Authors &

Meet the talented creators of Arbordale books, view their profiles and the titles they have made come to life.


Nancy Kelly Allen

Nancy Kelly Allen is a school librarian and the award-winning author of more than 30 picture books. Her inspiration for writing The First Fire was to honor her Cherokee great-grandmother, Sarah. She hopes that this book will provide younger generations an insight into the mystery and wonder of traditional folktales. Some of her recent and award-winning titles include On the Banks of the Amazon, What Sea Creature Is This?, and Trouble in Troublesome Creek. Nancy lives in Kentucky with her husband and two dogs. Visit her website at

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Samantha Bell

The Perfect Pet is Samantha's debut picture book with Arbordale. Her stories, poems, and articles have been published both online and in print including e-zines and magazines. Her picture book, It's Birthday Time, Jake!, was released in 2010 by Guardian Angel Publishing; she has also illustrated Shaping up the Year, As I Watch, Growing Up Dreams, Cinderfella and the Furry Godmother, One Pelican at a Time, and Sea Turtle Summer. She served for two years as the managing editor of the Pen & Palette, the newsletter of SCBWI-Carolinas Chapter. A native of sunny central Florida, Samantha Bell grew up in an area brimming with wildlife; now living in the upstate of South Carolina with her husband and four children, she's found there is lots of room for the family's animal friends. Visit her website at

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Shennen Bersani

While Shennen Bersani is an award-winning children's book illustrator,Achoo! Why Pollen Counts is her debut picture book as an author. Her art delivers a unique blend of realism, heartfelt emotion, love of nature, and life lessons for children of all ages. She has illustrated A Case of Sense; Once Upon an Elephant; Salamander Season; Sea Slime: It's Eeuwy, Gooey and Under the Sea; The Shape Family Babies; Animal Partners; Shark Baby; Home in the Cave; The Glaciers are Melting!; and Astro: The Steller Sea Lion for Arbordale. Shennen has also illustrated a number of best-selling books, including,Snakes: Long, Longer, Longest; Sharks: Big, Bigger, Biggest; Ocean Counting: Odd Numbers; and Icky Bug Shapes. Shennen lives near Boston. For more information, visit her website at

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Marianne Berkes

Award-winning author Marianne Berkes (Daisylocks) is a retired teacher and librarian who turned her love of nature and teaching into writing informational picture books. In addition to Anybody Home?, The Tree That Bear Climbed and the award-winning Animalogy for Arbordale, some of Marianne's other recent and award-winning titles include: Going Home, The Mystery of Animal Migration; Over in the Ocean, in a Coral Reef; Over in the Jungle, a Rainforest Rhyme; Going Around the Sun, Some Planetary Fun, What's in the Garden?, and The Swamp Where Gator Hides. Visit her website at

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Sharon Chriscoe

Sharon Chriscoe discovered her passion for writing at the age of 32, after watching a litter of stray kittens play on her porch. She is a graduate of The Institute of Children's Literature and a member of Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. In addition to The Sparrow and The Trees, Sharon has written The Orchard Grew All Around, Giraffes: World's Tallest Animals, Let's Hibernate, Waterfalls and Geometry, and Ten Different Habitats, Ten Different Families. Sharon lives in North Carolina with her husband and their three grown children. Visit her website .

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Catherine Ciocchi

Catherine Ciocchi (pronounced "Chokey") has a degree in geology and teaches physical and earth science. Catherine has published several short stories and this is her debut picture book. She lives in New York with her husband and three children.

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Scotti Cohn

Award-winning author Scotti Cohn has had a love for poetry and fiction writing since childhood. In addition to Animal Partners, Scotti has written On the Move (CBC/NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Book), Big Cat, Little Kitty (Moms' Choice Gold) and One Wolf Howls (Nautilus Silver Book Award) for Arbordale, as well as eight nonfiction books and numerous short stories and poems. Scotti's two grown children have done their own moving on. She and her husband live in upstate South Carolina with five little kitties. Visit her website at

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Carol A. Cole

Carol A. Cole has worked with young children in schools for about 30 years as a pediatric physical therapist. Carol started writing "scripts" for a favorite TV show when she was ten years old and hasn't stopped writing since. She's the author of numerous articles and short stories found online and in anthologies. This is her debut picture book. Carol based this story on one of the teachers with whom she works-the original Penguin Lady. Penguin mouse pads, puzzles, wall decorations, and inflatable penguins fill the Penguin Lady's classroom, leading Carol to wonder what would happen should real penguins move in. Carol and her family live in Northern Virginia. Visit Carol's website at

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Sherryn Craig

Author Sherryn Craig says that writing is like exercise-it's important to stretch the creative muscles daily. A family love for basketball combined with a trip to their local zoo provided the inspiration for her debut picture book, Midnight Madness at the Zoo. Sherryn lives in Virginia with her husband and two children. Visit her website at

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Laura Crawford

Laura Crawford was an accomplished teacher and reading specialist at Sleepy Hollow School in the Chicago area. While teaching a science unit on the Arctic region, she became fascinated with the unique animals of the Arctic. The cumulative tale, In Arctic Waters, is the result of her curiosity and was written with her students in mind. Laura also authored The Pilgrims' Thanksgiving From A to Z, The American Revolution from A to Z, Postcards from Washington, Postcards from Chicago, and Postcards from New York City. She was an active member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators and credits the critique groups with much of her success.

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Jennifer Keats Curtis

Award-winning nature author Jennifer Keats Curtis is frequently found among students and teachers, talking about literacy and conservation. In addition to Kali's Story: An Orphaned Polar Bear Rescue the Animal Helpers series, Baby Owl's Rescue, and Turtles In My Sandbox for Arbordale, some of her other recent titles include Seahorses, Osprey Adventure and Saving Squeak: The Otter Tale. Recently honored with the SoMIRAC Literacy Award for Outstanding Contributions to Literacy. Jennifer resides in Maryland with her family and a wide variety of pets. Visit her website at

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Jean Heilprin Diehl

In addition to authoring Three Little Beavers and Loon Chase for Arbordale, Jean Heilprin Diehl writes novels for kids and adults. Three Little Beavers was inspired by her interest in stories about urban wildlife conflicts with happy endings. Her fiction received a James Michener Award, and she has taught writing at all levels, from elementary school through college. She lives near Washington, DC. Visit her website here.

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Rhonda Lucas Donald

Award-winning author Rhonda Lucas Donald has written more than a dozen books for children and teachers, including the prequel to Dino Treasures, Dino Tracks. Her recent book Deep in the Desert, won the silver medal in the 2011 Moonbeam Children's Book Awards. She is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, National Science Teachers Association, and the Cat Writers Association. Rhonda and her husband share their Virginia home with their dogs, Maggie and Lily, and their very dignified cats, Darwin and Huxley. Visit Rhonda's Website.

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Ann Downer

Ann Downer (Shark Baby) has never lived very far from the ocean. When she was little, her uncle took her to a beach to see horseshoe crabs, and she has been interested in sea creatures ever since. She spent part of her childhood in and around the Pacific Ocean, living first in the Philippine Islands and then in Thailand. Now she lives in Somerville, Massachusetts, not far from the Atlantic Ocean. With her husband and son, she likes to go looking for sea creatures in tide pools in Maine. She once had a chance to go out in a very small boat with some scientists who study whales, and got to listen to the whales coming up for air. She used to be scared of sharks (she still is, a little!) but mostly thinks they are some of the most beautiful and fascinating creatures on Earth. Ann helped edit two books about the ocean for grown-ups: Oceans: Heart of Our Blue Planet and Underwater Eden: Saving the Last Coral Wilderness on Earth. She is the author of five novels for young readers and ,i>Elephant Talk, a book about the ways elephants communicate. Visit Ann's Website.

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Terri Fields

Terri Fields has written nineteen books which have garnered a number of awards including the Maud Hart Lovelace Award for Middle Grades Fiction, the Georgia Children's Choice Award, being named to the Recommended Reading List for Chicago Public Schools, the TAYSHAS (Texas) Reading List, the Southwest Books of the Year List, and as one of the 100 Top Kid Picks in Children's Books in Arizona. In addition to Tornado Tamer, she has written Burro's Tortillas and The Most Dangerous for Arbordale. A long time desert-dweller, Ms Fields has enjoyed sharing her books with children all over the world. In addition to writing, Ms. Fields is also a educator who has been named Arizona Teacher of the Year, ING Education Innovator for Arizona, and been selected as one of the twenty teachers on the All-USA Teacher Team of the nation's top educators. Terri Fields has worked with students in first through twelfth grades. Ms. Fields sees the world around her in terms of the wonderful stories it reveals. Visit Terri's website.

