Sivan has written and illustrated four books in The Super Fun Day Books series, including Benny J. and the Horrible Halloween, George J. and the Miserable Monday, Emily D. and the Fearful First Day, and her most recent book Avery G. and the Scary End of School.
The Super Fun Days Books is a collection of best-selling social stories about neurodiverse (Autism, ADHD, Dyslexia, etc.) kids. They are illustrated with bright simple illustrations to keep children focused on the story, and are printed in a dyslexic-friendly font. Each book is also available as an audiobook.
When not writing, Sivan enjoys being a wife to her wonderful husband and a mother to their two exceptional children. They have a dog and cat and live a quiet and contented life in their home in Westport, Connecticut. Her professional career spans over two decades in several industries and professions, including holding esteemed positions as a professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business and former partner at The Bridgespan Group. She also loves to offer her time and expertise to others, and she currently serves as a Trustee on the Boards of the Westport Public Library, the Rita Allen Foundation, and the ASPCA.
All of Sivan’s books are available via her website and on Amazon. Parents, Teachers, and Educators can connect with her via Facebook and Instagram as well.
Amanda Hsiung-Blodgett inspires children to fall in love with learning the Chinese language and culture. She is the author of the “Let’s Learn Mandarin Chinese with Miss Panda!” audio album and the host of the Playful Chinese podcast. She has also released a children’s picture word book First Mandarin Sounds. Amanda is also a trained Chinese language instructor and the mother of two bilingual children. She has extensive Mandarin Chinese and ESL teaching experience with kids and business professionals in Taiwan, Morocco, Canada, Ecuador, and the United States. Her students call her “Miss Panda!” You can find Miss Panda’s engaging, playful, and interactive Chinese language learning resources at MissPandaChinese.com. She currently lives in Washington D.C. with her family, including two lovely trilingual cats, Qwerty and Bella, as well as a bilingual bird, Lemon.
Author Josh Funk
Josh Funk is a software engineer and the author of books like the Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast series, the It’s Not a Fairy Tale series, the How to Code with Pearl and Pascal series, the A Story of Patience & Fortitude series, Dear Dragon, Pirasaurs!, Albie Newton, and more.
IT’S NOT LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD: Little Red likes to play by the rules. So when the narrator comes along and asks her to follow the story set out in her fairy tale, she grabs the basket for Grandma and goes. After all, she loves her grandma. But unfortunately, none of the other characters are quite what they’re expecting.
As Little Red attempts to follow the narrator’s directions (which, frankly, seem kind of dangerous!), she is beset by fill-in characters, confusing instructions, and even a fierce battle! Will Little Red ever make it to Grandma’s house? And who will she find when she gets there? Complete with some unusual “guest appearances,” this laugh-out-loud Little Red Riding Hood retelling will have kids giggling all the way to Grandma’s house! Ding-dong!
Josh also has a plethora of “fun stuff” for kids, parents, and educators including Activity Kits Coloring Pages Book Trailers Character Cards, and Book Songs.
Connect with Josh via his website, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube
Author Stephanie M. Wildman
Author Stephanie M. Wildman served as John A. and Elizabeth H. Sutro Chair at Santa Clara Law and directed the school’s Center for Social Justice and Public Service before becoming Professor Emerita. Her books include: the newly released Treasure Hunt (2022); Brave in the Water (2021); Privilege Revealed: How Invisible Preference Undermines America 2d (2021) (with contributions by Armstrong, Davis, & Grillo); Race and Races: Cases and Resources for a Diverse America 3d (with Delgado, Harris, Perea, & Stefancic) (2015); Social Justice: Professionals Communities and Law (with Mahoney & Calmore) (2013); Women and the Law Stories (with Schneider) (2011). She is a member of the Writers Grotto and can sit criss-cross applesauce, thanks to her yoga practice.
BRAVE IN THE WATER (illustrated by Jenni Feidler-Aguilar) (translated into Spanish as Valiente en el Agua by Cecilia Populus-Eudave): Are you afraid to put your face in the water? So is Diante. He would like to play in the pool with other children. He’s not afraid to hang upside down, though, and he’s surprised to learn his grandma is. Can Diante help Grandma and become brave in the water? This book is best for 4-7 year-olds and is available in ebook format as well as paperback.
Connect with Stephanie via her website, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.
Author Gwen Jackson
Inspired by Navajo Culture and Folklore
connect with Gwen on Facebook, Twitter, or at gwenjacksonstories.com
Author Diana Huang
Diana Huang was born in Southern California to Chinese-American immigrant parents, she struggled academically and socially in her k-6 years. But ever since kindergarten, she had developed a strong interest and passion for the visual arts. Eventually, she went on to study at the University of Southern California with a BFA in Fine Art (2001) & MAT Multiple Subject (2015), and OTIS College of Art and Design with a BFA in Digital Media (2007). She has been working in various art and non-art industries while also creating her own story worlds. She is also the author and illustrator of multiple books including Intrepids: A Sci-fi Fantasy Novel for 5-8th graders (2020), Cooking the Books: A Cartoon Humor Book About Idioms (2019), and The Elemental Horses book series (2012-2015).
Intrepids – A Sci-Fi Fantasy Novel
Katie Mah was your average Asian American kid living an average life, going to an average school, and getting average grades in an average town in the dull suburbs of Southern California. Katie was subjected to all kinds of average unpleasant experiences growing up. On a fateful 6th-grade science camp trip to the mountains, her average life was so unbearable, she ran away, and landed herself into a lot of trouble, not on Earth, but on Alpha Centauri. There she befriends the centaurs who desperately need her help. Intrepids is for ages 7-18 and is available in ebook form.
Connect with Diana via her website, Facebook, Twitter, DeviantArt, Instagram, and YouTube
Author Afsaneh Moradian
Afsaneh Moradian has loved writing stories, poetry, and plays since childhood. After receiving her master’s in education, she took her love of writing into the classroom where she began teaching children how to channel their creativity. Her passion for teaching has lasted for over two decades. Afsaneh now homeschools her child and coaches homeschooling parents who are struggling to homeschool their neurodiverse and high-needs children.
Afsaneh Moradian is the author of the picture books, Jamie is Jamie: A Book About Being Yourself and Playing Your Way, Jamie and Bubbie: A Book About People’s Pronouns, and Jamie’s Class Has Something to Say: A Book About Sharing with Grown-Ups (Free Spirit Publishing).
Her book Homeschooling Out of the Box: A Child-Centered Approach to Teaching Your Unique Child is available on Amazon
Connect with Afsaneh via her website or on Instagram and Twitter.
Author Kathleen Burkinshaw
BOOK RIOT lists THE LAST CHERRY BLOSSOM as one of “30 Fascinating Historical Fiction Books for Middle School Readers – October, 2018″
Yuriko was happy growing up in Hiroshima when it was just her and Papa. But her aunt Kimiko and her cousin Genji are living with them now, and the family is only getting bigger with talk of a double marriage! And while things are changing at home, the world beyond their doors is even more unpredictable. World War II is coming to an end, and Japan’s fate is not entirely clear, with any battle losses being hidden from its people. Yuriko is used to the sirens and the air-raid drills, but things start to feel more real when the neighbors who have left to fight stop coming home.
