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.
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!
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: 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.
Inspired by Navajo Culture and Folklore
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).
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.
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
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.
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!
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.
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
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.
Watch Sophie’s Video Book Trailers!
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.
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 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.
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 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 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.
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
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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
Patrice McLaurin is a Best-Selling author and an image activist. She was a member of the character education advisory council for the nonprofit because I said I would, and she served as Subject Matter Expert in the development of Everfi’s online Black History Curriculum, 306- Continuing the Story. An educator by calling, (not by trade), Patrice has worked to empower and enhance the lives of young people for the past two decades.
Patrice has written 4 children’s books. Her newest book, Dandi McLion Has Her Say, is a fun and engaging mixture of STEM, Social Emotional Learning and Character Education! It comes complete with a glossary to enhance reading comprehension and increase vocabulary. Her first children’s book, “Have You Thanked an Inventor Today?” is an Amazon Best Seller and Microsoft acclaimed it as a book that informs and inspires STEM. It amplifies Black Excellence by highlighting inventions created by Black people that children are likely to use throughout their school day. Her follow-up book, “Have You Thanked a KidVentor Today?” is another great STEM read that focuses on the wonderful contributions of child inventors.
Her third book, I Am Because I Choose, is an engaging picture book that can easily help to foster elements of Social Emotional Learning. The goal of each of her books is to encourage children to recognize and tap into their own genius. (For grades K-3)
Patrice McLaurin is a native of Bessemer, AL, and a proud graduate of Alabama A&M University. She currently lives in Dacula, GA with her husband and two children.
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.
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, 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.
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.
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.