Her books and stories have won an assortment of awards–two Nebulas, a World Fantasy Award, a Caldecott, the Golden Kite Award, three Mythopoeic awards, two Christopher Medals, a nomination for the National Book Award, and the Jewish Book Award, among others. She is also the winner (for body of work) of the Kerlan Award and the Catholic Library’s Regina Medal. Six colleges and universities have given her honorary doctorates.
Susan Williams Beckhorn is the award-winning author of six children’s books, two of which she illustrated. She grew up in a family where kids, animals, and the outdoors were cherished. Cozy hours listening to her parents read aloud led to a life-long passion for books. She read walking to school, under the covers, everywhere! She says, “I just figured I would write my own stories one day. There is nothing else I would rather do. No one should ever think writing for children is easy or trivial. Our children deserve the very best.” Susan lives and writes in Rexville, NY.
Ellen Stoll Walsh has 17 books in English and 13 in other languages. Her first two books were in pen and ink, but since then she has been working in cut paper collage. Ellen is currently working on a story that is written around prepositions. She has often used paint spots and snow, but for her new book she is also using a lot of paper that she’s painted herself. Ellen’s new book has mice since people seem to be fond of them.
Vivian Vande Velde has written more than 30 books for middle grade students and teens. Her stories deal with a variety of fantasy topics: from ghosts and vampires and teachers who are trolls, to dogs smart enough to talk and games that are one step beyond virtual reality. And let’s not forget fairy tales. Her latest novel is Frogged, which is about a princess, a talking frog, a magical spell, and a troupe of really bad actors.
Sally Valentine is a native Rochesterian. After teaching math for 25 years in the Rochester City School District, she is now off on a tangent of writing. Her love for kids, books, and Rochester led her to write a series of novels for intermediate grade kids which are each set in a different Rochester landmark. When not writing, she can be found reading, solving puzzles of all kinds, or walking around beautiful western New York. She lives in Walworth, NY with her husband, Gary. Her grandchildren, Evan and Molly, are her newest source of inspiration.
Larry Tuxbury is the author of Benjamin Franklinstein Lives!, Benjamin Franklinstein Meets the Fright Brothers, and Benjamin Franklin Meets Thomas Deadison. When not reanimating famous inventors, he enjoys a nice cup of tea, quiet walks along the Hudson, and smashing evil wherever it may lurk.
Peggy Thomas has been researching and writing award-winning children’s nonfiction for more than 20 years. Her picture book, For the Birds: The Life of Roger Tory Peterson earned NSTA/CBC Outstanding Science Trade Book, Children’s Book of the Year by Skipping Stones, and recommendations from NCTE Orbis Pictus and John Burroughs Nature Books for Young Readers. A frequent speaker in schools and libraries, she has addressed NSTA, ASJA, SCBWI, and NYLA. She is also a member of iNK Think Tank, and co-author of Anatomy of Nonfiction, the only writing guide for children’s nonfiction.
Heidi Elizabet Yolen Stemple is Jane Yolen’s daughter and the inspiration for the little girl in Owl Moon. Heidi is an accomplished author and speaker. Among her credits are One if By Land as well as several books co-authored with Jane Yolen. Together they wrote the Unsolved Mysteries from History series, The Barefoot Book of Ballet Stories, and Dear Mother, Dear Daughter: Poems for Young People. Jane and Heidi live next door to each other in Massachusetts.
Joe Sottile is a former teacher, a children’s poet, essayist, and poetry performer. He has two poetry books available online: Waiting to See the Principal and Other Poems and Picture Poetry on Parade. He also has a self-help book for tweens and teens: 101 SECRETS! Joe has been published in Chicken Soup for the Child’s Soul, Rejection Letters, Woman’s World, Learning Magazine, Teachers of Vision, The English Journal, Upstate New York, and other publications. Joe has given more than 100 poetry shows for schools, libraries, and homeschoolers.
Mark Shulman has been a camp counselor, a radio announcer, a maitre d’ in a fancy restaurant, a New York City tour guide, and a creative advertising guy. He’s written many books about many things–sharks, storms, robots, palindromes, gorillas, dodo birds, Star Wars, Ben Franklin, how to hide stuff, how to voodoo your enemies, how to make a video from start to finish, and whether you’re normal. He’s written picture books for Oscar de la Hoya (the boxer) and Shamu (the whale). Mark not only went to East High School–his author photo was taken on the lawn. Then he got chased off. Mark was always getting into trouble there.
