AUTHOR/ILLUSTRATORS

Illustrators

Jan Lee Adkins

Jan Lee Adkins studied architecture at Ohio State University and apprenticed as a designer for several years. He shifted his major to literature and creative writing and graduated, after more than eight years of university, with a plain BA.

Most of his professional life has been given to telling how things work in words and pictures: technology, mechanics, physics, medicine, nature and history. This is his calling: he is an Explainer. He has explained a bewildering variety of subjects, though he insists that they are all connected, part of one great puzzle. The keel of his work has been writing, designing and illustrating more than 36 books. Though there are many books and articles for adults, his favorite and most challenging audience is young people.

Jan has lived in Ohio, the Washington, DC, megalopolis, and in Marin County, California, but real home is the area around Buzzards Bay in Massachusetts, between New Bedford and Wareham. This is where his children were born, and where he learned to sail. His favorite book, A Storm Without Rain is an homage to Swamp Yankee country.

For nine years he was the associate art director at National Geographic Magazine, explaining the space shuttle, lasers, submarines, Soviet rockets, satellites, nuclear physics, marine archaeology, forest fires, volcanoes and the voyages of Christopher Columbus. Directing a team of researchers and doing original field research himself, he unraveled some of the most interesting topics ever addressed by Geographic during its golden age. Jan's job, according to his editor-in-chief Bill Garrett, "was like getting a doctorate every third month."

He has written scripts and treatments for the Discovery Channel, NOVA, and the BBC, and narrative voiceover for interactive corporate training programs. He taught editorial illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design for several years, and taught illustration and graphic design at Maryland Institute, College of Art, in Baltimore. He's associated with several exhibit design firms and frequently consults on exhibits for zoos, art museums, science and natural history museums.

Jan has been associated with several exceptional magazines - Smithsonian, Air & Space, WoodenBoat, Island Journal and others. He began working with the children's literary magazine Cricket from its first issue. He was part of the start-up crew and continued as contributing editor for the Smithsonian and Cricket co-publication of a children's non-fiction magazine, Muse, which has spun off a younger version, Click. He's writes a continuing series of humor essays for Chesapeake Bay Magazine.

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.


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Julie Downing

Julie Downing is an internationally published author and illustrator. She is known for her jewel like watercolor illustrations and innovative approach to traditional tales.

This San Francisco artist has written and or illustrated over 30 books for children. Recent titles include Little Kisses, by Jolie Jones, part of the Julie Andrews Collection, The Fire keeper's Son, by Newberry author Linda Sue Park, and How Do You Know? By Deborah Trotter

She has won numerous awards for her art, including a Parents Choice Award, Teachers Choice Award, and the New York Public Library Best Books Award. The Fire keeper's Son was honored with the 2006 Asian American Award for Literature in illustration. It was also selected as an Honor Book by the Bank Street College of Education, and was included in the CCBC list of Best Books for 2004.

Downing has also written several of her own books, including White Snow Blue Feather, Where is My Mommy, and Mozart Tonight, a biography of the composer. In a starred review, Publishers Weekly called Mozart Tonight "a winner in every way".

Julie Downing has visited hundreds of schools throughout the country, as well as spoken at Reading Conferences and Writers Workshops. She enjoys sharing her work with people of all ages.

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or phone at 1-866-528-9269.


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Keith Duquette

Growing up in a creative household in a small Long Island town, I was an impressionable child. At various times I wanted to be a pet shop owner, an architect, a painter, an anthropologist, a cartoonist, a naturalist and the center fielder for the New York Yankees. I am now none of these professions. But, as I work in my Brooklyn studio, I draw on all of these influences to write and illustrate picture books for young readers.

