CLiF is honored to partner with more than 65 accomplished children’s book authors, illustrators, poets, and storytellers who give inspiring presentations on our behalf to thousands of children across New Hampshire and Vermont.
Rick works publishing academic books and magazines for Dartmouth Journal Services. He helps a friend cook and bottle Vermont’s best hot sauce. He produces radio about the literary arts at WGDR.org. He teaches young people how to use their voices, gather news and images, and to craft poems, stories, and memoirs for radio in North central Vermont. Rick grew up in Brookline, N.H. and studied poetry, filmmaking, and sociolinguistics at Sarah Lawrence College and the University of New Hampshire. He is the author of two books: Pumpkin Shivaree, a picture book for children, and a collection of poems called Crow Milk. and co-editor of Under the Legislature of Stars: 62 New Hampshire Poets.
Jim Arnosky is the author and illustrator of over 100 books on subjects related to nature. He is also the illustrator of more than 40 other books written by various authors. He has been awarded the Christopher Medal, Orbis Pictus Honor, ALA Gordon Award, and Outstanding Science book awards from National Science Teachers Associations. Jim was born in New York City and raised in Pennsylvania. Since 1976, he and his family have lived in an old farmhouse in Vermont.Website
Elizabeth Bluemle is the author of several children’s books and co-owner of the Flying Pig Bookstore in Shelburne, VT. Before moving to Vermont, she worked as an editorial director for a small press in San Francisco, a hostess at a cafe in Oakland, a creative director at a book packaging company in New York City, an assistant teacher for first- and second-grade students, and a head librarian at a pre-K-8 school in New York City. Elizabeth studied English literature at the University of California Berkeley and holds a Master’s in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College.
Ann Braden is a children’s author and community organizer. Her debut middle grade novel The Benefits of Being an Octopus takes place in Vermont and explores poverty and the class divide through the eyes of 12-year-old Zoey. Ann co-hosts the children’s book podcast “Lifelines: Books That Bridge the Divide” along with Pakistani—American author Saadia Faruqi. Ann also founded the organization GunSenseVT to champion the common ground on the issue of guns, and she started the Local Love Brigade to push back against hate. She is a former middle school teacher.
New London, NH
Simon Brooks, an award winning British storyteller who has made New Hampshire his home, began spinning yarns in 1991 for school groups and families at youth hostels in the United Kingdom. In 2003 Simon became a children’s librarian and freelance storyteller in the Upper Valley. Simon likes to investigate, educate & fascinate with story, and he has recorded 5 CDs, four storytelling albums, and a retelling of the Epic of Gilgamesh, and has voiced numerous audio books. He is a published writer, poet and photographer. Simon combines his passion for children’s literature and folklore to create fun programs for both children and adults has presented keynotes, and workshops. Simon’s always growing repertoire comes mainly from European folk and faerie tales, but also includes stories from other countries and cultures. See Simon’s presentation from CLiF’s Virtual Author Series.
Deborah Bruss is the author of many books for young children and a contributing author to the non-fiction series, “America’s Notable Women.” Her backpack, stuffed with farm animal puppets, goes on tour with her. She has worked in elementary schools, parented four active children, and enjoys telling of her encounters with brazen roosters and hatching turtles. Her passion for writing developed when she wrote a story for her son, a very reluctant reader.
Michael writes, performs, and presents educational programs with a strong focus on Earth stewardship, cultural diversity, science, and the arts. He has reached over 500,000 people in North America, Europe and the Middle East through his workshops, author visits, and engaging shows of storytelling, music and dance. Michael’s has been awarded the Teacher’s Choice Award, Aesop Prize (American Folklore Society), National Storytelling Association’s Brimstone Award for Applied Storytelling, Storytelling World Award, NAPPA Gold Award and Green Earth Honor Book Award. Michael has worked closely with many indigenous peoples. He is also a juried artist with the Vermont Arts Council and New Hampshire Council on the Arts.
Layne is the author of the “Charlie” book series which was written to help children used their differences in a positive way. The books address issues such as autism, ADD, bullying, and abandonment. Layne offers private and group classes as well as Author In Training Camps, Young Author Workshops and Author In Residence programs. Each include skill building exercises in reading, writing, math, vocabulary and collaborative learning. Homeschool high school students are eligible to earn credits when completing her program. In addition to these program, Layne has published many books written by her young students (as well as other adult authors).
