Home authors Schedule sponsors contact
  Authors and Illustrators 2017


Veronica Bartles



Veronica Bartles, author of The Princess And The Frogs (PB), and Twelve Steps (YA), has spent most of her life wondering “What If?” She believes there are many sides to every story, and she’s determined to discover every single one of them. Veronica believes every princess deserves a frog, because princes aren’t pets. And she’s an incurable optimist who loves gray, drizzly days because that’s when rainbows come out to play.

Charlotte Bennardo

charlotteebennardot.com Both traditionally and indie published, Charlotte has written young adult and middle grade novels, as well as non-fiction newspaper, magazine, and Ezine articles. She has given numerous writing presentations and workshops for NJ Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and other events. Her other works include: the Sirenz series, Sirenz, Sirenz Back in Fashion, and short stories in the anthologies Beware the Little White Rabbit and Scare Me To Sleep. She is working on several more novels while fighting her cat for chair space. She lives in New Jersey with her family.

Deborah Blumenthal

Reading at 11:45 am

Deborah Blumenthal is an award-winning journalist and the author of twenty books, most of them for children. She has been a regular contributor to The New York Times (including four years as the Sunday New York Times Magazine beauty columnist), and a home design columnist for Long Island Newsday. Deborah lives in New York City.


Terry Catasús Jennings

terrycjennings.com Terry Catasús Jennings was born in Cuba and came to the United States at age 12. She was an active volunteer in her children’s school and began writing in 2000 once her children were grown. She now writes science-based creative non-fiction, historical fiction and non-fiction for children. She has contributed to the Smithsonian’s Science Education Center’s curriculum. Her articles have appeared in The Washington Post, Long Island News Day, Ranger Rick, and The Reston Connection for four years. Terry is a member of the Children’s Book Guild of Washington, DC, and SCBWI. She lives with her husband in Reston, VA.

Paul Czajak

Reading at 10:40 am


Paul Czajak got an "F" with the words "get a tutor" on his college writing paper and after that, never thought he'd become a writer. But after spending twenty years as a chemist, he knew his creativity could no longer be contained. Living in New Jersey with his wife, and two little monsters, Paul has become an award-winning author for his books in the Monster&Me series as well as for Seaver the Weaver

Betsy Devany

Reading at 11:15 am
betsydevany.com Betsy Devany is an award-winning children’s author who writes for all ages. Her debut picture book Lucy’s Lovey was an Austin local bestseller. When not writing, Betsy finds beauty through her camera lens, delights in meeting kids and their bedraggled loveys, and is a fan of hosting comedic tea parties for her grandkids, their beloved life-sized stuffed gorilla, and her rescue dog Buddy.  She lives in Connecticut.

Sue Fliess

Reading at 10:20 am


Sue Fliess has written over 20 children's books including How to Trap a Leprechaun, From Here to There, A Fairy Friend, and many Little Golden Books. Her background is in copywriting and marketing, with articles appearing in O Magazine, Huffington Post, Writer's Digest, and more. Fliess has also written for The Walt Disney Company. Her books have received honors from SCBWI, been used in schools and museums, and been translated into French and Chinese. She's a member of SCBWI and Children's Book Guild of DC. Sue lives with her family in Virginia.

Alison Ashley Formento




Alison Ashley Formento is the author of the new chapter book One Alien & Four Furry Tails Tales and award-winning nature picture books This Tree Counts!,This Tree, 1, 2, 3, These Bees Count!, These Seas Count!, and These Rocks Count! Her young adult novel Twigs was featured in Publisher's Weekly as a notable new release for teen readers. Alison has written for several national publications including The New York Times, The Writer, and Parenting. She loves visiting schools and libraries and donates a portion of book proceeds to AmericanForests.org.

Amy S Hansen

www.amyshansen.com Amy S. Hansen writes about science for kids and sometimes for adults. She has more
than 25 books and hundreds of articles published for children. Her favorite books explore a mystery
of every day life. She studied environmental science at the University of Michigan and reported
for many papers and radio shows before finding her true calling in children’s books.
Amy lives in Greenbelt, MD with her husband, two sons, a dog and two cats. She
also works on the local newspaper so she can solve very local mysteries.

