Minnesota Children's Book Festival
  Derek Anderson   Derek Anderson

Derek has created more than twenty-five books for children about ducks, dragons, more than a few dogs, a speedy hamster, a gorilla, ten pigs and some other furry and non-furry friends. His books have appeared on the New York Times bestseller list, the Publishers Weekly bestseller list, Bank Street College’s Best Books of the year lists and garnered awards including the National Parenting Publication Gold Award, the CBC Children’s Choice Award and many state awards. Derek lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with his wife, Cheryl, and their dog, Louie.


  Croc and Ally  
  Aimee Bissonette   Aimée Bissonette

Aimée Bissonette was born in New Kensington, Pennsylvania, the sixth of seven children. She grew up with her suitcase never fully unpacked—her family moved many times and she attended 8 different schools before graduating from high school. Aimée earned her Bachelor’s degree from Colorado State University and her Law degree from the University of Minnesota Law School. She has worked as an occupational therapist, teacher, lawyer, and small business owner. In addition to her books for children, Aimée has published a book for K-12 teachers and administrators on the legal issues associated with technology in the schools. She lives with her husband, family, and dogs in Minneapolis, Minnesota.


  Aim for the Skies  
  Drew Brockington   Drew Brockington

Drew is the author and illustrator of the CatStronauts graphic novel series. He graduated from Kalamazoo College with a degree in Art and Art History, and soon found himself in Central Park working for Christo and Jeanne Claude on “The Gates” artwork installation in the winter of 2005. He went on stay in New York as a graphic designer, using his illustration talents to help create custom logos and stationery pieces. In late 2012, Drew and his wife relocated to Minneapolis, where he refocused his efforts into writing and illustration. He currently draws in his home studio, while his dog, Cash, snores next to him on a shelf.


  CatStronauts Robot Rescue  
  Barbara DaCosta   Barbara DaCosta

Barbara writes for children and adults alike. Her children's picture book debut, Nighttime Ninja, illustrated by Caldecott Award-winning artist Ed Young, was described by The Wall Street Journal as “Wonderfully mysterious … [A] pitch-perfect bedtime read.” Barbara teamed up with Ed Young again for their book, Mighty Moby, which earned three starred reviews. Booklist said, “[A] truly memorable reading and seeing experience. Melville would be proud and readers will be enchanted.” Her debut as a mystery writer came with the short story “Cabin 6” in the anthology Resort to Murder, edited by Minnesota Crime Wave. Barbara makes her home in Minneapolis, Minnesota.


  Mighty Moby  
Michael Hall

Michael Hall

Michael Hall is the author/illustrator of The New York Times bestseller, My Heart Is Like a Zoo, as well as the critically acclaimed Perfect Square, Red: A Crayon’s Story, and Wonderfall. Before becoming a children’s author, Michael was an award-winning graphic designer whose work—including graphic identities for the City of Saint Paul, Macalester College, the Minnesota Historical Society, and the Hennepin County Medical Center—has been widely recognized for its simple and engaging approach. Michael lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.


  Duchess Harris   Duchess Harris

Professor Harris is the chair of the American Studies department at Macalester College and curator of the Duchess Harris Collection of ABDO books. She is the author and coauthor of Hidden Human Computers: The Black Women of NASA, Black Lives Matter, and Race and Policing. She has authored several other books on the topics of race, culture, and American history. She served as an associate editor for Litigation News, the American Bar Association Section of Litigation’s quarterly flagship publication, and was the first editor in chief of Law Raza, an interactive online journal covering race and the law, published at William Mitchell College of Law. She has earned a PhD in American Studies from the University of Minnesota and a JD from William Mitchell College of Law.


  Hidden Human Computers  
  Pete Hautman   Pete Hautman

Born in California, Pete Hautman has lived most of his life in Minnesota. He attended the Minneapolis College of Art & Design as well as the University of Minnsota. He writes for middle grade, young adult, and adult readers. His first book, Drawing Dead, was published in 1991. Godless won the National Book Award for Young People's Literature. Among his books, you'll find Sweetblood, Slider, The Big Crunch (LA Times Book Prize), and The Obsidian Blade. Today, Pete lives in Golden Valley, Minnesota and Stockholm, Wisconsin. When he's not writing or reading, Pete likes to cook, run, bike, inline skate, hunt mushrooms, look at art, and take naps.


  Other Wood  
  Nicole Helget   Nicole Helget

Nicole Helget is the multigenre author of The Summer of Ordinary Ways, The Turtle Catcher, Horse Camp, Stillwater, Wonder at the Edge of the World, and The End of the Wild. She and her work have been recognized in People magazine's "Critic's Choice," as a Barnes and Nobles "Discover New Writers" selection, as a Minnesota State University "Distinguished Alumni," and with many literary and service grants, nominations, and awards. She has a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and is pursuing a Master of Public Policy concentrating in rural arts, education, and environmental issues. With her family, she lives in southern Minnesota where she works as a teacher, editor, and manuscript and story consultant.