When the bomb hits Hiroshima, it’s through Yuriko’s twelve-year-old eyes that we witness the devastation and horror.
Kathleen Burkinshaw is a Japanese American author and the daughter of a Hiroshima survivor residing in Charlotte, NC. She’s a wife, mom, and owns a dog who is a kitchen ninja. She has presented her mother’s experience in Hiroshima to middle and high schools for the past 9 years. Writing gives her an outlet for her daily struggle with chronic pain from Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy(RSD). The Last Cherry Blossom (Sky Pony Press,2016), is now a United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs Resource for Teachers and Students. And is recently nominated for the NC School Library Media Association YA book award and 2019-2020 VSBA, 2018& 2016 Scholastic WNDB Reading Club selection, and Finalist for NC Sir Walter Raleigh Fiction Award, 2018 Sakura Medal, Japan, and SCBWI Crystal Kite Award(Southeast region).
In April 2020 NHK World-Japan, an international news station based in Japan did a short segment on The Last Cherry Blossom in both Japanese and English. The English segment was on its Newsroom Tokyo TV program and the Japanese segment was on its Today’s 2020 TV program. Listen to both programs HERE.
Learn more about Kathleen through her Blog – Creating Through the Pain or connect with her on Twitter and Facebook.
Author Eugenia Chu
Eugenia Chu is an attorney, turned stay-at-home mom, and turned writer. She lives on a magical beach in Miami with her husband and son, Brandon, who is the inspiration for her stories. She enjoys reading, writing, traveling, yoga, and drinking too much coffee. She has been a presenter at numerous schools, libraries, and book festivals. When her son, Brandon, was very little, she couldn’t find children’s storybooks to read to him that touched upon Chinese culture and which included some Chinese (Mandarin) words to teach and/or reinforce his Chinese vocabulary, so she started writing her own.
As of December 2021, Eugenia has published FOUR beautiful diverse books for young readers.
Her first book, Brandon Makes Jiǎo Zi (餃子) is about a little Chinese-American boy named Brandon who gets a surprise visit from his grandma from China, Pó Po (婆婆). While Brandon and Pó Po (婆婆) are making Chinese dumplings, called jiǎo zi (餃子).
Brandon Goes to Beijing (北京) is her second “Brandon” story and first children’s chapter book. In this story, Brandon and his cousins are on a trip to visit their grandparents in Beijing, China! While bonding with family, practicing Chinese, touring historic sites, and feasting on local dishes, Brandon thinks he sees a tiny panda. However, every time he gets close, the panda disappears! Is Brandon imagining this small creature, or is it real? Will Brandon find out before he has to fly back home?
Coming soon! Celebrating Chinese New Year will be released in December 2021!
Read more of Eugenia’s story on her website and Instagram, or connect with her on Goodreads.
Author Jacqueline Jules
Jacqueline Jules is a former elementary school librarian who found herself intrigued by almost every book she put on the shelf. As a reader and as a writer, she loves many different genres. She is the author of over fifty books for young readers including the Zapato Power series and the Sofia Martinez series. Her most recent picture book, The Porridge-Pot Goblin, features two clever siblings who outwit a mischievous goblin threatening to disturb their Friday night Sabbath observance. Her new middle grade verse novel My Name is Hamburger was inspired by her own childhood growing up Jewish in a small southern town with a father who was a German-speaking immigrant. Her other books for young readers include Drop by Drop: A Story of Rabbi Akiva, Picnic at Camp Shalom, The Generous Fish, and Never Say a Mean Word Again. Visit her online at www.jacquelinejules.com where she has numerous resources and activities.
Author Alejandra Domenzain
Alejandra Domenzain has been an immigrant worker rights advocate for over 20 years organizing, policy advocacy, program development, education, and research. She was also an elementary school teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District, specializing in project-based curriculum development and interdisciplinary language arts units. Alejandra has two master’s degrees from UCLA, a bachelor’s from Georgetown University, and a CLEAR teaching credential. She is the daughter of Mexican immigrants, is married to a Brazilian immigrant, has two school-aged kids being brought up tri-lingually, and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Alejandra’s bilingual English/Spanish book, For All/ Para Todos, is about a young girl named Flor and her father who are driven to leave their country for the promise of land called For All. When Flor comes to understand the deep impact of their immigration papers, she picks up her green pen and writes from the heart, telling the story of immigrants who have been excluded from “justice for all.” She inspires others to speak up and take action in the hope that their new country will live up to its ideals. A timely bilingual story, written in musical rhyme, beautifully illustrated, calling children to compassion and courage. Best for elementary ages and a portion of the proceeds go to RAICES.
This powerful book won Honorable Mention for the 2021 International Latino Book Award and has been featured by the Cesar Chavez Foundation, National Association of Bilingual Educators, LA Public Library, Miami International Book Festival, UNIDOS US, Social Justice Books/Teaching for Change, We Need Diverse Books, University of New Mexico’s Latin American and Iberian Studies Institute, Progress Report, Storytime with Mr. Limata, 14 Best Children’s Books about Immigrants and Refugees by Rebekah Gienapp, Empathy Media Labs, East Side Freedom Library, and others. Review by Social Justice Books, featured in 14 Best Children’s Books about Immigrants and Refugees, and featured in Progress Report article on how to talk to children about immigration
Connect with Alejandra via her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Gaia Cornwall is a rad mama who loves to write and illustrate books for children. Gaia’s debut picture book, Jabari Jumps (Candlewick Press), was featured in People Magazine, The New York Times, was named a Charlotte Zolotow Honor Book, an Amazon Best Children’s Book of the Year, and was a staff pick in NPR’s Book Concierge: Our Guide To 2017’s Great Reads, among other accolades!
Visit her website and follow her on Facebook and Instagram.
Ruth Spiro is the author of the Baby Loves Science board book series, published by Charlesbridge. There are 25 current and forthcoming titles including Baby Loves Aerospace Engineering, Baby Loves Coding and Baby Loves the Five Senses. She continues her signature style of introducing complex subjects to little listeners with Baby Loves Political Science a new series perfect for election year and beyond. Titles include Democracy, Justice, Congress, and The Presidency. The SCIENCE books are illustrated by Irene Chan, and POLITICAL SCIENCE by Greg Paprocki.
Ruth’s STEM-themed picture book series, Made by Maxine (Dial), is about an inspiring young Maker who knows that with enough effort, imagination and recyclables, it’s possible to invent anything. Made by Maxine sold at auction as a three-book series. Maxine and the Greatest Garden Ever was published in 2021 and is a “Best STEM Book” by the National Science Teaching Association.
A frequent speaker at schools and conferences, Ruth’s previous presentations include the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, Chicago Tribune Printer’s Row LitFest, Children’s Festival of Stories, Nerd Camp, NAEYC, and the World Science Festival. Ruth hopes her books inspire kids to observe the world, ask questions, and when it comes to their futures, DREAM BIG! Visit www.RuthSpiro.com.