Lee Harper

Reading at 1:20 pm

Lee Harper is an award winning picture book author/illustrator best known for his illustrations in the popular series Turkey Trouble, Turkey Trick or Treat, and Turkey Claus, written by Wendi Silvano. Books both written and illustrated by Mr. Harper include Snow! Snow! Snow!, Coyote, and The Emperor’s Cool Clothes. He has also illustrated for Walter Dean Myers (Looking for The Easy Life) and Leslie Helakoski (Woolbur). He is currently working on his second collaboration with Leslie Helakoski, Ready or Not, Woolbur Goes to School. In addition to writing and illustrating picture books, Lee loves to visit schools.

Tara Lazar




Street magic performer. Hog-calling champion. Award-winning ice sculptor. These are all things Tara Lazar has never been. Instead, she writes quirky, humorous picture books featuring magical places that everyone will want to visit. Tara lives in New Jersey with her husband, two daughters and 2,479 stuffed animals.


Karen Leggett Abouraya

Reading at 2:40 pm
handsaroundthelibrary.com Karen Leggett Abouraya grew up in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, surrounded by writing and books: her father was a journalist and her mother is a retired school librarian. Karen was a broadcast journalist for many years on ABC Radio WMAL in Washington, D.C. She reviewed children’s books and interviewed authors for the New York Times, the Baltimore Sun, Children’s Literature, Washington Parent and others. Karen graduated from Brown University (international relations) and met her Egyptian husband in Washington. They have two children and have been lucky enough to visit Egypt many times – especially Alexandria, her husband’s hometown.

Debbie Levy

Reading at 12:40 pm



twitter: @debbielevybooks

Debbie Levy, award-winning and New York Times-bestselling author of I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark and Soldier Song: A True Story of the Civil War, has written more than 20 books of nonfiction, fiction, and poetry for young people. A former lawyer and newspaper editor, Debbie enjoys kayaking, fishing, and boating in the Chesapeake Bay region. I Dissent has been nominated to the 2017-2018 Black-Eyed Susan Picture Book List.

Kelly Light

Reading at 11:00 am


Kelly Light is an author and illustrator who now lives in New York but grew up down the shore in New Jersey surrounded by giant pink dinosaurs, cotton candy colors, and Skee-Ball sounds. She was schooled on Saturday-morning cartoons and Sunday funny pages. She picked up a pencil, started drawing, and never stopped. She has illustrated two chapter book series: Elvis and the Underdogs by Jenny Lee, and the Quirks by Erin Soderberg. She is the author-illustrator of Louise Loves Art and Louise and Andie.

Barbara Lockhart

Reading at 1:00 pm


Eastern Shore writer and graduate of the MFA Program at Vermont College, Barbara Lockhart has received 2 Individual Artist Awards in Fiction from the Maryland State Arts Council. As a teacher of early childhood for twenty-five years, she wrote a program and manual for children’s literature for teachers and parents, Read to me, talk with me, which was in use nationwide. Two of her children’s books, Rambling Raft and Once a Pony Time, were written in collaboration with her daughter, Lynne Lockhart, who was also the illustrator. Her latest children’s book, Mosey’s Field, is illustrated by Easton resident Heather Crow.


Ann McCallum

Reading at 1:40 pm
annmccallumbooks.com Ann McCallum is the award-winning author of numerous books and articles. Her latest books are the Eat Your Homework series. These books introduce children to fun science, math, and history concepts while cooking up delectable, original recipes such as Atomic Popcorn Balls, Tessellating Brownies, and Independence Ice-Cream. Ann is also a mom and teacher. When not writing, speaking, or teaching, Ann loves to spend time with her family, preferably outdoors or maybe in the kitchen.

