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Authors and Illustrators at the Hudson Childrens's Book Festival -- May 4, 2013

2014 Book Festival Authors and Illustrators

We're adding authors and illustrators that will be appearing at the Book Festival, stop by often to see who we added!

Author and Web Site Featured Book Biography/Awards 3 Fun Facts!
Abbott, Ellen Jensen
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The Keeper

Ellen Jensen Abbott thinks that life would be perfect if she could move her home, her job, her friends and her family to the White Mountains of New Hampshire where she grew up. Until she can convince everyone to join her, she’s content to be writing, teaching English at the Westtown School, and living with her husband and two children in West Chester, PA. You can also find her on-line at

IRA Children’s and Young Adult Book Award—Notable Book, 2009

Nominated for YALSA’s 2010 Teens’ Top Ten

1.  love to ski at Hunter Mountain—last trip, it was -10 at the top!

2. I have a gargoyle perched near my desk to drive away the writing demons

3. I have a dachshund named Buster and a Chihuahua named Abby.

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Antoinette Lawrence
& Terry Lewis

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My Dad, Grandad, and Me

Antoinette Lawrence was born in Norfolk, Virginia. She has been a Special Education Teacher for more than nine years, and enjoys teaching and motivating children to read. Her motivation to write children’s books come from her past and present family experiences. Terry Lewis is a dedicated Social Worker, and Community Health Care Advocate who works and resides in New York City. He has worked in the Social Services field for twelve years. His inspirations to write children’s books come from his family experiences.

1. I love traveling

2. I love reading and writing

3. I love dogs

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Apple, Jon

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The Very Hungry Zombie

Jon Apple is a working writer, artist and illustrator living in Bethlehem, PA.

He is versed in multi media, from greeting cards to editorial cartoons, from posters to portraiture, from fine art to Photoshop.  The eye’s the limit.

He is also a veteran of the U.S. Navy. 

1. I can write backwards and forward simultaneously.

2. I do impressions.

3. I am a veteran.

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Ashley Formento, Alison
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Alison Ashley Formento is the author of multi-award-winning nature picture books This Tree Counts!, This Tree, 1, 2, 3, These Bees Count!, These Seas Count!, and These Rocks Count! (2014). Her debut young adult novel Twigs (Merit Press) is edited by New York Times bestselling author Jacqueline Mitchard and was named one of New Jersey's "2013 Hottest Teen Reads." Alison has written for several national publications including The New York Times, The Writer, and Parenting, and loves visiting schools and libraries. She donates a portion of her book proceeds to To learn more about Alison, visit her website at

2013 NJ Hottest Fall Young Adult novels (TWIGS)
2013 Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People by the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) and the Children’s Book Council
2013 Skipping Stones Nature and Ecology Honor Book
2013-14 Keystone State Reading Association ELEMENTARY BOOK AWARD  (THESE BEES COUNT!)

1. I love geology and once stood on the edge of a volcano in Hawaii.

2. I am not an opera singer, but I have appeared in the Verdi’s Otello with tenor Placido Domingo.

3. I won a yo-yo championship when I was in 5th grade.

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Averett, Edward
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Cameron and the Girls

Except for four years living in the wilds of Spain, Edward Averett has lived his life in the Pacific Northwest. He likes to write about families and how they manage to transcend difficult times. He is the author of HOMING, THE RHYMING SEASON, THREE STAR PRIVATE NUISANCE and CAMERON AND THE GIRLS.

THE RHYMING SEASON was selected as one of the NYPL Best Books for the Teen Age in 2005. Was also a finalist for the Utah Beehive Award in 2006-2007.

1. Lived for four years in a small village in Andalusia, Spain.
2. Fastest reader in my sixth grade class; clocked at 1250 words per minute.
3. In Kindergarten, won a nickel for being the quietest boy at a birthday party.
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Barlow, Jean

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I See The World

An experienced actress, singer, narrator, and product spokesperson, Jean was seen as program host on QVC and The Fashion Channel and on Global Shopping Network.  For ten years she was managing partner of a music company showcasing the songwriting of Karen Benedetto and did much of the behind-the-scenes work required to produce and promote it.  Continuing a variety of activities in business, civic, community, and volunteer programs in Rockland County, NY, and in the wider world of the performing arts, Jean is also on-camera talent in film, TV, and commercial projects.  She is an active member of Lions Clubs Intl. 

Visit my website at

1. I have a 6lb dog named Puddin’ and a 20lb cat, DeMille.

2. I was on-camera TV host with over 2,000 hours on air..

3. I can read upside down.

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Baskin, Nora Raleigh
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Subway Love

Nora Raleigh Baskin is the author of ten novels for young readers. She has won several awards including the 2010 ALA  Schneider Family award for Anything But Typical.  A  2001 Publishers Weekly Flying Start,  Ms. Baskin has also published short stories and personal narrative essays which have appeared in The Boston Globe Sunday Magazine and The Writer Magazine. Ms. Baskin teaches creative writing at schools and libraries across the country, as well through the Gotham Writers Workshop and the Writers Center in Sleepy Hollow, NY.   Subway Love her most recent YA novel will be published May 2014 by Candlewick Press. 

Publishers Weekly Flying Start
ALA Schneider Family Award
Booklist Top Ten first novels
Junior Library guild selection
Jewish Book council selection

1. I am a certified yoga instructor

2. I have two grown boys, both writers

3. I cut all my hair off two years ago and I am still waiting for it to grow back.

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Bennett, Artie
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Peter Panda Melts Down

Artie Bennett is the executive copy editor for a children’s book publisher and he writes a little on the side (but not the backside!).