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Doris Fisher

Doris Fisher (Happy Birthday to Whooo?, My Half Day, One Odd Day, and My Even Day) loves writing in verse. She has written a biography, Kelly Clarkson, and a six book series, Grammar All-Stars: The Parts of Speech for Gareth Stevens. Doris is a member of the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Her children’s writing includes fiction, nonfiction, poetry, word puzzles and mazes. She has been published in various children’s magazines including Babybug, Highlights for Children, and Wee Ones Magazine. Doris and her husband live in the Houston, Texas area. They have two grown children. Visit Doris' website.

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J. Adam Frederick

J. Adam Frederick is the Assistant Director of Education at Maryland Sea Grant and works in the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Sciences Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology in Baltimore, MD, and is a former high school biology teacher. As part of his job, he studies salamanders and other aquatic organisms and develops practical applications for classroom teachers. He has co-authored two curriculum-related books: Inside-Out: Environmental Science in the Classroom and the Field, Grades 3-8 and Saltwater Aquaria in the Classroom: a Manual for the Beginner as well as written articles or book chapters to help science teachers in the classroom. This is his first picture book.

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Andrea Gabriel

Award-winning artist Andrea Gabriel has worked as a professional illustrator for the past fifteen years. In addition to Little Gray's Great Migration, other children's books illustrated by Andrea include Where Do I Sleep? and Eaglet's World. She is also the author and illustrator of Wandering Woolly and My Favorite Bear. Andrea lives in Bellingham, Washington with her family of two-and four-legged creatures. Visit her website at

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Carole Gerber

Carole Gerber (Little Red Bat) has written over a hundred science and reading textbooks, a multicultural folktale series, several adult nonfiction books, two chapter books, and 14 picture books. Her recent picture book, Winter Trees, was selected as a 2009 Outstanding Trade Book by the National Science Teachers' Association and the Children's Book Council. Other awards include NSTA and Cooperative Children's Book Center commendations for Leaf Jumpers, a CCBC commendation for Blizzard, and a Parent Council Award of Excellence for Hush! A Gaelic Lullaby. Carole is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators and participates as an Artist in Schools through the Greater Columbus, Ohio, Arts Council. She is frequently invited to elementary schools as a visiting author. She and her husband, Mark, have been married for more than 30 years. They are the parents of two grown daughters, Paige and Jess, and two grandchildren, Sara and Tyler. For more information, visit her website.

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Valarie Giogas

Valarie Giogas (In My Backyard) has been writing since she was a young child. As a teacher, her favorite part of teaching was the books. She's been writing for children ever since she discovered that she could combine her love for children's literature with her passion for writing. The idea for In My Backyard began when her son was in preschool. They always drove by a gaggle of geese and he would giggle when she told him the group name. When the geese had goslings, the idea for this book was cemented. A member of the Society for Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, Valarie has also written articles for Hopscotch Magazine. Valarie and her family live in a suburb of Boston. Visit Valarie's website.

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Kristin Haas

Kristin Haas is a third grade teacher with a Masters in Elementary Education. As a teacher, she sees how books inspire learning and engage the minds of young readers. Kristin hopes this book will encourage young math fans at home and in classrooms to learn about the myriad kinds of geometric shapes. The Shape Family Babies is her debut picture book. Kristin lives in Newburgh, New York with her family. Visit Kristin's website.

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Janet Halfmann

Janet Halfmann (pronounced Howlf-mun) is the award-winning author of more than thirty fiction and nonfiction children's books, including Home in the Cave, Fur and Feathers, and Little Skink's Tail for Arbordale. Other recent titles include Eggs: 1, 2, 3; Star of the Sea: A Day in the Life of a Starfish; Good Night, Little Sea Otter; Garter Snake at Willow Creek Lane; and Seven Miles to Freedom: The Robert Smalls Story. Janet is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. Before becoming a children's author, Janet was a daily newspaper reporter, children's magazine editor, and a creator of coloring and activity books for Golden Books. She is the mother of four and the grandmother of four. When Janet isn't writing, she enjoys gardening, exploring nature, visiting living-history museums, and spending time with her family. She grew up on a farm in Michigan and now lives in South Milwaukee, Wisconsin. For more information, visit her website.

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Katharine Hall

Award-winning author Katharine Hall is a life-long nature lover and avid reader. She hopes the Compare and Contrast series will help children use critical thinking skills to explore and learn about the natural world around them. In addition to Mammals, Katharine's other titles in this series include Polar Bears and Penguins (NSTA/CBC Outstanding Science Trade Book and IRA Children's and Young Adults' Book Award for Primary Non-Fiction), Amphibians and Reptiles, Clouds, and Trees. Katharine and her husband live in South Carolina with their dogs and cats.

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Jeanne Walker Harvey

Jeanne Walker Harvey has been a long-time member of SCBWI with publications in Writer's Digest, Cricket Magazine, Nation's Business, SCBWI's ACORN, Creativity Connection, Parent's Expecting and Teachers of Vision, including articles pertaining to nature and marine animals. Currently, she teaches Language Arts and a Writing Workshop at her local public middle school. In addition to Astro: The Steller Sea Lion for Arbordale, Jeanne has also written My Hands Sing the Blues, a story about Romare Bearden. Growing up in Orange County, California, she was always fascinated by the ocean and marine mammals. She lives in Marin County, California, with her husband and two teenage sons and a black lab who sits at her feet when she writes.

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Fran Hawk

Fran Hawk's favorite things are children, books, and writing. Writing children's books is her dream come true, because it combines all three. Fran resides in South Carolina, and when the famous Hunley submarine was raised from Charleston harbor, she wrote a children's book about the event. Her next book was called Ten Tips for Raising Readers, in which Fran shares all the best information she had gathered about bringing children and books together. One autumn afternoon, Fran was walking as leaves drifted down all around her. She realized she only knew the names of a few of them, so she got some leaf books from the library and worked on identifying them. Then, she thought it would be interesting to write a children's book that would make it fun to learn the names of leaves. The result was Count Down to Fall.

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Janet Ruth Heller

Janet Ruth Heller (How the Moon Regained Her Shape) is the President of the Michigan College English Association. She has her Ph.D. in English Language and Literature from the University of Chicago. Janet has taught creative writing, British and American literature, composition, literature for children, and women's studies for 40 years at various colleges and universities, including Western Michigan University, Northern Illinois University, Michigan State University, and the University of Chicago. Janet has published poems and stories in many magazines and anthologies. She is a founding mother of Primavera, a literary magazine. Her book of literary criticism, Coleridge, Lamb, Hazlitt, and the Reader of Drama, was published in 1990 by the University of Missouri Press. She has also published two books of poetry, Traffic Stop (Finishing Line Press, 2011) and Folk Concert: Changing Times (Anaphora Literary Press, 2012). Visit her website.

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John Himmelman

John Himmelman (Tudley Didn't Know) has written and/or illustrated over 60 children's books since 1981. His award-winning book "Pipaluk and the Whales" (published by National Geographic) is based on the true story of how far people will go to save their wild neighbors. John's "Nature Upclose" series of 13 different books (published by Children's Press, a division of Scholastic) includes such titles as: A Monarch Butterfly's Life, A Pillbug's Life, A Luna Moth's Life, and A Woodfrog's, Life. He based his Animal Rescue Club (Harper Collins) beginning reader book on a group of real children who rescued orphaned and injured wildlife. John's first book for adults, Discovering Moths, was recently published by Downeast Books. Most of John's book stem from his obvious passion for animals and nature. When John isn't busy writing or illustrating his books, he is involved with the CT Butterfly Association, the Killingworth Land Conservation Trust, leads nature walks and gives natural history lectures throughout the country. He works with schools by offering special science observation programs, and teaches courses on children's book writing. As if he isn't busy enough, John has two children (one in college and one in high school) and a working wife (high school art teacher) with a busy life of her own. John says he has never lost his love of reading and ends each day curled up in bed with a good book! Visit John's Website

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Ron Hirschi

Ron Hirschi (Ocean Seasons) lives on a small island in western Washington and walks the beach most days of the year. As a biologist, he also spends much time on the water, learning about and helping salmon and other aquatic fish and wildlife. As an author, he brings the excitement of what he learns onto the pages of books for young readers. Ron has written over 50 children's books. His books have been listed as Best Science Trade Books of the year, and won the John Burroughs Nature Book among other awards. Several of his books have been featured on Reading Rainbow. In addition to writing, Ron enjoys working directly with kids and takes them outside during his many school visits. They net fish to study water quality or search for frogs and salamanders in small ponds. They also study ocean life and it was on a trip to the beach with a group of elementary students that he got the idea for this book. Ron helped to raise the funds to purchase a tidal wetland that is now an environmental learning center and critical habitat for endangered salmon. His book, Salmon, remains a fund raiser for this (Nick's Lagoon) project. Visit Ron's website.

