPOC youth will find resonance here; privileged audiences, perhaps, need this most of all.” —School Library Journal, starred review of Audio Book. Black Boy Joy was an instant New York Times bestseller and received 5 starred reviews.
3 Fun Facts
1. I’m a voice over actor, who has voiced several commercials.
2. I received a martial arts scholarship to college.
3. I was once part of a team that designed solar cars and made dogs play soccer.