Evelyn Sanchez-Toledo was born in Arecibo, Puerto Rico and raised in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood. She attended Northeastern Illinois University and received a Bachelor of Arts in Education. She has had a varied career, from teacher aide to teacher, to a unit supervisor in the insurance industry. She transitioned to a career in technology obtaining Certification from DePaul University.
After 25 years in the business world, she returned to teaching realizing how much she enjoyed the children and their love for learning. Although retired, she continues to substitute and work as an interventionist. She is a mother of three and a grandmother. Raising her children and watching how her grandchildren grow are the things that bring her the most joy. She has always enjoyed writing and felt that now was a time to share her thoughts with others. With new inspirations, she is looking ahead to new adventures. Remember, every day is a good day to learn something new!
Tonya Duncan Ellis
Watch Sophie’s Video Book Trailers!
Kiyanda and Benjamin Young/Twin Powers Books
Ben and Kiyanda Young are the proud parents of an amazing set of fraternal twins, Zara and Owen. As parents, they promote individuality among their children while encouraging their twins to support and rely on one another.
The special bond between Zara and Owen is what inspired the Youngs to write “Twin Power,” and a second book “Twin Power: The Best Snow Day Ever,” a recent recipient of The Next Generation Indie Book Awards and The Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards. They plan to build a series of books highlighting the unique relationship that twins share. In addition to being Zara and Owen’s parents, Ben is a gastroenterologist and Kiyanda is a surgeon, both with medical practices in Virginia.
Connect with Ben and Kiyanda via their website, Instagram, and Pinterest.
Author Kimberly Lee
Kim C. Lee is a children’s book author from Maryland. She writes about things in life that tickle the heart and is motivated to create stories that feature young Black and African American children.
As a mother to a grade-school-aged son, Kim recognizes the importance of children seeing their likeness and the myriad of experiences reflected in books. When she is not focused on finding the right words for a story, Kim enjoys spending time with family and friends, creating content of different types, and traveling. Kim is also a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).
In 2020, Kim published her first children’s book, The Night Owl. In early 2021, she followed up with Meet Frankie Jordan, extending her children’s book collection and continued focus on sharing diverse perspectives.
Meet Frankie Jordan introduces readers to an amazing little girl who holds tight to her love of art despite finding that she is so different from other kids.
Where does one find the courage to embrace their uniqueness and hold fast to their dreams? Frankie Jordan is a little girl who knows that her love of art makes her different from other kids. While they enjoy playing tag and riding bikes, Frankie prefers to spend her time imagining new things and sketching. In reading this story, kids will learn that it is okay to be different and most important to embrace the uniqueness of each individual. It is a story about recognizing the uniqueness in each individual and accepting each person for who they are. (For ages 3-9)
Tameka Fryer Brown
Tameka Fryer Brown is an award-winning picture book author. Her titles include Brown Baby Lullaby and My Cold Plum Lemon Pie Bluesy Mood which was Charlotte Zolotow Honor Book and a CCBC Choices Best Book. Her work is also featured in the anthology We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices. Tameka lives in North Carolina with her children.
Talia Aikens-Nuñez is passionate about sharing with young readers the little-known stories, accomplishments, and contributions of people of color from all throughout history. Aikens-Nuñez is the author of Small Nap, Little Dream, a bilingual Spanish/English picture book. Her newest book, Men of the 65th, tells of one of the forgotten stories of the Korean War. Talia Aikens-Nuñez guides us through the history of the Borinqueneers and the challenges they faced leading up to what was the largest court martial in the entire war. Rediscover the bravery of the men of the 65th through Aikens-Nuñez’s thorough writing and the soldiers’ firsthand accounts of the Korean War. She and her husband live on a river in Connecticut with their two children.
Marcia Argueta Mickelson
Marcia Argueta Mickelson was born in Guatemala and immigrated to the United States as an infant. She attended high school in New Jersey and then graduated from Brigham Young University with a BA in American Studies. She is the author of five novels including Star Shining Brightly, The Huaca, and Where I Belong, and she is a winner of the Pura Belpré Young Adult Author Honor. She lives in Texas with her husband and three sons.
Kerry O’Malley Cerra
Kerry O’Malley Cerra is the author of the award-winning middle-grade novel Just a Drop of Water. She holds a degree in social science education and currently works as a high school media specialist. She spends her days enveloped by books and students and spends her nights writing by the glow of her computer. Though she’ll always consider South Jersey/Philly her home, she currently lives in Florida with her family and two poorly-behaved rescue dogs. Be sure to pop over to KerryOmalleyCerra.com and say hi!
Jennie Liu is the daughter of Chinese immigrants. She has been fascinated by the attitudes, social policies, and changes in China each time she visits. Her young adult novels have won honors including a Freeman Book Award Honorable Mention and an In the Margins: Best Books for Teens award. Her middle grade novel Enly and the Buskin’ Blues will be available Spring 2023. She lives in North Carolina with her family.
Heather Murphy Capps
Heather Murphy Capps grew up in a small Minnesota town where the motto is “Cows, Colleges, and Contentment.” She spent fifteen years as a television news journalist before deciding to focus on her favorite kind of writing: books for kids involving history, social justice, science, mystery, and a touch of magic. A mixed-race author committed to diversity in publishing, she lives in Northern Virginia with her husband, two kids, two cats, and yes, even some cows, colleges, and contentment. Her debut novel Indigo and Ida will be available Spring 2023.
Diane Wilson, Sun Yung Shin, Shannon Gibney, John Coy
Where We Come From is the unique collaboration among four authors—Sun Yung Shin, Shannon Gibney, John Coy, and Diane Wilson—as they lyrically explore where they each come from—literally and metaphorically—as well as what unites all of us as humans.
Diane Wilson is an award-winning writer, speaker, and editor. Her work includes Spirit Car: Journey to a Dakota Past (2006), Beloved Child: A Dakota Way of Life (2011), and The Seed Keeper (2021) which won the Minnesota Book Award. Her essays have been featured in many publications, including We Are Meant to Rise; Kinship: Belonging in a World of Relations, and A Good Time for the Truth. Wilson is a Mdewakanton descendant, enrolled on the Rosebud Reservation.
신 선 영 Sun Yung Shin is a Korean American poet, fiction writer, nonfiction writer, editor, and educator. Her books include four collections of poetry: The Wet Hex (Coffee House Press, 2022); Unbearable Splendor (Coffee House Press, 2016, Minnesota Book Award winner); Rough, and Savage (Coffee House Press, 2012); and Skirt Full of Black (Coffee House Press, 2006, Asian American Literary Award). Her poetry has been supported with fellowships and grants from the MacDowell Residency, the Archibald Bush Foundation, the McKnight Foundation, and the Minnesota State Arts Board. She lives in Minneapolis near Minnehaha Creek.