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Mary Holland

Mary Holland is a naturalist, nature photographer, columnist, and award-winning author with a life-long passion for natural history. After graduating from the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources, Mary worked as a naturalist at the Museum of the Hudson Highlands in New York state, directed the state-wide Environmental Learning for the Future program for the Vermont Institute of Natural Science, worked as a resource naturalist for the Massachusetts Audubon Society, and designed and presented her own "Knee-High Nature Programs" for libraries and elementary schools throughout Vermont and New Hampshire. In addition to Animal Eyes her children's books include A Beaver's Busy Year and Ferdinand Fox's First Summer (NSTA/CBC Outstanding Science Trade Books, Moonbeam Bronze award) with Arbordale and Milkweed Visitors, (Science Books and Films' list for the best books of 2006 in the category Children's Books under Zoological Sciences). Mary's book Naturally Curious: a Photographic Field Guide and Month-by-Month Journey Through the Fields, Woods and Marshes of New England won the 2011 National Outdoor Book Award for the Nature Guidebook category. Mary lives in Vermont with her lab, Emma. Visit Mary's blog Naturally Curious with Mary Holland

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Kimberly Hutmacher

Kimberly Hutmacher (Paws, Claws, Hands, and Feet) has written numerous pieces of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry for children's magazines and anthologies. She has also written three eBooks for the educational website "A to Z Kid's Stuff" and served as poetry editor for Wee Ones Magazine for two years. Kimberly has homeschooled her three children for several years and they have a huge love and curiosity for science. A few years ago, when gathering material for a science lesson on how animals use their appendages, Kimberly had a difficult time finding material geared toward preschool and early elementary students. The seed was planted, and she set out to write her own book that would present the materials in a lively and engaging way for younger audiences. The result was her first picture book, Paws, Claws, Hands, and Feet, published by Arbordale Publishing Spring 2009. Kimberly lives in Illinois.

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Catherine Ipcizade

Catherine Ipcizade (pronounced ip-chi-zah'-deh) ('Twas the Day Before Zoo Day) has written for numerous publications, both in print and on-line, and also works as an assistant editor for Thirteen Minutes Magazine. In addition to writing and blogging, Catherine likes to spend time with her husband and two children, cozy up with a good book, spend time in the kitchen cooking and baking, and practicing photography. Catherine is a member of SCBWI and volunteers for The Little Owl Mentoring Program, a program that pairs published writers with high school students who wish to be writers. In addition to 'Twas the Day Before Zoo Day, she also has also written African Animals: Giraffes; African Animals: Lions; and African Animals: Zebras. Catherine and her family live in southern California.

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Terry Catasús Jennings

Terry Catasús Jennings has been heavily involved in the arts for the past 20 years, serving as a Cultural Arts Chair in her children's schools. She is a contributor to the National Science Resource Center's (NSRC) Science and Technology for Children and Science and Technology Concepts for Middle Grades series. Her articles have appeared in The Washington Post, Long Island News Day and Ranger Rick and she wrote a family humor column for her local newspaper, The Reston Connection, for four years. In addition to Sounds of the Savanna, she has written the award-winning Gopher to the Rescue (NSTA-CBC Outstanding Trade Book) and Women's Liberation Movement, 1960-1990. Terry is a member of SCBWI. She and her husband live in Northern Virginia. Visit Terry's website.

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Jaime Gardner Johnson

Jaime Gardner Johnson is a ninth grade English teacher and former director of education at Brukner Nature Center. As a life-long nature lover, she has worked with rehabilitation centers for both raptors and other wildlife. Jaime lives with her husband and son in Kamuela, Hawaii, where they enjoy hiking in the volcanic hills in search of pueo owls. The Ghost of Donley Farm is her debut picture book.

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Pam Kapchinske

Pam Kapchinske is a freelance writer and editor of educational materials. She creates K-12 web-based assessments for Scantron Corporation and has written science content for Discovery Education. Her children’s poetry has been published in Ladybug magazine. Pam holds a B.S. in Biology and taught science in the Peace Corps in Zimbabwe. She lives with her husband and two boys in San Diego. Hey Diddle Diddle is her debut picture book.

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Gail Langer Karwoski

Gail Langer Karwoski (Water Beds, River Beds, and Julie the Rockhound) is an award-winning children's book writer. In addition to Julie the Rockhound and Water Beds: Sleeping in the Ocean (Mom's Choice Best Children's Picture Book Author for 2005), published by Arbordale, Gail has written six other books for young readers including: Tsumani: The True Story of an April Fool's Day Disaster and Quake! Disaster in San Francisco, 1906. Before becoming a full time author, Gail taught in Georgia public schools. She frequently returns to schools as a visiting author. Gail married a rockhound. On their honeymoon, they hiked through lush western forests and stark "forests" of petrified wood. They dove into foamy aquamarine waves in the Pacific Ocean and dug into crumbly turquoise deposits in the Southwestern desert. Since then, they've gone "treasure hunting" for geodes, fossils, and crystals. At the schools where she taught, her classroom was famous because of the "rock box." Now, as owners of a quartz deposit in South Carolina where visitors can try their luck at digging for crystals, Gail and her husband have watched hundreds of people - both young and old - delight in finding sparkly quartz crystals. She wrote Julie the Rockhound to share this delight in our earth's treasures with children and their parents. Gail lives near the University of Georgia with her husband, two daughters, and three bossy cats. Visit Gail's website.

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Cynthia Kieber-King

Cynthia Kieber-King(Habitat Spy) has always been inspired by nature and science, and has degrees in zoology and biological oceanography. Before becoming a children's author, Cynthia worked as an environmental consultant studying wetlands and conducting ecological risk assessments. She loves to travel and explore all kinds of habitats and learning about all the different plants and animals that live there. Cynthia lives and writes in central New York State with her wonderful husband and son. Habitat Spy is her debut picture book.

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Jennifer Kramer

Jennifer Kramer (Ocean Hide and Seek) loves spending time outdoors and believes children make the very best nature guides. Jennifer graduated with a BA from Emory University and a JD/MBA from Georgia State University. At Emory, she took classes in child psychology and education, and worked with children at Fernbank Elementary, The Phoenix School, and the St. Stephens Infant School in Canterbury, England. Her favorite time was recess, though she was hopeless at jumping rope and hide-and-seek. The kids always found her! It was also at Emory that Jennifer obtained her NAUI scuba certification. Her first dive trip was to a rock quarry in Alabama, where there were no sea animals. Since then, she has snorkeled and dived off Maui, the Caymans, and the coast of Cozumel. She loves to talk about coming face-to-face with a white tipped reef shark! In addition to Ocean Hide and Seek, Jennifer has also written Good Luck Charlie and The Ninth Dragon. She has fiction and non-fiction stories and articles published with Highlights for Children, Ladybug, Educational Testing, McGraw Hill, and more. Jennifer currently resides in Georgia, with her husband, four children, and a standard poodle that thinks he is Elvis.

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Kevin Kurtz

Award-winning author Kevin Kurtz holds degrees in English literature and elementary education and started his career by working at a marine biology lab. Since then, he has combined all of these experiences by working as an environmental educator and curriculum writer for organizations such as the South Carolina Aquarium, the Science Factory Children's Museum, and the Center for Birds of Prey. Kevin has authored A Day in the Deep, A Day on the Mountain, and A Day in the Salt Marsh for Arbodale. Kevin also wrote Uncovering Earth'sSecrets after spending eight weeks as the Educator at Sea aboard the marine geology research vessel JOIDES Resolution.

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Marta Lindsey

Marta Lindsey has a degree in environmental science and is a volunteer at Point Reyes National Seashore, a popular place to see gray whales on their annual migration along the Pacific coast. Marta's time spent whale-watching, made her wonder what it would be like to swim thousands of miles, especially if you were just a few months old? Marta hopes this story will inspire readers to learn about gray whales, go whale-watching themselves, and help whale conservation efforts worldwide. Marta lives in San Francisco with her husband, Drew, and their daughter, Helena. Little Gray's Great Migration is her debut picture book.

