2021 Participating Authors

Following is a list of the distinguished authors and illustrators who  participated in the 2021 Festival.

Sarah Albee

Could a pair of glass slippers withstand an evening of ballroom dancing? Could Rapunzel's hair support the weight of a prince? These 25 classic tales include hands-on experiments for kids 8-12.Sarah Albee writes nonfiction books about history and science, for kids in grades K - 8. She lives in Connecticut with her family, and visits K - 8 schools all over the country. For more details: www.sarahalbeebooks.com
Artie Bennett

The humorous, inspirational, heartwarming story of a racehorse descended from champions who wants nothing more than to follow in their hoofbeats. But there's a problem: Zippy Chippy isn't terribly good at it.
Artie Bennett is the executive copy editor for a children's book publisher and he writes a little on the side (but not on the backside!) He was hailed as "the Dr. Seuss of your caboose" for his much-acclaimed The Butt Book, his first "mature" book. No butts about it! He followed that up with Poopendous, then Peter Panda Melts Down. The merriment continues with 2018's release of two joke and riddle books. Find Artie in the bowels of Brooklyn.
Ariel Bernstein

Bear, Porcupine, and Otter love fishing! But Squirrel does not. What do they all love? WE LOVE FISHING! Explores the comprimises friends make for each other with humor on every page.Ariel Bernstein is a writer of picture books and the chapter book series Warren & Dragon. She lives in New Jersey with her family, many mismatched socks, and the occasional balloon.
Suzanne Bloom

There are so many ways to be and to see. But I like you and you like me.Says Suzanne: "My grandfather was a cowboy and I grew up in Queens. It was a great relief to have been accepted at Cooper Union: 4 years of art! I've drawn buildings for architects, made wooden toys and finally found the nerve and narrative for my first picture book, We Keep a Pig in the Parlor. A bunch of books and a few awards later, my favorite compliment comes from a Texas third grader. "Ma'am," he said, "you were born to draw."
Laurie Calkhoven

When ten-year-old Roosevelt Banks discovers that his two best friends are planning a bike trip, he wants to go along. The problem? He doesn't have a bike. But IF he can be good for two whole weeks, he can earn a new bike. Trying to be good leads to more trouble than expected-- and to the discovery that being a good friend is more important than any bicycle.Laurie Calkhoven has never swallowed a frog, knocked over a rabbit hutch, or sung too loud in music class like her character Roosevelt Banks, but she does love to write stories! She is the author of many books for young readers and lives in New York City.
Margery Cuyler

During a snowstorm, Oscar the pup escapes from his house and has several wintry adventures with a new canine pal, as their owners search for them and strike up a friendship. Will Hillenbrand's snowy illustrations add a tough of whimsy and wintertime beauty.
Mary Cuyler has written more than fifty books, most recently Snow Friends and two popular books about Bonaparte the Skeleton, who always loves his bones (Bonaparte Falls Apart and Bonaparte Plays Ball). She enjoyed a long career as an editor and publisher before retiring from full-time work in 2015. She and her husband, the parents of two sons, live in Lawrence Township, NJ.
Barbara Dee

For seventh grader Wren, life is suddenly full of changes: her parents' divorce and dad's remarriage, her move with mom to a new town. Feeling as if she has no control, Wren distracts herself with a new obsession: special effects makeup tutorials on YouTube. Soon she's so busy and distracted, that she doesn't focus on mom's behavior...until something happens that Wren can't ignore.Barbara Dee is the author of twelve middle grade novels; nominated for Vermont's Golden Dome Award, and receiving numerous commendations including the Washington Post's Best Books of 2019, Bank Street Best Children's Books of the Year, as well as appearing on state reading lists in Pennsylvania, Missouri, South Carolina, Maryland and Vermont. She has also been nominated for twelve state book awards, and lives with her family in Westchester, NY.
Nancy Furstinger

When Guy met Meghan Markle, he was just a shelter dog dreaming of a forever home. Guy believed their puppy love story was straight out of a fairy tale. But when Harry, the Prince of England, fell in love with Meghan, too, Guy realized he could dream even bigger: the royal palace. Inspired by the heartwarming and true story of Meghan Markle and her rescue Beagle, Guy, this is the story of a dog, a Duchess and a happily-ever-after tail worth chasing.
Nancy Furstinger has been speaking up for animals since she learned to talk, and she hasn't shut up yet. Author of nearly 100 books, including many on her favorite topic - animals! - she has also written for a daily newspaper, as well as edited trade and consumer magazines and children's books. She has a menagerie of rescued pooches and house rabbits. Learn more about her dual passions - animals and writing - on her website.
Susanna Leonard Hill