Artie, who would be hailed as “the Dr. Seuss of your caboose,” wrote The Butt Book, his first “mature” work, in 2010. The Butt Book was showered with praise and won the prestigious Reuben Award for Book Illustration. His “number two” picture book, fittingly, was entitled Poopendous! What more fertile topic could there be but poop!

Poopendous! earned a bumper crop of great reviews, including this one in the Huffington Post: “For anyone who loved The Butt Book, you must immediately go and buy Artie Bennett’s follow-up, Poopendous! It appears there is no topic Mr. Bennett can’t make funny and educational.” The Show Me Librarian weighed in with: “Bennett’s use of rhyme is excellent; his stanzas flow and exude joviality in a manner that few writers since Dr. Seuss have truly mastered. Simply put, these books are a joy.”

His third picture book, the much-anticipated Peter Panda Melts Down!, illustrated by the virtuosic artist John Nez, published in February 2014.

Artie was the youngest (at age thirteen) person to originate and sell a crossword puzzle to the New York Times. He went on to sell several dailies and two large Sunday puzzles to the Times before he began college. It’s been downhill ever since.

He and his wife, Leah, live deep in the bowels of Brooklyn, New York, where he spends his spare time moving his car to satisfy the rigorous demands of alternate-side-of-the-street parking and shaking his fist at his neighbors.

He is pleased to share the visionary promise of The Butt Book, Poopendous!, and Peter Panda Melts Down! with a wider audience.

His fourth picture book, the uproarious Belches, Burps, and Farts—Oh My!, will publish in July 2014.

Visit . . . before someone else does!

The Butt Book
Winner of the Reuben Award for Book Illustration;
Best Feel-Good Children’s Book (The Huffington Post);
A New York State Assembly/NYPL Suggested Reading List Title

Cybils Award Nominee for Best Non-Fiction Picture Book;
A Bright Horizons Notable Book in the Humorous Books for Children Category;
A Best Picture Book of Summer (Imagination Soup);
A Best Picture Book for Boys (The Huffington Post);
The July Book of the Month (The Children’s Nook)

1. I find a dime a day. Should a day go by without my finding a dime, I’ll find two the next day. I can’t explain it, but it all evens out in the end.

2. When I was a boy, I had a metal detector and would spend my days digging up city parks (and neighbors’ yards!) looking for pirates’ gold.

3. My favorite boyhood plastic dinosaur figurine, a Dimetrodon, had a meltdown itself one day, turning into a shapeless pool of goo when I accidentally left it sitting under my night-light. A sad ending for Dimitry the Dimetrodon.

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Berne, Jennifer
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On a Beam of Light

Jennifer Berne is the award-winning author of children’s picture book biographies, including Manfish and On a Beam of Light, and fiction, Calvin Can’t Fly. She grew up in New York City where she was active in dance and theater as a child. She studied art and design, worked for Andy Warhol at "The Factory." After a successful career in advertising, Jennifer began writing for Nick Jr. Magazine and writing books about the subjects she loves most - our amazing universe and the people who discover its secrets. She lives in a house she designed in the rolling hills of Columbia County, NY.

Junior Library Guild Selection 2013
Kirkus Reviews – Starred Review
School Library Journal – Starred Review
Horn Book – Starred Review
Publisher’s Weekly – Starred Review
Library Media Connection – Starred Review
New York Times – Editors’ Choice
2013 School Library Journal – Book of the Day
SLJ – Best Books of 2013
ABA – Best Books for Children 2013
Best Children’s Books of the Year – Kirkus Reviews
ALSC – Notable Children’s Books
Booklist – Top 10 Science Books of 2013
Booklist – Editor’s Choice
Kirkus– Best Picture Books of 2013 to Take You Outside the Box
NPR  – 2013’s Great Reads
2013 Nerdy Award Winner
Horn Book Fanfare 2013
Kid Lit Reviews – Top 10 Books of 2013
Book Page – Best Children’s Books of 2013
Redbook – The 15 Best Children’s Books of 2013
ALA Book Links – 2013 Top 30 Titles for Classroom and Libraries
Horn Book – Best Non-Fiction Books of 2013
Eric Carle Museum "Best of the Best" 2014
Capitol Choices  – Notable Books 2014

ALA – Notable Children’s Books 2014

1. My husband and I, and our cat, lived aboard our sailboat for 2 years.

2. I danced professionally in The Nutcracker in NYC when I was 7 years old.

3. I love flashlights. I have so many I lost count.

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Burg, Ann E.
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Serafina's Promise

Ann E. Burg was an English teacher for ten years before giving up teaching to write full time. She has written board books, easy readers, picture books and middle grade novels. Her most recent books is about a girl growing up in Haiti.

Ann believes that fictionalized stories have the power to reach people in non-threatening ways. She is interested in the challenges children face and tries to honor the voices of children whose voices are often unheard. Her works reflect compassion for all people and a firm belief that we are more alike than different.

Parent’s Gold Choice Award NAACP Image Award Nominee
Kirkus Starred Review
Kirkus Best Books of Year 2013
NYPL Children’s:100 Books Worth  Reading and Sharing
ALA Notable Book 2013
SLJ Starred Review
Bank Street Books: 2014 edition, Best Books of the Year

2009 Jefferson Cup Winner
ALA Best Books for Young Adults
Booklist Best of Editor’s Choice
NYPL Children’s:100 Books Worth Reading and Sharing
IRA Notable Book for a Global Society

1. One of my favorite writing companions is a cute but ill-behaved dog named Smudges. Smudges doesn’t like to write, but he does sit with me while I’m writing and always enjoys my snack and walking breaks.

2. I can still recite the poems I wrote before I was old enough to go to school.

3. My favorite place in the universe is Brooklyn, even though I haven’t been back there in decades.

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