Robin Pulver’s illustrated storybooks include Mrs. Toggle’s Zipper, Axle Annie, Punctuation Takes a Vacation, and Christmas Kitten Home at Last. Her inspirations are many and go way back: a mother who read aloud to her from a very early age. An aunt whose gifts to her were books. A third grade teacher who gave her the whole day off from regular school work so she could write a story. Countless children’s authors whose stories she shared with her own children. New for 2013 is Saturday is Dadurday, about father-daughter fun, coping with disappointment, and how time can fly or stand still. Mostly, it’s about love and learning empathy. Robin lives in Pittsford with her husband and two dogs.
Matt Phelan is the illustrator of many books for young readers, including Flora’s Very Windy Day by Jeanne Birdsall and The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron (winner of the 2007 Newbery Medal). He is the author/illustrator of the graphic novels The Storm in the Barn (winner of the 2010 Scott O’Dell Award) and Around the World. His latest graphic novel, Bluffton, is about summertime, vaudeville, and the young Buster Keaton. His latest picture book is Xander’s Panda Party by Linda Sue park. Matt is thrilled to be returning to the Rochester Children’s Book Festival.
Linda Sue Park is the author of many books for young readers, including the
2002 Newbery Medal winner A Single Shard. Her most recent book is Xander’s
Panda Party. Visit her website, www.lindasuepark.com and follow her on
Rose O’Keefe is the author of three non-fiction history books set in and around Rochester, New York. She is originally from the New York City suburbs and never ceases to be amazed by the beauty of Upstate New York.
Matthew McElligott is the author of many books for children, including the Benjamin Franklinstein series (with Larry Tuxbury), Even Aliens Need Snacks, Even Monsters Need Haircuts, The Lion’s Share, and two Backbeard the Pirate adventures. He is not an alien, although he often eats like one. He is galactose intolerant.
Jeff Mack, born in Syracuse, New York, has written and illustrated a long list of best-selling picture books, chapter books, and early readers, including Clueless McGee, The Things I Can Do, Good News, Bad News, the Hippo and Rabbit series, and Hush Little Polar Bear.
He has also illustrated many books for other authors, including James Howe’s Bunnicula and Friends series and Eve Bunting’s Hurry! Hurry!, one of School Library Journal’s Best Books of 2007.,
Kevin Kurtz has loved books and nature since he was a kid. He has worked at a marine biology lab, an aquarium, a science museum, and spent eight weeks at sea aboard a research ship during a scientific expedition. He is the author of the nonfiction picture books A Day in the Deep, A Day on the Mountain and A Day in the Salt Marsh, about the animals that live in those habitats, and Uncovering Earth’s Secrets, a free eBook about a scientific research ship that travels around the world to learn about volcanoes, earthquakes, and more.
Michelle Knudsen is the author of more than 40 books for young readers, including the New York Times best-selling picture book Library Lion; her newest picture book, Big Mean Mike (August 2012); and the middle-grade fantasy novels The Dragon of Trelian and The Princess of Trelian. Michelle also works as an editor and a writing teacher, and is currently working on a new novel for young adults. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
David Kalvitis, a lifelong puzzle and game fan, has a Fine Arts degree from Syracuse University and operated a graphic design business in Upstate New York for 13 years. In 2000 he opened Monkeying Around Publishing, with a goal to provide fun and challenging dot-to-dot puzzle books that entertain both young and old alike. So far he has published 17 books and has sold over 3/4 of a million books worldwide.
Will Hubbell is a full-time author who has written and illustrated three children’s picture books—Pumpkin Jack, Apples Here!, and Snow Day Dance. Under the pen name Morgan Howell, Will writes high fantasies that feature strong female characters facing serious moral choices. He has written two fantasy trilogies, Queen of the Orcs and The Shadowed Path. In his new fantasy novel, A Single Deed, a sixteen-year-old girl who is half orc and half human struggles to find her place in the world.