From high up in the sky, the Moon has spent her whole life watching Earth and hoping for someone to visit. Dinosaurs roam, pyramids are built, and boats are made -- but still no one comes. Will friends ever come visit her? Commemorate the extraordinary Apollo 11 spaceflight mission with this heartwarming story of the Moon who just wants a friend.
Susanna Leonard Hill is the award-winning author of more than a dozen boks for children, which have been translated into multiple languages. She teaches an online picture book writing class, offers picture book critiques and does frequent school and library visits. She lives in New York's mid-Hudson Valley with her husband, children and two rescue dogs. She loves chocolate, dogs and all things Kid Lit. Visit her on her blog at susannahill.com/blog.
Katey Howes

Rissy's friends and family wonder if she's sick, confused, or rude. But kisses make Rissy uncomfortable. Can one little lovebird show everyone that there's no one right way to show you care? Rissy No Kissies carries the message that "your body and your heart are yours, and you choose how to share."Katey Howes is an award-winning children's author and award-worthy mom to three ravenous readers. Katey's books invite readers to see themselves as strong, confident, creative, and innovative! You can usually find Katey writing on her screen porch in New Hope, PA with a bowl of popcorn and her rescue pup, Samwise. Or find her on Twitter @kateywrites.
Jessie Janowitz

Tris Levin thought moving from New York to middle-of-nowhere Petersville meant life would definitely get worse… only it actually got better. But just when things are looking up, problems start rolling in. If Tris can win Can You Cut It, the cuthroat competitive kids' cooking show, can get the cash to buy the machine that can save his business. But Tris isn't sure he can live with what it takes to win.Jessie Janowitz is a graduate of Princeton University's undergraduate creative writing program and holds a J.D. from University of Pennsylvania law school. The Doughnut King is the sequel to her debut middle grade novel, The Doughnut Fix. Jessie lives in New York City with her family. To find out more about Jessie and her work, visit her on jessiejanowitz.com, Twitter or Facebook.
Alan Katz

Twenty snort-inducing short stories for young readers. Tales about a school smelling bee, the day it snowed snowmen, and many more.Alan Katz has been an author and TV writer for more than 30 years, during which he's written more than 30 highly acclaimed children's picture and poetry books. He is also a six-time Emmy-nominated writer for TV shows including the Rosie O'Donnell Show, the PBS series Pinkalicious, the Grammy and Tony Awards and many network specials and game shows. He's also created hundreds of comic books, commercials and more for kids and families.
Jackie Azúa Kramer

A quiet thoughtful story of a young boy struggling with grief, and the imaginary gorilla who helps him find a path to healing.Jackie is an award-winning and internationally translated children's author. She earned her MA in Counseling in Education at Queens College, and is a member of the Bank Street Writers Lab and Las Musas. When not writing, you'll find her reading, watching old movies and traveling to her family's roots in Ecuador, Puerto Rico and Spain.
Lauren Magaziner

Pick-your-own-path and puzzle-packed mystery collide in the third book in Lauren Magaziner's hilarious and interactive middle grade series in which the reader must help Carlos and his friends hunt ghosts at a haunted hotel. You pick the path; YOU crack the case!Lauren Magaziner is the author of the Case Closed series, Wizardmatch, Pilfer Academy, The Only Thing Worse Than Witches, and-- upcoming-- the Mythics series. She is originally from New Hope, PA, and she currently lives in Philadelphia, where she writes full-time. Lauren is also a secret undercover international detective-- but don't blow her cover. You can visit Lauren at laurenmagaziner.com
Kristin Mahoney

Elfie Oster was sure that Hampshire Academy was going to the be perfect school for her… until she got expelled. On her very first day. But sometimes when everything goes spectacularly wrong, you figure out what truly matters-- and what doesn't. So really, this terrible, horrible, surprisingly hilarious year may just be the best thing that's ever happened to Elfie.Kristin Mahoney is the author of three novels for young readers: Elfie Unperfect, The 47 People You'll Meet in Middle School, and Annie's Life in Lists. Kristin grew up in Sanford, North Carolina and worked as a magazine editor and elementary school reading specialist before becoming a full-time writer. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, two daughters, and a sweet goofy dog.
Florence Minor

When Tickles the Bunny's family goes on an adventure without her, Tickles reads the book How To Be A Bigger Bunny, and then winds up on an adventure of her own. When she finds her furry family in trouble, she must become a bigger bunny and save the day. Featuring a cast of adorable bunnies, with artwork reminiscent of picture book classics, this is perfect for Easter time and springtime and for year 'round reading aloud and sharing.
Florence and her husband Wendell have been collaborating since moving from New York 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 current book with Wendell is How to Be A Bigger Bunny. Their next collaboration will feature...you guessed it...animals! Visit Florence on Facebook and Twitter.
Wendell Minor

