Featured Authors

and Illustrators


Originally from California, Karina Yan Glaser came to New York City for college and has stuck around for over twenty years. She has had a varied career teaching and implementing literacy programs in family homeless shelters and recruiting healthcare professionals to volunteer in under resourced areas around the world. Now as a mother, one of her proudest achievements is raising two kids who can’t go anywhere without a book. She lives in Harlem with her husband, two teenagers, one dog, and three cats. Karina is a contributing editor at Book Riot, the largest independent book media company in North America where she writes the weekly The Kids Are All Right newsletter. New York Times bestselling author, she has written A Duet for Home, and most recently, The Vanderbeekers of 141 st Street. As Tolstoy wrote, “All happy families are alike,” but few in children’s literature are as engaging or amusing as the Vanderbeekers, even in a time of turmoil. Twins Isa and Jessie (12 years old), Oliver (9), Hyacinth (6), and Laney (4) react with disbelief, a bit of guilt, and plenty of indignation when they hear that Mr. Beiderman, their reclusive neighbor, has refused to renew the lease on their beloved Harlem brownstone apartment. With only 11 days left, the kids embark on Operation Beiderman, a series of secret initiatives intended to win over their landlord. A biracial family within a close-knit, diverse community, the Vanderbeekers are swiftly, deftly individualized by Glaser, who lets the kids’ strengths, weaknesses, and quirks emerge as each takes the initiative and then deals with the repercussions that inevitably follow. Scenes are beautifully written, and a subplot adds depth to the novel. While there’s pain and pathos here, humor is a constant, bubbling up in unexpected places. The story’s ending seems inevitable, but it’s moving nonetheless, and the journey to that destination is wildly entertaining. Add this captivating first novel to the list of family stories that would make an only child long for siblings.


Award-winning author Anika Aldamuy Denise writes stories that tickle her funny bone, tug her heartstrings, feed her curiosity, and celebrate her multicultural heritage. She is the author of ten picture books including the Pura Belpré-honor winning Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré and A Girl Named Rosita: The Story of Rita Moreno: Actor, Singer, Dancer, Trailblazer!. Her most recent book Phenomenal AOC. The Roots and Rise of Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez is about Congresswoman frequently called AOC by the media, the youngest woman ever to serve in Congress.

Raised in Queens, New York, she now lives with her husband and three daughters in Rhode Island. To find out more about Anika’s books, visit her website anikadenise.com.


Deborah Freedman was an architect once-upon-a-time, but now she loves to build worlds in books. Her first picture books were tiny and hand-made over thirty years ago for her own children, and her first published book debuted in 2007. Since then, she has written and illustrated many more, featuring protagonists that include an earthworm searching for its purpose in life, a house that dreams of its origins, and a character that is almost too shy to appear in its own book. Her books have been translated into nine different languages, adopted in classrooms across the country, and received many starred and rave reviews, honors, and awards — including SCBWI’s Crystal Kite Award and a Parent's Choice Gold Award.Lost in books and the arts for as long as she can remember, Deborah majored in art history in college and then went on to study design. She is the proud mom of four grown children, an adoring grandma of six, and the devoted guardian of many stuffed animals. When she isn’t making picture books or daydreaming, she likes to plant things and watch them grow, and to wander through museums, libraries, and the woods near her colorful home in southern Connecticut.


Jeanette Bradley has been an urban planner, an apprentice pastry chef, and the artist-in-residence for a traveling art museum on a train. Now she writes, draws, and makes books for kids. Her books include Something Great; No Voice Too Small; No World Too Big; Love, Mama; and When the Babies Came to Stay. Jeanette is co-founder of the Queer Kidlit mentorship program for prepublished authors, a We Need Diverse Books mentor, and organizer of the We Are ALL Readers festival celebrating diverse children’s literature. She lives in Rhode Island with her wife, kids, and very pampered feline studio assistant.


Christopher Denise is the illustrator of many critically acclaimed books for young readers including Alison McGhee’s Firefly Hollow, Rosemary Wells’ Following Grandfather, Anne Marie Pace’s Groundhug Day, as well as several in Brian Jacques’s Redwall series. His books have appeared on the New York Times bestseller list and have been recognized by Bank Street College of Education, Parents' Choice Foundation, and the Society of Illustrators. Christopher lives with his wife and collaborator, Anika Denise (Baking Day at Grandma’s, Bunny in the Middle). They live on the coast of RI with three exceptionally nice people who happen to be their daughters.