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Karen Jones (Lee)

Award-winning illustrator Karen Jones began her career as a storyboard artist and editorial illustrator but it wasn't until she had children of her own that she discovered her true artistic passion: children's illustration. In addition to Midnight Madness at the Zoo, Karen has illustrated One Odd Day, My Even Day and My Half Day for Arbordale. She has also written and illustrated ABC Safari. Karen and her family live outside of Raleigh, NC. Karen's children join her on many research trips to museums, zoos and aquariums-a tough job, but someone has to do it! Visit Karen's website.

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Michelle Lord

Award-winning author Michelle Lord started writing stories when she was in elementary school. In addition to Nature Recycles for Arbordale, her other books include Tide Pool Trouble, A Song for Cambodia, and the award-winning Little Sap and Monsieur Rodin. Michelle and her family recycle at their home in Texas.

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Donna Love

Award-winning author Donna Love brings nature to life for children through her books: The Glaciers are Melting!; Henry the Impatient Heron; Loons, Diving Birds of the North; Awesome Ospreys, Fishing Birds of the World; Animals Count in Grand Canyon National Park; and The Totally Out There Guide to Glacier National Park. Donna lives in Montana, where her husband is a district ranger on the Lolo National Forest. They have three grown children, and one granddaughter. Visit Donna's website.

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Barbara Mariconda

Barbara Mariconda Award-winning author Barbara Mariconda is one of those people who "has done it all!" In addition to authoring Ten for Me and Sort it Out! (2009 IRA and CBC Children's Choice and 2009 Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year List) for Arbordale, she is an educator (K-6), a mentor teacher, an adjunct professor of Children's Literature and Process Writing. Barbara has also written a wide variety of musicals, songs, novels, and numerous professional books for teachers. She frequently speaks on the topic of writing for and with children, and provides professional development for teachers at seminars across the country. She lives in Connecticut where she is a partner in the educational seminar and consulting firm, Empowering Writers, LLC., and is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. Visit Barbara's website.

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Lynne Mayer

Lynne Mayer (Newton and Me) grew up in Palos Park, Illinois. She attended the University of Illinois where she obtained her degree in computer science/math and developed her love of puzzles and educational reading. She is currently an adjunct instructor of computer science at Elgin Community College. The college has provided Lynne with the opportunity to travel to exotic places. She has visited the Amazon jungle in Peru as well as the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador. Often inspired by the outdoors, she will be returning to the jungle in June 2009 for her third visit. Now that her children are grown, Lynne is finally pursuing her dream of writing educational children's books. For more information, visit her website.

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John McGranaghan

John McGranaghan (Saturn for My Birthday, Meet the Planets) has always been fascinated by outer space and he shares that fascination in a humorous (but educational) way through Meet the Planets and Saturn for My Birthday. John has also written stories and articles for Boys' Quest Magazine, Pockets Magazine, Columbia Magazine, and local newspapers. He is winner of the 2001 Pockets Fiction Contest. When John isn't writing, he enjoys sports and spending time with his wife and two boys. John is a school counselor in the Philadelphia suburbs. Visit his website.

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Susan K. Mitchell

Susan K. Mitchell (The Rainforest Grew All Around and Kersplatypus) is a children's author with many hats in her collection: author, mom, wife, pre-school teacher, and Spanish teacher. Susan loves creating a silly world of words for kids. The idea of Kersplatypus quite literally came from a word she made up when her youngest daughter fell down one day. Surrounded by kids all day, every day, she has no shortage of story ideas. Susan is also the author of two other picture books: The Rainforest Grew All Around and Stone Pizza. She has also written more than fourteen non-fiction chapter books for older readers on topics ranging from entertainment to architecture to animals. Susan, her husband, and two wonderful daughters live outside of Houston with their dog and two crazy cats. Visit Susan's website.

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Mary Alice Monroe

Mary Alice Monroe (A Butterfly Called Hope) is the New York Times bestselling author of The Beach House, Swimming Lessons, Beach House Memories, Skyward, Sweetgrass, Time is a River, Last Light Over Carolina, and The Butterfly’s Daughter among other novels. Her first children's book, Turtle Summer: A Journal for my Daughter (ASPCA Henry Bergh award-winner) was released to great acclaim in 2007 as a picture book companion to her adult novel, Swimming Lessons. A Butterfly Called Hope is her second children's photographic book and is the result of her monarch-raising research for The Butterfly's Daughter. Mary Alice is currently working on a trilogy of novels about dolphins. Look for a third children's book to accompany that series. Visit Mary Alice's Website

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Doris L. Mueller

Doris L. Mueller (The Best Nest) was a teacher and professor at every level from kindergarten through graduate school. Some of her other books include, Small One’s Adventure, a middle-grade novel, Marryin' Sam, and a biography, M. Jeff Thompson: Missouri's Swamp Fox. Doris recalled that whenever she failed to listen to instructions, her mother would tell her an Old English Tale of how, when the magpie tried to teach the birds how to build a beautiful, strong nest like hers, all but one failed to attend to her instructions and went off to build inadequate nests. She retold the story, substituting birds native to the US, and added factual information telling how various birds build their nests for The Best Nest. Doris lived with her husband on a small lake outside of St. Louis and had many bird visitors at their bird feeders-woodpeckers, humming birds, nuthatches, and goldfinches, among others.

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Lucy Nolan

Lucy Nolan spent many childhood days roaming two very special islands: Pawleys Island, SC, and Amelia Island, FL, where she collected the family stories that were shared around the dinner tables of hundred-year-old homes. It was only natural that she would eventually combine her love of the sea and storytelling into Mother Osprey: Nursery Rhymes for Buoys and Gulls (Arbordale, Fall 2009). This playful book retells Mother Goose rhymes and embodies everything Lucy loves about America's coastlines! Lucy has been writing since she was four years old and is the author of several picture books and the popular Down Girl and Sit chapter books. She is also a two-time winner in the South Carolina Fiction project, sponsored by the South Carolina Arts Commission. Lucy lives in Columbia, SC, with her daughter and two rambunctious dogs. For more info, visit her website.

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Sherry North

Sherry North (Champ's Story: Dogs Get Cancer, Too) is an award-winning children's author and medical journalist. A former medical producer for CNN Headline News, Sherry has written and produced a number of award-winning medical documentaries for public television, and she currently contributes to WebMD. In the children's book realm, Sherry has written Because You Are My Baby (Winner of a 2008 NAPPA Gold Award), Because I Am Your Daddy, Sailing Days, and The School that Sank. Her writing has also appeared in Highlights magazine, and she was a runner-up in the 2008 Magazine Merit Awards. Sherry has presented at many preschools, elementary schools, and libraries. She was also a featured speaker at the 2008 Miami Book Fair International. She lives in South Florida with her husband, son, daughter, dog, and cat. For more information, visit her website. Sherry is also a featured blogger for the Miami Herald's parenting site.

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Darcy Pattison

Darcy Pattison is published in eight languages. Recent titles include two nature books for Arbordale, Prairie Storms and Desert Baths (August, 2012). Other recent titles include Wisdom: The Midway Albatross and 11 Ways to Ruin a Photograph. She also authored the ebook, How to Write a Children's Book and the teacher resource book, Paper Lightning: Prewriting Activities to Spark Creativity and Help Students Write Effectively (Prufrock Press). Darcy is the 2007 recipient of the Arkansas Governor's Arts Award, Individual Artist Award for her work in children's literature. As a writing teacher, Darcy is in demand nationwide to teach her Novel Revision Retreat. She is currently the Co-Chair of the Children's Program for the Arkansas Literary Festival. For more information about Darcy, visit her website.

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Carrie A. Pearson

Carrie A. Pearson is a former early elementary teacher and the winner of a SCBWI-Michigan Picture Book Mentorship Award and a Work of Outstanding Promise grant. A Cool Summer Tail, and the companion, A Warm Winter Tail (2013-2014 Great Lakes Great Books Literature Program and a Gelett Burgess Award) follow many of the same animals to describe how they manage the hot summer and cold winter weather. Carrie and her family live in the upper peninsula of Michigan. Visit her website.

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Phyllis J. Perry

Phyllis J. Perry (Pandas' Earthquake Escape) is the author of more than 70 books of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction for children and adults. Phyllis worked with the Boulder, Colorado, Valley Schools as a teacher, principal, curriculum specialist, and director of talented and gifted education before taking early retirement to write full time. She is active in a number of writing-related organizations. She is a member of the Colorado Authors' League and of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. She participates in the Colorado Council of the International Reading Association and lives in Boulder with her husband, David. They have two daughters and four grandchildren. For more information about Phyllis, visit her website.

