2016 Authors and Illustrators

Below are listed the distinguished authors and illustrators who attended the Festival in 2016.  As the slate for 2017 takes shape, the participants will be updated below.  Enjoy reading about these exceptionally talented writers and artists!

Author and Featured BookFeatured Book DescriptionBiography & Honors
Paul Acampora

Acampora How to Avoid Extinction
Since the death of his grandfather, Leo's number one chore has been to chase after his grandmother, who seems to run away every few days. Now, Gram's decided to roam farther than ever. Despite his misgivings, Leo joins Gram for a cross-country road trip with fold-out maps, family secrets and dinosaur bones. How to Avoid Extinction is a middle-grade comedy about death and food and fossils. It's also about growing up, getting old and dreaming about immortality.Paul Acampora writes novels and short stories for young readers. Kids, parents and critics praise his work for its laugh-out-loud humor, rollicking dialogue and heartfelt characters. Paul is a popular writing workshop leader for schools, libraries and conferences. He lives in Allentown, PA with his wife, kids and rescue dogs. His books have earned featured reviews in Library Journal, Kirkus, USA Today and a "Perfect 10" in VOYA.
David Biedrzycki

Biedrzycki Breaking News Bear Alert
The host and cameraman of a popular TV nature show "Our Furry Planet" wander into a bear's cave to film an episode. They inadvertently wake up hibernating bears who hitch a ride onto their film truck as it speeds a getaway toward downtown. The story is covered as a live Breaking News story on TV. The hungry bears are captured on security and street cameras and eventually turn into media darlings when they subdue two crooks.David Biedrzycki has been drawing since age 4 when his brother showed him how to draw a face. A commercial artist since 1980, his work has appeared in magazines, newspapers and on book covers, billboards and even ice cream boxes. Now he has returned to his first love, picture book storytelling. He has illustrated well over 20 books, and travels to over 70 schools annually sharing his digital book-making process with aspiring young writers and illustrators.
Suzanne Bloom

Bloom Bear Can Dance
Bear wants to swoop and glide and feel the wind in his fur. He thinks flying is the answer. It isn't. But he discovers something better!
Born in Portland, OR, raised in Queens, NY, living in upstate NY and traveling to schools all over the USA. Suzanne Bloom graduated from Cooper Union, made wooden toys for over a decade and has written children's books for nearly 30 years.
Paulette Bogan

Bogan Bossy Flossy
Flossy is the bossiest girl around. She's bossy at home and she's bossy in school. She's bossy with her friends, and sometimes she's even bossy to her teacher! Well-meaning Flossy doesn't understand why no one will listen to her. The Flossy meets Edward, who is just as bossy as Flossy. But the collision of these two strong-willed forces has a surprising result: they both learn how to be a friend.
Paulette Bogan has her first "artistic experience" during a family outbreak of chicken pox. Her mother encouraged Paulette and her siblings to paint a mural on the playroom wall! For Paulette, this was the start of her artistic career. Many of her stories are inspired by her three delightful daughters, and some of them by her dogs. Her books have been honored with Children's Book Choice awards her book Chicks and Salsa is featured on PBS's "Between the Lions."
Ann E. Burg

Burg Unbound
When Grace is called to work in the Big House, Mama makes her promise to keep her eyes down. Uncle Jim warns her to keep her thoughts tucked private in her mind. But the more Grace sees of the heartless Master and Missus, the more a rightiness voice clamors in her head. When that voice escapes without warning, it sets off a terrible chain of events that force Grace and her family to flee deep into the woods where they face danger and uncertainty.
Ann Burg has been writing since early childhood. Her first children's books were published in 2003. She is working on her third novel and researching another.
Laurie Calkhoven

Calkhoven Women Who Changed the World
Before they were women, they were regular girls! Meet fifty of the most influential and inspirational American women who had a lasting impact on our nation and on the world. Starting with some of America's "Founding Mothers" like Pocahontas and Abigail Adams, and continuing up to the present day with game-changeers like Hillary Clinton and Misty Copeland, the book features a diverse cast from all walks of life. Featuring photos and quirky illustrations.
When she got her first library card and was set free among the library books, Laurie Calkhoven decided she wanted to spend her life surrounded by books. She has written novels for American Girl and also writes a series of historical action/adventure novels called Boys of Wartime. She lives in New York City and can frequently be found at the library. Her books have been honored with the Beacon of Freedom Award and the Mark Twain Readers Award.
Jeff Campbell

Campbell Last of the Giants
Over 40,000 years ago, the earth was ruled by megafauna: mammoths and mastodons, saber-toothed tigers and giant sloths. Of course, those creatures no longer exist, due to the evolution and arrival of the wildly adaptive human species, among other factors. Many more of the world’s biggest and baddest creatures—including the black rhino, the dodo, giant tortoises, and the great auk—have vanished since our world became truly global. Last of the Giants chronicles those giant animals and apex predators who have been pushed to extinction in the modern era.Jeff Campbell is a freelance writer and book editor whose books have won multiple award and have been praised in School Library Journal, Kirkus, VOYA and Booklist. Jeff was also a travel writer for Lonely Planet for twelve years. He teaches creative writing to grade-school students and lives in Morristown, NJ.
Jennifer Castle