Shannon Gibney is a writer, educator, activist, and the author of See No Color (Carolrhoda Lab, 2015), and Dream Country (Dutton, 2018) young adult novels that won Minnesota Book Awards. Gibney is faculty in English at Minneapolis College, where she teaches writing. A Bush Artist and McKnight Writing Fellow, her new book, Botched, explores themes of transracial adoption through speculative memoirs (Dutton, 2023). She lives in Minneapolis with her family.
John Coy is the author of young adult novels, the 4 for 4 middle-grade series, and nonfiction and fiction picture books including Hoop Genius, Game Changer, Their Great Gift, Dads, and If We Were Gone. He has received numerous awards for his work including a Marion Vannett Ridgway Award, a Charlotte Zolotow Honor, a Bank Street College Best Book of the Year, and the Burr/Warzalla Award for Distinguished Achievement in Children’s Literature. John lives by the Mississippi River in Minneapolis.
Irene Latham and Charles Waters
Charles Waters is a children’s poet, actor, and co-author of Charlotte Huck’s Honor Book Can I Touch Your Hair? Poems of Race, Mistakes, and Friendship. His poems have appeared in various anthologies including One Minute Till Bedtime and The National Geographic Book of Animal Poetry. Charles performs his one-person show as well as conducts poetry performances and writing workshops for elementary and middle school audiences. He lives in Georgia.
Irene Latham is the author of more than a dozen current and forthcoming works of poetry, fiction, and picture books, including Charlotte Huck Honor’s Book Can I Touch Your Hair? Poems of Race, Mistakes, and Friendship (co-written with Charles Waters) and the Caldecott Honor Book The Cat Man of Aleppo (co-written by Karim Shamsi-Basha). She has won many awards including the 2016 ILA Lee Bennett Hopkins Promising Poet Award.
Their new collaboration, Be a Bridge, is an upbeat picture book that describes different ways in which readers can “be a bridge,” from welcoming a new student and listening respectfully when someone else is talking to standing up to a bully and comforting a classmate who is upset.
Maritza M Mejia
Colombian poet, writer, translator, speaker, and publisher, lives in Florida. Founder of Proyecto de Escritura LuzDelMes, to create bridges of communication and collaboration between authors around the world. Cultural Promoter of “Desayuno Literario Internacional LuzDelMes” and Tri-Anthology LuzDelMes. For her service to the community, she is the recipient of the Crystal Apple Award 2006. Maritza received the Virtues Christian Poetry Award 2015, Latino Book Awards for Best Translation English to Spanish, and Best eBook non-fiction 2016. Nominated to the Carmen Luisa Pinto 2016.
Ten bilingual books published, Vanilla and Chocolate (2012), Grandma’s Treasure (2014), Poems, Thoughts and more (2015), Hazel Eyes (2010), Ojos Avellana (2016), Luz del mes (2018), Luz Del Mes Tri-Anthology (2019-2020), In Him, I Rest (2021) and The Purple Shell (2022).
Graduated from Colegio Mayor de Cundinamarca in Commerce and Foreign Language, A.S. in Travel Industry Management from Broward State College, Obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Humanities and Certificate in Women’s Studies from Florida Atlantic University. Seeking Master’s degree in Theology at Catholic Distance University.
Member of Florida Writer’s Association, Multicultural Children’s Book Board of Advisor, Delegate Academia Norteaméricana de Literatura Moderna Internacional, FL, and Ambassador Read to Me! Day Maritza writes to inspire others to be better people.
Social Media: @luzdelmes ~ Website: www.luzdelmes.com
Author Lois Petren/The 5 Enchanted Mermaids
The Five Enchanted Mermaids celebrate diversity in our world and the belief that each child deserves to have a mermaid that looks like them. Through their individual personalities and traits, they weave stories that help teach skills to children in this age group.
The idea for the Five Enchanted Mermaids was born to provide a fun but educational backdrop for girls aged 3 to 7 years. The characters address emotional skills (making friends, resolving conflicts, coping with change, making their own choices, and “being good people”) and educational skills (learning to read, the alphabet, counting, symmetrical shapes, time, the value of monetary coins/notes) that are important at that age in the development of young girls. The stories use each of the diverse mermaids as a role model for behavior and values.
LifeMadeSimple and acclaimed children’s book author, Lois Petren, are collaborating to provide a series of books, party accessories, and other appropriate items to support these goals. Lois, along with business partner, Jackie Bunn, has been working on developing the Five Enchanted Mermaid merchandise line and spreading the word about the mermaids.
Connect with Lois, Jackie, and the Five Enchanted Mermaids via their website, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and Instagram
Authors J.C. Kato and J.C.²
J.C. Kato is the recipient of the Karen and Philip Cushman Award for Finding Moon Rabbit, is an active member of SCBWI, and Co-Editor of the Florida State Poets Association Anthology. Drawn to pay homage, she’s visited all ten Internment Camps/Museums throughout the United States, including the DOJ Memorial in New Mexico, and twice to Heart Mountain. She lives in Florida with her family and Ewokie-looking dog, Poppet.
J.C.2 is Yonsei Japanese American and though her pen name might leave most mathematicians scratching their heads, she thought it an equation just too cute to pass up. She’s the proud daughter of hakujin, J.C., and lives in Florida with her rescue Pit Bull, who spends most of the day napping and scavenging for who-knows-what in the backyard. Aside from her full-time gig of counting beans, she spends her days devouring sci-fi books and practicing her newly found devotion to the study of Yoga, which works out when you’re really twisted.
Maya & Neel’s India Adventure Series by Ajanta & Vivek takes kids on a journey across India as they experience festivals, cities, food, music, dance, and everything else that makes the Indian culture so vibrant and joyful!
The series has 11 titles so far including festivals, places, mythology, activity books & more! The books provide an in-depth view via fun, non-religious and engaging content!
Ajanta & Vivek also teach fun multicultural content via their YouTube channel whose goal is to provide Cultural Screen Time and includes animations, dance-along videos, a trip to Indian stores, and more.
Culture Groove’s vibrant books include Diwali, Holi, Ramdan/Eid, Mumbai, Delhi/Taj Mahal, Ganesha, Krishna, Navratri, Vaisakhi, Indian Wedding and their latest: 50-Activity Diwali book.
CultureGroove’s vibrant books include Let’s Celebrate Holi! (Maya & Neel’s India Adventure Series), Let’s Celebrate Ramadan & Eid! (Muslim Festival of Fasting & Sweets), Let’s Celebrate Navratri! (Nine Nights of Dancing & Fun) Let’s Celebrate 5 Days of Diwali! (Maya & Neel’s India Adventure Series), Let’s Visit Mumbai! (Maya & Neel’s India Adventure Series) Delhi and Taj Mahal and more!
Lindsey Rowe Parker
Lindsey is a mom at the tail-end of toddler-hood, embracing the next phase of parenting while learning to navigate and advocate for her autistic daughter. With a recent adult diagnosis of ADHD, and a new deeper understanding of her own sensory experiences, she has begun to delve into the neurodiversity community learning all she can from neurodivergent voices. This is her first picture book, and she hopes it connects with everyone who has felt the need for a wiggle, stomp or squeeze!
