Washington Boasts Fantastic Children’s Book Authors

Our state seems to attract artists of all kinds, but especially writers or at least that’s the art I know the most about. Last night 18 authors and illustrators gathered at Park Place Books in Kirkland to present “The Inside Story” on their newest releases. Each presenter was give 2 ½ minutes to tell the story behind the story of what they’d written and had published. This event was presented by the Western Washington chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators.

Below I’ve revealed some of their insights in case you want to buy and read these books. Some haven’t been released yet, but most have.

I overheard two members of the audience talking about how they would rather read children’s books than some of the books for adults out there because the children’s authors do a better job of engaging the reader. I heartily agree.

Picture Books

A Bedtime for Bear by Bonnie Becker continues the saga of a grumpy bear and a cheerful mouse and the series now comes with a cuddling stuffed toy.

New to Seattle, Maggie Smith has penned Christmas with the Mousekins just in time for the holidays – how does a mouse family prepare for Christmas?

Illustrator Kevan J. Atteberry said drawing monsters in Frankie Stein Starts School by Lola M. Schaefer, makes his job fun and though friends and relatives don’t find Frankie frightening enough, he is his own kind of scary.

Hope for Haiti by Jesse Joshua Watson gives some much-needed realism to the Haitian earthquake disaster so it doesn’t get relegated to a news item that’s forgotten after a couple of days.

While J. Elizabeth Mills was riding a Metro bus in Seattle, the idea for The Spooky Wheels on the Bus was conceived. It started with, “what if the bus was haunted?”

Kathryn Thurman’s sister once brought home a pig for a pet and that sparked the initial idea for A Garden for Pig, which took more than five years to become a published book.

Every time Erik Brooks saw wrapping paper or greeting cards with polar bears and penguins together, he marveled at how inaccurate that was – they didn’t live together. So this Winthrop author finally used the topic as fodder for Polar Opposites.

Early Readers & Chapter Books

When her contractor quit in the middle of building her dream home, illustrator Liz Callen took solace from and immersed herself in the pictures in Wolf Pie – a story about the three Pygg brothers.

While explaining the back story for Zelda and Ivy: The Big Picture, Laura McGee Kvasnosky strummed the ukulele and sang about her own family.

Stay tuned for Middle Grade and Young Adult Novels by local authors.

0 thoughts on “Washington Boasts Fantastic Children’s Book Authors

  1. Chellis S. Jensen

    Howe do I get listed as a Washington author? I am a native Tacoman. My book was independently published by Fairwood Press (this is NOT self published-NOT). I am a new and first time children’s book author in September 20o9. Book title: Mrs. Annathena Gilly Gully From uddle Rumple Tilly Willy; written for mostly 6-9 year olds, a story of children who are bullied by an older girl into innocently believing that teasing and name calling are fun. Their target is a quirky lady who is the book title. She has a pet green parrot named Maurice. There is also a cd sold only on the website with narration by John Toth and voices by myself, including a song, “We Might Even Get To Be Friends.” The book has already been read to over a thousand children plus teachers, parents and school staff. It’s good gift choice for the holidays. Check out the website.

    1. admin Post author

      All the authors I mentioned in my blog are members of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. They put the event together. Maybe you should give them a try.

  2. Tauni

    Thank you! I’ve been trying to put together a comprehensive library of children’s books with authors and/or illustrators from Washington State. Your article was very helpful!


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