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Terry Pierce

Terry Pierce (Blackberry Banquet) is the author of sixteen children's books, including picture books, easy readers, joke books, and nonfiction. Terry now writes full-time, teaches children's writing workshops and is a visiting author at elementary schools. She also proudly serves on the Ventura/Santa Barbara regional board of the SCBWI. Terry was inspired to write Blackberry Banquet by her son (now grown) and their berry-picking family vacations in Oregon. Even though he hated bees (which frequented the blackberry bushes), he knew the lessons of The Little Red Hen and would help her to pick berries anyway. Terry lives in the high desert of California with her husband of thirty years, one goldfish, and a brown bobtailed cat. Visit Terry's website.

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Dr. Ellen Prager

Dr. Ellen Prager, a well-respected marine scientist, consultant, and author, is widely recognized for her expertise and ability to bring science to the layperson. Her books for adults include the acclaimed Sex, Drugs, and Sea Slime: The Oceans' Oddest Creatures and Why They Matter; Chasing Science at Sea: Racing Hurricanes, Stalking Sharks, and Living Undersea with Ocean Experts; The Oceans; and Furious Earth: The Science and Nature of Earthquakes, Volcanoes, and Tsunamis. In addition to Sea Slime: It's Eeuwy, Gooey and Under the Sea, her other children's books include The Restless Earth: Earthquakes and Volcanoes; SAND; Volcanoes; and Earthquakes; and the upcoming middle grade fiction series, The Shark Whisperer: Tristan Hunt and the Sea Guardians. Dr. Prager was the chief scientist for the world's only undersea research station, the Aquarius Reef Base program in Key Largo, FL. For more information, go to her website at Earth2Ocean.

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Doreen Rathmell

Doreen Rathmell (Octavia and Her Purple Ink Cloud) and her sister, Donna (see below) collaborated on this book. Doreen is an elementary school teacher and former elementary school librarian. This is Doreen's first book. Both sisters have a passion for children's books and believe that reading to children is the best way to instill imagination and a love for learning. The annual family beach reunion and a Discovery Channel program about octopuses sparked the beginnings of "Octavia."

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Donna Rathmell German

Donna Rathmell German (Carolina's Story and Octavia) is the author of 16 cookbooks, four of which were New York Times best-sellers including The Bread Machine Cookbook Series, which have sold more than 3 million copies. The 1990's brought extensive media experience promoting her cookbooks, with appearances on such nationally respected programs as The Today Show, The 700 Club, Attitudes with Linda Dano, QVC, and a host of other radio and television programs. Donna is a volunteer at the South Carolina Aquarium, where she has developed a keen interest in their sea turtle rescue program. It was there that she met Barbara Bergwerf, the photographer for Carolina's Story. Two of life's inspirations led to the writing of Carolina's Story: one day, several years ago, the dock master at the marina called to ask Donna to safeguard an injured sea turtle that stranded nearby. As she and her daughter waited for the rescue team to arrive, she began to think about the importance of helping endangered turtles thrive in their natural environment. The second inspiration occurred when Donna was introduced to the Sea Turtle Hospital. She recalled an incident from years before when her then five-year-old daughter was injured in a fall and had to be rushed to a nearby Children's Hospital. The terrifying experience of emergency surgery and the attendant tests and medications brought to mind the same treatments she was seeing with the turtles. She saw both experiences as a way to increase children's awareness and respect for the natural world, and wrote a book that is also an invaluable resource for educating children on what to expect from their own medical treatment.

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Katherine Rawson

Katherine Rawson (If You Were a Parrot) was inspired to write this book by watching her own pet parrot, Shadow, a small green parrot with a big personality. (Shadow even has his own blog!) When Katherine is not playing with, reading or writing about parrots, she teaches English as a Second Language at a community college and works as a freelance writer. She is a former elementary school teacher. Katherine lives in Vermont.

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Bettina Restrepo

Bettina Restrepo (Moose and Magpie) is a professional writer who has appeared in Highlights for Children, Nature Friend, and Boy's Life magazines. Bettina graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Speech Communications and spent over fifteen years in the retail industry as a merchandise manager and auditor. She achieved her dream and is now writing at home with her husband, son, and dog in Texas. Moose and Magpie is Bettina's debut picture book. She is busy writing about more animals and is completing her fourth young adult novel. She is thrilled to share this book with elementary schools across the globe.

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Susan Ring

Susan Ring (Where Should Turtle Be?) is an Emmy-award winner and prolific writer, who specializes in writing for children, and through her creative services company, Monkey-Says, she writes for all types of media. Her experience in television and video includes creating characters and writing songs. Her song "Where's My Nose?" won third place in the 2006 International Songwriting Competition, competing against thousands of other songwriters worldwide. Although Where Should Turtle Be? (Spring 2009) is Susan's first Arbordale book, she has over 135 books to her name. Susan lives in Rhode Island. Visit Susan's company website.

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Tom Robinson

Tom Robinson is a high school math teacher with more than 20 years of experience in the classroom. He wrote Fibonacci Zoo to introduce young readers to numbers and patterns. Tom is the author of The Everything Kids Science Experiments Book, The Everything Kids Magical Science Experiments Book, and Forcing Out: A Guide to Better Physics Fitness. Tom lives in Chelan, WA, with his wife and two children.

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Brian Rock

Brian Rock (The Deductive Detective)received a master's degree in Children's Literature and Creative Writing from Hollins University. Brian's short stories for children appear regularly in the regional magazine Kid's World and his poems for children have appeared in Highlights for Children, Poetry Train, and various regional publications. His short story, The Frog Dad, was selected as one of the inaugural titles for iPulpFiction's "Don't Read This in the Dark" series. For six years Brian worked in the Chesterfield County public school system teaching at-risk students. Visit his website.

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Mara Rockliff

Mara Rockliff (Pieces of Another World) is the author of many books for children and teens, including the Indie Next pick The Busiest Street in Town, praised by Publishers Weekly as "genuinely inspiring." Her own favorite meteor shower was one she watched with a group of friends on a bitterly cold night. They threw a pile of old blankets on the ground and huddled close together, telling jokes and singing songs as they stared up into the clear night sky, afraid to blink and miss one of these tiny bits of other, distant worlds as they blazed into our own. Mara lives in eastern Pennsylvania with her family. Visit her website

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Linda Joy Singleton

Linda Joy Singleton has been writing for as long as she can remember. She is the award-winning author of 38 books, including the young adult series The Seer and Dead Girl. Linda lives in northern California with her husband, surrounded by horses, peacocks, dogs, wild turkeys and demanding cats. Visit her website at

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Suzanne Slade

Suzanne Slade is the award-winning author of over 80 books for children including The Great Divide, Multiply on the Fly, What's the Difference?, What's New at the Zoo?, and Animals are Sleeping for Arbordale. Her works include picture books, biographies, as well as many non-fiction titles about animals, sports, and nature. One of her favorite parts of the writing process is researching and learning new things. Suzanne lives near Chicago with her husband, Mike, two children, and their tiny dog, Corduroy. She enjoys visiting schools in-person or during her live virtual author visits. Visit Suzanne's website.

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Danna Smith

Danna Smith received excellent reviews for Pirate Nap and Two at the Zoo, which was featured in Parenting Magazine and is a Raising Readers board book special edition. The inspiration for her most recent book, Balloon Trees, came from her husband's line of work running a rubber manufacturing plant. Although his company makes industrial rubber products, Danna chose to follow the creation of a fun product that is near and dear to a child's heart: the balloon. She lives in Northern California with her husband, two grown children, and their cocker spaniel, Peanut. Visit her website.

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Dani Sneed

Dani Sneed (One Odd Day, My Even Day and My Half Day) is a mother of three, full-time engineer, part-time writer and former substitute teacher. While teaching, Dani enjoyed explaining math in silly, but memorable, ways. Oddly enough, she was inspired to co-author One Odd Day based on a conversation she had with an elementary school librarian. My Even Day is a natural follow on to that quite odd book and there may even be a fraction of a book in the future! Dani has written several articles for Highlights for Children and five merit badge books for Boy Scouts of America including Chemistry, Environmental Science, and Geology, and is working on more. She has two co-authored bilingual books; Confetti Eggs / Cascarones and / Papel Picado. Dani lives in the suburbs of Houston with her family which includes a dog, Muffin and a cat, Cupcake. They are currently looking for a pet to name Biscuit.