I have published seven titles in fiction and non-fiction to date. Here are some highlights from my list:
HOTEL ANIMAL (Viking, 1994) ¬— A Reading Rainbow Feature & IRA-CBC Children’s Choice, 1995.
THE HOUSE BOOK (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1999) — NCSS-CBC Selection.
THEY CALL ME WOOLLY: WHAT ANIMAL NAMES CAN TELL US (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2002) — CBC-NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Book.
COCK-A-DOODLE MOOOO!: A MIXED-UP MENAGERIE (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2004) — IRA-CBC Children’s Choice, 2005.
LITTLE MONKEY LOST (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2007) — A Dolly Parton Imagination Library Selection, 2008.

My PowerPoint programs are designed to be shown to groups of all sizes and children of all ages.

The topics I explore include:
Where my ideas for my books come from.
The similarities and differences of working in fiction and nonfiction.
Developing characters and settings.
How I do my research.
The many steps I take to create my images.
Exciting facts about the animal kingdom.

Additionally, when time and space permits, I feature a drawing and writing project related to the subject of one of my books where each child can bring forth their talents as artists and writers.

It is a tremendous privilege to visit children in schools, libraries and other settings.

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.


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Susan Guevara

“I live close to the land and the sky in northern New Mexico. The arts are near, in film, theater, music, dance and paintings. I’m satisfied with nature and culture and in the long search to learn more about the two, myself, and others.

Bookmaking has been my first love for many years, long enough now, to know it is the act of creating that I adore, more than the finished books. The blatant empty paper, the smear of color, the smell of paints, the sense of falling into who-knows-where, the surprise of feeling “right”, of making myself laugh, the satisfaction of a day done when the work was hard--all of it captures me.

I also know that to create keeps us whole and satisfied. Even though there is much in our day to day that would try to convince us otherwise, no matter what our age or ethnicity, I know it is important to pick up the brush, or the pen, or the clay, or the chisel and begin. Sharing the process of bookmaking then, is a natural extension of my work. While the emphasis of my presentations may vary, my intent is always the same: I share what I love and what brings meaning and power and joy to my life.”

Susan Guevara offers lectures on authenticity, multiculturalism, and the power of process. In addition to her funny, prop oriented overview of bookmaking for K through 6th graders, she offers a mural workshop for middle grade and high school students.

Susan has a degree in illustration from the Academy of Art College in San Francisco, CA, and has studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Art in Mechelen, Belgium. She studied independently with Flemish impressionist painter, Remy Van Sluys, Canadian landscape painter, Ian Roberts, and US portrait painter, Dawn Whitelaw.

Her work for the Chato books written by Gary Soto, (Chato’s Kitchen, Chato and the Party Animals, Chato Goes Cruisin’), received the first Tomás Rivera award, the 1996 and 2000 Pura BelPré awards, ALA notable recognition, Parent’s choice honor award, and a New York Times 10 Best Illustrated Children’s Books of the Year. “Isabel’s House of Butterflies” by Tony Johnston was awarded the Sigurd Olsen Nature Writing award for children, and “The Lady in the Blue Cloak” by Eric Kimmel was recently awarded the 2006 June Franklin Naylor Award for the best book for children on Texas history.

She lives and works in her live/work space in Santa Fe with her cat, Bulldozer and several rose bushes.

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.


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Christy Hale

Christy Hale is an illustrator, designer, art director and writer. As a young child she liked to draw on tiny pads of paper. She tore off these “illustrations” and tucked them inside books along side the appropriate writing passage. Christy has made books her whole life. She studied calligraphy, bookbinding, letterpress and all other means of fine art and commercial printing, typography, design, and illustration.

She received a B.A. in Fine Arts and Masters in Teaching at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon, then worked as an art educator for several years. She relocated to New York to pursue illustration, earned a B.F.A. in illustration at Pratt Institute, then worked in publishing as a designer and art director. She taught at the Center for Book Arts and in the Communication Design department at Pratt—all while simultaneously beginning an illustration career. Christy has illustrated many books for children. Her book Elizabeti's Doll was an ALA Notable, and received a pointer from Kirkus as well as two starred reviews from School Library Journal and Publishers Weekly. Publisher's Weekly called the book “A little slice of perfection.”

