Paul O. Zelinsky’s illustrations have won wide acclaim and many awards, including the Caldecott Medal for his retelling of Rapunzel, and three Caldecott Honors, for Hansel and Gretel, Rumpelstiltskin, and Swamp Angel. His movable “Wheels on the Bus” has become a perennial favorite among toddlers. He illustrated Kelly Bingham’s Z is for Moose, which in 2012 received a starred review from each of the six major star-awarding review journals. Known for his books’ variety of style and genre, Zelinsky says “I think I am recognized for being unrecognizable.” He lives with his wife in Brooklyn, New York.
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. She recently visited India and Bhutan and is currently working on a book with a Buddhist theme. She is working on it with her son. Ellen’s first two books were in pen and ink, but since then she has been working in cut paper collage. Ellen has often used paint to make spots and snow but for her new book she is using mostly paper that she has painted herself. The new book has mice, since people seem to be fond of them, and dragons.
Eric Velasquez is the author and illustrator of Grandma’s Records and Grandma’s Gift, a Pura Belpré Award winner. He is also the illustrator of Houdini and The Piano Man, for which he won the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Award. His most recent collaborations with Carole Boston Weatherford include I, Matthew Henson, which received four starred reviews, and Jesse Owens: Fastest Man Alive, which received two starred reviews.
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.
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) and a novel for James Patterson (the author). Mark is from Rochester, and his Young Adult novel – Scrawl — takes place in a version of the East High School Mark attended long ago.
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.
James Preller’s appearance is sponsored by MacMillan. He is the author of children’s books including Bystander, Six Innings, and the Jigsaw Jones Mysteries. James Preller is the youngest of seven children, and has two older sisters and four older brothers.
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.
Daniel J. Mahoney has been writing and illustrating books his entire life. Just recently in his adult life have they been published and turned into real books, such as The Saturday Escape, The Perfect Clubhouse, and A Really Good Snowman. He has also illustrated Ocean Wonders and the ever popular I See A Monster, which has been so successful that he wrote another book about Monsters called Monstergarten, slated to be released summer 2013. It’s about a personal experience of worrying about whether he would be scary enough to get into Kindergarten.
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 eighty 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. Its two companion novels are Totally Joe and Addie on the Inside. Recent picture books are Brontorina and the just published Otter and Odder, illustrated by Caldecott medalist Chris Raschka. James Howe grew up in Webster; he currently resides in Yonkers, New York with his husband, two cats, and a dog.
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.
Alyssa Satin Capucilli is the award winning author of Biscuit, the popular best-seller used to launch the My First I Can Read Series from HarperCollins. With over fifty titles in the series and over nineteen million books in print, Biscuit has been deemed a modern classic and has been translated into numerous languages worldwide. Once a professional dancer, Alyssa’s love of dance is embodied in Katy Duck, a duck who loves to dance, illustrated by Henry Cole.
Her latest project is comprised of non-fiction photo essays for young readers including, My First Soccer Game. She is a frequent lecturer at Teacher’s College Reading and Writing Project.
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.
Michael Buckley’s appearance is sposored by Abrams. He is the bestselling author of the Sisters Grimm and Nerds series and a new picture book, Kel Gilligan’s Daredevil Stunt Show. He has also written and developed shows for Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, and Discovery Channel. He lives in Brooklyn.
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 has been reading and weeding in upstate NY for all but 23 years of her life. Though she grew up in Queens and went to Cooper Union, she appreciates the colors and quietude of the country. Forays to conferences in the big cities are a treat and school visits anywhere are always fun. Her books have won some lovely awards, including the Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor and the Pennsylvania One Book. Equally inspiring are comments from kids, like the one from a young Texan who said, “Ma’am, you were born to draw.”
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.
Come celebrate the 17th Annual Rochester Children’s Book Festival, recipient of Writers & Books’ Big Pencil Award for 2011! Please join us on Saturday, November 16th, 2013, 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!