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Lois Spangler

Lois Spangler is an accomplished author and educator who has received many distinguished awards for her classroom work during her 32-year career. In addition to her personal achievements, she has worked with students to help them earn both state and national awards from numerous organizations including NASA, Toshiba and the NSTA. Although The Fort on Fourth Street is Lois's debut picture book, she has written, edited and managed more than 30 books including 6 ancillary science books for Scott Foresman Science. As an author and education expert, she has served on various committees and boards, including as a judge for the NSTA's ExploraVision National Science Competition and the NSF's Selection Committee for the "PAEMST." Visit her website for more information.

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Linda Stanek

As an early and middle childhood educator, Linda Stanek wants to inspire young learners, including children with written language disabilities, to write about things that excite them. Her own passion for saving endangered animals and teaching children about the importance of each link in natural world provide the inspiration for Once Upon an Elephant. Linda has also written The Pig and Miss Prudence and Beco's Big Year: A Baby Elephant Turns One. Linda has two grown sons and lives in Ohio with her feline family members. Visit her website at

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David A. Ufer

David A. Ufer (The Giraffe Who Was Afraid of Heights) says that this story has been floating around in his head for several years now and has spent lots of hours at the zoo watching some of these animals to get a feel for their behavior and personalities. David hopes that this book will help children overcome some of their own fears. He is looking forward to the day when he may be able to leave the corporate world behind and become a full-time author - perhaps writing and traveling across the country.

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Andrea Vlahakis

Andrea Vlahakis (Christmas Eve Blizzard) is a busy children's author, having been published in Highlights for Children, Turtle, Ladybug and Appleseeds. In addition to her own writing, Andrea is an instructor at the Institute of Children's Literature. A large portion of Andrea's work revolves around nature and birds. The inspiration for this book comes from her childhood home-when she was eight, her father hung a cardinal-red birdfeeder from their old apple tree and her love of bird watching was born. It also comes from her own rescue of a bird during a blizzard a few years ago, with the help of an equally snowbound wildlife rescue person on the other end of the phone. Andrea lives in Connecticut surrounded by woods, streams, and lots of birds to watch.

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Peter Walters

After studying art in England and volunteering at a Montessori school,author Peter Walters traveled the world working in childcare and education. While he worked in Ghana, he helped children create their own books, but it was time spent in New Zealand that inspired Peter to write and illustrate his first picture book: The Hungriest Mouth in the Sea. Today, Peter draws inspiration from the rugged coast of Cornwall, England where he explores the green hills and baron moors with his family and Labrador, Tui.

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Jen Funk Weber

Jen Funk Weber began writing professionally while working as a winter caretaker for remote lodges in Alaska, often passing six months or more with no electricity, running water, or human neighbors. Jen has written numerous puzzle and activity books, including Nancy Drew: Hollywood Head Scratchers, The Spiderwick Chronicles, Wild About Alaska: A Children's Puzzle Book, Wild About Sudoku, and Alaska's Puzzle Bears. Been There, Done That: Reading Animal Signs is Jen's debut picture book. Jen lives with her husband in a house they built overlooking the Matanuska Glacier in Alaska. They see their moose and bird neighbors often, their human and porcupine neighbors sometimes, and occasionally catch a glimpse of a coyote or lynx. Visit her website at

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Kelly Kizer Whitt

Kelly Kizer Whitt (Solar System Forecast) has been an admirer of the universe since childhood. From the dark skies of her hometown of Sauk City, Wisconsin, she would gaze at the stars and wonder what was beyond them. Kelly majored in English and studied Astronomy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After college she spent three years in Nashville with her husband, Jeremy, before moving to the Milwaukee area. In 1998 she landed her dream job at Astronomy magazine, where she worked as copy editor, photo editor, and assistant editor. Kelly wrote the terrestrial planets section of The Collins Illustrated Encyclopedia of Space, published in 2001. She writes about space for the websites and She also has a weekly stargazing blog for the Sierra Club online. Besides writing about space, Kelly published a romance novel on Kindle in 2011 titled The Gathering Storm. Kelly's hobbies include visiting the national parks, creating crossword puzzles, and reading. Kelly lives in Sussex, Wisconsin, with Jeremy, her son Kaden, her daughter Lucy, and their cat Perseus, named for the constellation.

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Loran Wlodarski

Loran Wlodarski (Felina's New Home, and If a Dolphin Were a Fish) is a science writer for SeaWorld and has written six books for them in addition to his many normal daily responsibilities. He has been published in sources such as Grolier's Encyclopedia for Children and The Marine Mammal Encyclopedia. In addition, he has served as a scientific consultant for "Ask Magazine", Random House Books, Animal Planet, Ripley's Believe It Or Not, and Who Wants to be a Millionaire. Loran has raised animals his entire life. One of his early jobs at SeaWorld's Education Department was to raise some of their animals - newly hatched sharks, macaws, turtles, tropical fish, and iguanas. Loran lives in Florida.

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Robin Yardi

Robin Yardi approaches life with great wonder, a stack of field guides, and picture books nearby. She's a credentialed elementary school teacher who loves reading to her students and watching the wildlife that pass through her garden, but it was Robin's daughter that inspired her debut picture book They Just Know. Robin lives in Santa Barbara, California with one lovely husband, two muddy kids, a Sulcata Tortoise, eight chickens, and innumerable koi fish. Visit her website at

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Patti Zelch

Influenced by wildlife around her, Patti Zelch's (pronounced "Zelk") stories have been published in magazines and anthologies. While preparing for a hurricane, her grandson asked her what wild animals would do during the storm. After much research, she learned that some wildlife seem to sense upcoming storms long before humans. Ready, Set...Wait! is the result of her research and is her debut picture book. A retired teacher, Patti and her husband split the year between southern Florida and North Carolina.

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Salima Alikhan

Salima Alikhan (Pieces of Another World) decided to pursue a career in children's book illustration when she realized her lifelong passion for art would never leave her alone. Salima studied at the Corcoran Institute of Art in Washington, DC. Her favorite medium is watercolor. She begins most of her illustrations by drawing on cold-pressed watercolor paper, going over the drawing with ink, painting the picture, and then adding the final detail with watercolor pencil. To create the effect of snow, gravel, sand, stars, or coral, she often sprinkles salt on top of watercolor while it's still wet. When the paint dries, she shakes the salt off. The mineral compositions of different types of salts create different effects. Table salt leaves smaller spots, which are good for snow, gravel and stars; and sea salt or canning salt leave large circles, which are better for coral or sand. She has the good fortune of being an art teacher in a Montessori school, where she has learned lots about both art and children. She currently resides, teaches, and paints in Austin, TX. This is her first children's book. Visit Salima's website

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Barbara J. Bergwerf

Barbara J. Bergwerf photo journals her nature-related volunteer involvement at the South Carolina Aquarium's Sea Turtle Hospital, the Island Turtle Team on Isle of Palms and Sullivan's Island, and the South Carolina Center for Birds of Prey. She's collaborated with best-selling novelist Mary Alice Monroe to share butterfly and loggerhead sea turtle photos with children through A Butterfly Called Hope and the award-winning Turtle Summer: A Journal for my Daughter. Her incredible photos also grace the award-winning children's book, Carolina's Story: Sea Turtles Get Sick Too! Barbara thought that she was retiring when she and her husband moved to the South Carolina Lowcountry. Somehow retirement doesn't seem to be in her vocabulary! Visit Barbara's website.

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Shennen Bersani

While Shennen Bersani is an award-winning children's book illustrator,Achoo! Why Pollen Counts is her debut picture book as an author. Her art delivers a unique blend of realism, heartfelt emotion, love of nature, and life lessons for children of all ages. She has illustrated A Case of Sense; Once Upon an Elephant; Salamander Season; Sea Slime: It's Eeuwy, Gooey and Under the Sea; The Shape Family Babies; Animal Partners; Shark Baby; Home in the Cave; The Glaciers are Melting!; and Astro: The Steller Sea Lion for Arbordale. Shennen has also illustrated a number of best-selling books, including,Snakes: Long, Longer, Longest; Sharks: Big, Bigger, Biggest; Ocean Counting: Odd Numbers; and Icky Bug Shapes. Shennen lives near Boston. For more information, visit her website at

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Kirsten Carlson

Kirsten Carlson is fascinated by animals and nature. Her background in biology, scientific illustration and design has given her the tools to share stories about the natural world through illustration. She believes illustrating children's books are a wonderful way to connect others to nature. Prior to illustrating Ocean Seasons, Kirsten illustrated The Giraffe Who Was Afraid of Heights, also published by Arbordale. Kirsten lives in Gig Harbor, Washington near the shores of Puget Sound. Visit Kirsten's website.