After 9/11 Christy and her family moved from Brooklyn to Northern California. She continues working as an illustrator, designer/art director, and as an educator, writing for Scholastic Professional and Instructor Magazine. Her first trade picture book as both author and illustrator will be forthcoming with Lee & Low Books. This is her dream come true! Christy has many other stories in development.

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.


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Dave Keane

Dave Keane is the author and illiustrator of the laugh-out-loud JOE SHERLOCK, KID DETECTIVE chapter book series from HarperCollins Publishers. Philomel will also be releasing his picture book titled DADDY ADVENTURE DAY. Dave uses his quick wit and wacky sense of humor in fast-moving presentations about life as a writer and illustrator. Dave's favorite subjects include a behind-the-scenes look at the process of writing a book, interactive illustration sessions, how to turn a "blah" paragraph into a "brilliant" paragraph, the process of illustrating a picture book and how to get started writing your own stories. His boundless energy and enthusiasm will delight K-6th students as well as children of all ages.

Dave is equally comfortable presenting to both class-size audiences and to larger audiences of several hundred. He has appeared on radio and TV and has spoken to both business groups and new writer workshops.

Growing up the middle child in a house with seven boys, Dave always found humor the best way to get noticed (and he wore the hard-won mantle of Class Clown with great pride). While most kids his age were dreaming of becoming firefighters or astronauts, Dave had his sights set on stand-up comedy. Today he is a husband and father of three avid readers. He spends his days writing, illustrating and driving his kids all over the place.

"We could hear the roars of laughter from down the hall, from both students and teachers. By the end of the assembly, the kids were itching to read his books, write their own and illustrate them, too" -Pouneh Lechner, Service League President, Old Orchard School, Campbell, CA
"Dave does a wonderful job engaging the students and explaining the writing process with fun and humor. All thirty Joe Sherlock books were checked out of the library and the kids were asking for more." -Beth Grimes, Author's Month Chair, Louise Van Meter Elementary School, Los Gatos, CA

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.


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Elisa Kleven

Like ELISA KLEVEN's breathtaking collages, her stories are also about the power of imagination to transform old into new, familiar into fantastical. In the book THE LION AND THE LITTLE RED BIRD, a lion turns his tail into a paintbrush, and the walls of his cave into a sunlit, painted world. In THE PAPER PRINCESS, a drawing on paper becomes full of possibilities: by turns, it is a paper doll, a crumbled wad of litter, a birthday card, and a beloved doll again. The child in HOORAY, A PINATA! imagines that a dog pinata is a favorite pet. Ernst the crocodile in THE PUDDLE PAIL sees ordinary rain puddles as sparkling, collectible treasures. In the story ERNST, Ernst imagines an entire universe, where all his "what-ifs" come true. The girl in A MONSTER IN THE HOUSE imagines her baby brother to be a giant, messy, screaming, toe-sucking, hair-pulling monster. In the book, SUN BREAD, a baker brightens a bleak winter by shaping bread dough into a warm, glowing, life-giving sun. And in her newest story, THE WISHING BALL, a homeless and hungry cat and a wistful young crocodile transform their loneliness into friendship, by making each others' wishes come true.

Although Elisa loves creating imaginary worlds, she also enjoys drawing real places. Three of the books she's illustrated take place in big U.S. cities. ABUELA, by Arthur Dorros, is set in New York. CITY BY THE BAY, by Tricia Brown, is "a magical journey around San Fransisco." And CITY OF ANGELS, by Julie Jaskol and Brian Lewis, explores her home city of L.A. The life,energy, textures and wealth of detail in cities inspires her collages.

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.


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Hector Viveros Lee

HECTOR VIVEROS LEE was born in Calexico, CA to Mexican parents. He got his teaching credential from Fresno State and began teaching as a Spanish Bilingual teacher in the very school he attended as a child. He eventually moved to San Francisco to attend the Academy of Art College, where he earned a degree in Illustration.