  The End of the Wild  
  Katharine Johnson   Katharine Johnson (presenting with Alicia Schwab)

Katharine lives in northern Minnesota with her husband and the woodland creatures, large and small, who come into their yard to browse or snitch seeds to fatten their bellies. Her previous publications are: ''Company's Here'' in Ladybug magazine, ''Ada,'' ''Forgiveness of Sins,'' and several poems in anthologies.


  The Mukluk Ball  
  Joseph Kuefler   Joseph Kuefler

Joseph Kuefler is a Twin Cities-based creative director and picture book maker. He is the author-illustrator of Beyond the Pond, Rulers of the Playground, and The Digger and the Flower and the illustrator of Jan Eldredge's Evangeline of the Bayou, all published by Balzer+Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. He lives with his wife and three children.


  The Digger and the Flower  
  Sheila O'Connor   Sheila O'Connor

Sheila O’Connor is a multi-genre writer. Her novels include Until Tomorrow, Mr. Marsworth; Keeping Safe the Stars; and Sparrow Road. Her work has been anthologized in numerous collections. Her short stories, poems, and essays have been published in magazines and anthologies throughout the United States. A graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, Sheila O'Connor has been awarded Bush Fellowships, Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowships, and a McKnight Fellowship. She has also been the recipient of artist residencies from The Studios of Key West, Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, Tyrone Guthrie Center, and Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild. She is an Associate Professor in the MFA program at Hamline University where she serves as Fiction Editor for Water~Stone Review.


  Until Tomorrow, Mr. Marsworth  
  Alicia Schwab   Alicia Schwab (presenting with Katharine Johnson)

Alicia Schwab is an illustrator of a variety of books, including The Mukluk Ball, Good Grief, and Great Group Skits. Her book Good Grief won several awards including the Green Book Award, Premier Book Award, Independent Publishers Book Award, and the Reviewers Choice Award. Alicia holds a BFA in art and design from University of Wisconsin-Stout and has worked in Germany and USA. Alicia currently lives in Plymouth, Minnesota with her husband and daughter.


  The Mukluk Ball  
Stephen Shaskan   Stephen Shaskan (presenting with Trisha Speed Shaskan)

Stephen Shaskan holds a BFA in Illustration from Rhode Island School of Design. Since graduating, and moving to Minnesota, Stephen has done freelance illustrations for advertising agencies, and poster designs for local bands, theater companies/productions and area events. Stephen has also worked with children, teaching art classes through the Minnesota Museum of American Art, St. Paul Academy, and Minneapolis Public Schools. Since 2003 Stephen has worked in Early Childhood Education, and focused his art on children’s book illustrating. Stephen’s picture books include A Dog is a Dog, The Three Triceratops Tuff, Toad on the Road, and Big Choo.


  Q & RayMeteorite or Meteor-Wrong?
  Trisha Speed Shaskan   Trisha Speed Shaskan (presenting with Stephen Shaskan)

Trisha has spent twenty years working with children and teens both in and out of school as an educator, youth worker, and literacy coach. She has taught storytelling or creative writing to students at every level from kindergarten to graduate school. Currently, Trisha teaches writing classes to children at The Loft Literary Center. She has written more than thirty books for children. She received her MFA in creative writing from Minnesota State University, Mankato. she lives in Minneapolis with her husband Stephen Shaskan, who illustrates some of her books. Trisha and Stephen enjoy the company of their cat Eartha, and their dog, Bea.


  Q & Ray the Missing Mola Lisa  
  Lauren Stringer   Lauren Stringer

Lauren Stringer writes and paints picture books in a big, pink Victorian house in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her first picture book, Mud, won a Minnesota Book Award, IRA Children’s Choice Award, and the Crayola Kids Best Book of the Year Award. Since Mud, Lauren has illustrated many award-winning picture books, including her own Winter is the Warmest Season, When Stravinsky Met Nijinsky, and Yellow Time. Look for her newest picture book, The Shape of the World, A Portrait of Frank Lloyd Wright, written by K. L. Going.


  The Shape of the World  
  Elizabeth Verdick   Elizabeth Verdick

Elizabeth Verdick has many nonfiction series for young children, including “Happy Healthy Baby” and “Toddler Tools.” She has also written picture books: Peep Leap and Small Walt, and the upcoming Small Walt and Mo the Tow (October 2018). She received her MFA in writing for children and young adults from Hamline University.


  Small Walt  
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