Alyssa Mito Pusey is an executive editor at Charlesbridge. As a nonfiction specialist, she firmly believes there is nothing as astonishing as real life. Almost any topic can hook her—as long as it’s approached from an unexpected angle. In addition to nonfiction, she edits fiction titles with memorable characters and strong school-and-library hooks. In both nonfiction and fiction, she looks for diversity, innovation, clarity, and voice. Humor is a plus! Alyssa’s titles include Mario and the Hole in the Sky by Elizabeth Rusch, Samurai Rising by Pamela S. Turner, A Black Hole is NOT a Hole by Carolyn Cinami DeCristofano, the Baby Loves Science series by Ruth Spiro, and the Storytelling Math series with Grace Lin and other authors.
Having grown up wanting to become a medieval illuminator, Jon Simeon settled for becoming an almost modern day equivalent—a graphic designer. He studied illustration and graphic design at the Rhode Island School of Design, and has background in book binding history and conservation. Ironically, he is not the biggest reader, but he is heartily obsessed with the production and development of this early UI/UX platform..
In over 25 years at TERC, Marlene Kliman has led national-scale research and development projects involving mathematics learning in public libraries, after-school programs, community-based child care settings, family homes, and other informal learning environments. She has directed development of and served as lead writer for mathematics resources recommended and/or adopted by National Science Digital Library, US Department of Education, the YMCA, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and many others.
Grace Lin is the award-winning author and illustrator of The Ugly Vegetables, A Big Mooncake for Little Star, and Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. Grace is a Newbery Honoree, a Caldecott Honoree, and a Geisel Honoree. She lives in Florence, Massachusetts
Dr. Krista Aronson is an Associate Dean of Faculty and professor of psychology at Bates College and co-founder of the Diverse BookFinder. Her scholarship focuses on illuminating how people come to understand complex social constructs like race and ethnicity, including how children process and understand race as well as appropriate, effective and productive ways to discuss this topic with them; specifically, the effective use of picture books to enhance intercultural relationships and self-understanding during childhood. Her own identity as a biracial woman deeply informs her work. The Diverse BookFinder and associated work are the focus of her active research, which represents a substantial portion of the professional effort of faculty at Bates.
Art Coulson, Cherokee, was born in Honolulu. Before writing children’s books, Art was a writer and editor at magazines and newspapers all over the United States. He also served as the first executive director of the Wilma Mankiller Foundation in the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. He is the author of The Creator’s Game, Unstoppable: How Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team Defeated the Army, and The Reluctant Storyteller. Art lives in Minneapolis with his family.
Dr. JaNay Brown-Wood grew up in Fresno, California. She earned her BA in psychology and applied developmental psychology from UCLA, then her MA in child development from CSU Sacramento, and finally a PhD in education from UC Davis. She has been a performer, preschool teacher, camp counselor, youth specialist, college professor, and curriculum designer; currently, she teaches and conducts research at CSU Sacramento and lives in Sacramento with her family. JaNay is the author of Imani’s Moon and Grandma’s Tiny House.
Jenny Lacika is a picture book writer from Santa Fe, New Mexico. She moved to Massachusetts to attend MIT and worked as a management consultant specializing in the energy industry. Jenny is a member of SCBWI and 12×12 and was selected as a 2020 NESCBWI Windows & Mirrors Scholarship recipient.
Dr. Amitha Jagannath Knight is a graduate of MIT and Tufts University, where she earned her medical degree. In 2011 she received a Letter of Merit for her writing from the SCBWI and in 2012 she was named a winner of the PEN New England Susan P. Bloom Children’s Book Discovery Award. While her parents were originally from South India, she and her siblings were born in the United States. Dr. Knight has lived in Texas and Arkansas, and now lives in Massachusetts with her family.
Julie Roach is the manager of youth services at the Cambridge Public Library in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She has chaired the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award Committee and the Theodore Seuss Geisel Committee. She has been a member of the Caldecott selection committee since 2010, and in 2020 was appointed chair of the committee. She reviews children's literature regularly for The Horn Book Magazine and School Library Journal and teaches at both Lesley University and Simmons University.
Vera Ahiyya (née Corbett) was born in Germany and raised in El Paso, TX with her wonderful mother and amazing grandparents. Originally a pre-med student, Vera realized her calling as an educator at Austin College in Sherman, TX, where she majored in history and earned her MA in education. Vera has taught Kindergarten and first grade for the last 14 years in Texas, Boston, and Brooklyn. Vera’s online presence is dedicated to influencing other educators by spreading her vast knowledge and love of diverse children’s books. Vera’s unwavering commitment to social justice and diversity is also the focal point of her professional development presentations for other educators. Vera lives in Brooklyn with her husband Lonnell and her dog, Mozi.
Natasha Yim was born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and attended elementary school in Singapore and high school in Hong Kong. In 1979, she came to the U.S. for college and graduated from Dominican University in San Rafael, California. Natasha holds a B.A. in English literature and a M.S. in counseling psychology. Much of her career has been in counseling or social work; she worked with Mendocino County Child Protective Services and with children in residential treatment centers and group homes. Natasha Yim is the author of Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas, The Rock Maiden, and Mulan's Lunar New Year. She lives in California with her family.
Ana Crespo was born in Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil. In 2000, after studying journalism, she moved to the United States to pursue a master's degree in education. Ana is the author of Lia & Luis: Who Has More?, The Sock Thief: A Soccer Story, which won an International Latino Book Award, and the My Emotions & Me series.
Dr. Rajani LaRocca was born in Bangalore, India and immigrated to the US as a baby, where she grew up in Kentucky. She attended Harvard College and Harvard Medical School and has worked as a primary care physician since 2001. Rajani is the author of Midsummer’s Mayhem and Red, White, and Whole.