He became a National Board Certified Teacher in 2001. He continues to teach and write/illustrate books in San Francisco. He wrote and illustrated his first book I HAD A HIPPOPATOMUS, which he translated into Spanish. He illustrated GET SET, SWIM! by Jeannine Aktins; CAN YOU TOP THAT? W. Nikola-Lisa and was a contributing illustrator to AMERICA, MY LAND, YOUR LAND, OUR LAND, by W. Nikola-Lisa. He recently illustrated THE LITTLE MONK by Madeleine Delbrel (2005). He has illustrated for Houghton-Mifflin, Scott-Foresman, Cricket, Spider and Ladybug Magazines. He has exhibited at the Sheraton Palace in San Francisco, the Thatcher Gallery at USF, and the Museum of Children’s Art, Oakland, CA.

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.


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Nancy Levine

Nancy Levine is a veteran dog photographer and former staff photographer for the Elmsford, New York, Humane Society. She has had extensive experience in theater and standup comedy and was a regular contributor to The Investigative Report, a now-defunct cutting-edge parody newspaper in San Francisco. Her commentaries have been broadcast in the Bay Area on NPR affiliates, and her writing has appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle and The Los Angeles Times. She is formerly vice president of client services for an executive search firm and has conducted corporate training workshops in the Bay Area. Originally from Scarsdale, New York, Levine resides with Wilson and Homer in Berkeley, California.

With Wilson the Pug, Nancy is the author of the bestselling books THE TAO OF PUG, HOMER FOR THE HOLIDAYS, and LETTERS TO A YOUNG PUG, all published by Viking Studio/Penguin Group.

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.


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Gianna Marino

GIANNA MARINO's debut book, ZOOPA!, received rave reviews and won the Texas 2x2 (Texas Library Association top 20 pick) award. Zoopa was also recently nominated as a Northern California Book of the Year for Children's Literature. Her presentations and workshops have garnered the same level of enthusiasm.

Gianna does both assemblies and small workshops. The assemblies are for K-2 and include an alphabet game, with children as volunteers from the audience, and a painting demonstration. The workshops are for classes under 25 children. The class makes an alphabet soup book based on Zoopa, each working with their own letter and creating a page with a drawing of an animal or object that starts with their letter.

Gianna is available for full day/multi day/ or single workshop or assembly visits. She lives in Northern California, but is able to travel to schools throughout the Bay Area (and the U.S.) during the week.

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.


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E. B. McHenry

E. B. McHenry is a graduate of The Philadelphia College of Art, (B.F.A. Painting ) and The Moore College of Art , Computer Graphics. E. B. has worked for many years in both the Fine and Commercial Arts; exhibiting paintings, prints and collages while also producing whimsical illustrations for many newspaper, magazines and software/web publications. Clients include; The Philadelphia Daily News, Bark magazine, The New York Dog magazine, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Magazine, Running Press, Adobe Software and others. E. B. also worked briefly as an animator/illustrator in children's educational software, and then.began writing and creating her own characters for children's books. *Poodlena* (Bloomsbury Children's books) 2004, is E. B.'s first book. A second book; *Has Anyone Seen Winnie and Jean?* (Bloomsbury Children's books) will be out in Spring /2007.

Poodlena Book Reviews

"Witty." Publishers Weekly

"Large illustrations done in gouache in bubble-gum shades complement the rhyming text, illustrating the follies of the spoiled pink poodle. An amusing edition." School Library Journal

"Kids will have a laugh over how [Poodlena] loves being tweezed and teased to a fare-thee-well, which the spreads and vignettes capture quite delightfully." Booklist

"It's a cute story, enhanced by [E. B.] McHenry's clever rhymes and wonderfully comic illustrations." San Francisco Chronicle

"This charming picture book with rhyming verse tells the story of Poodlena Pompadour. . . McHenry's stylish illustrations delight the eye with a timeless, retro quality." The Bark

An Amazon "Editor's Pick" for Best Book of the Year, ranked #5 out of 10 on the picture book list.