Danielle Greendeer is a citizen of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe and a member of the Hawk Clan. She is an artist, author, and owner of the Wampanoag Trading Post and Gallery located in Mashpee MA. She currently teaches a Native Food Systems course for the Stockbridge School of Agriculture at UMASS Amherst. Her recent book Keepunumuk Weeachumun’s Thanksgiving Story has just won the New England Book Award in Children’s Division.


Wade Hudson and Cheryl Willis Hudson are the founders of Just Us Books, Inc., founded in 1988.

Wade serves as president and CEO of the company. His career as a writer spans more than three decades and has resulted in more than 25 published books for children and young adults. They include Book of Black Heroes from A to Z, Jamal's Busy Day, Pass It On: African American Poetry for Children, Powerful Words: Two Years of Outstanding Writing by African Americans, the Great Black Heroes series, The Underground Railroad and The Two Tyrones. Wade serves on a number of community boards and is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and Pen America. He speaks around the country about issues of inclusion, empowering Black boys to succeed through literacy and other topics. He has received numerous honors for his contributions to children's literature, including the Stephen Crane Literary Award, induction into the International Literary Hall of Fame for Writers of African Descent, the Harlem Book Fair Phyllis Wheatley Award (2007), the Ida B. Wells Institutional Leadership Award (2008) presented by the Center for Black Literature and the Madame C. J. Walker Legacy Award (2012) given by the Zora Neale Hurston-Richard Wright Foundation.

Cheryl is publisher and editorial director of Just Us Books. She has authored nearly 30 books for children including AFRO-BETS ABC Book, Good Morning, Baby, Bright Eyes, Brown Skin, Hands Can, What Do You Know, Snow!, and her most recent, My Friend Maya Loves to Dance. A member of PEN America and the Pen America’s Children’s/Young Adult Book Authors Committee Children, Society of Children's Book Illustrators and Authors, Cheryl speaks on the topic of diversity in literature and serves as a parenting expert for ClubMom. Her honors include induction into the International Literary Hall of Fame for Writers of African Descent, the Harlem Book Fair Phyllis Wheatley Award (2007), the Ida B. Wells Institutional Leadership Award (2008) presented by the Center for Black Literature and the Madame C. J. Walker Legacy Award (2012) given by the Zora Neale Hurston-Richard Wright Foundation.


Dan Abdo and Jason Patterson are best friends and long time creative partners. They created the hit graphic novel series Blue, Barry, and Pancakes as well as the smash middle grade graphic novel series Barb The Last Berzerker. Dan & Jason have packed their stories with everything they know about drawing, writing, and the enduring power of friendship. They make everything together. They think it, draw it, write it, mix it, bake it, and serve it together. Teamwork!


Amy Gallo is an expert in conflict, communication, and workplace dynamics. She is the author of two books: "Getting Along: How to Work with Anyone (Even Difficult People)" and the "HBR Guide to Dealing with Conflict". In her role as a contributing editor at Harvard Business Review, Amy writes about interpersonal dynamics, communicating ideas, leading and influencing people, and building your career. She has also contributed to numerous books on feedback, emotional intelligence, and managing others. Amy is on the faculty of the Emotional Intelligence Coaching Certification program, recently launched by Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence. She has taught at Brown University and UPenn, and is a graduate of both Brown and Yale University.


Supriya Kelkar is an award-winning author, illustrator, and screenwriter who grew up in the Midwest, where she learned Hindi as a child by watching three Hindi movies a week. Supriya’s books include international bestselling middle grade novel "Ahimsa" , "The Many Colors of Harpreet Singh", "American as Paneer Pie", "Strong as Fire, Fierce as Flame", "Bindu's Bindis", "That Thing about Bollywood", "Brown is Beautiful", "My Name", and "The Cobra's Song". She is the illustrator of Jyoti Rajan Gopal’s "American Desi" and Raakhee Mirchandani’s "My Diwali Light", and the author-illustrator of "Shine".