Breaking Waves: Winslow Homer Paints the Sea describes the artist's process from season to season; readers are shown the many blues, greys, browns, and golds that Winslow Homer used to depict the changing sea.Renowned for the artwork he has created for over fifty award-winning children's books, Wendell Minor's collaborators have included Jean Craighead George, Charlotte Zolotow, Robert Burleigh, Mary Higgins Clark, astronaut Buzz Aldrin and his wife Florence Minor, among others. He was honored to be named Artist Laureate of the Norman Rockwell Museum for 2018-2019.
Diana Murray

Hooray! Hooray! It's Unicorn Night! Unicorns love to prance and dance the day away. But it's exhausting! Now it's time for unicorns to brush their manes, fluff their pillows, and sing the unicorn lullaby in this companion to the best-selling Unicorn Day.Diana Murray is the author of more than twenty books for children, including Unicorn Day, a national bestseller which appeared on PBS's Let's Learn NYC. Diana's poems have appeared in many children's magazines such as Highlights, High Five and Spider, and in anthologies such as Thanku: Poems of Gratitude. Diana grew up in NYC and still lives nearby with her firefighter husband, two children and a fuzzy white pup-icorn named Teddy Spaghetti.
Matt Myklusch

Joey Kopecky never expected to grow up and change the world -- much less do so at the age of thirteen. But, ever since he discovered magic was real and inherited the wand of Harry Houdini, nothing about his life has been what he expected.Matt Myklusch is the author of eight novels for middle-grade readers including The Order of the Magestic, the Jack Blank trilogy and the Seaborne series. He lives in New Jersey with his wife and family, where he is always behind schedule on his next book.
Roxane Orgill

The threat of smallpox looms, and the town is cut off from supplies, even food. Congress appoints George Washington as commander of the American armed forces. Roxane Orgill uses verse to zoom in on the Siege of Boston that launched the war against the British. She gives voice to Washington, his wife Martha, the slave William Lee, privates, a deserter, artillery chief Henry Knox, a boy servant, and townspeople caught in the crossfire.Roxane Orgill is an award-winning writer of non-fiction books for children and adults. In addition to her newest book, Siege: When Washington Kicked the British Out of Boston, she has written picture book biographies of Ella Fitzgerald, Fred and Adele Astaire and Louis Armstrong. She works as an archivist at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in NYC and lives in Dobbs Ferry, NY.
Karen Kaufman Orloff

"What does Dudley do all day while we're away?" Sam wonders. Mom explains that Dudley does ordinary dog things: he eats, naps, guards the house, and plays. But in Sam's mind, Dudley's day at home is anything but ordinaryKaren Kaufman Orloff is the author of 12 books for children, including the popular and award-winning "I Wanna" series of picture books, often used by teachers for persuasive writing lessons. Karen lives in the Hudson Valley with her family and enjoys visiting schools and libraries, talking with children about books and writing.
John Parra

Ethel Payne always had an ear for stories. Seeking truth, justice and equality, Ethel followed stories from her school newspaper in Chicago to Japan during World War II. It even led her to the White House briefing room, where she broke barriers as the only black female journalist. Fearless and determined, Ethel Payne shined a light on the darkest moments in history, and her ear for stories sought answers to the questions that mattered most in the fight for Civil Rights.John Parra is an award-winning illustrator, fine artist, designer and educator, best known for award-winning picture books. Frida Kahlo and her Animalitos was named a New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Book of the Year and Smithsonian Best Book of the Year. His books have been received Pure Belpre Honors three times and multiple other commendations.
Matt Phelan

What a perfect autumn day! Papa Bear tells his cubs to bundle up in the cozy sweaters he knitted for them-- but that is easier said than done. Award-winning author-artist Matt Phelan has created a hilarious and warmhearted ode to fall, patience, and knitting. Sweater Weather will be adored by fans of Anna Dewdney and Tad Hills.Matt Phelan is the award-winning, New York Times-bestselling author/illustrator of many books for young readers. He received the Scott O'Dell Award for his first book, a graphic novel called The Storm in the Barn. He has been nominated for five Will Eisner Awards. He is also a recipient of the Free Library of Philadelphia/Drexel University Children's Literature Citation.
James Preller

A picture book that celebrates the warmth and diversity of the school community. Beautifully illustrated by Mary GrandPre, the artist behind the Harry Potterseries.James Preller published his first book in 1986, more than half a lifetime ago. His books have demonstrated wide-ranging interests and abilities from picture books in haiku to Young Adult novels. He is most widely known for the Jigsaw Jones mystery series. He lives with his family in Delmar, NY and frequently -- happily, gratefully -- travels to schools far and near as a visiting author.
Anica Mrose Rissi