Jason Chin combines imaginative storytelling with scientific information to create books that both enchant and educate. He is the recipient of a Caldecott Honor and Sibert Honor and the Orbis Pictus Award for Grand Canyon. Grand Canyon was also nominated for the Vermont Book Award. His other books include Nine Months, Pie is for Sharing, Water is Water,Redwoods,Gravity, and Island: A Story of the Galapagos. Jason grew up in Lyme, NH and studied illustration at Syracuse University.
Kathy Brodsky is a psychotherapist, poet, and award-winning author. She writes and promotes quality books that are timely, visually exciting, educational, and fun! She has presented her books to young and old alike. Teachers have often used the messages in her books to promote social awareness in their students. Her picture books include Stover, The Winner Is, Purrsnikitty, Just Sniffing Around, The Inside Story, My Bent Tree, and A Horse Named Special.
John and Jennifer Churchman are the author/illustrators of the popular Sweet Pea & Friends picture book series. John draws on his talents as an artist, photographer, and farmer; he brings his stories to life with his enchanting photo-illustrations. As a writer, photographer and multimedia artist, Jennifer has loved telling and writing stories all her life. In their New York Times Bestselling Children’s Book The SheepOver, Jennifer and John bring their talents together to give voice to the stories of the animals that surround them and add boundless enjoyment to their lives. Two recent editions to the Sweet Pea & Friends series are Alpaca Lunch and The Easter Surprise. See the Churchmans’ presentation from CLiF’s Virtual Author Series.
Glenn Currie is a poet, humorist, and essayist. He has written articles for the Concord Monitor for many years and also writes occasionally for New Hampshire Magazine. His work has been published in a wide variety of journals and newspapers over the last 30 years. His children’s book, A Boy’s First Diary, and Surviving Seventh Grade tell the continuing story of many characters drawn from his life. He has also published three collections of poetry and photography: Daydreams, Riding in Boxcars, and In the Cat’s Eye. Glenn hosted the 14th Annual Arts and Essay Conference for Children at New England College and enjoys working with children in a variety of elementary classroom settings.
Michael J. Daley enjoys a life-long love of science, machines, and science fiction. These passions inform his fiction and non-fiction writing. Daley’s books include Space Station Rat, which appearred on state Children’s Choice lists in South Dakota and Oklahoma, and Shanghaied to the Moon, which was named a Best Book for the Teen Age by the New York Public Library. He has also written children’s picture books including Pinch and Dash Make Soup and Pinch and Dash and the Terrible Couch. Daley lives with his wife (and fellow CLiF presenter) Jessie Haas in a very small house they built themselves.
Kathleen W. Deady is the author of more than 40 books for children. Her picture books include All Year Long, which was a Children’s Book Council/International Reading Association Children’s Choice, and It’s Time! She has also written nonfiction books on a wide variety of topics, from animals and space to sports and ancient civilizations. Kathy’s work has appeared in a number of children’s magazines, including Highlights and Boys’ Life.
Sarah Dillard studied art at Wheaton College and illustration at Rhode Island School of Design. Her author illustrated books include the popular Mouse Scouts series, the critically-acclaimed young graphic reader, Extraordinary Warren and its sequel, Extraordinary Warren Saves the Day. Her latest picture book I Wish it Would Snow was on the CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People list for 2019. It’s sequel I Don’t Like Rain will be released in the spring of 2020. Sarah doesn’t feel a day is complete without a walk in the woods, by her home on a mountain in Fayston, Vermont. She shares those walks with her husband and chocolate lab.
Hailing from Seattle Washington, Rajnii Eddins has been performing poetry and engaging diverse audiences for more than 20 years. First, as the youngest member of the African American Writers Alliance at 11 years old, then, as a polished youth performer at the Seattle Center, in bookshops, cafes, festivals, colleges and galleries. Rajnii is adept in engaging authentic youth voice from elementary to high school by utilizing creative expression and call and response to inspire young people to create their own pieces as well as further their love for wordplay and literacy.
