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Authors and Illustrators 2024

Kirsti Call


Kirsti Call is an award winning author who co-hosts the Picture Book Look Podcast and hosts the Coaching for Creatives podcast as a therapist trained life coach. She’s a critique ninja for 12×12, a blogger for Writers’ Rumpus, and she’s judged the Cybils award for fiction picture books since 2015. Kirstine is the author of Mootilda’s Bad Mood (Little Bee), Cow Says Meow (Clarion) Cold Turkey (Little Brown), The Big Screen (Little Simon) and Smarty Ants (Capstone, 2023). Kirstine has an MSW from Boston College and is represented by Charlotte Wenger at Prospect Agency.


Andi Diehn


Andi Diehn has written 21 nonfiction children's books plus a picture book on mental health called Mama’s Days from Reycraft Books. She works as a children’s book editor and marketer at Nomad Press and visits schools and libraries around the country to talk about science, writing, poetry, mental wellness, and anything else kids want to know! Andi also works as a bookseller at her local indie in Vermont – The Norwich Bookstore – and lives in rural New Hampshire with her husband, three sons, and too many pets.


Tracy Gold


Tracy C. Gold loves writing about families and nature. She is an author, freelance editor, and mom living in Baltimore, Maryland. Her published and forthcoming picture books include “Everyone’s Sleepy but the Baby,” “Call Your Mother,” “Trick or Treat, Bugs to Eat,” and “Hide and Seek, Nuts to Eat.” She also writes short stories, essays, novels, and poems. Her work has been published in several magazines and anthologies. Tracy earned her M.F.A. in Creative Writing and Publishing Arts at the University of Baltimore and earned her B.A. in English from Duke University. When she’s not writing or editing, she’s playing with her toddler or hanging out with horses and dogs.


Tara Hannon


Tara J. Hannon is the author-illustrator of the early graphic novel series, BIRTLE (AMP Kids). Book one of the series, Birtle and the Purple Turtles released Jan 2024, and book two, Birtle and the (Very) Unwelcome Garry will be released May 2024. Tara is also the author-illustrator of the chapter book series, The Only Ghost in Town (Penguin Workshop) coming in 2025. She has also illustrated the board books, Planes USA! (’20) & God is There Wherever You Go (’21). Tara enjoys honest books, heavy with heart and humor. When not writing or illustrating she can be found being so uncool it’s almost cool, with her daughters and husband and jogging. She can rarely be found sleeping and she is okay with that.


Olga Herrera



Olga Herrera is an author/illustrator. Her debut PB The Unwelcome Surprise, is published by Feiwel & Friends, Macmillan. She is the co-founder of Illo Chat, a podcast about Illustration and kidlit publishing. She is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). Has served as a writing/illustration mentor, and has won several illustration competitions. Olga is multicultural, Cuban Ecuadorian, and bilingual in Spanish and English. She earned her BFA from the Ringling College of Art and Design with a major in Illustration. She lives in Maryland with her husband, two children, and too many pets.


Mirka Hokkanen



Mirka Hokkanen is a Finnish-American author and illustrator, educator, and printmaker. She’s best known for her Kitty & Cat picture books, and Mossy & Tweed graphic novel series. Mirka loves to write funny stories that have a lot of heart. Her favorite things to draw are nature and animals. When not writing and illustrating Mirka enjoys hiking, sewing and spending time with her family.


Aimee Isaac



Aimee Isaac is a children’s book author who writes stories fueled by her passion for the natural world. She is a former teacher and a busy advocate, dedicated to protecting the environment and ending Alzheimer’s. Aimee’s educational background includes sociology, early childhood special education, and reading. When Aimee isn’t writing or advocating, she’s often found hiking, reading, or spending time with her family. Aimee spends time each summer by the Juniata, a river that meanders its way toward the Atlantic Ocean where she lives now with her husband and three children in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.


Terry Catasús Jennings



Terry Catasús Jennings is a Cuban-American writer who immigrated to the United States after her father was jailed in Cuba by Fidel Castro’s government. She was twelve at the time and knew no English. The Little House of Hope/La casita de esperanza is a semi-autobiographical story in which immigrants give each other a helping hand in a new country. Her goal in life is to lead us to embrace our common humanity, as well as sing the praises of Cuban food. Terry is represented by Natalie Lakosil of Looking Glass Literary and Media Management.


Nancy Johnson James



Nancy Johnson James is a writer and educator. She has an MFA from St. Mary's College of CA and a BA from Sarah Lawrence College. Her Education Specialist Credential was earned at the California State University - Sacramento. She is particularly interested in producing children's literature that nurtures creativity, deep thought, environmental consciousness and self-esteem. Her poetry has been featured in several publications and she has been a contributor to curriculum for elementary and secondary students.


Danielle Joseph



Danielle Joseph is the author of I Want to Ride theTap Tap, a Bank Street Best Children’s Book and CBC Notable Social Studies Book and the picture book biography on Jewish South African freedom fighter, Ruth First, Ruth First Never Backed Down. She is also the author of the middle-grade novel, PJ Library Selection, Sydney A. Frankel’s Summer Mix-Up and three young adult novels Shrinking Violet, Indigo Blues and Pure Red. Shrinking Violet was adapted into the Disney Channel movie, Radio Rebel. Danielle has a BFA in Creative Writing and an MA in Marketing Communications and Advertising, both from Emerson College. Danielle was born in Cape Town, South Africa. She currently lives in Maryland with her family. Her next picture book, The Mitzvah Fairy debuts 1/01/2025.