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.


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Leslea Newman

Leslea Newman is the author of many picture books about animals including Cats, Cats, Cats! and Dogs, Dogs, Dogs!, Where Is Bear? and The Best Cat in the World, and the middle grade historical novel, Hachiko Waits, Her literary awards include a Parents' Choice silver medal, and a Highlights for Children's fiction award. In addition, several of her books have been selected for inclusion on the master state award lists of Tennessee, Missouri, Kansas and Illinois, and her book Hachiko Waits won the 2005-2006 Emphasis on Reading Alabama Children's Choice Award for grades 2-3.

Leslea Newman's lively, interactive presentations are full of "show and tells" guaranteed to keep audiences of all ages fully engaged. She has visited dozens of schools, libraries and conferences and says, "I love talking to kids and to adults about the joys of reading and writing. I have been a book-lover all my life and kids are always amazed to learn that I decided to become a writer when I was only eight years old (and they enjoy seeing pictures of me when I was their age). I show kids photos of my parents, my siblings, my grandparents, and my pets, and discuss how the people and animals I love appear in my books. This illustrates how each one of us has a treasure chest of life experiences that can become a poem or a story. I emphasize that everyone already has what it takes to be a writer: a pen, paper, words, and imagination. I show students my first drafts, discuss the importance of re-writing and even allow them to be my editor and show me how I can improve my work. I ask the audience members plenty of questions to keep them engaged, and I allow time for them to ask me questions as well. My goal is for every kid to leave my presentations thinking, 'Maybe when I grow up, I'll be a writer, too.' "

Presentations: WAN WAN MEANS WOOF WOOF: THE STORY OF HACHIKO WAITS. Hachiko Waits tells the true story of Hachiko, the loyal Akita who lived in Japan from 1923-1935 and spent the last 10 years of his life waiting at Shibuya train station for his master's return. A great tie-in for units on Japan, this presentation shows students how to use their imagination to travel through time and space and visit and write about another culture.

BOOKS, BOOKS, BOOKS! uses Leslea Newman's picture books about animals to explore how an author goes from idea to finished product. "Show-and-tells" include early handwritten drafts, artist's sketches, book dummies, press sheets and more. The idea that everyone can be a writer--all you need is a pen, a piece of paper, words and your imagination-- is repeated over and over so that by the end of the presentation, children are eager to rush back to their classrooms and write.The message of this interactive presentation is that reading and writing is fun,fun, fun!

At every school visit, Leslea Newman provides a signed book mark for each child who attends her presentations and a list of writing tips for teachers so that they can refer to points made after the school visit is over.

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.


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Steven Riley

Steven Riley has been writing and illustrating stories for as long as he can remember.  His love for books was born in him many years ago as his Mom would read him stories before he went to bed each night.  Among his favorites were Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, and The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Suess. 
He loved writing and illustrating wild stories about space. In fact, his first book series entitled Adventures In Space was a series of four short stories about two space- traveling robots named Yars and Yak.  He completed this monumental work before he was ten years old, but unfortunately through many years of moving the one and only copy was lost forever, and the awaiting world was left to mourn.
His love for art also blossomed at an early age while his parents would let him draw pictures to keep him quiet in church.  Due to the frequency that his family attended church, Steve had plenty of time to practice!
As he got older, his best subjects in school were always creative writing and art.   He went to Murray State University in Kentucky and graduated with a degree in art.  Not really knowing what else to do at that point, he moved to Hollywood ,California to try his hand at an acting career. His acting career never worked out, but his move to California proved to be a success, for it was in Hollywood that he met a beautiful young lady named Julie who would become his wife.  It was also in California where he discovered Yosemite National Park, and he loved the place so much he moved there.
While living in Yosemite, there was a family of raccoons that lived under his porch.  They would come out every evening. Steve often noticed a small one that had a cut in his left ear.  The mark made it easy to tell this particular raccoon from the others, and this little raccoon became the inspiration for his first published book, Little Ty Cooney and the Big Yosemite Race.
Steven has finished the next book in the series, called  Little Ty Cooney and the Big Yellowstone Mystery, and it promises to be just as popular as Ty’s first adventure.  Both books are geared toward children between the ages of four and eleven, and are intended to teach them about our wonderful National Parks. Throughout each story are illustrations of all the animals and places one can see as they visit the parks and each story is complete with a life lesson that can help kids build character qualities into their young lives. 

