Authors 2019

Stephanie Parwulski

Stephanie Parwulski, a Buffalo, NY native, is the author of the children’s book, Beatrice and the Sunflower Gift. She received a B.A. in English from Daemen College in May 2016, further nurturing her love for literature and composition. She enjoys writing poems, children’s books, and short stories and contributes articles about her anxiety to a website called The Mighty to raise awareness about mental health. She also loves spending time with her family and friends and working as a preschool teacher aide. Her second book, Gloria’s Hope Tree, will be published by Belle Isle Books in summer 2019.

Nick Bruel

Nick Bruel is the author and illustrator of the New York Times Bestselling series "Bad Kitty" books, among others.  He lives in Pleasantville, NY with his wife Carina, their daughter Izzy, a grumpy old man shaped like a brown, one-eyed dachshund, and a sometimes-good, sometimes-bad cat named Rose.

Lulu Delacre

Three-time Pura Belpré Award honoree Lulu Delacre has been writing and illustrating children's books since 1980. The New York Times Bestselling artist was born and raised in Puerto Rico to Argentinean parents. Delacre says her Latino heritage and her life experiences inform her work. Her 39 titles include Arroz con Leche: Popular Songs and Rhymes from Latin America, a Horn Book Fanfare Book in print for almost 30 years. Her bilingual picture book ¡Olinguito, de la A a la Z! Descubriendo el bosque nublado; Olinguito, from A to Z! Unveiling the Cloud Forest  and her story collection  Us, in Progress: Short Stories About Young Latinos have received multiple starred reviews and awards. Her latest work is the art of Turning Pages by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Delacre has lectured internationally and served as a juror for the National Book Awards. She has exhibited at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art; The Original Art Show at the Society of Illustrators in New York; the Museum of Art of Puerto Rico and the Zimmerli Art Museum; among other venues. Most recently Reading is Fundamental has honored her with a Champion of Children’s Literacy Award. For more visit her at

Shelley Rotner

Shelley Rotner is the author and photo-illustrator of 50 award-winning children’s books. Her books are mostly about diversity and the environment. It is her hope that they will lead children and their parents and/or teachers to engage in conversations and inspire observations and curiosity about the world they live in. Some of her recent books include: Colors, Hello Autumn! Grow! Raise! Catch! How We Get Our Food, Whose Eye am I? ,Families, Body Actions, Body Bones and All Kinds of Friends. Some of her awards and acknowledgements include: University of Maine Correll Book Award for Excellence in Early Childhood Informational text- Families.- “packed with photographs of families of many different sizes, shapes, ages and colors.” Grow, Raise, Catch! Subaru nonfiction finalist and Green Earth Book Award. Garbage Helps our Gardens Grow- Green Earth Book Award- Hello, Spring! Starred Kirkus review: “Among the vibrant plants and baby animals are children whose appearances are diverse in skin, hair, and eye color but alike in their exuberance at being outdoors in the spring.”

Debbi Michiko Florence

Debbi Michiko Florence is the author of children’s books. Her chapter book series Jasmine Toguchi, about a spunky Japanese American 8-year-old girl, has been chosen as Junior Library Guild selections and placed on select “best of” lists. Debbi is also the author of the two early chapter book series Dorothy and Toto and My Furry Foster Family. She has spoken on panels and taught workshops at conferences and book festivals, and presented at numerous schools.

Adam Lehrhaupt

Adam Lehrhaupt is the award-winning picture book author of Warning: Do Not Open This Book! (S&S, 2013), Please: Open This Book! (S&S, 2015), Chicken in Space (A six book HarperCollins series continuing with Chicken in School June 20, 2017), and I Will Not Eat You (S&S, 2016), as well as the upcoming I Don’t Draw, I Color (S&S, 2017), Wordplay (Scholastic, July 25, 2017), This is a Good Story (S&S, September 12, 2017), Idea Jar (S&S, Spring 2018) and several more he is not yet at liberty to discuss. He has traveled to six continents, performed on Broadway, and lived on a communal farm. Adam firmly believes that opening a book is a good thing, even if there are monkeys in it. He currently lives in the suburbs of Philadelphia, PA, with his wife, two sons, and two bizarre dogs. Follow Adam on Twitter, Instagram and Google+ @Lehrhaupt for the occasional brilliant thought or picture, and at

Jerry Craft

Jerry Craft is an author and illustrator who has worked on numerous picture books, graphic novels, and middle grade novels. His newest book, New Kid, is a middle grade graphic novel that has earned four starred reviews, including one from Booklist Magazine that called it "Possibly one of the most important graphic novels of the year." Kirkus Reviews called it "An engrossing, humorous, and vitally important graphic novel that should be required reading in every middle school in America." Jerry's books have been Junior Library Guild selections, and he has won five African American Literary Awards. He is the creator of Mama's Boyz, an award-winning comic strip that was distributed by King Features Syndicate from 1995 - 2013. He is a co-founder and co-producer of the Schomburg's Annual Black Comic Book Festival which has drawn close to 50,000 fans since its inception in 2013. Jerry was born in Harlem and grew up in nearby Washington Heights. He is a graduate of The Fieldston School and received his B.F.A. from the School of Visual Arts. Website:

London Ladd

A graduate of Syracuse University with a BFA in Illustration. London has illustrated numerous critically acclaimed children’s books including March On! The Day My Brother Martin Changed the World (Scholastic), written by Christine King Farris, the older sister of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Under the Freedom Tree (Charlesbridge) and Frederick's Journey: The Life of Frederick Douglass (Disney/Jump at the Sun).

Rachel DiNunzio

Author / Illustrator
Rachel DiNunzio is a local author, illustrator and publisher.  She has written several books in the Forsynthia series. Her latest project involves students in elementary school to college, its called: My Thoughts Can Change the World. Rachel believes that what you do outwardly and what we think internally, impacts everything around us. The project’s goal is to make a positive impact for people, animals, plants, and our environment, through the sharing of thoughts and ideas. Rachel loves working with schools to empower the students into not only believing that they can make a difference, but also works with them to write down their thoughts.

Thomas McDade & Melanie Morse

Authors & Production Specialists
Thomas McDade is television producer, director, and editor who has traveled throughout the world over the past 20 years. He is the owner of Honey + Punch LLC, a Buffalo-based media production company. Melanie Morse is a mother of three boys, an experienced educator, a daydreamer, a traveler and a storyteller. When she’s not wrapped up in an adventure with her super awesome boys, or with Seymour & Hau, she is the Producer for commercial storytelling company Honey + Punch.

Dee Romito

Dee Romito is a middle-grade author and former elementary school teacher, Dee lives in her hometown of Buffalo, New York, where she and her family are steadily checking items off their own bucket list of adventures. You're likely to find her at the local ice cream shop, writing at a cafe, or curled up on the couch with her cats. And while she does her best to be a grown-up most of the time, giggling with her BFFs is still one of Dee's all-time favorite things. To join the fun and create your own bucket list, visit

Joy Keller

Joy Keller is the author of fun and fantastic picture books, including MONSTER TRUCKS and the upcoming MISS TURIE'S MAGIC CREATURES. When she's not writing, she's teaching fourth graders how to write. She lives in Fairport, NY, with her husband, two children, and several cats.