Roxie Munro

Reading at 2:00 pm
roxiemunro.com Roxie is the author/illustrator of 40 children's books, including Mazescapes; Amazement Park; the Inside-Outside Books: New York City, Washington DC, Texas, London, Paris, and Libraries; Feathers, Flaps & Flops; Doors; Ranch; Circus; Rodeo; Go!Go!Go!; and Inside-Outside Dinosaurs. She also has 3 interactive apps published.

Robin Newman




twitter: @robinnewmanbook

Raised in New York and Paris, Robin was a practicing attorney and legal editor, but she now prefers to write about witches, mice, pigs and peacocks. She lives in New York with her husband, son, goldfish, and two spoiled English Cocker Spaniels.


Ammi-Joan Paquette

Reading at 12:00 noon
ajpaquette.com Ammi-Joan Paquette is the author of many books, including the Princess Juniper series and Two Truths and a Lie, co-written with Laurie Thompson. Other books include Bunny Bus, Ghost in the House, Nowhere Girl, The Tiptoe Guide to Tracking Fairies, The Tiptoe Guide to Tracking Mermaids, Petey and Pru and the Hullabaloo, Paradox, and Rules for Ghosting. She is the recipient of a PEN New England Discovery Award honor, and her books have been recognized with starred reviews and on a variety of "Best of the Year" lists. In her non-writing life, she is a senior literary agent with Erin Murphy Literary Agency.

Courtney Pippin-Mathur

Reading at 12:20 pm
www.pippinmathur.com Courtney Pippin-Mathur ia an author and illustrator of picture books. She moved from Texas to a suburb outside of Washington, DC. She shares her home with a knight, a princess, and two unruly dragons, which leads to many exciting and loud adventures.

Mary Quattlebaum

Mary Quattlebaum has authored 24 children's books, including nonfiction, picture books, and chapter books. Recent titles are Together Forever: True Stories of Amazing Animal Friendships, Pirate vs. Pirate, and The Hungry Ghost of Rue Orleans. Awards include Marguerite de Angeli Prize, Parenting Reading Magic Award, SIBA picture book award, NAPPA Gold Medal, Bank Street Best Book, and selection for state children's choice lists. Mary teaches creative writing at the Vermont College of Fine Arts and enjoys speaking at schools and conferences. She reviews children's books for the Washington Post and Washington Parent, and writes frequently for KidsPost.

Laura Rankin

laurarankin.blogspot.com Laura Rankin has been a children's book author and illustrator since she was five. Stories with animals, tiny things, and nature are her favorites to write and illustrate. She feels fortunate to be able to create whole worlds for young readers because kids are the best audience in the universe.
Laura's first book as an author/illustrator was The Handmade Alphabet, inspired by her older stepson who is deaf. Among her other books are: Fluffy and Baron, Ruthie and the (Not So) Teeny Tiny Lie, A Balloon for Isabel, and My Turn!, published in Nov. 2016. Laura lives in Easton and has helped organize the Chesapeake Children's Book Festival.

Colleen Rowan Kosinski

colleenrowankosinski.com Colleen Rowan Kosinski has always found joy in creating. She received her B.A. from Rutgers University in visual art, and is an alumna of Moore College of Art. She rediscovered her passion for writing after many years as a successful, freelance fine artist. When she discovered children's book writing she knew she had found her passion. She's written middle grade novels, young adult novels, and picture books. Colleen belongs to the SCBWI critique group and is active in her local chapter. As a lover of nature and animals, in the spring you can usually find her nursing a sick rabbit or robin back to health. Colleen resides in Cherry Hill, NJ with her husband, three sons, doberman pinscher, rottweiler, and miniature dachshund.

Lois Sepahban


Lois Sepahban grew up in central California. Her family moved around a lot, but during her early years she lived in the Tehachapi mountains that form the southeastern boundary of California's Central Valley.Later, her family moved to the city. She studied literature in college and became a teacher. When she read books out loud to her students, she became inspired to write books of her own. Today, she is married and has two children. She lives on a small farm in Kentucky where she has a barn that she fills with animals who need homes. She has dogs, cats, and the sweetest chickens in the world!


