Minnesota Children's Book Festival
Authors and Illustrators
Sarah Aronson Sarah Aronson

Sarah Aronson began writing for kids and teens when someone in an exercise class dared her to try. Since then, she has earned an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and published three stand alone novels: Head Case, Beyond Lucky, and Believe, a young middle-grade series, The Wish List (Scholastic, 2017-2019) as well as the picture book biography, Just Like Rube Goldberg (Beach Lane Books), illustrated by Robert Neubecker. When Sarah is not writing or reading (or cooking or riding her bike), she is talking to readers about creativity, writing, social action, and of course, sparkle power! She loves working with other writers in one of her classes at  the amazing Highlights Foundation or Writers on the Net (www.writers.com). She currently serves as PAL coordinator for SCBWI-Illinois and the SCBWI-IL initiative, Read Local. She lives in Evanston, Illinois.

saraharonson.com

  Just Like Rube Goldberg  
Kelly Barnhill   Kelly Barnhill

Kelly Barnhill writes books. It is a strange job, but, to be fair, she is a strange woman, so perhaps it makes sense. She is a former teacher, former bartender, former waitress, former activist, former park ranger, former secretary, former janitor and former church-guitar-player. The sum of these experiences have prepared her for exactly nothing—save for the telling of stories, which she has been doing quite happily for some time now. Kelly received the Newbery Medal in 2017 for The Girl Who Drank the Moon, as well as fellowships from the Jerome Foundation and the Minnesota State Arts Board, and the McKnight Foundation. She is the winner of the World Fantasy Award, the Parents Choice Gold Award, the Texas Library Association Bluebonnet, and a Charlotte Huck Honor. She also was a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award, the Andre Norton Award and the PEN/USA literary prize.

kellybarnhill.com

  The Girl Who Drank the Moon
Daniel Bernstrom   Daniel Bernstrom

Daniel R. Bernstrom is the author of the picture books Big Papa and the Time Machine, Gator, Gator, Gator!, and One Day in the Eucalyptus, Eucalyptus Tree. Daniel currently works as an English Faculty member for Minnesota West Community and Technical College in Worthington Minnesota, teaching Literature and English Composition. He received his Bachelor's in Electronic Media Communications from the University Northwestern and his MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Hamline University. He currently lives in Worthington, Minnesota with his wife Heather, daughters LaVonne and Gwendolyn, and sons Grace and Haven.

lillylabs.com

  Big Papa and the Time Machine
  Aimee Bissonette   Aimée Bissonette

Aimée Bissonette was born in Pennsylvania, the sixth of seven children. Growing up, she moved many times, which led to a love of travel and storytelling. Now Aimée lives in Minneapolis with her husband and dog and loves that her daughters live in the area, too. Her newest passion is “bouldering” (ask her about it!). She is thrilled to be back at Books for Breakfast again this year and thanks you all for coming. Aimée’s 2020 picture books include Do Not Rake Your Garden in a Party Dress (Cameron 2020) and When Winter Comes (Sasquatch Press 2020).

aimeebissonette.com

  Do Not Rake Your Garden in a Party Dress  
Abby Cooper   Abby Cooper

Abby Cooper is the author of three novels for middle grade readers: 2017 Minnesota Book Awards Finalist Sticks & Stones, Bubbles, and Friend or Fiction. When she's not writing, you can find her talking about writing at the Loft Literary Center, schools around the country, and the local high school where she teaches English part-time. Visit Abby online at her website or find her on Twitter and Instagram @_ACoops_. 

abbycooperauthor.com

  Friend or Fiction
  John Coy   John Coy

John Coy is the author of young adult novels, the 4 for 4 middle-grade series, and numerous picture books. His most recent books are On Your Way and My Mighty Journey: a Waterfall’s Story. He lives in Minneapolis by the Mississippi River and visits schools around the world.