James Howe is the award-winning author of over ninety books for young readers, including the popular Bunnicula and Pinky and Rex series. He writes for a wide range of ages, from picture books to young adult fiction. His novel The Misfits was the inspiration for national No Name-Calling Week (www.nonamecallingweek.org). Its three companion novels are Totally Joe, Addie on the Inside, and Also Known as Elvis (to be published in 2014). Recent picture books are Brontorina and Otter and Odder, illustrated by Caldecott medalist Chris Raschka. James Howe grew up in Webster and currently lives in Yonkers, New York, with his husband, two cats, and a hound dog named Lily.
Ingrid Hess is an illustrator, graphic designer, and educator. The simplicity in her work is heavily influenced by her Amish/Mennonite heritage; the bright colors and patterns are inspired by art from Costa Rica (her childhood home for four years). Her dual passions of design and illustration aid in her research, which focuses on economic justice. He books help bring peace to the world and empower kids to understand that they can make a difference.
Marsha Hayles writes picture books and novels for young people. Her mid-grade historical novel Breathing Room—called “a perfect read” by Horn Book—is set at a fictional tuberculosis sanatorium and follows the struggles of several girls as they ‘chase the cure’ for their disease. Her picture books include Bunion Burt, Pajamas Anytime, He Saves the Day, Here’s a Cheer for Our Childfirst Day, The Feathered Crown, and Beach Play. When she’s not writing, chances are she’s out walking her dog Haddow along the Erie Canal.
Scott Gibala-Broxholm was born in a castle laboratory one dark and stormy night . . . no, not really (Actually, it was Upstate New York). Growing up, he loved to draw, especially pictures of old movie monsters. Scott is a graduate of Syracuse University and spent his junior year studying in London. He has been illustrating for children for over 30 years. He and his wife, Janice, have two children, Brent and Tess. Someday . . . somehow . . . someway . . . he hopes to be able to work with Tim Burton. Scott’s latest book is a perfect example that certain things never change. It was inspired by classic movie monsters.
Elizabeth Falk writes historical fiction for mid-grade readers all based in New York State. She is co-director of this year’s festival. She lives on Conesus Lake and finds the view out of her front window inspiring. She is currently writing and illustrating her first picture book. A life time reader, she enjoys finding a book that will take her on a magical journey without ever leaving her favorite chair. When she finally stops reading, she also loves to ride her bike and paddle her kayak.
Cynthia DeFelice is the author of over 30 books for children and young readers, including Weasel, Wild Life, Casey in the Bath, and The Ghost of Fossil Glen. She is a two-time winner of the Texas Bluebonnet Award, along with numerous other Children’s Choice awards in states all over the country. “With each book, my goal is to create a rip-roaring good story that even reluctant readers will have trouble putting down. I hope that when the books ends, my readers will revisit the events and characters over and over again in their minds.”
Bruce Coville is the author of 102 books for children and young adults, including the international bestseller My Teacher is an Alien, and the Unicorn Chronicles series. His works have appeared in over a dozen languages and won children’s choice awards in over a dozen states. He has been a teacher, a toymaker, a magazine editor, a gravedigger, and a cookware salesman. He is also the founder of FULL CAST AUDIO, an audiobook publishing company devoted to producing full cast, unabridged recordings of material for family listening. Mr. Coville lives in Syracuse, New York, with his wife, illustrator Katherine Coville.
Upon graduating from Pratt Institute in 1981, Peter Catalanotto wanted to work as a painter and a cartoonist. Being a children’s book author and illustrator has fulfilled and combined both those dreams. He has illustrated 45 books for children, 15 of which he’s written, including Emily’s Art, Ivan the Terrier and Matthew A. B. C. He is currently working on an emerging reader series titledMonkey & Robot; the first was released in January 2013. He has appeared on PBS’ Storytime, where he read his book The Painter, and in 2008, he was commissioned by First Lady Laura Bush to illustrate the annual White House holiday brochure.
Frank Cammuso is the former award-winning political cartoonist for The Post-Standard newspaper in Syracuse, NY. His cartoons have been reprinted in The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today and Newsweek. His fiction and satire have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Village Voice, Slate, and on National Public Radio. He’s the co-author of 2007-Eleven and Other American Comedies. Cammuso is the artist/writer of the graphic novel series Max Hamm Fairy Tale Detective, for which he received an Eisner nomination. He drew the comic Otto’s Orange Day and Otto’s Backwards Day for Toon-Books. He is also the artist/writer of the graphic novel series Knights of the Lunch Table from Graphix/Scholastic. Recently he created the series The Misadventures of Salem Hyde from Amulet Books.
