Deborah Hopkinson has written more than 40 books for young readers. She is the author of the middle-grade novel Into the Firestorm: A Novel of San Francisco, 1906 and the 2013 Sibert Honor book Titanic: Voices from the Disaster. Her picture books include Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt, Sky Boys: How They Built the Empire State Building, a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book; and the ALA Notable Book Apples to Oregon. A frequent presenter at conferences and schools, Hopkinson serves as Vice President for College Advancement for the Pacific Northwest College of Art.
Growing up, Kirby Larson's best friends were books but she never imagined an ordinary person like her could become a writer. What she loves best about the creative life is that she is always learning something new. That may be why Kirby has tackled a variety of genres from picture books to chapter books to novels. Kirby's historical fiction portfolio includes the 2007 Newbery Honor Award book, Hattie Big Sky and its recent sequel, Hattie Ever After (nominated for the ALSC Notables List), as well as The Friendship Doll, The Fences Between Us and, in fall of 2013, Duke. She and her friend Mary Nethery have collaborated on two award-winning nonfiction picture books: Two Bobbies: A True Story of Hurricane Katrina, Friendship and Survival, and Nubs: The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine and a Miracle. Between them, these two books have garnered over 20 State Young Readers Choice Awards. Kirby is delighted to be involved in a brand-new picture book series for American Girl, with titles including Bitty Baby and Me, and Princess Bitty Baby, among others. A lifelong resident of Washington state, Kirby lives in Kenmore with her husband, Neil, and Winston the Wonder Dog. When she is not reading, writing or speaking about writing, she is traveling, beach combing or spoiling her new granddaughter rotten.
Second to playing with her kids, writing and illustrating picture books is Leslie's favorite thing to do. Leslie says, "For most of my life, I have drawn cartoons as a way to interpret and make light of the things happening in my life or in the world around me, so it was only natural that when I had my first baby, I would start drawing cartoons of him." Those cartoons led to the publication of her first board books, Yummy Yucky, Big Little and Quiet Loud in 2003. Leslie now has fifteen books in publication, including her latest picture book, 'Be Quiet, Mike!' about a little monkey with a passion for drumming. Leslie's currently busy working on more board books. She is also working on her first middle grade novel. Leslie lives in Idaho with her husband (a drummer), three creative kids, two cats, two rabbits a lizard and a frog.
Leslie is excited to be able to do what she loves for a living and wants to share her experience and passion with students of all ages. She aims to inspire kids to imagine and create Through her fun-filled, multi-media presentation, Leslie will have kids laughing, learning, drawing and thinking big!
Leslie's award-winning books include: Higher! Higher!, Be Quiet, Mike!, The Patterson Puppies and The Rainy Day, The Birthday Box, Yummy Yucky, No No Yes Yes, Potty, Blankie and more.
Natasha Wing has published 21 children's books, with more in the works. She is best known for her paperback series based on the popular story, The Night Before Christmas. The stories are about families celebrating holidays and other big events in kids' lives such as the first day of school and losing a tooth. Her titles include The Night Before Easter, the original book in the series which was published in 1999, and The Night Before Kindergarten, which has regularly been on bestseller lists since its publication in 2001 and is also a sticker book, part of a kindergarten gift set, and an ebook. Wing's multicultural book, Jalapeno Bagels, is a favorite among elementary school teachers and students. The story is based on a real bakery in Arcata, California and includes recipes from the bakery. An Eye for Color: The Story of Josef Albers is about a neighbor of hers when she was growing up in Connecticut. The artist of the "Homage to the Square" paintings studied color for 27 years and changed how teachers taught color. Several of her poems appear in anthologies, and she has also written articles for children's magazines such as Highlights and Babybug.