Dori Hillestad Butler is a chapter book series and mystery author who is eager to share her love of books and writing with kids of all ages. She is the author of 40 books for children, including the Buddy Files series (Albert Whitman & Co.), which is about a school therapy dog who solves mysteries. The Buddy Files: Case of the Lost Boy won the Edgar award for best children's mystery published in 2010. She is also the author of My Mom's Having a Baby (Albert Whitman & Co.,), which was #4 on ALA's list of most challenged books in 2011. She speaks openly about the experience of facing her challenger on national television and is happy to talk with other authors about how to handle a potential challenge to their books, or even how to deal with the fact that not everybody is going to like every single book you publish. Dori also has a special interest in the topics of bullying and cyberbullying. Her Truth About Truman School (Albert Whitman & Co.,) is a mystery novel for middle school students that looks at cyberbullying through the eyes of the bully, the bullied and the bystanders. She has developed a unique author visit program for schools that are interested in an all-school reads of this book. Forthcoming books in 2014 and 2015 include a new chapter book series entitled The Haunted Library (Grosset & Dunlap). Dori grew up in southern Minnesota and currently lives in Iowa City, Iowa, but she often travels to the Seattle area to visit family. She is also on a quest to do an author visit in all 50 states. If she has not visited your state yet, you could be eligible for a discount. Contact Provato Marketing for more information or to schedule an event.
Bonny Becker likes a bit of chaos and lots of time to think and dream in her life. One of her earliest dreams, to be a writer, came true. But it took a long time! She has a degree in Psychology and a degree in English/Creative Writing. Bonny has worked picking fruit, making ski goggles, waitressing, as a store clerk, substitute teacher, hotel maid, typist, photographer, journalist, editor and corporate communications manager. She was in her 40's before her first book was published. Today, she has a dozen published books including picture books and middle grade novels. Her books include the New York Times bestseller, A VISITOR FOR BEAR, winner of the E.B. White Read Aloud Award and Amazon's Picture Book of the Year. Three more Mouse and Bear books have followed including A BIRTHDAY FOR BEAR, A BEDTIME FOR BEAR and her latest release, THE SNIFFLES FOR BEAR. Bonny's middle grade novel THE MAGICAL MS. PLUM was a Junior Library Guild selection and winner of the 2009 Washington State Children's Book Award.
Sharon Mentyka is a children’s writer, designer and educator, with an MFA in Writing from the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts (NILA) Whidbey Writers Workshop. Her stories grow from small kernels of truth that explore common themes: fairness (or unfairness), transitions and helping the less powerful find their voice.
Her stories and essays, for both children and adults, have appeared in numerous literary magazines including ColumbiaKids, Cricket and Soundings Review. QUI, QUA, AND QUO, a picture book about three cats living in the ancient Italian hilltown of Civita di Bagnoregio was the product of Sharon 2012 two-month fellowship from the Civita Institute, where she also created a series of storytelling maps. B IN THE WORLD, an illustrated children’s chapter book about a gender non-conforming child was published in 2014 and CHASING AT THE SURFACE, a middle grade novel inspired by a 30-day visit of orca whales to an enclosed inlet in the Pacific Northwest, is forthcoming from WestWinds Press in October 2016.
An active member of SCBWI-Western Washington and a contributor to the “We Need Diverse Books” campaign, Sharon also tutors and teaches writing workshops to middle and high school students.
Second to playing with her kids, writing and illustrating picture books is Leslie's favorite thing to do. Leslie says, "For most of my life, I have drawn cartoons as a way to interpret and make light of the things happening in my life or in the world around me, so it was only natural that when I had my first baby, I would start drawing cartoons of him." Those cartoons led to the publication of her first board books, Yummy Yucky, Big Little and Quiet Loud in 2003. Leslie now has fifteen books in publication, including her latest picture book, 'Be Quiet, Mike!' about a little monkey with a passion for drumming. Leslie's currently busy working on more board books. She is also working on her first middle grade novel. Leslie lives in Idaho with her husband (a drummer), three creative kids, two cats, two rabbits a lizard and a frog.
Leslie is excited to be able to do what she loves for a living and wants to share her experience and passion with students of all ages. She aims to inspire kids to imagine and create Through her fun-filled, multi-media presentation, Leslie will have kids laughing, learning, drawing and thinking big!
Leslie's award-winning books include: Higher! Higher!, Be Quiet, Mike!, The Patterson Puppies and The Rainy Day, The Birthday Box, Yummy Yucky, No No Yes Yes, Potty, Blankie and more.
Books and libraries have always been George's second home. He loved pretending in grade school, but it wasn't till the 7th grade that he knew he wanted to make books. His first submission to a publisher and the resulting rejection letter was at age 16. Eleven more years of school, college, writing, reading, working as a librarian, writing, and more writing brought his first book contract for LIZARD'S SONG. Since then he has written many, many stories and 30 of them have been published as books. Plus other books for adults that explore folktales and writing. George's favorite book is always the one he's currently writing because the process is always more fun than looking back at books already done. When he's not working on his own stories, George helps students with their own writing both here and abroad. George's books include DANCE AWAY, STORIES TO SOLVE, TOMORROW'S ALPHABET, TIPPY-TOE CHICK GO, WHITE IS FOR BLUEBERRY, THE SECRET CHICKEN CLUB, and RABBIT'S GIFT.
New Books:TURKEY TOT by George Shannon. Illustrated by Jennifer K. Mann. Holiday House, Fall 2013. A VERY WITCHY SPELLING BEE by George Shannon. Illustrated by Mark Fearing. Harcourt, Fall 2013. WHO PUT THE COOKIES IN THE COOKIE JAR? by George Shannon. Illustrated by Julie Paschkis. Holt, Spring 2013.
Natasha Wing has published 21 children's books, with more in the works. She is best known for her paperback series based on the popular story, The Night Before Christmas. The stories are about families celebrating holidays and other big events in kids' lives such as the first day of school and losing a tooth. Her titles include The Night Before Easter, the original book in the series which was published in 1999, and The Night Before Kindergarten, which has regularly been on bestseller lists since its publication in 2001 and is also a sticker book, part of a kindergarten gift set, and an ebook. Wing's multicultural book, Jalapeno Bagels, is a favorite among elementary school teachers and students. The story is based on a real bakery in Arcata, California and includes recipes from the bakery. An Eye for Color: The Story of Josef Albers is about a neighbor of hers when she was growing up in Connecticut. The artist of the "Homage to the Square" paintings studied color for 27 years and changed how teachers taught color. Several of her poems appear in anthologies, and she has also written articles for children's magazines such as Highlights and Babybug.