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.


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Lissa Rovetch

With titles like There Was a Man Who Loved a Rat and Other Vile Little Poems, Ook the Book, and Hot Dog and Bob and the Particularly Pesky Attack of the Pencil People, Lissa Rovetch has won the hearts and tickled the funny bones of many young readers. She has written and/or illustrated more than twenty picture, poetry, and chapter books, published over three hundred children’s magazine stories (including Highlights beloved monthly series, Ask Arizona), developed stories for computer games, and designed toys for George Lucas and Mattel. Having struggled with reading as a child, Lissa is passionate about inspiring even the most reluctant readers to leap into the wonderful world of books.
Bringing 25 years of writing, illustrating and teaching experience to her fun and motivational presentations, Lissa begins with a few pictures from her favorite childhood book, and a 40 year-old recording of her mother reading to her at bedtime. She talks about the 4th grade teacher who believed in her abilities as a writer (despite her struggles with spelling and handwriting), and sings the praises of the most useful creative tool of all, MISTAKES! Her power point includes photos, illustrations, sketches, rough drafts, and the very first book she made in second grade - The Fatest Santa Close in the Hole Wide Woreld.
Next, Lissa paints a giant story made up with audience suggestions. Tailored to fit grade level, this hilarious group effort addresses story essentials such as character, motivation and plot. The final masonite or canvas paintings are often gifted to libraries and donated to school auctions. In addition to large assemblies, Lissa enjoys visiting classrooms and leading story-building workshops in which she shares surprisingly effective brainstorming, writing and drawing techniques. She also enjoys speaking at conferences and teaching children’s book writing and illustration to adults. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Parsons New School of Design, and is the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Illustrator Coordinator for the San Francisco North/East Bay Region.

“Fans of Shel Silverstein will find themselves on familiar ground here, both verbally and visually. Even readers with short attention spans or an aversion to poetry will happily chuck this down like the bonbon it is. -Kirkus Review of There Was a Man Who Loved a Rat and Other Vile Little Poems, Philomel/Penguin March 2008

“Those who relish the zaniest sort of slapstick will eat Hot Dog and Bob up and dig into the second helping!” -Publisher’s Weekly

“Ook the Book is a fabulous resource for teaching phonics concepts in a primary classroom. Students love joining Ow the Cow, Eep the Sheep, Ug the Bug, and At the Cat, on their zany adventures.” -Leslie Solomon, First Grade Teacher, New York

“Ask Arizona is cool, crazy, lesson-teaching, and hilarious. It is the first thing I read every time in all of the Highlights magazines. Even my brother likes it!” -Selome, Age 9, Texas

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.


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Chris Rumble

As young, quirky child plagued with a speech impediment, Chris Rumble dreamed of growing up to be a cartoonist or a singer.

Through a series of mind-boggling events that converged during his mid-twenties, Chris was enabled to overcome the stuttering that had for so long held him back. Since then, he has spent his days seeking to encourage young people, to convince them of their immense value, beauty and potential.

Today, as a school-visiting author-illustrator, his childhood dreams of cartooning and singing and the deeper dream of speaking fluently have all materialized to open doors for him to inspire hundreds of thousands of young people across the nation on a scale that he never could have imagined.