Castle What Happens Now
The summer Ari first sees Camden, she long for him from afar. When the two forge a true connection the following summer, Ari lets herself fall…hard. As their romance blossoms, she'll have to discover the very real boy behind her infatuation, while also struggling with her own demons, obligations and loyalties.
Jennifer Castle is the award-winning author of the young adult novels The Beginning of After, You Look Different in Real Life and her most recent, What Happens Now. She is also the author of the tween advice book Friends and Frenemies. Jennifer lives in the Hudson Valley with her husband, two daughters and two terribly spoiled cats.
Lesa Cline-Ransome and James Ransome

Cline Ransome My Story My Dance
When Robert Battle was a boy wearing leg braces, he never dreamed he'd study at Juilliard. Though most dancers begin training at an early age, it wasn't until Robert was a teenager that his appreciation for movement first for the martial arts, then for ballet, became his passion. After years of hard work, the young man who was so inspired by a performance of Alvin Ailey's Revelations became the artistic director of the very company that motivated him.
Lesa Cline-Ransome and James Ransome collaborated on their first book together with a biography of Satchel Paige, an ALA Notable Book and a Bank Street Books "Best Children's Book of the Year." Their joint works have since garnered much recognition, including two NAACP Awards, the Coretta Scott King Award, a Kirkus Best Book award and the Simon Wiesenthal Museum of Tolerance Award. They live in the Hudson Valley with their family.
Shana Corey

Corey Secret Subway
The Secret Subway is the true story of inventor, scientist, maker and change-maker Alfred Ely Beach, whos aw a problem, had an idea for how to fix it and - ignoring the naysaysers - used his ingenuity and a little scheming to build New York City's first subway. Built in 1870, it was a pneumatic train that proved that sometimes all it takes is one idea to get things rolling!
Shana Corey has a flair for finding the story in history and for making it accessible to kids. She is an editor at Random House Children's Books and when not editing, can usually be found reading with her three kids. Her works have been honored with awards and recognition from many publications and organizations including the New York Times, the Bank Street College of Education, Parenting Magazine, Publishers Weekly and Booklist.
Barbara Dee

Dee Truth or Dare
When late-blooming twelve-year-old Lia plays a game of Truth or Dare with her four best friends, her lies about a summer romance and other topics threaten their friendship. Can Lia's New Age-y, free-spirited Aunt Shelby set things right among the girls -- or will her interference make everything worse?
A former English teacher, Barbara Dee writes humorous fiction for tween girls. She lives in Westchester County, NY with her family -- including two naughty cats and a rescue hound named Ripley -- and is one of the founders and directors of the Chappaqua Children's Book Festival. Barbara's books have been honored by Publishers Weekly, the New York State Library Association, the Bank Street College of Education and Girls Life Magazine.
Ame Dyckman

Dyckman Horrible Bear
Bear didn't mean to break a little girl's kite, but she's upset anyway -- upset enough to shout "horrible bear!" Bear is indignant. He doesn't think he's horrible! Then Bear gets a truly Horrible Bear idea. What will he do next? As Bear prepares to live up to his formerly-undeserved reputation, the girl makes a mistake of her own and realizes that maybe - just maybe - Bear isn't as horrible as she had thought.
Ame Dyckman THINKS PICTURE BOOKS ARE AWESOME! She's the award-winning author of Boy + BOT, Tea Party Rules, Wolfie the Bunny, Horrible Bear and … MORE PICTURE BOOKS ON THE WAY! BECAUSE PICTURE BOOKS ARE AWESOME! (Maybe Ame Dyckman needs to switch to decaf.) Her work has received many awards, including from Parents Magazine.
Beth Ferry

Ferry Pirate's Perfect Pet
Captain Crave wants to be the perfect pirate captain, but he is missing one crucial thing. A pet! Join the captain and he crew as they race and chase critters of every shape and size in their search for the perfect pirate pet.Beth Ferry reads and writes by the beach in New Jersey where she keeps one eye out for sharks and the other for pirates. Her book Stick and Stone is a New York Times bestseller and an Amazon Best Book of the Year 2015.
Laura Marx Fitzgerald