When she got her first library card and was set free among the picture books, Laurie Calkhoven decided she wanted to be a librarian. Later she realized that that were actual people who created those wonderful books on the shelves, and she decided to be one of them. Laurie writes for American Girl’s Innerstar University series as well as historical action/adventure novels for her own series, Boys of Wartime. Her most recent work of nonfiction is I Grew Up to be President. She lives in New York City and can frequently be found at the library.
Judy Bradbury is a literacy specialist who has taught learners from preschool through college. She is the author of The Read-Aloud Scaffold: Best Books to Enhance Content Area Curriculum; the Children’s Book Corner series of resource books for teachers, librarians, and parents; and the Christopher Counts! picture books. She writes a monthly column on character education for LibrarySparks and contributes regularly to Children’s Writer and Writer’s Guide. Judy currently teaches graduate courses in literacy and is the Professional Development Chair for Niagara Frontier Reading Council. She offers workshops nationally on connecting children’s books to curriculum and Common Core Standards.
Suzanne Bloom finds herself in her dream job, as she loses herself drawing and painting her favorite characters in new adventures. “Over the past year I have toured Pennsylvania a second time with The Bus for Us, thanks to the PA 1 Book program and have another book, Oh! What a Surprise listed on the Bank Street best Books list for 2013. I also got to meet the legendary Joy Cowley last summer and am thrilled to report that I will be on faculty with her for a summer workshop this summer. Ta – Da. It’s been a busy year!”
Kathleen Blasi, Co-Director of the Rochester Children’s Book Festival, is the author of middle-grade books A Name of Honor and Are Organized Sports Better for Kids Than Pickup Games? (both with Mondo Publishing). She enjoys visiting schools and libraries, to share her love of reading and writing. Her favorite quote from a third-grade student, prompted by Kathleen’s revealing that her first book took four years from first draft to publication: “Wow! You’re a slow writer, just like me!”
Julie Berry grew up in Medina, New York, and now lives in Massachusetts with her husband and four sons. She holds as BS from Renssalaer and an MFA from Vermont College of the Fine Arts. The Amaranth Enchantment (2009 Bloomsbury) was her first book, followed by Secondhand Charm (2010) and The Splurch Academy for Disruptive Boys series of comic/graphic novels (2010-11 Penguin). Her upcoming YA novel, All the Truth That’s In Me, will be published September 2013 by Viking Books. Find Julie online at www.julieberrybooks.com and www.twitter.com/julieberrybooks.
Mary Jane and Herm Auch have written and co-illustrated a number of punny, poultry-inspired picture books. The most recent are Souperchicken and The Plot Chickens. Mary Jane Auch is also the award-winning author of One-Handed Catch, a Texas Bluebonnet choice; Wing Nut, a Bank Street Best Children’s Book; Ashes of Roses, an ALA Best Book for Young Adults; Guitar Boy, and her newest novel, One Plus One Equals Blue.
Paul Acampora writes fiction for elementary school, middle grade and teen readers. Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal, Kirkus and others have praised his work, including his most recent novel, Rachel Spinelli Punched Me in the Face (Roaring Brook 2011). His first novel, Defining Dulcie (Dial 2006), was recognized by VOYA Magazine as a “perfect 10.” Paul also writes short stories for Scholastic’s Storyworks as well as other magazines and collections. A member of the Rutgers University Council on Children’s Literature and the SCBWI, Paul leads writing workshops for college and K-12 students. Paul and his family live in Allentown, PA.
Come celebrate the 18th Annual Rochester Children’s Book Festival, recipient of Writers & Books’ Big Pencil Award for 2011! Please join us on Saturday, November 15th, 2014, from 10:00 AM until 4:00 PM in the Flynn Campus Center at Monroe Community College.
This will be a magical day packed with activities, presentations, and meeting those who write and illustrate books for children, tweens and teens. Busy Bookworm offers craft activities; author and illustrator presentations take place in both the Brighton Room and in Excellus Presentation Place; and your favorite authors and illustrators read stories in Genesee Valley Parent Magazine’s Read to Me Corner. In the Mall, chat with our more than 40 Festival participants!