Chris’s most popular program is his one-of-a-kind READING PEP RALLY. With guitar in hand, he uses live music, live cartooning, character education, audience participation and loads of laughter to get students FIRED UP about reading and their own potential! Chris performs sing-alongs, the tunes of which your students will recognize. I'm a Believer becomes I'm a Big Reader. Twist and Shout becomes Read and Shout!, etc. They will join right in! Download music samples at chrisrumble.com!

Kids love his highly-illustrated Adventures of Uncle Stinky series (especially designed for reluctant readers!).

Chris has taken his “ALL-IN-ONE” author event to over 500 schools and libraries coast to coast in the last six years. Other programs include Interactive and Fun Writing and Illustrating Workshops, Family Nights, Teacher In-Services and Conferences, Live Web-Cam Author Chats and an extended Author/Illustrator-in-Residence Program. Abundant references are readily available on his web site.

Let’s explore the possibilities! We could have a BLAST…and inspire your students at the same time!

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.


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Ashley Wolff

ASHLEY WOLFF is the illustrator of the famous MISS BINDERGARTEN series, about a border collie who teaches kindergarten. She knew since she was a little girl that she wanted to be an artist. Ashley studied art at the Rhode Island School of Design. She works in an illustration technique called linoleum blockprinting.

Ms. Wolff teaches Advanced Children's Book Illustration at the University of California, Berkeley. She lives and works in Northern California, but is interested in expanding her visits to other states.

"Ashley Wolff has appeared as a visiting author in all 21 of our schools, working with students in the Kindergarten through sixth grade. Her presentations are visual, delightful and done with enthusiasm. Students are charmed when she lets them create a story as she illustrates it on an easel..."-Margery Findlay, District Librarian, Rio Linda Union School District.

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.


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Belle Yang

Belle Yang is the author and illustrator of children's picture books and illustrated adult non-fiction books on old China. She has been honored with solo museum show, and is the subject of a PBS documentary BELLE IS MY NAME, currently in production.

Born in 1960 in Taiwan, Belle Yang spent part of her childhood in Japan. At age seven she immigrated to the United States with her family. She is fluent in Mandarin Chinese. She attended Stirling University in Scotland, graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz in biology but went on to study art at Pasadena Art Center College of Design and the Beijing Institute of Traditional Chinese Painting.

She returned from China to the United States late in 1989 after the Tiananmen Massacre.

"I returned with gratitude in my heart for the freedom of expression given me in America. I returned convinced that I would firmly grasp this gift with both hands."-- from the introduction to Baba.

  • HANNAH IS MY NAME (Candlewick Press, 2004)
  • ALWAYS COME HOME TO ME, (Candlewick Press, fall 2007)
  • CHILI-CHILI-CHIN-CHIN (Harcourt Brace, 1999)
  • BABA: A RETURN TO CHINA UPON HER FATHER'S SHOULDERS (Harcourt Brace, 1994)
  • THE ODDYSSEY OF A MANCHURIAN (Harcourt Brace, 1996)

Belle Yang's current projects are:

  • FOO THE FLYING FROG (Candlewick Press)
  • FORGET SORROW: A CHINA ELEGY

Her fine art paintings hang at Hauk Fine Arts in Pacific Grove, California.

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.


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Wade Zahares

Children’s book illustrator Wade Zahares works out of his studio on his small farm in southern Maine just outside of Kennebunk where he grew up. He takes inspiration for his whimsical landscapes from the rolling hills surrounding his studio and the wild creatures that live there. A graduate of Maryland Institute College of Art, Zahares’ work has been singled out by Time Magazine and The New York Times as amoung the very best picture books of 1998.

His work is sold through selected galleries thoughout New England, is in many private and corporate collections, and the permanent collection at the Decordova Museum of Art in Lincoln, Massachusetts and the Treehouse Museum in Ogden, Utah. His 6th children’s book Lucky Jake written by Sharon Hart Addy published by Houghton Mufflin was just released this past spring.

Please contact Connecting Authors for booking information via email at susan@connectingauthors.org or call 1-866-528-9269.


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