Fitzgerald The Gallery
It's 1929, and 12-year old Martha has no choice but to work as a maid in the NYC mansion of the weathy Sewell family. But despite the Gatsby-like parties and trimmings of success, she suspects something might be wrong in the household - specifically with Rose Sewell, the formerly-vivacious lady of the house who now refuses to leave her room. Can Martha follow the clues, decipher the code and solve the mystery of what's really wrong with Rose?Laura Marx Fitzgerald's first children's book, Under the Egg, was published in 2014 and is followed this year by The Gallery. Both art mysteries, the books were inspired by Laura's studies in art history at Harvard and Cambridge Universities. Laura lives in Montclair, NJ, home to many children's book authors and publishers.
Alison Ashley Formento

these rocks count
Mr. Tate's class is about to learn there's more to rocks than being dirty lumps on the ground. On this field trip, they're visiting the rocky ridge mountains to learn about rocks. At first, the children think rocks will be boring, but they soon learn that rocks are all around us in ways we might not expect -- such as glass and toothpaste!Alison A. Formento is the author of award-winning nature picture books as well as one young adult novel, Twigs, featured by Publisher's Weekly as a notable new release. She has written for several national publications including the New York Times, The Writer and Parenting. Alison's books have received the Paterson Prize for Books for Young People, the Green Prize for Sustainable Literature, and the 2013 Skipping Stones Honor Award.
Nancy Furstinger

Furstinger Mercy
Only 150 years ago, most animals in America were subject to horrific treatment. They needed a champion to protect them from abject cruelty, and that person was Henry Bergh. He founded the ASPCA and created many animal cruelty-prevention laws. When Bergh died in 1888, the idea that children and animals should be protected from cruelty was widely accepted: "Mercy to animals means mercy to mankind."
Nancy Furstinger has been speaking up for animals since she learned to talk, and she hasn't shut up yet. She is the author of nearly 100 books, including many on her favorite topic: animals! She has a menagerie of rescued pooches and house rabbits. Learn more about her dual passions - animals and writing - on her website.
K.L. Going

Going Pieces of Why
Tia lives with her mom in a high-risk neighborhood in New Orleans and loves singing gospel in the Rainbow Choir with Keisha, her boisterous and assertive best friend. Tia's dream is to change the world with her voice, and by all accounts, she might be talented enough. But when a shooting happens in her neighborhood and she learns the truth about what sent her father to prison years ago, Tia finds she can't sing anymore.
K.L. Going began her career working at one of the oldest literary agencies in NYC. She used this inner knnowledge of publishing to write Writing and Selling the Young Adult Novel. In addition to her young adult novels, she has also written short stories for several anthologies and has multiple picture books under contract. She lives in Glen Spey, NY where she writes and critiques manuscripts. She's also mom to the world's cutest little boy.
Susan Hood

Hood Ada's Violin
Ada Rios grew up in Cateura, a small town in Paraguay built on a landfill. She dreamed of playing the violin but with little money for anything but the bare essentials, it was never an option…until a music teacher named Favio Chavez arrived. He wanted to give the children of Cateura something special, so he made them instruments out of materials found in the trash. It was a crazy idea, but one that would leave Ada - and her town - forever changed.
Susan Hood has written more than 200 books. Prior to becoming an author, Susan was a children's magazine editor at Scholastic and Instructor Magazines, a book editor at Sesame Workshop and the Children's Content Director of Nick, Jr. Magazine. Her works have received starred reviews in Publishers Weekly and Booklist as well as several prestigious awards. Consult YouTube to see and hear more of the Landfill Harmonic, the Recycled Orchestra and Favio Chavez.
Anna Kang and Christopher Weyant

Kang You Are Not Small
Two fuzzy creatures can't agree on who is small and who is big, until a couple of surprise guests how up, settling it once and for all! The simple text of Anna Kang and bold illustrations of New Yorker cartoonist Christopher Weyant tell an original and very funny story about size: it all depends on who's standing next to you!Husband-and-wife team Anna Kang and Christopher Weyant are the creators of the popular picture books You are (Not) Small and That's (Not) Mine. You Are (Not) Small won the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award and was named a Notable Children's Book by the American Library Association. Anna and Christopher live in New Jersey with their two daughters and a guinea pig.
G. Brian Karas

Karas Hat for Mrs. Goldman
Mrs. Goldman always knits hats for everyone in the neighborhood and Sophia, who thinks knitting is too hard, helps by making the pom-poms. But now winter is here and Mrs. Goldman herself doesn't have a hat -- she's too busy making hats for everyone else! It's up to Sophia to buckle down and knit a hat for Mrs. Goldman. But try as Sophia might, the hat turns out lumpy. Sophia is devasted until she gets an idea that will make the hat the most wonderful of all.
G. Brian Karas has illustrated many award-winning books for children, including Are You Going to Be Good? by Cari Best, which was named the New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Book of the Year. He lives in New York's Hudson Valley.
Colleen Rowan Kosinski

