Meet Our Authors
Kari Allen is an elementary teacher at a local independent school where every day she gets to share stories with kids. She has an MA in the Teaching of Writing and one of her favorite things is to help kids fall in love with words. Kari feels happiest with her toes in the water and a book in her hand. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and two book-loving boys.
Jana Bauer (1975) is a popular author of literature for children and teenagers. She grew up in Kočevje, Slovenia, spending every summer with her granny by the river Kolpa. Her father was a passionate storyteller and his legends about witches, ghosts and smugglers had a great impact on the development of her imagination. Jana’s debut novel The Witch Vanisher (nominated for the Večernica Prize, with the English version published in the US) was followed by a series of detective stories about Fokus and Kolumna. Scary Fairy in the Wicked Wood is her most popular book and has been translated into 17 languages. It received the Golden Pear award and was nominated for both the Večernica and Desetnica Awards (2013). Most recently it received the main award at the international Macedonian literary festival (Another Story). In 2020 she received the Desetnica Award from the Slovene Writers’ Association for her recent book Ding Dong Stories. Although her books are meant for children, their magic and originality give great pleasure to readers of all generations.
A native of California, Dr. Raquel Donoso is the daughter of immigrant parents who instilled in her a deep love of reading and learning. She is an activist, consultant, and philanthropic advisor who works to increase educational opportunities for students. Her books are inspired by the sights, sounds, and flavors of the world around her. Raquel is the mother of two sons and lives with her husband in the San Francisco Bay Area. VIVA’S VOICE is Raquel’s debut children’s picture book.
Julie Koon is an author-illustrator of books for children. She is also an elementary school counselor, where she helps kids learn how to navigate their feelings and the big wide world. She lives in Decatur, Georgia with her husband and three children. Julie has taken many rides on the Struggle Bus in making this book, and is excited to share it with the world.
Katharina E. Volk
Katharina E. Volk was born in springtime into a large family in Witten, Westphalia. She discovered her love of language and poetry even before she graduated from high school. This was followed by a degree in German studies, work in a kindergarten and trips to various professional areas. This brought some inspiration and ultimately led to the creative desk which is currently situated in Friedrichshafen on Lake Constance in Germany. The author’s books are full of endearing beings of all kinds.
Shannon Zigmund has worked behind the scenes of book creation for 15 years. After being inspired by her two children, she finally decided to write a picture book of her own. I’ve Never Met My Grandpa is near and dear to her heart as neither of her children had the chance to meet their grandfathers. Shannon grew up in Green Bay, Wisconsin but now resides in the Twin Cities with her family.
Meet Our Illustrators
Amy Jindra is a Cleveland, Ohio native that has a dedicated passion for illustration.
Ever since she can remember, she has been drawing everything and anything. Over the years, Amy has developed and honed her eclectic and unique style. She works both traditionally with pencil, pen and paper, and also digitally to create her works. She enjoys developing characters and scenes that tell a story, create a connection, and warm the heart. Amy loves collaboration and working as a team to create the best end product. She believes that an artist is never done learning, developing, and evolving and looks forward to new opportunities and artistic adventures. Amy is fueled and inspired by the arts, family and friends, and good sushi.
Tatjana Mai-Wyss has always loved books, so bringing stories to life with her art is the best job she can imagine. She has been lucky enough to illustrate a number of books for children. She practiced for Maddie and Mabel by growing up with a little brother herself, and then having two girls of her own. See more of Tatjana’s artwork at tatjanamaiwyss.com
Mackinzie is an illustrator living in Iowa with her husband Corey, three rambunctious kiddos and one bonkers puppy. When she’s not drawing she can be found reading, traveling, or reading about traveling. You can visit her at www.mackinzierekers.com
Caroline Thaw is an English illustrator. Although the illustrations for Scary Fairy are her first attempt at book illustration, she has succeeded in creating a truly magical world of Wicked Wood, together with all the animals. She is particularly happy when her ideas are given a material form on paper and bring joy to readers. She lives and works in Scotland.
Carlos Vélez Aguilera is a professional illustrator from Mexico City, Mexico. He has illustrated more than 20 children’s books and is the author/illustrator of the graphic novel Salón Destino. Carlos has been recognized with two illustration awards from the International Children’s and Youth Book Fair in Mexico. He is a graduate of the National School of Plastic Arts of the National University Autonomous of Mexico.
Małgorzata Zając is a Polish illustrator. She lives with her family in a very old city called Kraków. This city is known for its famous dragon (unfortunately no longer in good shape) and for Wawel Royal Castle (still in perfect shape). Małgorzata strongly believes that imagination is the most important thing in life. Her head is always full of all kind of creatures, imaginary friends, magical worlds and entire stories. She uses her drawing skills and different techniques to create those nonexistent worlds on paper. The shelves in Małgorzata’s workshop are filled with beautiful books illustrated by her favorite artists from all over the world. She admires them and learns something new from them every day. She dreams that her picture books will one day be on someone’s Favorites shelves too.