Randee Eddins is both the Founder and former Executive Director of the African American Writers Alliance and the co-founder and Arts Administrator for The Poetry Experience. She is an accomplished Writing Workshop Facilitator to both youth and adults, a Master StoryTeller and a published author and lecturer, and author of 4 books – The BabyGetter and Other HomeFolk Tales, One Touch Blue, I’m Possibility and Poems by Randee Eddins, which was published when she was just 16. Se is currently working on series of children books showing children of color as the protagonists so they can see themselves in a more positive light.
Matt Forrest Esenwine
Matt’s children’s poetry can be found in anthologies, journals, and magazines ands his debut children’s book was published in 2017. Matt has also been an actor, copy writer, DJ, country dance instructor, news reporter, cook, telemarketer, ice cream scooper, and photography salesman, but he was hooked on poetry after discovering it in high school. Matt’s children’s poetry can be found in anthologies, journals, and magazines including The National Geographic Book of Nature Poetry and The Poetry of US (National Geographic Children’s Books), Lee Bennett Hopkins’ School People, and “Highlights for Children.” Meanwhile, his debut picture book, Flashlight Night, received a starred review from Kirkus, national critical praise, and was selected by the New York Public Library as one of the Best Picture Books for Kids of 2017. His picture book Don’t Ask a Dinosaur also received numerous positive reviews. See Matt’s presentation from CLiF’s Virtual Author Series.
Terry Farish writes picture books and young adult novels. Her books include the award-winning novel in verse, The Good Braider and a Bank Street Book of Outstanding Merit, Luis Paints the World. Most recently she wrote Joseph’s Big Ride, “A joyful, upbeat tale,” Kirkus Reviews writes, “that takes a positive perspective on an immigrant child’s first encounters.”Visit her blog on books from many cultures, Rabbit in the Moon. Terry also coordinates New Hampshire Humanities’ literacy program for English learners, Connections.
Lynda grew up in western Pennsylvania, where her best friends were books, a nearby pond and the surrounding woods. Before moving to Vermont, she worked in children’s book publishing in New York City. Her late husband, Ray, illustrated her first children’s book, Who Lives Inside? Lynda is the author of 15 books, among them Cookie’s Fortune, the Scholastic Book Club selection Say Boo! and Toad or Frog? Swamp or Bog? a Simon & Schuster hardcover, now available in paperback.
Karen Gross is a children’s book author and now illustrator whose books message about the power of the possible and dreaming big. She involves humor in her work and has a children’s giraffe joke book that interests both children and families. In 2019, three new books by Karen were released – her first book of children’s poems Flying Umbrellas and Red Boats, a prequel to Lady Lucy series Are You a Giraffe?, and a bi-lingual board book entitled We See You!. Her stories and poems are brought to life through the use of puppets and engagement activities involving music and art that are included in each book.
Jessie Haas is a lifelong resident of Westminster, VT. She sold her first children’s book while a senior at Wellesley College and has gone on to write more than 30 others. Honors for her novels include a Parents’ Choice Gold Award for Unbroken and the Golden Kite Honor for Shaper. Chase is a Junior Library Guild Premier Selection. She lives with her husband (and fellow CLiF presenter) Michael J. Daley in a small, off-grid house they built themselves.
Karen Hesse is the author of many books for young people, including Out of the Dust, winner of the Newbery Medal, Letters from Rifka, Brooklyn Bridge, Phoenix Rising, and Sable. She has received honors that include the Scott O’Dell Historical Fiction Award, the Christopher Award, and the MacArthur Fellowship “Genius Grant.” She is only the second children’s book author to receive this prestigious award. Her newest book is Night Job about a boy who spends the night cleaning with his father. Karen was born in Baltimore and graduated from the University of Maryland.
Geof started writing poems when he was 17, and hasn’t grown up since. He has published five collections of poems, and four books of nonfiction, three of which address strategies for teaching writing, including A Portfolio Primer: Teaching, Collecting, and Assessing Student Writing and Today You Are My Favorite Poet: Writing Poems with Teenagers. In recent years, Geof has become active as a slam poet, coaching young people and adults as they write and perform their poems.
