AUTHOR & ILLUSTRATOR Bios
I was raised in a town called Murfreesboro in the very center of Tennessee. As a kid, I was constantly walking into things because my eyes were on a book. I loved books so much that I dreamed about writing my own.
After high school, I moved to LA to study film at the University os Southern California. My first job after college was assisting an independent movie producer and a literary manager, then I moved to the motion picture literary department of a talent agency. I loved being a part of the process of shaping scripts into stories that would come to life onscreen.
But eventually, I realized that I still wanted to write my own stories. I’d grown up, but my childhood dream hadn’t. So I moved to Sydney for a Master’s program in writing at Macquarie University. While I was in Australia, my world grew in beautiful, bright, and in unexpected ways.
A year later, I moved to New York City and finished the book I’d started writing in Sydney. That book is called Eden’s Wish, and it was released by Disney-Hyperion on September 1, 2015. The second book in the series, Eden’s Escape, was released in September 2016. http://mtaracrowl.com/
Lisa LaMonica is an author and award-winning illustrator living in upstate New York. She was nominated for the Columbia County Council on the Arts Artist of the Year award in 2001. She is currently working on Folktales of the Caribbean, a favorite travel place of hers, and Halloween Stories of the Hudson Valley. LaMonica gives private art lessons and also teaches at her community college and the Hudson Youth Department. With her books and portfolio in tow, she has attended the Hudson Children’s Book Festival, the largest such festival in the Northeast, every year since its inception. http://www.hudsonnymagazine.com/
Barbara Ann Mojica
Barbara Ann Mojica is a historian and retires educator with forty years experience as a teacher, principal and school administrator. She write historical articles for the Columbia Insider under the banner “Passages.” Using the whimsical Little Miss History character, Barbara hopes to inspire children to learn about historical people and places. Little Miss History’s antics make reading nonfiction a fun-filled adventure for all ages. http://littlemisshistory.com/
Victor Ramon Mojica
Illustrator, cartoonist, writer and publisher, Victor has produced comic strips, comic books, coloring books, children’s books, authored web-sites, written poetry and screenplays. He is best known for his critically acclaimed, comic book series eugenus® … The Next Step In Human Evolution!, and for his Captain Crossbones® comic strip. Victor started his publishing company in 1992. http://www.eugenus.com/
James Preller has written many books for children, including the polular “Jigsaw Jones” mystery series. His recent hardcover titles include the bully-theme title, BYSTANDER (2009 Junior Library Guild Selection), ALONG CAME SPIDER (2008 Top 100 Best Books for Reading – New York Public Library), and MIGHTY CASEY. Preller’s 2009 ALA Notable Book, SIX INNINGS, was named by Booklist as one of 2008’s Top Ten Sports Book of the Year. It became available in paperback just in time for the 2010 baseball season. Mr. Preller lives in Delmar, NY, with his wife, Lisa, and three children. He blogs regularly at http://www.jamespreller.com/
Born in Westport Connecticut in 1958, I was the youngest of six children in a family of artists.
My mom was a portrait and landscape painter, and my Dad was a business man who always had an artsy hobby going on, like leather smithing, photography, knot tying and jewelry making. There were always tons of art supplies lying around and I remember drawing constantly.
My mom took me to her painting classes, my sisters took me to their drawing classes, and I went to sculpture lessons. Art was the most interesting thing to me, and I remember really loving art books. I enjoyed calligraphy also, and would spend hours in my room drawing.
By the time I was in high school, it was very clear to me that I was going to have a career in art. I went to Rhode Island School of Design to study painting. I loved the school, but I was unhappy in the painting department, so I switched to illustration halfway through my sophomore year. I loved illustration! I had great teachers like David Macaulay and Chris Van Allsburg. I didn’t decide on children’s books until well after I finished college. I had tried lots of different types of illustration, including magazine, newspaper, advertising, store windows and even scrimshaw. I chose children’s books because it seemed to be the most fun and offered lots of room for creativity.
I have loved children’s books for over 30 years. When I am not working on a book, I make paintings, mostly in oil. I like to experiment with different media. Right now I am into reverse scratchboard with ink, acrylic, watercolor, the scratchboard allows me to use tools to take the color back off. I also like to make tiles and throw pots. Working in 3D is a nice change from making flat pictures and I LOVE to get my hands dirty! http://www.jacquelinerogers.com/
ESMÉ grew up in Laurel Canyon, California and Ontario, Canada. Currently she and her dog, Chebini Brown, split their time between Brooklyn and New York’s Hudson Valley. A graduate of The Rhode Island School of Design, Esmé is a past recipient of both the Nancy Lee Rhodes Roberts Scholarship and The SILA West 53 Gold Award-Phillip Hayes Scholarship. She has exhibited at The Society of Illustrators and her work has been featured in Taproot and Plansponsor magazines. Ooko is her very first picture book. Connect with her online at esmeshapiro.com, on twitter and Instagram @esmeshapiro.
Drawing and painting have always been among the most important things to Elizabeth Zunon. She was born in Albany, NY and grew up in the Ivory Coast, West Africa. One of her earliest memories is of the proud feeling she had when she first learned to write the letter “E” for her name. Surrounded by the bright, vibrant colors of everyday West African fabrics and tropical vegetation, Elizabeth’s love of color and pattern only grew. After returning to the United States, Elizabeth attended the Rhode Island School of Design and graduated with a B.F.A. in Illustration in 2006. Her illustrated picture book The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind was chosen as one of Amazon’s Best Children’s Books of 2012. She now lives in Albany, NY, where she explores a multicultural world through painting, beading, sewing, and collage. Her ninth illustrated children’s book, The Legendary Miss Lena Horne (Simon $ Shuster), was published in January 2017. http://www.lizzunon.com/