Sylvia Liu



Sylvia Liu grew up with books and daydreams in Caracas, Venezuela. Once an environmental attorney, she now spins stories inspired by oceans, kraken, and the intricacies of family and friendship. She’s the author of Hana Hsu and the Ghost Crab Nation (Razorbill 2022), Near and Deer (Scholastic Oct 2024), Manatee’s Best Friend (Scholastic 2021), and A Morning with Grandpa, illustrated by Christina Forshay (Lee & Low Books 2020). Sylvia is the co-founder of the kid lit resource website Kidlit411 and lives in Virginia with her family and a fluffy cat.


Kathy MacMillan



Kathy MacMillan (she/her) is a writer, nationally certified American Sign Language interpreter, librarian, and signing storyteller. She writes board books, picture books, children’s nonfiction, and middle grade and young adult fiction. She has also published eight resource books for educators, librarians, and parents. Kathy lives in Baltimore, MD.


Naomi Milliner


Naomi Milliner is the author of Super Jake & the King of Chaos (Running Press, 2019), coeditor and contributor to On All Other Nights (Abrams, 2024), and author of The Trouble with Secrets (Quill Tree, 2025). She has been a member of Women’s National Book Association’s Great Group Reads Committee since 2009. Naomi enjoys school visits (virtual or in-person), reading everything she can get her hands on, and chocolate.


Lindsey Pope


Lindsey Pope is passionate about sharing laughter and love through writing. Her first book, Found in Faith, debuted in 2018. Her next book, Wisdom from the Womb, came out in 2019. She debuted her first children's picture book, Sheldon's Time, in August 2022 which was followed by Stella's Dream in Spring 2023. The ABCs of HdG: Fun and Facts in Havre de Grace, MD came out in August 2023.


Laura Shovan


Laura Shovan is a novelist, educator, and Pushcart Prize-nominated poet. Her award-winning children’s books include The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary, Takedown, and the Sydney Taylor Notable A Place at the Table, written with Saadia Faruqi. She is a longtime poet-in-the-schools for the Maryland State Arts Council and teaches for Vermont College of Fine Arts’ MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults. Her latest poetry collection for kids is Welcome to Monsterville.


June Smalls


June Smalls has been making up stories since she only had pets and stuffed animals to share them with. She writes fiction and nonfiction books that are funny, educational, odd, and entertaining for both the educational and trade markets including the Leads series, Hear Them Roar! 14 Endangered Animals from Around the World, and Odd Animal ABC’s. June loves research almost as much as writing and would love to dig up a dinosaur, study sea turtles, or track wild elephants! She lives in northern Virginia with her family and an ever-growing assortment of animals.


Shawn Stout
shawnkstout.com Shawn K. Stout is the author of several acclaimed books for children, including the PENELOPE CRUMB series, A Tiny Piece of Sky, and The Impossible Destiny of Cutie Grackle. Her newest book, Anatomy of Lost Things, will be published in June 2024. Shawn has an M.F.A. in writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She lives with her family in Maryland.

Berri Torgan-Randall


Berrie has been passionate about children’s literature since she was a little girl and has fed her desire by becoming a children’s librarian and by pursuing a career as an illustrator and writer of children’s books. Berrie studied at Syracuse University earning a BFA in Media Arts and Surface Pattern Design. Pursuing her desire to work with children, she returned to school and earned a Masters Degree in Information Studies at Drexel University. As a teacher/librarian and mother of three children, Berrie has created and developed her stories drawn from real-life experiences and her imagination.“Bella & Blue” is Berrie’s debut early reader graphic novel.


Chiêu Urban


Chiêu Anh Urban is an award-winning children's book author, illustrator, and book designer. She enjoys creating playful books that provide fun learning and exploration for the youngest readers. Her recent titles include Illusions in Art: Animals and Illusions in Art: Food with Candlewick Press (2023), and novelty books 123 Zoom and ABC Roar with S&S (2022). Chiêu is the creator of the board book series Color Wonder: Hooray for Spring! and Color Wonder: Winter is Here! (S&S). When she's not delving into novelty book projects, she's indulging in sweet confections, and arts and crafts with her family.


Nancy Viau

Nancy Viau is an award-winning author of twelve books for kids ages 2-12. A former teacher and librarian, she’s a kid-at-heart who loves to present interactive assembly programs, writing workshops, and story times. Join her in celebrating her latest picture book, Splish, Splash! First to Last (March 2024). a rollicking under-the-sea adventure that introduces ordinal numbers (first, second, etc.) using charming illustrations and a predictable rhyming pattern. Her 2022 book, Pruett and Soo, explores intergalactic friendships and how a simple change can change the world. Nancy lives in New Jersey, and when not reading or writing, she hikes, bikes, and travels wherever her frequent flyer miles take her.


Andrew Weiner


Andrew Weiner is a graphic novelist, screenwriter, and filmmaker, and the founder of the multimedia entertainment company Inner Station. He cowrote and created the YA graphic novel, Girl on Fire alongside Alicia Keys. Most recently, he penned the early reader graphic novel Daddy and the Beanstalk, which tells the true story of the time he bought magic beans and climbed a beanstalk. To date, he has written, produced, and/or directed eight feature films. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife, his two small kids, and their giant cat, Waldo.


Timothy Young


Timothy Young has had a long career doing all kinds of interesting and fun stuff. He's been an animator, puppet maker, toy designer, sculptor, art director and graphic designer. His career highlights include being Head Model-Maker for the Penny cartoons on Pee-Wee's Playhouse, designing and building Muppets for Jim Henson Productions and sculpting the very first Simpsons toys.
Tim is the author/illustrator of 15 books including The Angry Little Puffin, the highly acclaimed I Hate Picture Books! and the unusually titled untitled. His newest book, Mac and the Millstone of Time is his first middle-grade chapter book. It's story is set at the Old Wye Mill in Wye Mills, MD. He lives with his family in Easton and has been pleased to be a part of organizing the Chesapeake Children's Book Festival.


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