Connect with her on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
Red Comet Press
Red Comet Press is a small independent children’s publisher providing a home for talented creators who seek a boutique experience and the personal touch of a passionate publisher.
Yellow Butterfly is a wordless picture book portrayal of war seen through the eyes of a young girl who finds hope in the symbolism of yellow butterflies against the background of a pure blue sky. Oleksandr Shatokhin is an artist and children’s book illustrator who lives and works in Ukraine. On the first day of the Russian invasion of Ukarine, Oleksandr and his family left their home in Sumy, close to the Russian border, for Poltava. On the way there, they were held up in occupied Trostianka (Sumy region), but finally managed to travel through the “green corridor” to reach their friends in Poltava. Oleksandr’s wife and child continued on to the safety of Poland. The author stayed in Ukraine. After two months apart the family was reunited in Western Ukraine and are now living together in the city of Lviv close to the Polish border.
Follow Red Comet Press on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Shifa Saltagi Safadi
Shifa Saltagi Safadi is the author of three picture books published with Muslim publisher Ruqaya’s Bookshelf (and more coming!). She is an avid reader and reviews Muslim books on Muslim Mommy Blog, with nearly 31k followers on Instagram and over 9,000 followers on her TikTok account.
Shifa is also co-founder of Muslim Book Reviewers, where they hold awards each year for the best Muslim books, as well as provide beta reading/sensitivity reading consultations for publishers, and cover reveals for authors.
Shifa has a degree in English Literature and teaches Middle School English Language Arts. She is passionate about literacy, and especially diverse books!
Shifa was born in Syria and immigrated to the US with her parents as a young girl. She lives near Chicago with her husband and four children. You can always find her nose in a book or typing away on her computer inventing her own Syrian American stories.
Nancy Tupper Ling
Children’s Author, Poet, Librarian, Wife, Mom, Crazy Lady…not necessarily in that order. Nancy Ling is the winner of the prestigious Writer’s Digest Grand Prize and the Pat Parnell Poetry Award. She draws her inspiration from the multicultural background of her family and the interwoven fabric of familial culture which is, on the surface, seemingly every day. Her most recent release is For Every Little Thing.
How do you find joy in ordinary moments? How do you mark small wonders like the return of the fireflies or a friend’s helping hand?
Arranged from waking up to falling asleep, For Every Little Thing is an engaging collection of the day and its delights. This inspirational anthology gathers classic selections, modern prayers, and new poems from multiple cultures and faiths. From Emily Dickinson to Amma, from Ken Nesbitt to Rabbi Rami M. Shapiro, fifty-one voices encourage children to be present and thankful at all hours.
Accessible language and richly detailed illustrations celebrate simple pleasures like slurping noodles and splashing in puddles. Perfect for sharing around the table or at bedtime, For Every Little Thing will awaken a sense of gratitude in readers of all ages. She is also the author of My Sister, Alicia May (Pleasant Street Press), Double Happiness (Chronicle Books), The Story I’ll Tell (Lee & Low Books.
Currently, she resides in Walpole, Massachusetts with her husband, Vincent, and their two girls.
Connect with Nancy via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or via BookShop.org or www.NancyTupperLing.com
Deborah grew up in New York and after dealing with snow for her entire life, she thought moving to Colorado would be a great idea. A few years later it was time to come back down to sea level when she moved to Atlanta. “Benji’s Berry Berry Pie” is Deborah’s first foray into Children’s Literature. She wants to create stories that engage children and foster curiosity. In her leisure time, Deborah enjoys collecting stamps in her Passport and plotting her next adventure.
Benji has a knack for technology and loves inventing new things. With his dog, Nimbus, by his side he doesn’t let anything stop him. Join Benji as he learns how to bake the berriest pie! His story is about letting your creative side flourish and not giving up. If you’re looking for a kids book that fosters curiosity, Benji’s Berry Berry Pie is for you!
Connect with Deborah via her website www.discoverdka.com or Instagram @discoverdka
Asha Hagood is both a professional Librarian and an Instructional Designer. She has 4 children and lives outside of Atlanta with her husband of over 20 years. Asha enjoys all manner of creative pursuits including painting, making bleach-crafted tee shirts, and of course writing. She wrote the blog “Life on Tuesday” for many years which garnered her 2 peer blogger awards and she’s published in LibraryTrends academic journal. Super Sister Shine is Asha’s first children’s book.
Priya Kumari is a multi-award-winning children’s author and the founder of an independent publishing company Eternal Tree Books, which produces mainly children’s books. Her mission is to publish uplifting books created by visionary authors and artists of all ages to share stories from under-represented Indian culture—diverse stories promoting peace education, emotional hygiene, the science of well-being, and cultural competence. Her most popular book, Leaf Talks Peace: Buddha’s message of Harmony, is blessed with a foreword by The Dalai Lama. Born and raised in the scenic foothills of the Himalayas, she inherited her love of reading and passion for the written word from her father, who owned a bookstore. She is passionate about diverse representation in publishing and also serves as a member of the DEI committee at IBPA, the largest trade association for independent publishers in the US. She is the founding board member of South Asian Kidlit- a global community of creatives supporting and promoting independent South Asian children’s literature and on the board of East Brunswick Library Foundation. She and her work have been covered by many media outlets including News 12, Newyork Weekly, TV Asia, ITV gold, Indian express, EBC radio, LA wire, and USA wire. She is also a certified public accountant and lives in New Jersey with her husband and their two sons.
Chris Singleton is an inspirational speaker and former professional baseball player who travels the country as a student achievement specialist. Chris has spoken to over 60,000 students and teachers across the nation and has helped thousands of students and teachers overcome hardships and excel in the classroom. Chris’s speech on overcoming hate with love has been seen or shared millions of times and has gotten him featured on Lifetime, ESPN E:60, USA Today, CNN, and Fox News. Chris is a proud father of his son, CJ, and a proud husband to his high school sweetheart, Mariana.
Padma Venkatraman is an American writer and oceanographer who has lived in 5 countries and visited many more. She has explored rainforests on remote islands, played with mathematics, was chief scientist on research vessels, and decided to share the sea of stories within her through her books. Padma is the author of five award-winning, critically acclaimed novels. Her awards include ALA/Yalsa Best Books, Booklist Editor’s Choices, and CCBC choices, in addition to winning several other awards (Paterson Prize, Sanoc/SABA, BAC Julia Ward Howe award, ASTAL RI Book of the year etc.) and multiple honors (ALA Notable, Kirkus Best Book, Booklist Best Book, New York Public Library Best Book, Bank Street College of Education Best Book, and so on).
Connect with Padma on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Teresa Robeson is the APALA Picture Book Award-winning author of QUEEN OF PHYSICS (also ILA Nonfiction PB Honor and NCTE Orbis Pictus Nonfiction Recommended Book). Other publications include TWO BICYCLES IN BEIJING and an essay in NONFICTION WRITERS DIG DEEP, edited by Melissa Stewart. Her upcoming works include WHO IS TIBET’S EXILED LEADER? THE 14TH DALAI LAMA and a second one on Bruce Lee with Penguin Workshop, an informational fiction picture book, CLOUDS IN SPACE: THE NEBULA STORY, with MIT Kids/Candlewick, and CLEAR AND BRIGHT, a picture book with Astra Young Readers.