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Lew Clayton

Lew Clayton (Felina's New Home) has worked as an illustrator for 20 years. He has a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from Brigham Young University, and he is a Graphic Designer in the Media Industry. He is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. His medium of choice is Prismacolor colored pencil, and his favorite subject matters are people and animals. He has two previously published books: The Adventures of Willy B and Archie's Christmas Tale. Felina's New Home is his first picture book with Arbordale Publishing.

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Susan Detwiler

Susan Detwiler is the illustrator of several books for children including On the Move, Big Cat, Little Kitty, and the award-winning titles Pandas' Earthquake Escape and One Wolf Howls. She is the author/illustrator of Fine Life For A Country Mouse. Susan is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators. Her illustrations have appeared in the children's magazines Highlights for Children and Ladybug, and her artwork has also been used for puzzles, games, and greeting cards. Books have always been a source of joy in her life, and as a child she particularly loved books with beautiful illustrations. Susan was educated at the Maryland Institute College of Art and lives with her artist husband in Baltimore. Visit her website.

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Rebecca Dickinson

Rebecca Dickinson award-winning art and illustrations grace not only Anybody Home?, but many other books as well, including Wee-Sing Nursery Rhymes , Boo! A Halloween Sticker Book and Story, and The Dirty Pond. She is the author and illustrator of The 13 Nights of Halloween & Monster Cake, and wrote Over in the Hollow. Rebecca is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. She paints the "old fashioned way," with acrylic and gouache, from her home studio in Seattle, WA. Ms. Dickinson shares her Gothic Victorian home with 3 lovely children, a brilliant corgi, named Napoleon Bonaparte and Stella Fluffanella the studio muse cat. Visit her website.

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Lisa Downey

Lisa Downey is a freelance artist and graphic designer. Although she has always been interested in illustrating children's books, it was not until she worked with an in-house design firm at a paperboard book manufacturer that she realized children's books should be her focus. The combination of illustration, design and 3D surfaces to tell a story encompasses everything she has learned and enjoys doing. Lisa's style ranges from cartoonish to very representational. Her favorite medium is pastels. Lisa has illustrated Blackberry Banquet, Julie the Rockhound and Happy Birthday to Whooo? for Arbordale. She lives in the SC Lowcountry, with her very supportive husband, Len, and their cats; Pom Pom and Ophelia. Visit Lisa's website.

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Wendy Edelson

Wendy Edelson (Saturn for my Birthday) illustrated the first of many books, "Whose Garden" at the age of 18. Since then she has divided her time between illustrating children's books and "grown-up" books, and working on advertising and editorial projects. All of Wendy's illustrations begin with very detailed pencils drawings and are then painted mostly with watercolor with the addition of occasional bits of colored pencil and pastel…the painting is definitely her favorite part! Wendy, her husband, and 4 cats currently live on an island in the Pacific Northwest. A corgi puppy will hopefully be joining the family soon! Visit Wendy's website.

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Kathryn Freeman

Kathryn Freeman (Loon Chase) spent many summers on Conway Lake in the White Mountains region in New Hampshire where she learned to use pastels from her uncle, the landscape artist Robert Jordan. He and Kathryn often took a canoe out at dawn to check on nesting loons. Kathryn is known foremost as a painter. Her works have been exhibited nationally and internationally and are held in numerous private and public collections. She has also done a number of large public commissions, including three story murals for the new public library in Jacksonville, Florida. While this is her first children's book, it will likely not be her last! Her life-like pastels are superb. Visit Kathryn's website.

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Andrea Gabriel

Award-winning artist Andrea Gabriel has worked as a professional illustrator for the past fifteen years. In addition to Been There, Done That: Reading Animal Signs and Little Gray's Great Migration for Arbordale, some of Andrea's other illustrated works include Where Do I Sleep? and Eaglet's World. Andrea is the author and illustrator of Wandering Woolly and My Favorite Bear. Andrea lives in Bellingham, Washington with her family of two-and four-legged creatures. Visit her website at

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John Gomes

John Gomes' passion for photography is evident through his nature and Alaskan-focused images. A self-taught photographer going back to the "manual" camera days, John's photos capture Alaskan life including mushing (sled-dog racing) and rodeos. John has been the Alaska Zoo's official volunteer photographer for over ten years and has spent countless hours capturing magnificent images of baby and adult animals, including bears, goats, coyotes, foxes, and porcupines. To see more of John's photos, visit his website at

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John Himmelman

John Himmelman (Tudley Didn't Know) has written and/or illustrated over 60 children's books since 1981. His award-winning book "Pipaluk and the Whales" (published by National Geographic) is based on the true story of how far people will go to save their wild neighbors. John's "Nature Upclose" series of 13 different books (published by Children's Press, a division of Scholastic) includes such titles as: A Monarch Butterfly's Life, A Pillbug's Life, A Luna Moth's Life, and A Woodfrog's, Life. He based his Animal Rescue Club (Harper Collins) beginning reader book on a group of real children who rescued orphaned and injured wildlife. John's first book for adults, Discovering Moths, was recently published by Downeast Books. Most of John's book stem from his obvious passion for animals and nature. When John isn't busy writing or illustrating his books, he is involved with the CT Butterfly Association, the Killingworth Land Conservation Trust, leads nature walks and gives natural history lectures throughout the country. He works with schools by offering special science observation programs, and teaches courses on children's book writing. As if he isn't busy enough, John has two children (one in college and one in high school) and a working wife (high school art teacher) with a busy life of her own. John says he has never lost his love of reading and ends each day curled up in bed with a good book! Visit John's Website

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Ben Hodson

Ben Hodson is an award-winning illustrator of nearly twenty books. He loves creating art and he also loves a good adventure, like hiking the Rocky Mountains with a team of rescued wild burros, living in a mountain village in Nepal, or drawing comics with youth in South Africa. Ben created the artwork for How the Moon Regained Her Shape using acrylic paints, handmade papers, old wallpaper, pencil crayons, gesso, and ink on watercolor paper. He illustrates full time from his home in Ottawa, Canada. Visit Ben's website.

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Erin Hunter

As both a children's book and scientific illustrator, Erin Hunter specializes in entomological and botanical illustrations. She illustrated A Day in the Deep, The Great Divide, Multiply on the Fly, and for Arbordale, and she has taught botanical illustration and field sketching at University of California at Santa Cruz. Erin's portfolio includes print and online design projects for clients ranging from marketing firms to culinary groups to educational organizations-and she's drawn insects under a microscope for the Smithsonian's Museum of Natural History. Erin lives with her husband on California's Monterey Peninsula. When she's not sketching and painting, she tends to flowers, fruit trees, and vegetables in her backyard garden. Visit Erin's website.

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Laura Jacques

Award-winning illustrator Laura Jacques is passionate about illustrating children's books that focus on natural history, wildlife, and environmental awareness for children. In addition to illustrating Tornado Tamer, The Most Dangerous, Baby Owl's Rescue and Whistling Wings for Arbordale, she has also illustrated For the Birds; The Life of Roger Tory Peterson, Squirrel Assist, At Home in the Rain Forest, and Wildlife Refuge; A Classroom Adventure. Her books have won several honors and awards, including "NSTA-CBC Outstanding Science Trade Books for Children" sponsored by the Children's Book Council and the "KIND Children's Book Award" sponsored by the Association for Humane and Environmental Education, a division of the Humane Society of the United States. For more information, visit Laura's website.

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Laurie Allen Klein

Laurie Allen Klein has been a freelance artist for nearly 25 years. Over the last several years, she has worked as the on-staff artist for a marine park, where she does everything from painting life-size sea animal murals to illustrating children's activity books. In addition to They Just Know, Laurie has illustrated The Ghost of Donley Farm, Fur and Feathers, Where Should Turtle Be?, Little Skink's Tail, Solar System Forecast, Meet the Planets, If a Dolphin Were a Fish and Balloon Trees for Arbordale. She was the winner of the Outstanding Pennsylvania Author/Illustrator Award from the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association in 2008 and is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. Laurie lives in Florida. See more of her artwork at

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Karen Jones (Lee)

Award-winning illustrator Karen Jones began her career as a storyboard artist and editorial illustrator but it wasn't until she had children of her own that she discovered her true artistic passion: children's illustration. In addition to Midnight Madness at the Zoo, Karen has illustrated One Odd Day, My Even Day and My Half Day for Arbordale. She has also written and illustrated ABC Safari. Karen and her family live outside of Raleigh, NC. Karen's children join her on many research trips to museums, zoos and aquariums-a tough job, but someone has to do it! Visit Karen's website.