Jon Gailmor was born in New York State and failed to grow up in Philadelphia. He was honored as an “Extraordinary Vermonter” by our governor, received the Mayor’s Peace Prize in Burlington, awarded a Silver Citation by the Vermont Arts Council, received the Ellen McCulloch Lovell award for Arts in Education and carried the Olympic Torch through Brattleboro in 1996. Jon presents songwriting workshops, curriculum-based or open-ended, in schools nationwide. He has sung in concert halls in Ecuador, a Peruvian tennis stadium, cafes in France, Italy and Greece and, among other spots, Elmore, Vermont, where he proudly lives.
As a boy Henry loved books and read three a week by the third grade. He was active in the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts and loved the outdoors. He started writing early (his first diary was in the third grade) and now makes his living writing about gardening. He shares his life with Cindy Heath and three dogs and two cats. His book Wobar and the Quest for the Magic Calumet is a story he first told on a summer playground when he was in college. Henry loves skiing, skating, gardening, hiking and reading.
Amy is a children’s book illustrator and author. She lives in Williston, Vermont with her husband, two cats, one guinea fowl, 18 hens, one rooster, one tilapia, and two sheep. (Her two children have grown and flown the coop!) When she is not working in her studio, she may be out in the woods, sketching and learning about interesting flora and fauna.
Meg Kearney is an award-winning poet whose books for young people include the picture book Trouper, illustrated by E.B. Lewis (and written as a poem), as well as three novels in verse for middle-grade and young adults told in the voice of adoptee Lizzie McLane: The Secret of Me,The Girl in the Mirror, and When You Never Said Goodbye. Each novel includes a guide to its poetics and a teacher’s guide, as Meg loves to excite people of all ages about poetry and its storytelling magic. Meg’s poetry has been widely anthologized and featured on Garrison Keillor’s “A Writer’s Almanac” and U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser’s “American Life in Poetry.”
Marty Kelley is a recovering second grade teacher who writes and illustrates books for kids. His latest titles include Almost Everybody Farts, the Molly Mac series, and Santa’s Underwear. Marty lives in New Hampshire with his wife, two children, and three chickens. See Marty’s presentation from CLiF’s Virtual Author Series.
Natalie Kinsey-Warnockgrew up on a farm in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom where her Scottish ancestors settled 200 years ago. The inspiration for her books comes from her childhood on that farm and her true family stories. She is the author of 20 books, including the picture books The Bear That Heard Crying, Nora’s Ark, and From Dawn till Dusk and the young adult novels The Canada Geese Quilt, As Long As There Are Mountains, and Gifts from the Sea.
Marv Klassen-Landis is a performer, writer, educator, and arts education consultant. He is also the author and illustrator of Jump, Children, Jump and the co-author of Please Talk with Me. He writes poetry and fiction for children and adults, and leads workshops, residencies, and family poetry parties. He co-founded Children’s Voices Theatre, which is dedicated to inspiring young people to express themselves through writing and performing. As a creative arts specialist at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Marv offers patients, families and staff writing and storytelling activities and workshops. He is involved in research into the health benefits of the arts. See Marv’s presentation from CLiF’s Virtual Author Series.
Jo Knowles is the author of Living with Jackie Chan, See You At Harry’s, Pearl, Jumping Off Swings, and Lessons from a Dead Girl. She has a master’s degree in children’s literature. Some of her awards include two SCBWI Crystal Kite Awards; A New York Times Editor’s Pick and Notable Book; the PEN New England Children’s Book Discovery Award; YALSA’s Best Fiction for Young Adults; International Reading Association’s Young Adult Choices List; and Bank Street College’s Best Books for Children (Outstanding Merit).
David Martin is the author of several children’s books, including the Peep and Ducky series, We’ve All Got Bellybuttons, Piggy And Dad Go Fishing, Monkey Trouble, and Happy Birthday. His most recent releases include Lucy and Bob, a series of four Brand New Reader stories that he wrote and illustrated, a picture book, All For Pie, Pie For All, and Let’s Have a Tree Party! His most recent book Shh! Bears Sleeping was chosen for the 2019 line up of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program. David is a former teacher who now leads literacy workshops for parents, teachers, and librarians and writing residencies for elementary school children.
