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Author and Illustrator Bios



Alan Baker has written and illustrated over forty children’s books, including Goodnight, William and the White Rabbit series. He is a two-time winner of the I.R.A./C.B.C. Children’s Choice Award and has won numerous other awards as well, including the Benson and Hedges Illustrators Gold Award, the Gold Creative Circle Award, and the Silver Campaign Press Award.


William's Dinosaurs


Ellie Bethel, like Peter Pan, never really wanted to grow up. Unfortunately,these things happen, and in a desperate attempt to slow the process of time Ellie immerses herself regularly in children’s books, despite not being a child anymore. She practically eats books. In this way, Ellie's brain has become so jam-packed with stories that sometimes they spill over. She was eleven when her first poem was published and following that she scribbled her way through her teenage years. Ellie has lived all over the place, including Belize, Spain, New York . . . but has now swapped bright lights for the quiet life in a quaint fishing village in Kent, England. Her first children’s book, Michael Recycle, was published to great acclaim in March 2008.




Michael Recycle

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Michael Recycle Meets Litterbug Doug

Alexandra Colombo studied illustration at the Milan European Institute of Design, receiving a first-class degree in 2002. Her great passion is writing and illustrating poems, books, and fairytales. She has illustrated several books for publishers around the world, including Michael Recycle, Tooth Troubles, A New School for Paul Bunyan, The Gift of Fire, and Up in the Tree.




Michael Recycle

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Michael Recycle Meets Litterbug Doug



Jacqueline East has been illustrating children’s books for over twenty years and always knew that this would be her career; at the age of four, she created her first installation by scratching a witch on her mother’s sideboard. The lack of public appreciation for this early artistic endeavor didn’t discourage her—she went on to draw and sketch on every scrap of paper she could find and eventually achieved a BA. She now resides in Bristol, England, where she has a wonderful studio above a chocolate factory!




Once upon a time, Leah-Ellen Heming was born in Belgium, where she was nurtured and fed chocolate and fries by some small squirrels. This energizing diet gave her the will to discover lands far away, such as Cornwall, England, where she studiously drew pictures for small people. She then moved into Jamaica Street Studios in Bristol, England, where she sits for many hours nicely asking the mice not to nibble the corners of her work and trying to think of stories to illustrate and ways to keep warm in the winter days.


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Tiger in a Pink Hat


Jimmy Holder has illustrated several children’s books such as Pig, Pigger, Piggest and Why the Banana Split. You can also see Jimmy’s illustrations in many publications (including Scholastic, Forbes, and The Wall Street Journal), and on the game Beyond Balderdash. Jimmy lives in Pasadena, California, with his family.


Vigfus the Viking


Rob Kurtz has written and produced more than a hundred hours of television comedies, including the People’s Choice Best Comedies Cosby and Grace Under Fire, as well as Boy Meets World and Baby Blues. Rob recently wrote the Fox animated film Everyone’s Hero, starring Whoopi Goldberg and Rob Reiner. He lives in New York with his wife, Elizabeth, and their kids Basia, Sarah, Ariella, CJ, and Avi. Seamus McNamus is Rob’s first children’s book.


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Seamus McNamus


Tom LaBaff was born in Massena, New York, and grew up in southwest Florida. After graduating from Ringling School of Art and Design with a BFA in illustration, Tom honed his art skills as an assistant cartoonist for Fred Laswell. Soon after, he embarked on an incredible opportunity in the motion picture industry, illustrating movie scripts for writers, directors, and producers for Walt Disney Feature Animation. Currently Tom focuses on freelance illustration for clients including Worthwhile Books, Scholastic, Sterling, Enslow, and Zondervan. He has illustrated several children’s books. Tom lives with his family on a barrier island in Vero Beach, Florida.