Valerie Williams-Sanchez and Valorena Publishing
Valerie Williams-Sanchez, Ph.D. is the author/illustrator of the Cocoa Kids Collection™ and principal consultant for Valorena Online, L.L.C., Freelance Multicultural Marketing & Communications. A passionate advocate for multicultural literature, self-published OWN voices narratives, and readers of all ages, Valerie earned her Ph.D. in Literacy which was completed through St. John’s University, New York. She also holds a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University, and a bachelor’s degree in English literature from the University of California, Berkeley. Valerie studied Spanish art, history, language, and culture at the Universidad de Salamanca, in Spain, as an undergraduate. A former journalist in the U.S. and Spain, Valerie has written and contributed to articles and essays in publications like the Los Angeles Times, National Geographic, Miami Herald, Orange County Business Journal, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Injuve Magazine (Spain), and More Magazine, online. A Black American, Valerie is Mom to her biracial daughter Lorena, 26, Auntie to her biracial nephew Isaiah, 15, and teacher to countless at-risk and special needs kids from all walks of life.
Picture Books from the Cocoa Kids Collection include Isaiah and the Chocolate Mountain© features Isaiah, the precocious 6-year-old who gets the thing he loathes – chocolate – for his birthday. His anger leads to adventure and a lesson in making choices and emotional intelligence.
Eddie and the Hot Cocoa Hot Rod© introduces Eddie whose daydreams of auto-racing get him into trouble in math class. But, his racing heroes and a special math teacher help him make the grade and learn to never give up.
Lorena and the Magic Mocha Mirror©, follow Lorena who spends summers seaside with her family and is body-shamed by beach bullies until a trio of mermaids teaches her that everybody is beautiful.
Connect with Valerie and the Cocoa Kids on their website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.
Martha Seif Simpson
Martha Seif Simpson grew up in New Bedford, Massachusetts. Her father, Sam, was a Holocaust survivor. From 1964 to 1982, her parents owned a small store, Dotty’s Variety (named after her mother) where she and her brother often worked. The store had a penny candy counter, back when you could actually buy Bazooka bubble gum and red licorice for a penny. That experience helped her write Esther’s Gragger: A Toyshop Tale of Purim and The Dreidel That Wouldn’t Spin: A Toyshop Tale of Hanukkah.
Martha’s first picture book was What NOT to Get Your Mom on Mother’s Day.
She also published 5 resource books for librarians. Her books are listed on the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators page.
Martha recently retired after 28 years as Head of Children’s Services at the Stratford Library in Stratford, CT. The best part about her job was seeing all the new books and sharing them with kids.
In addition to writing and reading books, Martha loves to promote Jewish literature for children and teens. She is currently Chair of the Sydney Taylor Book Award committee, sponsored by the Association of Jewish Libraries.
Martha enjoys talking about her books at conferences, libraries, schools and community centers. You can contact her via her website to arrange a visit. That’s also where you can read her monthly newsletter, The Simpsonian Muse.
Martha is on Twitter and Instagram. She has a Facebook page, too. Find her at Martha Kidlit Author and send her a message saying you saw her on the Multicultural Children’s Book Day website!
Rochelle Melander wrote her first book at seven and has published 11 books for adults, including Write-A-Thon: Write Your Book in 26 Days (and Live to Tell About It) and Level Up: Quests to Master Mindset, Overcome Procrastination and Increase Productivity. She’s a professional certified coach, an artist-educator, and the founder of Dream Keepers, a writing workshop for young people. Mightier Than the Sword: Rebels, Reformers, and Revolutionaries Who Changed the World through Writing is her debut book for children.
Throughout history, people have picked up their pens and wielded their words–transforming their lives, their communities, and beyond. Now it’s your turn! Representing a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences, Mightier Than the Sword connects over forty inspiring biographies with life-changing writing activities and tips, showing readers just how much their own words can make a difference. Readers will explore nature with Rachel Carson, experience the beginning of the Reformation with Martin Luther, champion women’s rights with Sojourner Truth, and many more. These richly illustrated stories of inspiring speechmakers, scientists, explorers, authors, poets, activists, and even other kids and young adults will engage and encourage young people to pay attention to their world, honor their own ideas and dreams, and embrace the transformative power of words to bring good to the world.
Rochelle lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with her husband, children, and two dogs. Visit her online at writenowcoach.com or rochellemelander.com. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube.
Alva Sachs is the founder of Three Wishes Publishing Company. She is a former elementary school teacher with sixteen years of classroom experience and a Master’s Degree in Education. Her award-winning titles include Circus Fever, Dancing Dreidels, I’m 5, Dear Master Dragon, The Pirate Princess, and On Your Mark, Get Set Go!
Alva writes stories to engage, excite, and empower young children at an early age for the sheer joy of reading.
She serves as President on the Board of Reading Is Fundamental of Southern California, (RIFSoCal) to expand efforts to support literacy by helping to build home libraries in the greater Los Angeles/Orange County areas for underserved children while fostering literacy through the efforts of RIFSoCal’s motivational reading program.
Connect with Alva via her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
Moni Ritchie Hadley
Moni Ritchie Hadley is a half-Japanese, Los Angeles-based writer and former educator. She is the author of the forthcoming ANZU AND THE ART OF FRIENDSHIP, and THE STAR FESTIVAL (Albert Whitman & Co. 2021), receiving a starred review from the School Library Journal, among other honorary mentions. Her work can also be found in Highlights and High Five Magazine. Moni is a believer in education and created the Write Kidlit NOW! Scholarship fund to help other children’s book writers study and live their dream. Connect with Moni @bookthreader on social media and at moniritchie.com.
Gea is passionate and creative, original ideas give her a jolt of energy.
A storyteller, marketeer, parent mentor, and artist with a passion and a mission. As the mother of a dyslexic son, she researched dyslexia better than an FBI agent would, and witnessed the dyslexia struggle and the gift it can be, upfront and personal. Gea volunteered as a parent mentor for the special education department of her local school district and is a dynamic dyslexia advocate. Over the years she saw many kids and their parents struggling to find out why the school wasn’t going well. Reason to write a children’s book that offers kids and families the opportunity to identify with the different characters, make visible the learning struggles some students go through, and bring dyslexia awareness to the community.
Gea grew up in the Netherlands and is now living in SoCal.
Hacking the Code. The Ziggety Zaggety Road of a Dyslexic Kid
Written by Gea Meijering and illustrated with more than 80 illustrations by Mads Johan Øgaard (he is dyslexic)
Revealing the heart of an upbeat, boisterous fifth grader working hard to hack the reading code.
Hacking the Code is a fun, friendship-centered story that shows how every brain works differently, and how we all have different strengths.