Kosinski Lillas Sunflowers
Lilla and Papa enjoy spending magical times in Lilla's sunflower patch. Before Papa leaves for a trip that will take him far from home for a long time, Lilla gives him a sunflower seed. "To remember me," she whispers. Seasons pass. The following summer, Lilla receives letters from families containing photos of their sunflowers. She learns that her gift to her father, one small seed, continued spreading sunshine across the country.
Colleen Rowan Kosinski has always found joy in creating. She received her B.A. in visual art from Rutgers University and is an alumna of the Moore College of Art. She rediscovered her passion for writing after many years as a successful freelance fine artist. Colleen resides in Cherry Hill, NJ with her husband, three sons and 3 dogs (Doberman Pinscher, Rottweiler and Miniature Dachsund.)
London Ladd

Ladd Frederick's Journey
In this installment of the critically-acclaimed Big Words series, Doreen Rappaport captures Frederick's journey from boy to man, from slavery to freedom, by weaving Frederick's powerful words with her own.
London Ladd launched his career painting murals, illustrating magazine articles and album covers. His big break came when he was hired to illustrate the critically-acclaimed picture book March On! The Day My Brother Martin Changed the World (Scholastic) written by Christine King Farris, older sister of Martin Luther King, Jr. Since then, London has illustrated numerous children's books and various other projects. He lives and creates in Syracuse, NY.
Mylisa Larsen

Larsen How to Put Your Parents to Bed
A tongue-in-cheek look at bedtime in which the kid is trying to get her exhausted parents to bed and finds it a little harder than she expected. Hilarious illustrations by Babette Cole.
Mylisa Larsen has been telling stories for a long time. This has caused her to get gimlet-eyed looks from her parents, her siblings and later, from her own children when they felt that certain stories had been embellished beyond acceptable limits. She now writes children's books, where her talents for hyperbole are actually rewarded. Mylisa lives in the Finger Lakes region of New York.
Emmy Laybourne

Laybourne Sweet
Sweet is a romantic comedy/horror book about two teenagers who find themselves on a luxury cruise to launch a new diet sweetener. When the sweetener turns out to be highly addictive, the cruise goes comically, then tragically, then terrifyingly wrong.
Emmy Laybourne is a novelist, screenwriter and former character actress. She is the author of the Monument 14 trilogy in addition to Sweet. Her works have been praised by the New York Times Book Review and VOYA and have been selected for awards by the Junior Library Guild and the Lone Star Reading List. Emmy lives outside New York City with her husband, two kids and a flock of 6 nifty chickens.
Barbara Lehman

Lehman Red Book
Inside this red book, a child finds a mysterious red book, and inside that…there is another child with a red book - and an adventure! The New York Times called The Red Book "metafiction for beginners," Booklist called it "a wordless mind trip for tots," and The Horn Book described it as a "pleasing puzzle that will challenge young imaginations and intellects."
Barbara Lehman mostly makes children's picture books that have…no text! The readers can devise their own story lines from the images. Barbara's images have been included in exhibitions at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Central Children's Room in the New York Public Library. She has shared her work at the Whitney Museum of American Art and at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. She attended Pratt Institute and now lives in Albany.
David Lubar

Lubar Strikeout of the Bleacher Weenies
The Weenies Story collections have been called "Twilight Zone for Young Readers." Each book contains an assortment of scary, funny or weird stories that are perfect for reading alone or reading aloud. The title story in this 8th collection is about Bleacher Weenies, the parents who ruin sporting events by shouting at coaches, umps and refs.
David Lubar has written thirty five books for teens and young readers. His novels are on reading lists across the country, saving countless students from a close encounter with Madame Bovary. His YA coming-of-age novel, Character, Driven, has received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Booklist and Kirkus Reviews. David lives in Pennsylvania with one awesome female and various annoying felines.
Lauren Magaziner

Magaziner Pilfer Academy A School So Bad Its Criminal
Troublemaking George has never heard of Pilfer Academy, a top secret school for cultivating young crooks, until he's stolen as its newest student. Between disguise classes, cracking safes and DIY gadgets, George becomes an expert bandit. But everything is ruined when he comes to a shocking realization: he's just too good-hearted to be a thief! To gain his freedom, George must pull the biggest heist the school has ever seen...and reveal his true colors as a kind kid.
Lauren Magaziner is originally from New Hope, PA and recently graduated from Hamilton College. Her first book, The Only Thing Worse than Witches, was an Indie Next List Pick. She currently lives in Brooklyn, NY where she writes full-time.
Florence Minor

Minor F If You Were a Panda Bear
If You Were a Panda Bear introduces the eight species of bears to young children. Through short poems and playful, detailed color illustrations, the personality of each bear is endearingly brought to life. Among other things, children learn that a sun bear's long tongue helps it get honey, and grizzlies can be 10 feet tall and love to catch salmon with their paws and teeth. Fun facts about bears in a section at the back of the book.
Florence and her husband Wendell Minor have been working together since they moved from NY to Connecticut in 1991. They love creating books that entertain, teach and inspire children. Florence manages all aspects of their busy studio, and authors some of the books that Wendell illustrates. Her upcoming book with Wendell, How to Be a Bigger Bunny, will be published in January 2017.
Wendell Minor

