Authors & Illustrators

Biographical information about writers and illustrators of books for young people.

Rockwell and Engelbreit

engelbreit_ferguson

Over the weekend my family visited the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA. It was suggested as a things-to-do-with-kids-in-the-Berkshires activity because of Rockwell’s “accessibility” as an artist. (Be that as it may, the little boys were much more interested in climbing on the outdoor sculptures — allowed! — and running around on the lawn.) Amidst […]

Five questions for Judith Viorst

judith viorst by milton viorst

Judith Viorst, creator of Alexander (he of the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day), writes about another little boy who might just wish he could curl back up in bed. The young protagonist of And Two Boys Booed (Farrar/Ferguson, 4–7 years) is excited to perform in the school talent show… until it’s almost his […]

Candace Fleming on The Family Romanov

fleming_family romanov

In the July/August 2014 Horn Book Magazine, reviewer Jonathan Hunt asked author Candace Fleming about her intimate portrait of the last Imperial family of Russia, The Family Romanov. Read the starred review here. Jonathan Hunt: What was the most interesting thing you had to leave out of the book? Candace Fleming: So many poignant moments […]

Five questions for Varian Johnson

Varian Johnson _credit Kenneth B. Gall

Varian Johnson (who was co-valedictorian, with his twin brother, of his high school class, thank you very much) enjoys two careers: as an author and an engineer. It’s not surprising, then, that his new book The Great Greene Heist (Scholastic, 12–16 years) is so meticulously — almost mathematically — plotted. But it’s not all by-the-numbers, […]

Cathleen Daly on Emily’s Blue Period

daly_emily's blue period

In the July/August 2014 Horn Book Magazine, reviewer Martha Parravano asked Emily’s Blue Period author Cathleen Daly about the dual focus of this innovative picture book. Read the starred review of Emily’s Blue Period here. Martha V. Parravano: Your book beautifully incorporates details about a particular artist (Picasso) and the young girl who’s inspired by him […]

B: A Profile of Brian Floca

locomotive

An editor’s dream — smart authors, smart artists. They save so much time. That is, they’re up to speed without undue heaving or the need for sand on the tracks (see Locomotive for more on the subject). My subject in this tribute is someone who is all three: author, artist, smart. Given a pencil, Brian […]

Walter Dean Myers (1937-2014)

Photo by Constance Myers

We are terribly sad to learn of the death of Walter Dean Myers on Tuesday from pneumonia. As an author, his accolades are nearly too numerous to count: National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, Margaret A. Edwards Award winner, (first) Printz Award winner, Coretta Scott King Author Award winner, Newbery honoree, Boston Globe-Horn Book honoree, […]

A Profile of Kate DiCamillo

kate with squirrel

Superheroes come in all shapes and sizes: Incandesto is a towering beam of light; Ulysses is a squirrel; and Kate DiCamillo, of course, is a writer of children’s books. “For heaven’s sake,” I can hear Tootie Tickham asking, “what kind of superhero writes?” And it’s true that Kate may not be your typical cape-wearing, crime-fighting […]

Conference report: Association of Jewish Libraries

AllofaKind

As a new member of a prestigious book award committee, I recently winged off to Vegas to meet my fellow committee members, attend conference sessions, and generally be invigorated by the field of children’s books and the librarians who love them. Leave ALA to Roger and Martha — I was at the Association of Jewish […]

Rita Williams-Garcia’s 2014 CSK Author Award Acceptance

p.s. be eleven

Good morning, family. I am honored to stand before you all: Coretta Scott King Book Awards Committee Chair Kim Patton and the committee; most distinguished fellow honorees; and all of us joined through our love of books, tolerance, and peace. A certain type of ignorance is truly bliss. I’d been writing for young people over […]