This relatable, illustrated chapter book, brings to life the journey of a dyslexic kid in a story that highlights perseverance, creativity and, the power of true friendship.
Hacking the Code is available as an audiobook to make it accessible to all types of learners.
Targeted for children ages 6 – 12, adults also cherish the book and everyone learns from the empowering fun-to-read story.
A free Lesson Plan & Activity Guide is downloadable on www.icarepress.com.
The Paperback, Hardcover and Ebook are available on Amazon. The audiobook on many apps such as Audible, Apple books, Chirp, Kobo, Scribd, Audiobooks, iTunes and more.
You can follow and get in touch with Gea on @hacking.the.Code Instagram and Facebook.
Crystel is a mother to two beautiful boys, a Technology Consultant, and a self-published author.
In January 2021, she published her first children’s book, which kicked off her “Inspired to Be…” children’s book series. The “Inspired to be…” book series seeks to spread Black inspiration to ALL children through stories based on the culture, experiences, and dreams of Black people. Each story in the series delivers a universal message that any child can relate to and is inspired by a real person so that children will have a point of reference and can say, “If they can do that, then so can I”.
Crystel received her Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research at UC Berkeley, but her outlook and experience around inspirational children’s literature for children comes solely from being a mother and a seeker of inspiration.
To learn more about the “Inspired to be…” series visit www.crystelpatterson.com.
Frances Díaz Evans
Frances Díaz Evans is a Latina author and educator. She’s a Puerto Rican/Ecuadorian transplant in the South (South Carolina), married to a Southern gentleman and a mom to a teenager. She is the founder and writer of the blog Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes and Discovering Español, a business dedicated to teaching Spanish online.
Through her work as a multicultural and language advocate, she promotes and enhances Latino culture, multicultural literacy, and the Spanish language both online and in her local community. She self-published her first children’s book Coco la cotorra puertorriqueña, in which she shares her love for Puerto Rico, and she spreads awareness on the importance of bilingualism to children and teens around the world.
She has a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from La Universidad del Este in Puerto Rico, a certification in Human Resources from La Escuela Avanzada de Recursos Humanos and a M.Ed. in Spanish.
Catch up with Frances on her website, Etsy shop, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Michael Genhart, Ph.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice in San Francisco, CA.
He is the author of numerous picture books – covering themes such as bullying, friendship, homelessness and compassion, uniqueness, LGBTQ+families, and multicultural families. He lives with his family in Marin County.
Michael’s books include ACCORDIONLY: ABUELO AND OPA MAKE MUSIC – the story of a boy who brings the two cultures of his family together through the music, the music of the accordion, with the help of his two
grandfathers, Abuelo and Opa. (For ages 4-8 years old) Click here to access a coloring activity for Accordionly
and RAINBOW: A FIRST BOOK OF PRIDE -a celebration of rainbows, the colors of the rainbow flag and what each color means, rainbow families of all kinds, and feeling proud of who you are! (For ages 3-5 years old)
Click here to access a coloring activity for Rainbow
Click here to access questions about Rainbow
Connect with Michael via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Angela H. Dale
Angela H. Dale writes picture books for children, former children and children at heart. Her debut picture book, BUS STOP (Cameron Kids, 2022), illustrated by Lala Watkins, is available in stores and libraries everywhere (including the Museum of Modern Art store in NYC). Visit www.angelahdale.com for more information (and where to find signed copies). Angela lives in Maryland with her family and Harry the cat.
Born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, Courtney grew up wanting to be a veterinarian – until Hurricane Katrina changed the course of her life. After attending numerous engineering and math camps, she left Louisiana to pursue degrees in civil engineering and mathematics at Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas, Texas.
She began a career in construction project management of heavy civil infrastructure projects that has included work at DFW International and Love Field Airports, highways, and local municipalities. Courtney went on to obtain a master’s degree in civil engineering with a concentration in structures from SMU and a master’s degree in business at Lamar University in Beaumont, TX. She is also a licensed professional engineer in the state of Texas.
In her spare time, Courtney serves on the board for SOSMC USA, a nonprofit raising funds to renovate three buildings on the campus of a school for low-income disabled children in Chennai, India. She enjoys traveling, attending arts events, discovering new music, watching Korean dramas, and spending time with her fluffy bunny, Albus.
ABOUT THE COMPANY
Courtney Kelly Books was created as a self-publishing company of diverse and educational books. Celeste Saves the City is the first in the series of planned selections.
Queenbe Monyei is a digital artist and gif creator. After graduating from UCLA, she worked abroad as a teacher in the UK, Istanbul, Denmark, and Germany while honing her craft as an illustrator. She also illustrated and published a children’s book called The Magic String. After teaching for several years, she worked on a design team as a vector illustrator before transitioning into freelancing. She is passionate about drawing marginalized groups in everyday situations through the use of bold colors, hoping to shed light on their humanity. Her art has been featured on Flow Magazine, GIPHY, The Cartoon Network, HGTV, Givingli, Mary Young, and on prints available from Target.
Jamia Wilson joined Random House as an executive editor in 2021, and is the former executive director and publisher of the Feminist Press. An activist and writer, Wilson has contributed to New York Magazine, The New York Times, The Today Show, CNN, BBC, Teen Vogue, Elle, Refinery 29, Rookie, and The Guardian. She is the author of Young Gifted and Black; Baby Young, Gifted, and Black; Step Into Your Power; and Big Ideas for Young Thinkers. She is also a co-author of Road Map for Revolutionaries and wrote the introduction and oral history to Together We Rise: Behind the Scenes at the Protest Heard Around the World.
Charnaie Gordon is a Diversity and Inclusion Expert, author of A Kids Book About Diversity, blogger, podcast host, and digital creator. She also serves as a member of the National Advisory Board for Reading is Fundamental for their Race, Equity and Inclusion (REI) initiative. More than anything else, she cares about connecting people with great books they’ll love. In her world, books are an absolute necessity. Charnaie is passionate about instilling a love of reading, lifelong learning and curiosity in her kids. She hopes to inspire others to do the same with their children. Find her online at hereweeread.com and on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Debbie Ridpath Ohi
Debbie Ridpath Ohi is the Japanese-Canadian author and illustrator of Where Are My Books? and Sam & Eva (Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers). Her illustrations appear in books by Judy Blume, Michael Ian Black, and Linda Sue Park, among others. Her most recent book is I’m Sorry, the newest in the I’m… picture book series about emotions, written by Michael Ian Black and illustrated by Debbie. Debbie is currently working on a middle-grade novel, a graphic novel, and a new solo picture book. You can find out more about Debbie at DebbieOhi.com as well as on Twitter: @inkyelbows, Instagram: @inkygirl (art) / @inkyelbows (Bookstagram), and Post.news/DebbieOhi.
Debbie Zapata grew up in a multicultural family in Austin, Texas. She enjoys helping others as a counselor and writing books for children that have heart and humor. Debbie loves creating stories about ordinary people doing extraordinary things. She believes each of us has the ability to make the world a better place. Debbie lives in Austin with her family. UP AND ADAM (Kids Can Press, May 2022) is her first picture book. It is about a boy with Down syndrome who helps his community after a big storm in a way only he can. It is inspired by her son who has Down syndrome.