Jesse Lawson McCreedy–who writes under J.L. McCreedy–is the author of the Liberty Frye series and The Orphan of Torundi. She first learned a love of writing while growing up in Indonesia and Malaysia as the child of missionaries. She holds a B.A. in English and a law degree, freelances as a writer and consultant, and draws inspiration for her fiction from her experiences living and working in Europe, the South Pacific, Asia … and now, Gorham, New Hampshire!
Duncan founded CLiF in 1998. He has given a few thousand literacy and storytelling presentations to children and parents throughout New Hampshire and Vermont. Duncan has an MBA from the Tuck School at Dartmouth College, and worked for seven years as a management consultant in Boston. He has also been a freelance writer, teacher, and radio commentator, and is active in local political and environmental campaigns. He lives in Waterbury Center, VT with his wife and son.
Connecting young readers to quality children’s literature is Marilyn’s passion. She has held Storytime at her public library, chaired the all-volunteer library in her children’s elementary school and was the proprietor of a children’s bookshop. She has led workshops for homeschool groups, day care providers and college students in Early Childhood Education programs. Currently, Marilyn works in her library. Now, an award-winning children’s book author, she enthusiastically presents to young readers and encourages them to write their stories, the ones only they can tell.
Christy Mihaly writes for young readers because she believes that our best hope for the future is raising kids who love to learn. Her picture book, Hey, Hey, Hay! tells a rhyming tale of a mother-daughter team making hay. Her high school level nonfiction Diet for a Changing Climate explores how our food choices can affect our environment. Christy loves writing nonfiction and has published books about history, science, and nature for the educational market. She also writes poetry, as well as short stories and magazine articles. She writes in Calais, under the supervision of her dog and cat. See Christy’s presentation from CLiF’s Virtual Author Series.
Sy Montgomery is now the author of 28 books, including her latest, How to Be A Good Creature: A Memoir in 13 Animals and the National Book Award finalist, The Soul of an Octopus. Her latest picture book is Inky’s Amazing Escape; her most recent book for young readers is The Hyena Scientist and forthcoming spring 2019 is The Magnificent Migration. To research books, films and articles, Sy Montgomery has been chased by an angry silverback gorilla in Zaire and bitten by a vampire bat in Costa Rica, worked in a pit crawling with 18,000 snakes in Manitoba and handled a wild tarantula in French Guiana.
Erin E. Moulton is the author of middle grade and young adult novels: Flutter, Tracing Stars, Chasing the Milky Way and Keepers of the Labyrinth, as well as the editor of the YA anthology Things We Haven’t Said: Sexual Violence Survivors Speak Out. When she isn’t writing or editing, she can be found teaching writers of all ages, working at the library, or co-hosting the YA book-loving podcast, Teen Title Talk.
Katherine Paterson is an award-winning and beloved author who has written dozens of works for children and young adults, including Bridge to Terabithia, Jacob Have I Loved, Come Sing, Jimmy Jo, Bread and Roses, Too, and most recently, My Brigadista Year. In 2019, Katherine received the E.B. White Award, given once every two years by the American Academy of Art and Letters “in recognition of an exceptional lifetime body of work.” She is also an honorary lifetime member of the International Board of Books for Young People, an Alida Cutts lifetime member of the United States Board on Books for Young People, and was the 2010-2011 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature.
Tracey Campbell Pearson is an award-winning children’s book author and illustrator. Since 1983, she has published more than 35 books, including Bob, about a rooster who can moo and meow, Where Does Joe Go?, which solves the mystery of the seasonal disappearance of the owner of Joe’s Snack Bar in Jericho, VT, and The Moon, Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic poem reset on a lobster boat on the coast of Maine. Tracey’s family, community, the people she has met, and the Vermont and New England landscapes inspire her books.
Gina Perry is an illustrator and author of children’s books, living in New Hampshire. Originally from Massachusetts, Gina graduated from Syracuse University, and has also worked in animation and product development. SMALL, Gina’s debut as an author/illustrator, was a Bank Street Books Best Children’s Book of 2018. Her latest picture books, TOO MUCH! NOT ENOUGH and NOW? NOT YET! follow the adventures of two monster friends with clashing personalities.