Minor W This is the Earth
This is the Earth explores hundreds of years of changing landscapes and the positive and negative effects humans have had on the environment. Young readers learn how they can create a greener, healthier world through even the smallest actions, and how smart and simple everyday habits can protect the planet. Minor's precise renderings of wildlife and flora are characteristically lovely. A perfect choice for reading and sharing.
Wendell Minor is nationally known for the artwork he has created for over 50 award-winning children's books. His works have been recognized by the Smithsonian, Booklist, the Boston Public Library and many more. In addition, he has collaborated with such prominent authors as astronaut Buzz Aldrin, mystery writer Mary Higgins Clark and historian David McCullough. He also created covers for the YA editions of Nathaniel Philbrick's books.
Hazel Mitchell

Mitchell Toby
When a young boy and his father move, they adopt a dog from the rescue shelter. Their chosen dog - Toby - has a tough time adjusting. The boy promises to train Toby and is trying his best, but Dad starts to get exasperated. Will Toby settle in, or will Dad decide he's not the right dog, after all? A heartwarming story about the growing bond between a child and a new pet -- inspired by the author's own experience with a rescue dog named Toby!
Hazel Mitchell has always loved drawing and still cannot be reliably left alone with a pencil. She has illustrated many books for children and her work has received several awards and been recognized by Bank Street Books, Learning Magazine, the Chicago and Maine State libraries - among others. Originally from England, where she attended art college and served in the Royal Navy, she now lives in Maine with her poodles Toby and Lucy and a cat named Sleep.
Diana Murray

Murray Grimelda the Very Messy Witch
Grimelda's house many not be tidy, but it's cozy - and that's just the way she likes it. She also likes pickle pie. There's only one problem: she can't find the main ingredient in her messy house!
Diana Murray is an award-winning author of children's poems, picture books, and early readers. She grey up in NYC and now resides in Rockland County with her fire chief husband, two very messy children and a goldfish named Pickle. Her book City Shapes, illustrated by four-time Caldecott Honor winner Bryan Collier, is a Jr. Library Guild selection and was featured by Kirkus Reviews as a title to watch for in 2016.
Matthew Myklusch

Myklusch Seaborne the Lost Prince
When 13-year old Dean Seaborne runs afoul of the Pirate King, he is given one last chance to save his skin. His orders are to find and steal the treasure of Zenhala, a mysterious island where gold grows on trees. He infiltrates the island, posing as its legendary lost prince, but the longer he stays, the more he questions the mission - and himself.
Matt Myklusch is a middle-grade fantasy/adventure writer and the creator of the Seaborne and Jack Blank Adventures. Prior to writing full-time, Matt worked at MTV for nearly ten years, where he managed - among other things - Spring Break concerts in Florida, Cancun and Acapulco. (That job is not as much fun as you might think.) Despite his age, Matt has never grown up.
Robin Newman

Newman Hildie Bitterpickles Needs Her Sleep
Hildie Bitterpickles Needs Her Sleep is a fractured fairy tale picture book about a witch whose quiet neighborhood has been turned upside down with the sudden noisy arrival of the Big Bad Wolf, the Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe and other fairy tale characters. What will poor Hildie have to do to get a good night's sleep?
Robin Newman was a practicing attorney and legal editor, but she now prefers to write about witches, mice, pigs and peacocks. She lives in New York, among many noisy neighbors. Her book The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake earned a starred review from Kirkus Review and was also selected as a 2015 Best Middle Grade book.
Jessica Olien

Olien Blobfish Book
Did you know that the deepest parts of the ocean are over one mile deep -- too far down for any sunlight to reach? That's where Blobfish lives. But this book isn't about Blobfish…or is it? The true (clever) story about the (misunderstood) Blobfish is sure to make you smile. Full of fun facts about sea creatures in the deepest reaches of the ocean, this book is perfect for any animal lover.
Jessica Olien's books have earned praise from Kirkus Reviews, School Library Journal and Publishers Weekly. Her forthcoming book, Adrift: An Odd Couple of Polar Bears, will be published in January 2017.
Roxane Orgill

Orgill Jazz Day
It is an iconic photograph: 57 jazz musicians posed before a brownstone in Harlem. What brought them together on that August day in 1958? What did they do and say as the photographer was gathering them into the picture frame? In 21 vibrant poems, Roxane Orgill reveals the excitement, anxiety and music behind the photo. Jazz Day is a tribute to the "Golden Age of Jazz," and will send readers rushing to listen to the music.
Roxane Orgill is an award-winning author of eight books for children and adults, mostly narrative non-fiction. Her new book, Jazz Day, has earned six starred reviews and recently was awarded the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Best Picture Book. Previously, Ms. Orgill was a music critic at the Milwaukee Journal and The [Bergen County] Record. She holds degrees from the University of Illinois and the University of London King's College.
Karen Kaufman Orloff