Jacquetta Nammar Feldman
Jacquetta Nammar Feldman is the author of middle grade novels Wishing Upon the Same Stars, a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection, and The Puttermans Are in the House. She loves writing poetry and stories of all kinds, and when she’s not curled up with a book or typing at her computer, she can be found hiking the beautiful hills of Austin, Texas, with her husband, two labradoodles, and a Havanese. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Advertising from the University of Texas at Austin, and her Master of Fine Arts in Writing for Children & Young Adults at the Vermont College of Fine Arts.
Natasha Yim is the author of 8 picture books, including Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas (Charlesbridge Publishing, 2014), a Junior Library Guild and Scholastic Book Club selection; Luna’s Yum Yum Dim Sum (Charlesbridge Publishing, 2020), part of their Storytelling Math series, and a National Science Teaching Association’s (NTSA) list of 2021 Best STEM book for K – 12; Disney’s Mulan’s Lunar New Year (2018); and Disney/Pixar’s Like Mother, LIke Daughter (2022), based on the Pixar movie, “Turning Red.” Another Storytelling Math book featuring Luna will be released in 2025. Natasha’s nonfiction articles have been published in the children’s magazines “Highlights for Children”, “Faces”, “Appleseeds”, and “Muse”. She grew up in Malaysia, Singapore, and Hong Kong, and many of her stories are inspired by her cultural upbringing.
Ko Kim & Just Words Just Deeds
Just Words Just Deeds are POC editors, writers, and illustrators, co-creating the books that we wished we had as children.
Ko Kim, author
Growing up in a lower income neighborhood ten minutes from the US-Mexico border, Ko felt invisible in school– in textbooks and on bookshelves. Such isolation motivated Ko to become a public school teacher who centers students’ experiences and fosters joy and belonging. Today, she supports the work of diversifying the teaching profession as the Associate Dean of Candidate Services at Reach University. She holds a Masters of Arts in Education from Stanford and a BA in political science with a minor in Asian American studies from UCLA. She wrote We Are Gems to help Asian American children feel seen and loved.
Christine Yoon, illustrator
As both an artist and an emergency room physician, Christine creates illustrations and paintings to heal herself and others. She identifies as Korean American.
Andrew Hem, illustrator
Andrew first developed his artistry in Los Angeles through street art. His collections are now enjoyed around the globe. He identifies as Cambodian American.
Kitty Felde is an award-winning journalist, podcaster, and writer of children’s mysteries set on Capitol Hill.
She is also host and executive producer of the Book Club for Kids podcast – named one of the top kidcasts in the world by The Times of London. The show has won the DC Mayor’s Award for Excellence in the Humanities and the California Library Association Technology Award.
Her award-winning debut novel Welcome to Washington Fina Mendoza (Chesapeake Press, 2020) is the tale of the 10-year-old daughter of a member of Congress who solves mysteries on Capitol Hill, including the mystery of the Demon Cat. It has been adapted to an 8-part dramatic podcast The Fina Mendoza Mysteries, available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, etc.
In Kitty’s latest Fina Mendoza mystery State of the Union,a mysterious bird poops on the president’s head during the State of the Union address. Can Fina outsmart the Secret Service, Capitol Police, and half of Capitol Hill and find that bird?
Kitty was named “Radio Journalist of the Year” three times in three years by the LA Press Club and Society of Professional Journalists. She hosted Southern California Public Radio KPCC’s afternoon talk show “Talk of the City” for nearly a decade and created the station’s Washington bureau, covering Capitol Hill.
Kitty is also an award-winning playwright whose work has been produced worldwide. She co-founded LA’s Theatre of NOTE and led the playwriting program at the HOLA Youth Theatre in Los Angeles. She grew up in Compton, the eldest of seven children. She is married to writer Tad Daley.
Tracy T. Agnelli
Tracy T. Agnelli grew up in Arizona, where he writes children’s books. Tracy has worked at an elementary school for over 25 years, to which he enjoys reading to the children when he can. When not at work, or working on writing he enjoys meditating, yoga, and being with family. Tracy has two children and one grandchild. He tries to get healthy, but loves cookies.
Shachi Kaushik is a children’s media enthusiast, writer, and storyteller. Part of the Children’s Media Industry, she creates content for children that is entertaining, enlightening, and educational. Raised in India, Shachi currently lives in Vancouver with her husband.
Anna Maria DiDio
When my husband and I began our adoption journey over twenty years ago, we had no idea of what was in store for us. The myth of adoption had us hooked and after the pain and isolation of infertility, we were willing to give it a try. The journey took us to an orphanage in Mexico where we met a precocious six-year-old girl. The journal of our experience resulted in my memoir, Love at the Border, An Adoption Adventure. Now I am writing children’s books with a mission to enhance communication between parents and children so that all blended families thrive!
Find out more on my website.
Shanequa Waison-Rattray is a wife, a mother of two, and graduate of Coppin State University in Baltimore, MD. Since a little girl, she has always loved reading books. While in middle school, her love of reading increased as she was able to read books and see the theater plays associated with them. Since then, she has wanted to write books of her own. Having children, Shanequa loves watching them read and the excitement that they get from it. By that, she wants to share her passion of reading to not only her children but others also.
Connect with her on her website and Instagram.
Susan S. El Yazgi
Susan S. El Yazgi is a Muslim American author, photographer and producer. She feels compelled to write stories that are specific to Muslim American children especially after growing up without relatable stories. She lives on a small farm in Northern Virginia with her husband, two kids, cat, chicken and sheep.
Connect with her on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram.
Alice Rothchild is a physician, author, and filmmaker who loves storytelling that pushes boundaries and engages us in unexpected conversations. She practiced ob-gyn for almost 40 years and served as Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Harvard Medical School. She writes and lectures widely, is the author of Broken Promises, Broken Dreams: Stories of Jewish and Palestinian Trauma and Resilience (translated into German and Hebrew); On the Brink: Israel and Palestine on the Eve of the 2014 Gaza Invasion; and Condition Critical: Life and Death in Israel/Palestine and she has contributed to a number of anthologies and poetry journals. She directed a documentary film, Voices Across the Divide and is a mentor for We Are Not Numbers, a program that supports young writers in Gaza. She received Boston Magazine’s Best of Boston’s Women Doctors Award, was named in Feminists Who Changed America 1963-1975, had her portrait painted for Robert Shetterly’s Americans Who Tell the Truth, and was named a Peace Pioneer by the American Jewish Peace Archive. When she is not making good trouble, she loves hiking in the Pacific Northwest, playing with her grandchildren, tending to her boisterous garden, and stretching the boundaries of her cooking.
Connect with her on her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Shirin has lived on three continents and sees herself as a global citizen. Through sharing stories from her heritage, she hopes to inspire an appreciation for all the diversity of our beautiful planet. A member of SCBWI since 2010, Shirin is represented by Saba Sulaiman of Talcott Notch Literary Agency.