johncoy.com

  If We Were Gone
Cory Doerrfeld   Cori Doerrfeld

Cori Doerrfeld is a full-time author/illustrator who has helped create numerous books for children. Her award winning title,The Rabbit Listened, has been recognized as a valuable tool by teachers, counselors, and parents for its powerful reminder to simply listen. Cori currently lives in Minneapolis with her husband, two children, and rescue dog, Rufus.

coridoerrfeld.com

  The Rabbit Listened
Nancy Bo Flood   Nancy Bo Flood

As a fish-brain surgeon or a rodeo poem wrangler, Nancy enjoys stories. She believes that words—in poetry or prose—help heal our hearts and give us new eyes to see ourselves and others. She was first a research psychologist studying brain development at the University of Minnesota and London University before following her passion, writing for children. For nearly twenty years, Nancy lived and worked on the Navajo Nation as a counselor, teacher, and as an author. Her books include the novel Soldier Sister, Fly Home, the nonfiction Water Runs Through This Book;the picture books First Laugh, Welcome Baby and the forthcoming I Will Dance. She lives and writes in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, and Minneapolis, Minnesota.

nancyboflood.com

First Laugh, Welcome Baby!
  Melanie Heuiser Hill   Melanie Heuiser Hill

Melanie Heuiser Hill is a graduate of Hamline University’s MFA program in writing for children and young adults. She lives in the Twin Cities with her husband and children. Giant Pumpkin Suite, her first novel, has received acclaim for its music, math, and pumpkin-growing themes. Look for her first picture book, Around the Table That Grandad Built, illustrated by Jaime Kim, available in 2019. Melanie enjoys speaking with young readers at schools, libraries, and festivals where, sometimes, she is accompanied by a cello.

melanieheuiserhill.com

Giant Pumpkin Suite
  Lynne Jonell   Lynne Jonell

Lynne Jonell is an author (and occasional illustrator) of seventeen books for children. From picture books to chapter books to middle-grade novels for ages 8-12 and 10-14, her books all have an element of fantasy: magical hamsters, talking cats, kid-sized planes with a secret fuel, rodents with special powers, and more. Her first novel, Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat, won the Minnesota Book Award; her latest book, Time Sight, is an historical time-travel set at Castle Menzies in Scotland, the castle of her grandfather’s clan. Her essays have appeared in various publications including School Library Journal and Publishers Weekly, and her webcomic on the writing life, Page Break, appears in Bookology magazine. She lives in Plymouth, Minnesota, with her husband.

lynnejonell.com

Time Sight
  David LaRochelle   David LaRochelle

David LaRochelle is a former elementary teacher who has been creating books for young people for thirty years. A three-time winner of the Minnesota Book Award, his titles include How Martha Saved Her Parents from Green Beans, This is NOT a Cat! and Moo! When he is not visiting schools across the Midwest, David enjoys geocaching, playing board games, and carving creative pumpkins which you can view at his website, davidlarochelle.com. Wish him luck at his next jigsaw puzzle competition!

  I Was an Outer-Space Chicken  
  Jacqueline Briggs Martin   Jacqueline Briggs Martin

Jacqueline Briggs Martin is the author of twenty books for children, including Snowflake Bentley, which received a Caldecott medal. Recent titles include Farmer Will Allen and the Growing Table, Creekfinding, and Chef Roy Choi and the Street Food Remix. Her books have been chosen as “Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K-12" by the National Science Teachers Association and the Children’s Book Council. She is on the faculty of Hamline University's MFA in Writing for Children and Young adults program.

jacquelinebriggsmartin.com

  Bim, Bam, Bop ... and Oona  
  Lindsey McDivitt   Lindsey McDivitt

Lindsey McDivitt writes fiction and non-fiction for children. Her picture book Nature’s Friend: The Gwen Frostic Story was published by Sleeping Bear Press in 2018 and two more picture book biographies will be published in 2020. Lindsey is passionate about tackling ageism in books for children. Visit Lindsey's website, where she reviews picture books with accurate images of aging and older adults on her blog “A is for Aging.”

lindseymcdivitt.com

  Nature's Friend: The Gwen Frostic Story  
  Laura Purdie Salas   Laura Purdie Salas