Eric Pinder is the author of If All the Animals Came Inside and other books for children. His first picture book, Cat in the Clouds, was inspired by working as a weather observer for seven years atop Mount Washington. Eric has an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts and teaches creative writing at the New Hampshire Institute of Art. He lives in moose country in Berlin, New Hampshire. See Eric’s presentation from CLiF’s Virtual Author Series.
Verandah Porche works as a poet-in-residence, performer and writing partner. Verandah began working as a poet in the schools in the 1970s. She initiated—and for almost 30 years taught—the poetry program at Vermont’s Governor’s Institute on the Arts. Based in rural Vermont on the notable commune Total Loss Farm, since 1968, she has published Sudden Eden (Verdant Books), The Body’s Symmetry (Harper and Row) and Glancing Off (See Through Books). Verandah developed a practice called ‘told poetry’ or ‘shared narrative’ to create personal literature with people who need a writing partner. She has run collaborative residencies in hospitals, factories, nursing homes, senior centers, a 200 year-old Vermont tavern and an urban working class neighborhood.
Jan Reynolds is a writer and photographer who just can’t get far enough away from it all. Jan has been from the highest to the lowest, from the hottest to the coldest on earth to get her material for her books. Jan set many world records for climbing and skiing, then went on to live with an indigenous tribe on each continent, for her Vanishing Cultures series. She is always on the go and brings her real-life adventures alive in the form of books for kids. She is author of the Vanishing Culture Series, which includes Mongolia, Sahara, Far North, Himalaya, and Down Under. Jan is working on her book about the Lion Queens with Lee and Low publishers inn New York City for fall 2019. See Jan’s presentation from CLiF’s Virtual Author Series.
Rebecca Rupp, a scientist turned writer, is the award-winning author of many fiction and non-fiction books for children, among them The Dragon of Lonely Island, Octavia Boone’s Big Questions, and After Eli. She also maintains a huge blog of book lists and resources for parents and educators.
Ted Scheu is a former elementary school teacher and the author of I Froze My Mother and Other Seriously Funny Family Poems and I Tickled My Teachers. He loves to perform his work, get kids giggling, and to teach writing to children through hands-on poetry workshops. He is often introduced as a fourth grader stuck in a grown-up’s body. Ted’s poetry for children is happily lurking in six collections of his own and in over two dozen anthologies world-wide.
Carolyn is a children’s book author and journalist. Her first book for children, HOLD THIS!, was recognized with a silver medal Moonbeam award. In addition to picture books, Carolyn writes middle grade novels and creative nonfiction.
John Steven Gurney is the illustrator of more than 140 books for children, including these popular chapter book series: The A to Z Mysteries, The Calendar Mysteries, Palace Puppies, The Bailey School Kids, and Big Apple Barn. He is the author and illustrator of the picture book Dinosaur Train and thegraphic novel, Fuzzy Baseball and its sequel Ninja Baseball Blast. John also works as a caricature artist and does illustrations for games and puzzles. He lives in Brattleboro, VT with his wife, and two children. John has shared his experiences and his work with school children in 31 states and 5 countries. John enjoys running, racquetball and cross country skiing (he’s not that good at any of these activities, but he enjoys them).
Lindsey Stoddard was born and raised in Vermont. She taught middle school English in New York City for ten years and received her MFA in Creative Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her debut middle grade novel, JUST LIKE JACKIE, was an Indies Introduce and an Indies Next Top 10 pick for Winter ’17-18, a Junior Library Selection, and is on the 2019 Dorothy Canfield Fisher List. Her second novel, RIGHT AS RAIN, is a Junior Library Guild selection, and the New York Times quotes that the novel’s “exploration of grief’s grip on a family rings true and tender.”
Phoebe Stone is the author of seven novels for middle readers and the author and illustrator of three picture books for children. Her recent novels have been selected as Top Ten Best Children’s Books of the Year by the Boston Globe and National Public Radio’s Best Books of the Year. The Boy on Cinnamon Street was a Booklist Editor’s Choice and is listed for the Dorothy Canfield Fisher award. Besides writing, Phoebe loves to paint, sing, study history, and ride a bicycle anywhere and everywhere!
