Gabrielle Balkan’s non-fiction picture books delight readers ages 3-12 with curious and essential facts about the United States, animal record-breakers, and ground-breaking artists. Learn about the best place to see a hot dog eating contest, falling dino poop, and painting bones in her books The 50 States, Book of Dinosaurs: 10 Record-Breaking Prehistoric Animals, and Georgia O’Keeffe: She Saw the World in a Flower. She grew up ice skating at the Indiana State Fairgrounds and now hides geocaches with her twin 7th graders in the Hudson Valley. Visit her at www.gabriellebalkan.com and chat with her at @gabriellebalkan.
Awards Book of Bones: 10 Record-Breaking Animals: International Literacy Association Teacher’s Choice Pick and A Texas Topaz Nonfiction Reading List Title The 50 States: A National Council for the Social Studies-Children’s Book Council Pick Whose Bones: An Animal Guessing Game: An Indiana Authors Award Shortlist Pick Book of Flight: 10 Record-Breaking Animals with Wings: An Indiana Authors Award Shortlist Pick.
3 Fun Facts
1. Gabe wrote her first book in 6th grade. It was about an elephant trying to hide at a circus.
2. Gabe takes improv classes every Thursday. Her favorite improv game is “Fortunately, Unfortunately”.
3. Gabe loves to visit cemeteries whenever she visits a new place.
Valerie Bolling has been an educator for almost 30 years, and her debut picture book, LET’S DANCE!, was published in March 2020 and won SCBWI’s Crystal Kite Award in 2021 and was a CT Book Award finalist.Valerie had two books published in 2022 (TOGETHER WE RIDE and RIDE, ROLL, RUN: TIME FOR FUN!) and has five slated for 2023, including her Scholastic Acorn early reader series, RAINBOW DAYS. https://valeriebolling.com
Valerie and her husband live in Connecticut and enjoy traveling, hiking, reading, going to the theater, and dancing.
3 Fun Facts
1. I grew up in an extended family. I was the only child in a house of seven adults, living with my mother, grandmother, three great-aunts, and great-grandparents.
2. I have traveled to five of seven continents. In the future, I hope to have the opportunity to visit Australia and Antarctica.
3. I am never without a book. I have always loved to read. I read in the car, while waiting in lines, and on exercise equipment.
As a young parent, Rick Bobrick spent countless hours telling bedtime stories to his three children. Twenty-five years later, one of those stories has led to this first-time author’s unique picture book collection featuring Davy Crockett and his furry frenemy, the grizzly bear.
Rick is now retired and lives in Medusa, New York with his wife Cathleen and his big dog Bean. He enjoys fly fishing, skiing, gardening, and spending time with his grandson. After a forty-year teaching career (mostly middle school science), having his children’s books published is a dream come true. www.rickbobrick.com
3 Fun Facts
1. Rick spent most of his 40-year teaching career at the Hudson JHS which of course is the home of the Hudson Children’s Book Festival!
2. He is an avid home gardener and an amateur poultry farmer raising and caring for laying hens, meat chickens, and Heritage Bronze turkeys.
3. Rick was very fortunate to have a niece talented enough to illustrate his book series; it became a family collaboration that has exceeded both their wildest expectations.
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.
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.
Phil Bildner is the New York Times bestselling author of numerous books for kids. His latest book is the 2021 NCTE Charlotte Huck Award Honor-winning middle grade novel, 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 Betsy, Martina & Chrissie, Twenty-One Elephants, and The Soccer Fence. Phil is also the author of A Whole New Ballgame, Rookie of the Year, Tournament of Champions, and Most Valuable Players in the critically acclaimed 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.
My books have taken me around the world: from Iowa to Ireland, from Texas to Italy, from Pennsylvania to the Pearl River Delta in China.
I grew up in Fresh Meadows NY, graduated from Cooper Union, made my way to Buffalo and from there to our home-made house on a scrubby hillside in upstate NY. For years my husband and I made wooden toys, until an idea for a book seeped through the sawdust.
All my studies, all my jobs (except for racking clothes at Macy’s) all my grands (3) have led to the making of twenty two friend-filled books. www.suzannebloom.com
Awards: A Splendid Friend, indeed – Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor – ALA Notable – PA One Book for Every Young Child – Texas 2×2 A Mighty Fine Time Machine – Texas 2×2 Alone Together – Bank Street College of Education, Best Children’s Books of the Year The Bus for Us – PA One book for Every Young Child Bunny Braves The Day Bunny Braves the Day – Bank Street College of Education, Best Children’s Books of the Year
3 Fun Facts
1. My friends, family, dogs and cats all show up in my books along with my imaginary friends. 2. I am left-handed but use scissors right-handed. 3. My favorite color can be found on many of my book covers.
Artie Bennett is an executive copy editor by day and a writer by night. He is the author of an inspiring, humorous picture-book biography of a hapless, though beloved, horse, 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 What’s Afoot! Your Complete, Offbeat Guide to Feet, guaranteed to knock your socks off. 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!
The True Story of Zippy Chippy: The Little Horse That Couldn’t A CCBC Choice 2021
A Horse Lover’s Guide to Staying Inside Children’s Book from America’s Best Racing
A Picture-Book Biography You Need to Know About Citation from Imagination Soup
A Gift Guide Great Book for the Book Lover in Your Life from The Bookworm Sez
Belches, Burps and Farts—Oh My!
A World Science Festival Selection
A Kentucky Bluegrass Award Nominee for Informational Text
A Pragmatic Mom Best Nonfiction Book for Kids
A HuffPost (One of) 26 Entertaining and Educational Books for Back-to-School Season
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 (HuffPost)
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.
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.