Annie Silvestro

Reading at 11:30 am
anniesilvestro.com Annie Silvestro is a lover of books who reads and writes as much as possible and can often be found shuffling piles of them around so she has a place to sit or someplace to put her teacup. Her picture books include Bunny's Book Club, illustrated by Tatjana Mai-Wyss (Doubleday), Mice Skating, illustrated by Teagan White (Sterling, Fall 2017), and The Christmas Tree Who Loved Trains, illustrated by Paola Zakimi (HarperCollins, Fall 2018). Annie lives with her family by the beach in New Jersey.

Tammar Stein

tammarstein.com Tammar Stein is the author of The Six-Day Hero, a historical novel for kids about the Six Day War. It has been named a Junior Library Guild Selection and a PJ Our Way Choice Book. She is the award-winning author of four young adult novels including Light Years, named an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, a Sydney Taylor Notable Book, a Virginia Reader's Choice, and a Texas high school summer reading book. She is a graduate of the University of Virginia and lives in Virginia with her family.

Shawn K Stout

shawnkstout.com Shawn K. Stout grew up in Hagerstown, Maryland, the same town where A Tiny Piece of Sky takes place, but she did her growing up more than forty years after the events in this story occur. She is the author of the Not-So-Ordinary Girl series and the Penelope Crumb series and has an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Shawn K. Stout lives with her family in Maryland.

Jean Taft

jeantaft.com Jean Taft is a New England writer who loves rhyming and weather! She grew up in Vermont and now lives near the ocean in Rhode Island with her family and two very happy dogs. RN by day and writer by night, she is a member of The Society of Children’s Books Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI) and The Association of Rhode Island Authors (ARIA). Her first picture book, Worm Weather, was recently published by Grosset & Dunlap/Penguin Young Readers and is also available through Scholastic Book Club.

Megan Wagner Lloyd



Megan Wagner Lloyd is the author of Finding Wild(Knopf), illustrated by Abigail Halpin, as well as the upcoming picture books Fort-Building Time (Knopf), Paper Mice(Paula Wiseman Books), and The ABCs Of Catching ZZZs (Chronicle). She lives in the Washington D.C. area with her family.

Laurie Walmark

Reading at 2:20 pm

Laurie Wallmark has an MFA (Master of Fine Arts) in Writing for Children and Young Adults at the Vermont College of Fine Arts. When Laurie is not writing, she teaches computer science at Raritan Valley Community College. Her debut picture book, Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine, (Creston Books) received four starred reviews (Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and School Library Journal), praise in The New York Times, and numerous awards. Her newest book, Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code, will be published in May. It has already received a Kirkus starred review.


Susan Yaruta-Young

syyoung.wixsite.com Susan Yaruta-Young is a published poet and short story crafter who enjoys writing for all ages in all genres. The Great Snapping Turtle Adventure, a mystery story for young teens set on Maryland’s Eastern Shore in the mid-1980s, is her second published novel. Susan’s roots in Maryland soil are deep. In 1634 her ancestor, Richard Nevitt, sailed into St. Mary’s City on the Ark and Dove expedition. She was a Maryland State Arts Council Poet in the Schools from 1974-1996, often conducting workshops in Talbot, Dorchester, and Wicomico counties. In 1996, Susan and her husband, Luther Young, left their small farm in Baltimore County to move their family to Downeast Maine. A graduate of Bangor Theological Seminary, she has served as a United Methodist pastor at several small Maine churches.

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 6 picture books including The Angry Little Puffin and the highly acclaimed I Hate Picture Books!. His latest is Do Not Open The Box!, He lives with his family in Easton and has been pleased to be a part of organizing the Chesapeake Children's Book Festival.


                              Home  •  Authors & Illustrators  •  Schedule of Events  •  Sponsors  •  Contact
©2023 Chesapeake Children's Book Festival • Hosted by the Talbot County Free Library  •  Website designed by Eclectic Graphics