Saturday, May 18, 2019
10:00AM – 5:00PM
Participating Authors and Illustrators:
Jennifer Castle grew up writing stories in her head on long school bus rides and was constantly looking for ways to turn her ideas into reality. Eventually, one of her “big ideas” became a published novel, and since then she has written over 10 books for kids and teens, including the Butterfly Wishes series, Together at Midnight, and Famous Friends. She is also the author of the Blaire series of American Girl books, set in the Hudson Valley. Jennifer lives among the mountains, woods, and bountiful farms of the Hudson Valley with her husband, two daughters, and three cats, who also work part-time as her writing assistants. Read more about her at www.jennifercastle.com.
Nancy Furstinger has been speaking up for animals since she learned to talk. She adores all creatures (especially dogs) and is the author of many animal books. Nancy shares her Upstate NY home with big dogs Bosco Bear and Rosy Wagger, plus house rabbits and a chinchilla (all rescued), and also volunteers with several animal organizations. Find her online at www.nancyfurstinger.com.
Hudson Talbott has written and illustrated over twenty-five books for young readers. His first book, WE’RE BACK!, was made into an animated feature film by Stephen Spielberg. This was followed by INTO THE WOODS, the book version of the Broadway musical, co-written w/ composer Stephen Sondheim. His books RIVER OF DREAMS, The Story of The Hudson River, which was chosen as New York’s State Book of the Year, and his latest book, PICTURING AMERICA – Thomas Cole and the Birth of American Art, are both being used in school curricula throughout the Hudson Valley. He is online at www.hudsontalbott.com.
Gilbert Ford lives and works in Brooklyn, NY where he has illustrated many New York Times bestselling middle grade novels and also award-winning picture books. In 2015 he received his MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. He is the author/ illustrator of the non-fiction picture books The Marvelous Thing That Came From A Spring and How The Cookie Crumbled, both published by Atheneum. He is also the author/illustrator of his debut middle grade novel, Kindred Spirits, to be published by Macmillan/Ottaviano in 2021. He is currently illustrating Alice Across America by Sarah Glenn-Marsh (Macmillan/Ottaviano 2020). Read more about him at www.gilbertford.com.
Jana Laiz is a writer with a purpose. The author of the triple award-winning novel, Weeping Under This Same Moon, Moonbeam Silver Medal Winner, The Twelfth Stone, Elephants of the Tsunami, “A Free Woman On God’s Earth, The True Story of Elizabeth “Mumbet” Freeman, The Slave Who Won Her Freedom, Thomas & Autumn, Simon Says ~ Tails Told By The Red Lion Inn Ambassador, Billy Budd in the Breadbox, The Story of Herman Melville & Eleanor, and Blanket of Stars, Jana believes that honoring diversity can change the world. She is the very first Writer-In-Residence at Herman Melville’s beloved Arrowhead, and can be found online at www.janalaiz.com.
Marian Grudko is a storyteller and composer. Her performance of “A Beatrix Potter Afternoon” at the Actor’s Institute in New York City, featuring ‘The Tale of Jemima Puddle-duck” with original music, was an Editor’s Pick in TimeOut NY magazine. Her musical story Lucinda Snowdrop is now an illustrated book. You can hear a live performance of Lucinda with music at lucindasnowdrop.com/music.
Iza Trapani was born in Poland and moved to the U.S. at age seven. Fascinated with a Mother Goose Treasury, Iza learned English through the rhymes. Little did she know that someday she would retell many of them and become a best-selling children’s book author and illustrator. Iza is known for her award-winning series of nursery rhyme extensions, including The Itsy Bitsy Spider, which has sold over a million copies. Her latest release is Old MacDonald Had A…Zoo?. She is online at www.izatrapani.com.