Orloff Miles of Smiles
What happens when Baby gives her mom a smile? Mom passes it on! And that's how one smile begins an upbeat journey, making stops along the way until it links a whole community together and comes back home again.
Karen Kaufman Orloff is the author of eight books for children including the "I Wanna" series, used in schools for persuasive writing. "I Wanna Iguana" was nominated for 16 state awards, was an IRA notable book and was featured in the children's television show "Between the Lions." "I Wanna New Room" was nominated for four awards and topped a Children's Book of the Month Club bestseller list for several weeks.
Ammi-Joan Paquette

Paquette Princess Juniper of the Anju
Princess Juniper and her friends are back for more brand-new adventures: now that her summer land is safe, it's time to figure out how to save her father's kingdom. But before they can all return to Torr, Juniper must find her subjects' stolen horses. New clues lead them to a mysterious tree-dwelling people who have links to Juniper's own past -- and more than a few secrets of their own...
Ammi-Joan Paquette is the recipient of a PEN New England Discovery Award and her books have been recognized with starred reviews and placed on a variety of "Best of the Year" lists. In her non-writing life, she is a literary agent with Erin Murphy Literary Agency, representing a range of top children's and teen authors. She is crazy about words, books and buttery pastry. Preferably all three at once.
John Parra
Parra Marvelous Cornelius
In New Orleans, there lived a man who saw the streets as his calling, and he swept them clean. He danced up one avenue and down another and everyone danced along. The old ladies whistled and whirled. The old men hooted and hollered. The barbers, bead twirlers and beignet makers bounded behind that one-man parade. But then came the rising Mississippi - and a storm greater than anyone had seen before...Hurricane Katrina.
John Parra is an award-winning illustrator, designer, teacher and fine art painter. His children's books have earned numerous starred reviews, the ALA's Pura Belpre Honor Award, and the International Latino Book Award for Best Children's Book Illustrations. In 2015, Mr. Parra was invited by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC to present a special event about his work and career in art and illustration. He lives in Queens, NY.
Matt Phelan

Phelan Snow White
With the moody, dramatic feel of a classic film noir, acclaimed graphic novelist Matt Phelan has retold Snow White in a wholly new way, showcasing the Depression era's cultural dynamism and vivid personalities - both those of pure heart and those of pure evil.
Matt Phelan is the illustrator of many books for young readers - including the 2007 Newbery Award winner, The Higher Power of Lucky - and is also the author/illustrator of three graphic novels. Matt's works have been nominated fo five Will Eisner Awards, and have won the Scott O'Dell Award and Jefferson Cup. Matt lives in Ardmore, PA.
James Preller

Preller Courage Test
For some reason, Will's mother seems to be pushing him out the door, where he is compelled to take a trip with his father following in the footsteps of Lewis and Clark. A book rich in American history that features wilderness adventure - a bear, whitewater rapids - as well as personal discovery. In subtle ways, their trip to the sea parallels the original journey blazed by the Lewis and Clark expedition.
James Preller lives in Delmar, NY and is the author of a wide range of books for children.
Sujean Rim

Rim Birdie's Happiest Halloween
Birdie loves the fall. She can't wait to go apple-picking with Mommy and her dog, Monster, wear big fuzzy sweaters and play touch football with her friends. But Birdie can't stop thinking about Halloween! One year she was a robot, and another she was a mummy-princess. But this year, nothing is feeling quite right...until Birdie visits her local museum and is inspired by everything she finds.
Sujean Rim has illustrated several books for children as well as many campaigns and commissions or a variety of clients including Target, Tiffany & Co., Bloomingdales, UNAIDS and more. Sujean loves to trick-or-treat with her family in New York and enjoys candy and dressing up all year 'round.
Lizzy Rockwell

Plants Feed Me
In this easy-to-read non-fiction picture book about the plants that feed us, our narrator takes us to the farm, the orchard and to the community garden to discover the visual and taste appeal of the food growing all around us.
Lizzy Rockwell is the illustrator of numerous books and games for children, and the author and illustrator of several more titles. Lizzy has also collaborated with her mother, author/illustrator Anne Rockwell. In addition, Lizzy is a muralist, quilter and frequent presenter at schools and libraries. She lives in Bridgeport, CT with her husband Ken Alcorn and their dog, Reggie.
Dianne K. Salerni