Tanya Lee Stone
South Burlington, VT
Tanya Lee Stone is passionate about telling the unsung stories of women and people of color. She has written more than 100 books for children and teens. Stone writes compelling true stories for older readers–such as Girl Rising, Almost Astronauts, and Courage Has No Color–and for younger readers–such as Who Says Women Can’t Be Doctors?, Elizabeth Leads the Way, and Pass Go and Collect $200. Her work has earned an NAACP Image Award, Sibert Medal, Flora Straus Stieglitz Award, Golden Kite, and many other honors including NPR Best Books, Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor, YALSA Nonfiction, NCSS and ALA Notables, NCTE Orbis Pictus Honors, and multiple state awards.
Steve Swinburne is an author and photographer who has published more than thirty nonfiction books for young readers. Steve holds a BA degree in biology and English from Castleton State College in Vermont. He has worked as a park ranger in a number of national parks and has traveled to Africa, Borneo, the Caribbean, and Yellowstone National Park for book projects. His most recent title is Sea Turtle Scientist from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Steve makes his living traveling, writing, photographing, and visiting schools to share his adventures with students and teachers. He lives in Vermont with his wife Heather, and their two dogs, Scout and Jem.
S. S. Taylor (Sarah Stewart Taylor) has been fascinated by maps ever since the age of 10, when she discovered an error on a map of her neighborhood and wondered if it was really a mistake. She has a strong interest in books of all kinds, expeditions, old libraries, mysterious situations, long-hidden secrets, missing explorers, and traveling to known and unknown places. She writes, teaches, and lives with her family in Vermont.
Chris Tebbetts is the author and co-author of many books for young readers. His new YA novel, ME, MYSELF, AND HIM will be out in July, 2019. Titles include the #1 New York Times bestselling MIDDLE SCHOOL series, as well as PUBLIC SCHOOL SUPERHERO, with James Patterson and illustrator Laura Park; the New York Times bestselling STRANDED series with Jeff Probst; and THE VIKING series. His work has received children’s choice awards in Oregon and Hawaii, as well a Sunshine State Young Readers Award nomination, and a nod on the New York Public Library’s annual list of Books For the Teen Age. He has also taught writing and creativity workshops for the Antioch Writers’ Workshop; the Highlights Foundation; and at schools around the country.
Linda is the author of the picture books, including Mouse was Mad, chapter books such as Hound Dog True and A Crooked Kind of Perfect plus the series about Max.She was the marketing manager of Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena, CA for ten years. During that time, she also ran a summer writer’s workshop series. Her experiences listening to the workshop’s guest authors, illustrators, and editors inspired her to begin writing picture books for children.
Dianalee Velie is a poet, teacher, and the author of five books of poetry – Ever After (2016), Glass House, First Edition, The Many Roads to Paradise, and The Alchemy of Desire, a short story collection, and a play. Hundreds of literary journals have published her award-winning poetry and short stories. She has taught at universities and colleges and in private workshops throughout the Northeast, and at rural schools in Vermont and New Hampshire. Dianalee is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and has her Master’s of Arts in Writing from Manhattanville College. She lives in Newbury, NH, where in 2016 she was named Poet Laureate.
Jon and Pamela (J&P) Voelkel are the author-illustrators of the Jaguar Stones books, a series of Maya-themed adventures set in present-day Central America. The fast-paced, funny stories center on the friendship between a city boy and a jungle girl – a mirror image of Jon’s wild childhood in Latin America and Pamela’s altogether tamer upbringing in an English seaside town. To research the Jaguar Stones, they have explored over forty Maya sites in Belize, Guatemala, and Mexico; canoed down underground rivers; tracked howler monkeys in the jungle; and eaten live termites for breakfast. Jon’s most frightening experience was getting lost in a pitch-black labyrinth under a Maya pyramid. Pamela’s most frightening experience was being interviewed by Al Roker on Today.