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Connie McLennan

Award-winning illustrator Connie McLennan has been a freelance artist for over 25 years, since attending Academy of Art College in San Francisco. In addition to illustrating Ready, Set...Wait! (Fall 2010), she has also illustrated Mother Osprey: Nursery Rhymes for Buoys & Gulls, The Rainforest Grew All Around, River Beds: Sleeping in the World's Rivers, Water Beds: Sleeping in the Ocean, and Octavia and her Purple Ink Cloud for Arbordale Publishing. Her studio is at her home in California, where she lives with her husband, teenage son, and one big, black cat. Visit Connie's website.

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Cathy Morrison

Cathy Morrison may have started her art career in animation but she soon fell in love with illustrating children's books and has been doing so for 20 years. Cathy has illustrated Daisylocks, Nature Recycles: How About You?, Three Little Beavers, Animalogy: Animal Analogies, Dino Tracks, and Dino Treasures for Arbordale. Other titles Cathy has illustrated include Ignacio's Chair, and the Young Patriots Series including Alexander Hamilton, Young Statesman; Frederick Douglass, Young Defender of Human Rights; and Juliette Low, Girl Scout Founder. Cathy works from her home overlooking a beautiful view of the Mummy Range, on the northern side of Rocky Mountain National Park. Check out Cathy's blog.

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Sherry Neidigh

Sherry Neidigh, a graduate of Ringling School of Art and Design, has been freelance illustrating since 1987. Sherry's love of animals and nature comes through in her bright, colorful art. In addition to illustrating Deep in the Desert, Count Down to Fall, and The Best Nest for Arbordale, Sherry has illustrated several trade and education titles including Who Needs That Nose?, If I Had a Tail, and Black and White. Sherry lives in upstate South Carolina. For more information about Sherry, visit her website.

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Laurie O'Keefe

Laurie O'Keefe's undergraduate degree in zoology and her graduate degree in human anatomy have helped with her scientific illustrations in the medical and scientific fields. Her client list reads like a "Who's Who" in scientific illustrations from text books and magazines to zoos and museums. Gopher to the Rescue! A Volcano Recovery Story is her first picture book. Laurie lives and works from her home studio, located on Orcas Island, WA. To see more of Laurie's artwork visit her website

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Gary Phillips

Gary R. Phillips (Animals are Sleeping, and Ocean Hide and Seek) has been a freelance illustrator for 25 years. He has illustrated for numerous clients in both the editorial and children's illustration markets receiving "Verse Page Illustrator of the Year" from Highlights magazine in 2003 as well as five other awards from Highlights. Gary has several books to his credit, including 86 Years: The Legend of the Red Sox, New Old Shoes, The Naptime Book, and Santa's Little Sleigh. He has also taught illustration and creative thinking as an adjunct professor. Gary lives in a rural corner of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, with his wife, two daughters, and two Siamese cats. He loves camping, tennis, painting out in nature, and drawing wherever he goes. Visit Gary's website.

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Consie Powell

Consie Powell is an author, illustrator and a visual storyteller. Because she loves the outdoors, much of her work centers on nature and the environment. In addition to illustrating A Day in the Salt Marsh, Consie has also written and illustrated the award-winning Leave Only Ripples: A Canoe Country Sketchbook ( which won the Sigurd Olson Nature Writing Award), The First Day of Winter, Amazing Apples, Old Dog Cora and the Christmas Tree, A Bold Carnivore: An Alphabet of Predators and has illustrated Baby Bear Isn't Hungry and Who Lives in the Snow? She also edits, designs, illustrates and occasionally writes for the North Carolina WILD Notebook (the young readers' feature in the monthly Wildlife in North Carolina magazine), and has created artwork for the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and the North Carolina Zoo. Consie and her husband spend the academic year in North Carolina and the summer in the isolated lake country of northern Minnesota where she loves to paddle her wooden canoe and explore marshes and bogs. And, of course, she always has her sketchbook handy. Visit Consie's website.

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Kathleen Rietz

A lifelong artist and lover of nature, Kathleen Rietz was drawing and painting before she learned to write her name. Originally from Peoria, IL, Kathleen received her formal training from the American Academy of Art in Chicago, IL. In addition to illustrating Desert Baths, The Tree That Bear Climbed, Prairie Storms, and Champ's Story: Dogs Get Cancer Too! for Arbordale, Kathleen's other books include Conce Tu Parque, Little Black Ant on Park Street, The ABC's of Yoga for Kids, and Prayers for Children. She taught art to children and adults at the Community School of the Arts at historic Wheaton College in Wheaton, IL, and through a local home school program in her community. For more information about Kathleen, visit her website.

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Sherry Rogers

Sherry Rogers spent twelve years as a corporate graphic designer and artist before "leaving it all behind" for the freelance world of illustrating children's books. Through illustrating The First Fire, Sherry remembers her own ancestor, Na Ni, a Cherokee woman from the mountains of North Carolina. Some of Sherry's other Arbordale titles include The Penguin Lady, Ten for Me, Hey Diddle Diddle, Newton and Me, Moose and Magpie, Paws, Claws, Hands & Feet, and The Deductive Detective; as well as her award-winning titles: Sort It Out!, Kersplatypus, Burro's Tortillas, and If You Were a Parrot. Sherry lives in Northern California with her family and their pets.

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Phyllis Saroff

Since childhood, Phyllis Saroff has brought together her loves of science and art. Phyllis has illustrated nonfiction books about the natural world such as Teeth and Mary Anning: Fossil Hunter. She also illustrates for children's magazines, wayside signs and other educational material. Phyllis works digitally and with oil paint. Phyllis lives in Maryland with her husband, two sons, and two dogs. Visit her website.

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Emanuel Schongut

Emanuel (Manny) Schongut (Christmas Eve Blizzard and Turtles in my Sandbox) is a prolific, multi-faceted freelance illustrator who works in children's books, book covers, textbook illustration, editorial art, posters, and advertising art - essentially he does it all!. Some of his numerous clients include Masterpiece and Mystery Theater, Public Television, New York Magazine, and New York Times Sunday Magazine. His cover art and/or illustrations grace books from a wide variety of book publishers including Harper & Row, MacMillan, Doubleday, Morrow, Green Willow Books, and now Arbordale. In addition to his own artwork, Manny taught reportorial art and figure drawing at Pratt Institute in New York for several years. He now illustrates and teaches in the San Francisco Bay area. Visit Manny's website.

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Joan Waites

Joan Waites (What's the Difference? and What's New at the Zoo?) has been a freelance illustrator for the past 18 years. She received a Bachelor of Science degree from DeSales University in 1982. Employment followed for 15 years as a neo-natal intensive care nurse in Philadelphia and Washington DC, while she simultaneously returned to college to study illustration and launch her freelance career. In addition to What's the Difference? and What's New at the Zoo?, Joan has illustrated nearly 40 books for the educational and trade marketplace. She is also an adjunt faculty member of The Corcoran Museum School of Art and Design in Washington, DC, where she teaches various children's classes for the college's "Aspiring Artists" program. Visit Joan's website.

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Christina Wald

In addition to Cash Kat, Christina Wald has illustrated Fibonacci Zoo, A Cool Summer Tail, A Warm Winter Tail, Habitat Spy, Little Red Bat, and Henry the Impatient Heron for Arbordale. She also enjoys illustrating a wide variety of toys, games, books, and magazines. From a book that featured hundreds of animals on each page (Look, Find, and Learn: Animals of the World) to games including the Star Wars role playing game series, every assignment covers something new and exciting. In recent years, she has illustrated tons of different animals for books and other publications. Christina enjoys the research aspect of such projects, saying that each new book is a fascinating new learning experience. She often integrates travel to research for her illustrations. She lives in Ohio with her husband and three cats. Visit Christina's website.

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Katherine Zecca

Katherine Zecca was a scientific illustrator and graphic artist for NOAA, where she created illustrations of seals, whales, dolphins, crabs and fish for marine biologists. Celebrating the 125th Anniversary of NOAA Fisheries, Katherine was presented a National Award for her illustration of an historical poster. She continues to illustrate for the Smithsonian's National Zoo and created a logo for the National Museum of American Art. In addition to In My Backyard, Katherine has written and illustrated a book about the Atlantic Puffin for Down East Books. Katherine teaches nature journaling/sketching, from as far a field as the Pribilof Islands, Alaska, to New Brunswick, and Maine. She lives in Aiken, South Carolina with her 4 dogs and two cats. Visit Katherine's website.

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