Growing up, Jyoti lived in Thailand, Indonesia, Myanmar, China and India. She finally settled in New York where she raised two daughters with her husband (who also grew up all over the world). As a child, she adored and devoured books but did not enjoy writing. At all.
As a grown up, she is a forever kindergarten teacher and mom. She still adores and devours books. But now, she likes to write!
Awards I do not have any honors or awards – yet 🙂 Maybe by next May, I will – one can dream!
3 Fun Facts
1. I speak five languages
2. I drank yak milk in Tibet (not my favorite)
3. I am crazy for composting and know a lot about red wiggler worms
Jenna Gavigan is the author of the middle-grade novels Lulu the Broadway Mouse, and Lulu the Broadway Mouse: The Show Must Go On. As a child, she dreamed of Broadway, and as teenager, she made her Broadway debut in Gypsy, opposite Bernadette Peters. Since then, she’s appeared in a handful of films, on a gaggle of television shows, and on stages east and west. Also a producer, Jenna won her first Tony Award in June of 2022 as member of the producing team for the Best New Musical A Strange Loop. Jenna holds a BA in creative writing from Columbia University, where she focused on fiction, television, and screenwriting. Like Lulu, Jenna loves cheese, regularly quotes musicals, and continues to dream of Broadway. Visit her online at iamjennagavigan.com or on Twitter and Instagram @Jenna_Gavigan www.iamjennagavigan.com
3 Fun Facts
1. I went to regular school during the day while performing on Broadway at night.
2. I wrote a picture-book draft of Lulu in a children’s book writing class during my final semester of college.
3. I gave birth to my first child in 2020!!
New York Times bestselling author Nikki Grimes has received the 2022 CSK Virginia Hamilton Lifetime Achievement Award, the ALAN Award for young adult literature, the Children’s Literature Legacy Medal, the NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children, the Coretta Scott King Award for Bronx Masquerade, and five Coretta Scott King Honors. Her recent titles include Printz Honor and Sibert Honor Ordinary Hazards, ALA Notables Legacy:Women Poets of the Harlem Renaissance and Southwest Sunrise, Kirkus Best Book Bedtime for Sweet Creatures, Kamala Harris:Rooted in Justice, Playtime for Restless Rascals, and Garvey in the Dark. Ms. Grimes lives in Corona, California. www.nikkigrimes.com
3 Fun Facts
1. Once sang on the stage of the Stockholm Philharmonic in Sweden.
2. In Sweden, I was known as a singer who also wrote.
3. In addition to writing, I also paint. The first time I exhibited my watercolors, I won a blue ribbon.
John Gray is an Emmy award winning journalist and writer from upstate New York. Donations from the sales of his first children’s book have helped more than 30 animal shelters all over the country. His new book ‘Keller’s Heart’ is based on his blind and deaf dog Keller. View John’s Facebook page.
3 Fun Facts
1. My children’s books are based on real events from my life. In fact I do have a dog named Keller who is blind and deaf and helps run our household.
2. For 20 years I have written a weekly column for the very newspaper that I once delivered as a young child in my hometown. Paperboy was my first job.
3. I’m a huge fan of Broadway and have seen RENT 12 times and can sing the entire score without missing a single word.
Laura Gehl is the author of award- winning picture books, including ONE BIG PAIR OF UNDERWEAR and the PEEP AND EGG series (PEEP AND EGG’s third adventure, I’M NOT TAKING A BATH, releases October 2017). Laura also writes about science for children and adults. She lives in Chevy Chase, MD with her husband and four children. Visit her online at www.lauragehl.com.
3 Fun Facts
1. I love to travel and have visited many different countries, including Australia, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Argentina, Belgium, Morocco, Egypt, and Turkey.
2. Two of my favorite vegetables are ones that a lot of people hate—Brussels sprouts and lima beans. But my other favorite vegetable is chocolate (hey…it comes from a plant, so close enough!)
3. I have four kids, and their names go in alphabetical order from oldest to youngest (We didn’t plan it that way…it just happened!)
David Gordon has art directed and/or worked on visual development, layout, and character design for numerous production companies from Lucasfilm to Pixar, including such movies as Toy Story, Monsters, Inc., A Bug’s Life, and Cars; BlueSky’s Robots and Nickelodeon’s Spongebob Squarepants. He has also written and illustrated many children’s books, among them Hansel and Diesel, The Three Little Rigs, The Ugly Truckling, and Smitten. He is one of the illustrators of Jon Scieszka’s 52-book, NY Times best-selling series, Trucktown. His newest book is Extremely Cute Animals Operating Heavy Machinery, also a NY Times Bestseller. www.davidgordonbooks.com
3 Fun Facts
1. I LOVE all kinds of machines, especially heavy ones!
2. I started drawing when I was three and never stopped.
3. I’m lactose intolerant.
JACK GANTOS is the author of forty-nine books for children from the “ROTTEN RALPH” picture books, collections of “JACK HENRY” short stories, upper elementary and middle school “JOEY PIGZA” and “NORVELT” novels, young adult books—LOVE CURSE OF THE RUMBAUGHS, DESIRE LINES, HOLE IN MY LIFE and THE TROUBLE IN ME. His work can lead readers from the cradle to the grave.
Mr. Gantos was a professor at Emerson College where he developed the Master’s Degree Program in Children’s Literature, Writing and Publishing. He now spends his time writing and is an active speaker at book and literacy conferences, schools and libraries. His works have received a Newbery Award, Scott O’Dell Award, Newbery Honor, Printz Honor, Sibert Honor, National Book Award Finalist nomination, and he is the 2010 recipient of the NCTE/ALAN AWARD for his contribution to the field of Young Adult and Children’s Literature. DEAD END IN NORVELT received both the 2012 John Newbery Award and the Scott O’Dell award for Historic Fiction. This was followed by the companion novel, FROM NORVELT TO NOWHERE. THE KEY THAT SWALLOWED JOEY PIGZA, the final book in the “Joey Pigza” series was released in 2014 and nominated for the Kirkus Prize. His most recent book, THE TROUBLE IN ME, is now available. www.jackgantos.com
CHRIS GRABENSTEIN is a #1 New York Times bestselling author whose books include the LEMONCELLO LIBRARY series, the WONDERLAND series, and THE ISLAND OF DR. LIBRIS. He is also the coauthor of fun and funny page-turners with James Patterson, including I FUNNY, TREASURE HUNTERS, and WORD OF MOUSE. www.chrisgrabenstein.com
1. Chris used to vacation every summer in St. Petersburg, Florida, the location where WELCOME TO WONDERLAND: HOME SWEET MOTEL takes place.
2. Chris had mice in his first New York City apartment who used to stand on his alarm clock, just like they do in WORD OF MOUSE (coauthored with James Patterson).
3. Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library will be a TV movie on Nickelodeon in the Fall of 2017.
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