Alan Katz has written 35 highly acclaimed children’s books, including Take Me Out of the Bathtub and Other Silly Dilly Songs, Don’t Say That Word!, and the award-winning poetry book OOPS! His first two Awesome Achievers non-fiction books, combining facts and laughs, will be released in August. Alan is a six-time Emmy-nominated writer for series including The Rosie O’Donnell Show, Taz-Mania, Pinkalicious and Peterrific, the Grammy Awards and Tony Awards, various Nickelodeon shows, network specials and game shows. He has also created comic books, trading card sets, web videos, commercials and hundreds of other special projects for kids and their parents. Read more about him at alankatzbooks.com.
Gail Carson Levine has written twenty-four books for children. Her best-known is Ella Enchanted, which won a Newbery honor in 1998 and was made into a motion picture in 2004. Her latest, a prequel called Ogre Enchanted, is based on a gender-reversed version of “Beauty and the Beast.” Most of her books are middle-grade fantasies, but Dave at Night is historical fiction set in an orphanage and the Harlem Renaissance, and Writing Magic and Writer to Writer are nonfiction about writing stories. Gail and her husband David and their Airedale Reggie live in Brewster, New York, and is online at www.gailcarsonlevine.com.
Karen Kaufman Orloff is the author of 11 books for children, including the popular “I Wanna” series (I Wanna Iguana, I Wanna New Room, I Wanna Go Home.) Some Days is her most recent book. A 12th picture book, Dudley’s Day At Home will be out in 2020. Karen lives in the Hudson Valley is a frequent visitor to schools, and is online at www.karenkaufmanorloff.com.
Della Ross Ferreri is a teacher and children’s book author. Della lives in Hyde Park with her husband, three children and two guinea pigs. In her free time, Della enjoys reading, movies, traveling, leisurely walks and cheering for her family at running races, and basketball and baseball games. She is online at www.dellarossferreri.com/.
Tania Guarino is the author of MEET the QUACKERS. She lives with her family in New York’s Hudson Valley, where her annual summer veggie garden has proven to be the perfect place for many woodland critter parties. When not writing fun stories for kids she loves being outdoors enjoying nature and gardening, bike riding over hill-and-dale, endless sea glass searching, moon gazing, and spending time on the family boat soaking up sunshine and catching fish. Tania is a contributor to Highlights High Five Magazine, and has poems published in the anthology, A Hug for the World. GARDEN PARTY – A COUNTING ADVENTURE BOOK is her second picture book. Read more about her at taniaguarino.com/.
Catherine Ciocchi has a degree in geology and teaches high school Earth Science. She loves a great view and decided rhyming about beautiful landforms was the best way for young readers to learn about them. Just like her book, This Land is Your Land, says “nature makes an awesome scene” and Catherine wants everyone to notice. Catherine has published many short stories. She’s married with three sons and enjoys her beautiful view living in the Hudson Valley, and is online at www.catherineciocchi.com.
Raven Howell is author and poet of several children’s books including the recently released, My Community, Shimmer/Songs of Night, and A Star Full of Sky which won several awards including Best in Children’s Literature. She writes poetry for a variety of magazines such as Highlights for Children, Ladybug, Bumples, Jack and Jill, Humpty Dumpty, Fun for Kidz, Cricket, Spider, Babybug, Hello Highlights, and High Five. Her work is included in anthologies, DVD’s and CD’s. Raven has received awards for poetry from the SCBWI and Poetry Soup, and enjoys presenting children’s writing workshops in libraries and to classrooms. She is Creative & Publishing Advisor for Red Clover Reader, and represented by Essie White of Storm Literary Agency. Living in the Hudson Valley with her family, Raven enjoys long dawn hikes, being at the beach, and munching on warm butterscotch chip cookies. She is online at www.ravenhowell.com.
Timothy Tocher is the author of four sports themed novels for middle grade students. Chief Sunrise, John McGraw, and Me (Cricket Books, 2004) was named a Best Book for Young Adults by the American Library Association. The sequel, Bill Pennant, Babe Ruth, and Me (Cricket Books, 2009) received a starred review from Kirkus. His latest book,Odd Ball: Hilarious, Unusual, and Bizarre Baseball Moments (Marshall Cavendish, 2011) is his first work of non-fiction. Tocher lives in the Hudson Valley. Read more about him at http://sites.google.com/site/tochertales.