The daughter of a refugee and concentration camp survivor Sandra Neil Wallace became a changemaker herself by shattering the glass ceiling in sports journalism as the first woman to host an NHL broadcast on TV. Her books have won national awards including, NCTE’s Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction and been chosen by Kirkus Reviews and Booklist as Best Children’s Books of the Year. She writes books for young readers about people who break barriers and change the world. She became a U.S. citizen in 2016 and is a member of the Keene Immigrant and Refugee Partnership and advisor to The Cohen Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Keene State College, where she received the Outstanding Woman of New Hampshire Award in 2019. See Sandra’s presentation from CLiF’s Virtual Author Series.
Dean Whitlock is the author of novels for young adults and short stories for their parents. His focus is fantasy literature, but his skills extend to playwriting, storytelling, and acting. His books include Sky Carver and Raven, both from Clarion Books. His short stories have appeared in Asimov’s, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, and other genre publications. Dean enjoys introducing young people to the excitement of storytelling through the written word. In the classroom, he tries to engage every student, using a lively question-and-response dialog mixed with group and solo exercises that give everyone a chance to write, read, speak up, and stretch their imaginations.
Doug is the author of 14 books for middle-grade readers, including The Revealers, his novel on bullying that has been the focus of reading-and-discussion projects in over 1,000 schools; its sequel True Shoes; and nine books in the Choose Your Own Adventure series. His “bridge into reading” chapter book, Treasure Town, was published in 2015. A former journalist, he is a full time independent writer and editor.
Ashley Wolff is the illustrator, and often the author of, over 65 picture books. She illustrated the beloved Miss Bindergarten books and Baby Beluga by Raffi, as well as being author/illustrator for the series starring her own Baby Bear. She has recently returned to her home state of Vermont after years in California, where she visited hundreds of schools and libraries. Sharing her love of creating with children is one of her favorite pastimes. See Ashley’s presentation from CLiF’s Virtual Author Series.Website
Liza Woodruff grew up in Bristol, Rhode Island. Over many years she turned her childhood love of art into a career making children’s books. Liza studied art at Muhlenberg College and the Art Institute of Boston. After finishing art school, she signed on with an agent and illustrated her first book. Eighteen years later, Liza has illustrated twenty children’s books. After many years of working on books written by other authors, Liza wrote her first book Emerson Barks in 2016, A Quieter Story in 2019. Liza lives in Charlotte, Vermont, with her family and a variety of pets.
Award-winning radio show host Bruce Zeman, and his canine side-kick Hobbes, travel around the nation promoting anti-bullying efforts, along with the themes of kindness, empathy, compassion, tolerance and kindness through their book, “Hobbes Goes Home.” Since becoming the nation’s only human / canine morning show duo, Bruce & Hobbes have worked tirelessly to make Vermont a better place. Although Bruce does most of the speaking (Hobbes does contribute, from time-to-time), he is a powerful, compassionate, speaker who draws on his 30+ years of experience working with animals and people of all ages to make the world a more compassionate place.
Since April, we’ve been offering a weekly virtual storytelling series for kids, featuring CLiF’s amazing storytellers, authors, and illustrators. Now, we’ll be offering a virtual book club for grown-ups, too! Many of the 68 Vermont and New Hampshire authors/storytellers we work with also write for adults. This will be an opportunity to dig into the … Continued
An update to this post: Now that school is underway, CLiF is looking to rethink its Community Building Grant. We NEED your ideas! We will use them to formulate the components of this year’s Community Building grant. How CLiF can support teachers, parents, librarians, and administrators to succeed with literacy curriculum in a different and … Continued
The process of writing begins before you actually put pen to paper (or words on a screen). Many people find “pre-writing” helpful, notes or an outline to help guide their writing. Some prefer to just jump in and start writing and see what happens. There’s no “right” way to go about writing. Some kids are … Continued
Enosburg Falls Elementary School in Enosburg Falls, VT has had a busy school year so far. In September, they kicked off their CLiF Year of the Book with storytelling by Duncan McDougall, their first book giveaway where kids chose new books for themselves, and a family literacy event featuring author David Martin and two more … Continued
CLiF couldn’t do what it does without the 65+ amazing authors, illustrators, and storytellers we send to schools, camps, afterschool programs, libraries, shelters, affordable housing communities, and many more spaces where kids spend time. We’re proud to have award-winning author Sandra Neil Wallace as one of those inspiring presenters. We asked Sandra about her experiences … Continued
61% of low-income families have no children’s books at home.