Salerni Eighth Day
Thirteen year-old Jax Aubrey discovers an eighth day of the week hidden between Wednesday and Thursday and an elusive girl who exists only on that secret day. Evangeline is the key to a 2,000 year-old spell with its roots in Arthurian legend, and Jax's teenage guardian is her reluctant jailor. When Jax accidentally leads a pack of human bloodhounds to her door, he incites a catastrophe that could destroy the regular seven days of the week.
Dianne K. Salerni is a former elementary school teacher who retired from teaching to spend more time hanging around creepy cemeteries and climbing 2,000 year-old pyramids in the name of book research. She is the author of the popular children's Eighth Day fantasy series as well as two YA historical novels. Her book We Hear the Dead inspired the short film "The Spirit Game" which premiered at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.
Tiffany Schmidt

Schmidt Hold Me Like a Breath
In Penelope Landlow's world, almost anything can be bought or sold…including body parts. Her family controls the black market for organ transplants but because of a blood disorder, she's considered "too delicate" for the Family Business. When a brutal act of violence thrusts her into the chaos of New York City, she learns that someone in her Family has been hiding a secret that threatens the illegal organ trade and the lives of everyone she loves.
When she's not writing about superstitions, life-changing nights, seafaring pups or organ-trafficking crime families, Tiffany Schmidt can be found chasing her impish children around their backyard, baking, running or watching NetFlix with her saintly husband.
Heidi E.Y. Stemple

Stemple You Nest Here with Me
A child and all the little birds are safely tucked into their nests in this going-to-bed book that, at its heart, is about home. Back matter includes facts about all the birds mentioned in the text.
Heidi didn't want to be a writer when she grew up. She worked in criminal justice as a probation/parole officer and a private investigator befpre finally joining her mother (Jane Yolen) and brothers in children's literature. Since then she has published more than 20 books. She lives in western Massachusetts.
Naoko Stoop

Stoop Sing with Me

Thirteen favorite action nursery songs every child should know, including "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star," "The Itsy-Bitsy Spider" and "Pat-A-Cake." This is sure to be the new classic baby book for new parents, grandparents and caregivers.
Naoko's love of drawing began when she was a young child growing up in Japan. Naoko now lives and creates in Brooklyn, NY. She uses found materials including plywood and brown paper bags as her canvas. She has shown her work in a variety of galleries and stores in New York and hopes that through her artwork she can inspire the child within everyone. Her work has received several prestigious awards for illustration.
Hudson Talbott

Talbott From Wolf to Woof
From Wolf to Woof is a "myth of origin" of how our unique relationship with dogs began, and how both species have influenced the evolution of the other.
Hudson Talbott is the author/illustrator of twenty five books for young readers, the first of which was made into an animated feature film by Steven Spielberg. Two of his other books have been made into school musicals. He lives in New York's Hudson Valley with his two cats, Jasper and Holly.
Bill Thomson

Thomson The Typewriter
Using just nine words, the award-winning creator of Chalk takes readers on another unforgettable journey. When three children discover a typewriter on a carousel, they are transported on an adventure of their own creation -- complete with a giant beach ball and a threatening crab. Stunning, richly-colored artwork is paired with limited text so that children can tell their own versions of the story.
Bill Thomson lives and works in Southington, CT with his family, and is a Professor of Illustration at the Hartford Art School at the University of Hartford. His books have received numerous awards and accolades across the country and internationally, including from the American Library Association, Booklist, state awards from Connecticut, Kentucky, and Ohio, and winning the Prix Livrentete, announced in Paris.
Iza Trapani

Trapani Gabe and Goon
Can a monster-loving kid abd a kid-fearing monster ever become friends? Gabe is a boy who loves monsters, though he has yet to meet one. Goon is a monster whose biggest fear is facing a real, live kid: that would be spooky! Well, Goon is about to be discovered in Gabe's closet...
Iza Trapani is a best-selling children's book author and illustrator with a popular series of nursery rhyme extensions. Her latest release, Gabe and Goon, is a rhyming story about an unexpected friendship. Iza's books are widely used in the U.S. and abroad and have been honored by the Bank Street College of Education and with numerous awards.
Eric Velasquez

Velasquez Looking for Bongo
Oh, no! A boy's beloved stuffed toy, Bongo, is missing. No one can help him. When he asks his abuela where Bongo is, she answers "yo no se," - "I don't know." Mom and Dad haven't seen Bongo, either. Gato just says "meow," and runs away. When Bongo finally turns up behind Dad's drum, the problem of Bongo's whereabouts is solved, but it doesn't answer how Bongo got there! The boy sets a trap to catch the Bongo thief. Son of Afro-Puerto Rican parents, illustrator Eric Velasquez was born in Spanish Harlem and grew up in Harlem. His dual heritage and upbringing in dual cultures give Eric a rich and unique cultural perspective. His love for drawing, music and film were cultivated and nurtured by his family; "becoming an artist was a natural choice for me," he says. His work has been honored with numerous prestigious prizes and starred book reviews.
Yvonne Ventresca