The Town of Zack


Mike Lester is the award-winning illustrator of twelve picture books, including A Is for Salad (a New York Times Best Illustrated Book, which he also wrote) and Ninety-Three in my Family (for which he won the National Cartoonists Society Award for Book Illustrations in 2007). Mike is also an editorial cartoonist who lives in Rome, Georgia, with the love of his life, Regan, and their cats, Roy and Charlie. You can visit Mike at www.mikelester.com.


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Seamus McNamus


Nicola Stott McCourt was born in Oxford, England, and spent the majority of her childhood in Sevenoaks, Kent. She trained originally as a nanny and, after a year in London, traveled worldwide looking after children. Nicola has now settled in Sussex, England, where she lives extremely happily with her husband and three boys, writing children’s stories, including Tiger in a Pink Hat.


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Tiger in a Pink Hat


Brian Ross was born in Newfoundland, Canada and raised there, in England, and in Nova Scotia. Brian has written over a dozen movies for all the major networks, as well as basic cable, first-run syndication, feature films, and episodes of popular series. It took Brian only three children, one wife, and one writing partner to write Vigfus the Viking, his first children’s book, and he is thankful to them all. Brian lives with his family in Los Angeles, California.


Vigfus the Viking


Upon graduating from Harvard College with a degree in government, David Sacks moved to Los Angeles and began writing for television. He has written for many television shows, including The Simpsons (for which he won an Emmy Award), 3rd Rock from the Sun (for which he won a Golden Globe Award), Malcolm in the Middle, and The Root of All Evil. David is married and raises his family in Beverly Hills, California.


Vigfus the Viking


Dava Savel’s credits include Ellen (for which she won an Emmy Award and a Peabody Award), Dream On, Grace Under Fire, Dinosaurs, Will & Grace, Dharma & Greg, and That’s So Raven (for which she received an Emmy Award for Outstanding Children’s Program). Dava lives in Sherman Oaks, California with Roger; her daughters, Miranda and Lucy; their pug, Millie; and their cat, Sebastian (who makes Roger sneeze).


The Town of Zack



Chae Strathie was born in Kirkcaldy, Scotland. He started writing for children in his twenties and currently works as an editor for a national newspaper based in Dundee. Chae lives in a quiet fishing village in Fife with his wife Corinna, daughter Eilidh, three cats, a goldfish, and numerous uninvited spiders.



Nick Ward has created over forty children’s books. His first book, Toby, was accepted for publication by Kestrel Press while Nick was still in college! Nick currently lives in the English countryside, where he works in a studio converted from an old barn. He is married with two grown children, and two very old cats!


The Nicest Naughtiest Fairy

A Rumpus in the Night

TINY-Rannosaurus

Erica Jane Waters writes and illustrates pictures books from her secret pink shed at the very bottom of her garden. Originally from Northern Ireland, she graduated in 1996 from Hereford College of Art and shortly afterwards illustrated her first children’s book, The Slate Miner’s Daughter. Since then she has worked with many publishers, including Meadowside Children’s Books, Usborne, and Hachette Children’s Books.


Mr. Pepper's Perfect Pet Shop


David N. Weiss has coauthored several feature films, including the Academy Award–nominated feature Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius; Shrek 2; Rugrats in Paris: The Movie; Are We There Yet? and Clockstoppers. He received an Emmy nomination as one of the head writers of the Rugrats television series, for which he cowrote the acclaimed episode A Rugrats Chanukah. He is currently working on the family comedy Traded and the live-action/computer-graphics adaptation The Smurfs. A graduate of the University of Southern California’s School of Cinema-Television, Mr. Weiss lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Eliana, their children, Channah and Sammy, plus two cats, two birds, a tortoise, and Sandy the dog.


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Carl the Frog


Pete Whitehead has loved drawing frogs and bugs since he was a kid—so much that he continued drawing them until he graduated from Rhode Island School of Design. When he’s not drawing, he catches frogs and bugs with his daughters, Bailey and Chelsea, in Kansas City, while his wife, Jenny, says, “Ick!”


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Carl the Frog