Former teacher Laura Purdie Salas has written more than 130 books for kids, including Snowman – Cold = Puddle (Junior Library Guild selection), the Can Be… series (Bank Street Best Books, IRA Teachers’ Choice), and BookSpeak! (Minnesota Book Award, NCTE Notable). She’s excited about her four 2019 picture books and two 2020 picture books! Laura believes stories, facts, and poems can make us kinder, smarter, and happier. Laura loves to visit schools, and you can find details on her website, as well as a sign-up form for her e-letter for educators.

laurasalas.com

  Lion of the Sky  
Stephen Shaskan   Stephen Shaskan

Stephen Shaskan is the author and illustrator of several picture books including: Big Choo, Toad on the Road, Max Speed, The Three Triceratops Tuff, A Dog Is a Dog, and the graphic novel series Pizza and Taco. He is also the illustrator of the picture book Punk Skunks andthegraphic novel series Q and Ray, both written by his wife Trisha Speed Shaskan. Stephen and Trisha live in Minneapolis, Minnesota and love visiting schools and libraries; reading their stories and inspiring young authors/illustrators.

stephenshaskan.com

  Pizza and Taco Who's the Best
  Trisha Speed Shaskan   Trisha Speed Shaskan

Trisha Speed Shaskan has written fifty books for children, including the recent picture book The Itty Bitty Witch, illustrated by Xindi Yan, the picture book Punk Skunks and the Q & Ray graphic novel series for young readers, both of which are illustrated by Trisha’s husband, Stephen Shaskan. Trisha enjoys visiting elementary schools and libraries where she shares her love for writing and creativity. She has taught creative writing to students at every level from kindergarten to graduate-school. Trisha lives in Minneapolis with Stephen and their dog, Beatrix.

trishaspeedshaskan.com

  The Itty-Bitty Witch  
Sarah Warren Sarah Warren

Sarah Warren is a teacher and a writer. Her picture books include Beyoncé: Shine Your Light and A Spectacular Birdie. Dolores Huerta: A Hero to Migrant Workers was picked for the 2013 Amelia Bloomer Top Ten Book List and awarded a Jane Addams Peace Association Children’s Book Award honor. Sarah’s family lives in Minneapolis with their dog, Bruce Valentine.

sarahwbooks.com

  Beyonce: Shine Your Light
Eliza Wheeler   Eliza Wheeler

Eliza Wheeler is the illustrator-author of the New York Times bestseller Miss Maple's Seeds and has illustrated numerous books for children, including Newbery Honor winner Doll Bones (Holly Black), Wherever You Go, and When You Are Brave (Pat Zietlow Miller), and John Ronald's Dragons: Story of J.R.R. Tolkien (Catherine McAlister). She received the prestigious Sendak Fellowship award in 2017. Her new book, Home In The Woods, is based on her grandmother’s childhood experience of living in a tar-paper shack in northern Wisconsin during the Great Depression. Eliza and her husband Adam live in Minneapolis.

wheelerstudio.com

  Home in the Woods
Mike Wohnoutka   Mike Wohnoutka

Mike Wohnoutka is the author and illustrator of Dad’s First Day,  Croc & Turtle, and So Big!. He has also illustrated more than twenty other children’s books, including Moo! written by David LaRochelle, which won the Minnesota Book Award and the Star of the North Picture Book Award. David and Mike’s new collaboration, See the Cat: Three Stories About a Dog, comes out in 2020 from Candlewick Press. Even though Mike was a troublemaker when he was in grade school, and thus gets a little nervous around principals, he still loves visiting schools and talking with students about creating books. Mike lives in Minneapolis with his family

mikewohnoutka.com

  So Big!
  Kao Kalia Yang   Kao Kalia Yang

Kao Kalia Yang is a Hmong American writer and author of the award-winning books The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir and The Song Poet. She lives in Minnesota with her husband, her daughter, and twin sons. A Map into the World is her first picture book. While her family did not get a chance to know Ruth well, Bob is a beloved friend and neighbor.

kaokaliayang.com

  Map Into the World  
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