A contemporary collection of original short stories that is sure to elicit chills, laughs, and screams, even from the most devoted fans of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark! These all new stories are sure to keep readers up past their bedtimes, looking over their shoulders to see what goes bump in the night. So, if you're feeling brave, turn the page.Anica Mrose Rissi is the award-winning author of more than a dozen books for kids and teens. She grew up on an island off the coast of Maine and currently lives in Princeton, NJ with her very good dog, Arugula. Her books have won the Maine Literary Award and the Paterson Prize, been named Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selections and have received many starred reviews.
Lizzy Rockwell

Jennifer and her friends meet every Friday at the community center. Everyone works together, and step by step they make a beautiful quilt which they donate to their library. Based on Rockwell's real life experiences as the artistic director of Peace by Piece: The Norwalk Community Quilt Project.Lizzy Rockwell is the illustrator of thirty picture books, many of which she also wrote. She was the longtime collaborator with her mother, the late author/illustrator Anne Rockwell. Lizzy lives in coastal Connecticut, where she is the artistic director for Peace by Piece: the Norwalk Community Quilt Project, which inspired her recent book, The All-Together Quilt.
Artemis Roehrig

Do starfish sign autographs? Do seahorses wear saddles? Do lampreys get plugged in? Get silly with sea creatures in Do Jellyfish Like Peanutbutter?, the underwater follow-up to the award-winning insect book, Do Doodlebugs Doodle? This laugh-out-loud look at marine life will have kids eager to learn more about what lies beneath the ocean waves!Artemis Roehrig is the co-author, with Corinne Demas, of five picture books including the award-winning Do Doodlebugs Doodle, Amazing Insect Facts and Are Pirates Polite? She is the co-host of the podcast STEM Women in KidLit. When not writing or podcasting, Artemis works as an entomology technician for the Department of Environmental Conservation at U. Mass., and she plays violin with her community theater in western Massachusetts.
Annie Silvestro

Dylan loves playing, drawing, dreaming, and, best of all, dragons! But his days and weeks are so full-- with piano lessons, science club, baseball practice, karate class, and more-- that when the dragon of his daydreams shows up, there's never any time to play. How can Dylan let his family know that his busy schedule needs room for dragon time?Annie Silvestro is a lover of books who can often be found shuffling piles of them around so she has a place to sit or somewhere to put her teacup. Her books Bunny's Book Club and Mice Skating have both won multiple honors, including an Amazon Best Book of the Year for 2017. Annie lives with her sons by the beach in New Jersey, where she laughs loudly and often.
Nancy Viau

Hooray, it's time for a trip to the beach! Who will spy the sea and cheer? ZIP! ZOOM! STOP! Hey, we're here! Smell the salty breeze while rocking and rolling in the wispy waves. Search for seashells, build a sandcastle, and soak up all the joy a day at the ocean has to offer. A lively, lyrical read-aloud that will have everyone excited for a day at the beach.A former teacher and still a kid at heart, Nancy Viau loves to visit schools to share her journey to publication and the writing process. She is employed by the Cape May (NJ) County Library System as an assistant librarian and, when not reading or writing, she travels wherever her frequent flier miles take her.
Laurie Wallmark

Much like us, dinosaurs love to have fun. In Dino Pajama Party, dinosaurs from all around gather to play instruments, dance and sing before bedtime. But soon the dinsaurs grow tired and need their rest. This is a book that's sure to have kids following the dinos' lead and ready to go to sleep.Laurie Wallmark writes picture book biographies of women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) as well as other types of children's books. Her books have earned multiple starred trade reviews, been chosen as Junior Library Guild selections and received awards such as Best STEM Book. Laurie holds an MFA from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She is a former engineer and computer science professor.
Tracey West

Drake and the other Dragon Masters need the help of a Sea Dragon to stop an evil wizard. So Drake, Bo, and Opeli travel to the island of Kapua to find one. But Drake stole something from the wizard… and she will battle them to get it back!Tracey West is the author of more than 300 books for children, including the New York Times-bestselling early chapter book series, Dragon Masters. She also writes the Pixie Tricks series for Scholasti and is debuting a new series called The Underdogs with illustrator Kyla May. Tracey lives in the western Catskill mountains of New York.
Hyewon Yum

Though separated by language, age, and an ocean, a child and grandparent find common ground in this warm, witty picture book. Award-winning author-illustrator Hyewon Yum shares the challenges and joys of having a relative who lives far away-- proving that even from across the ocean, the grandparent-grandchild relationship is a very special one.Hyewon Yum is the author and illustrator of many picture books, including Saturday Is Swimming Day, which won a Charlotte Zolotow Honor and Mom, It's My First Day of Kindergarten, which won the Ezra Jack Keats New Illustrator award. Hyewon lives in Brooklyn, NY with her family.