Ventresca Black Flowers White Lies
Her father died before she was born, but Ella Benton knows she and he have a mysterious connection. When an eerie handprint appears on her mirror, Ella wonders if Dad's warning her of danger, as he did once before. Could her new too-good-to-be-true boyfriend, or the grieving building superintendent, be responsible? Or what if she's suffering from a breakdown? Ella desperately needs to find ansers, no matter how disturbing the truth may be.
Yvonne Ventresca is the author of two non-fiction books for teens as well as various articles for teens and adults. Her debut YA novel Pandemic won a 2015 Crystal Kite Award from the Society of Children's Book Writer and Illustrators, and this festival marks the debut of her second YA novel - Black Flowers, White Lies. Yvonne lives in New Jersey with her family and two dogs.
Nancy Viau

Viau Just One Thing
ONE antsy 5th-grader! ONE embarrassing nickname! ONE year to change things! JUST ONE THING! A funny NEW middle grade novel about that awesome (and awkward!) final year of elementary school. Anthony Pantaloni needs to figure out one thing he does well — one thing that will replace the Antsy Pants nickname he got tagged with on the first day of fifth grade, one good thing he can “own” before moving up to middle school. Every kid in Carpenter Elementary has a claim to fame: Marcus is Mr. Athletic, Alexis is Smart Aleck, Bethany has her horse obsession, and even Cory is known as the toughest kid in the school. Just One Thing! is chock full of hilarious adventures and surprise twists that will keep young readers cheering until the very end. For ages 8-12.Nancy Viau is the author of three picture books and two middle grade novels. In her interactive, energetic story hours, Viau gets young readers rhyming and writing on the spot. She's a Jersey girl with ties to both the country and the seashore, finding inspiration in nature, travel and her job as a library assistant. Her book Look What I Can Do! was nominate for the 2015 Keystone to Reading Book Award.
Laurie Wallmark

Wallmark Ada Byron Lovelace the the Thinking Machine
Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine is a picture book biography of the world's first computer programmer. Ada was born two hundred years ago, long before the invention of the modern electronic computer. At a time when girls and women had few options outside the home, Ada followed her dreams and studied mathematics. Read the story of this remarkable woman and her work.
Laurie Wallmark writes picture books, middle grade books, poetry, prose, fiction and non-fiction, and holds an MFA in Writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. When not writing, Laurie teaches computer science at Raritan Valley Community College. Ada Lovelace and the Thinking Machine received four starred reviews and several national awards. Bank Street College named Ada Lovelace a Cook Prize Honor Book.
Liza Gardner Walsh

Walsh Ghost Hunters Handbook
Ghost Hunter's Handbook is for kids and families who love to explore the world of the supernatural. It presents a range of ghost- and supernatural-themed stories and activities that will keep kids enthralled for hours.
Liza Gardner Walsh lives on the coast of Maine with her family. She has worked as a preschool teacher, children's librarian, writing teacher, museum educator and holds a Master's degree in writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She is the author of several books that she hopes will inspire wonder, appreciation and exploration of the world around us. Her book Muddy Boots was nominated for a 2016 Indie Fab award.
K.M. Walton

Walton Cracked
Victor hates his life. He is bullied relentlessly at school and his parents ridicule him for not being perfect. He takes a bottle of his mother's sleeping pills -- only to wake up in the hospital. Bull is angry and takes out all of his rage on Victor. And he's tired of his grandfather's drunken beatings, so he tries to defend himself with a loaded gun. When Victor and Bull end up in the same psych ward, things go from bad to worse until they discover something in common.
K.M. Walton is the author of two award-winning young adult novels and another novel, Ultimatum, to be released in January 2017. A graduate of West Chester University with a degree in elementary education and a former middle school language arts teacher, K.M. is passionate about ending peer bullying. She lives in Pennsylvania with her family and cat.
Carol Weston

Weston Ava XOX
Ava XOX is the latest in the Ava Wren series about a fifth grader with a passion for palindromes. In this diary, Ava realizes that her feelings for her best guy friend are more complicated than she imagined.
Carol Weston has been the Dear Carol advice columnist at Girls' Life Magazine since 1994. Her first book, Girltalk, was released in a dozen languages. She has written seven diary-novels for middle grade readers and has an eighth underway. A graduate of Yale with a degree in French and Spanish comparative literature, Carol lives in NYC. She has appeared with her books on the Today show and The View and her work has been praised by the New York Times.
Jane Yolen

Yolen On Bird Hill
On Bird Hill is first in a new Jane Yolen series created for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, loosely based on the old cumulative nursery rhyme/song "The Green Grass Grew All Around." But in this version, a boy and his dog find the bird in a nest on a hill in a strange valley.
Jane Yolen is the author of over 350 books which have received numerous prestigious awards including the Caldecott, Golden Kite, Nebula, Jewish Book Award, National Outdoor Book Award and multiple awards for her collective body of work. She holds six honorary doctorates. Jane Yolen lives in Massachusetts in the colder months and Scotland in the summertime, and writes every day.