WHO WE ARE
We are the authors and illustrators of #20truePBs—20 diverse, high-quality, traditionally-published, nonfiction picture books releasing in 2020.
We've come together to share our books with librarians, educators, families, fellow kidlit pros—anyone who loves to read kids engaging true stories about inspiring people, places, and animals.
We especially want to highlight nonfiction picture books by and about people often underrepresented in books and history classes (women, BIPOC, LGBTQ+ people, people with disabilities, people with various religions, and more, plus all the intersections of diversity!) and spark discussions about diversity in children's nonfiction. (Please also see our 2019 books as well: www.19PBbios.com!)
Throughout 2020, we'll share blog posts with behind-the-scenes scoops on our books and creators (great info for when reading our books to kids in classrooms and libraries!). And we'll come together for giveaways, conference panels, online chats, and any kind of event that can help share these 20 new nonfiction PBs with kids.
We're proud and excited to be makers of nonfiction picture books...and to share them with you!
- Meeg Pincus, co-founder of #20truePBs & #19PBbios and Nancy Churnin, co-organizer of #20truePBs
Click on any photo to learn more about each #20truePBs author & illustrator...
Alleanna Harris is a US illustrator who has been drawing for as long as she can remember. She graduated from the University of Arts with a BFA in Animation with Honors, and it was during this time she realized her love for illustration. Alleanna finds inspiration in the beauty in everyday things. In her work, she seeks to create images that are immersive, rich in color and have a sense of warmth.
Anika Aldamuy Denise is an award-winning author of fiction and nonfiction children's books. Her picture book biography Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré was named a 2020 Orbis Pictus Honor Book, one of the Ten Best Children's Books of 2019 by Smithsonian Magazine, and a Best Book of the Year by School Library Journal, New York Public Library, Chicago Public Library, and the Center for the Study of Multicultural Children's Literature.
Annette Bay Pimentel is the award-winning author of picture book biographies about ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Girl Running was a Junior Library Guild Selection and on several state booklists. Mountain Chef won the Carter G. Woodson Award. Annette presents in schools and especially loves leading writing workshops with children. She lives with her family in Moscow, Idaho.
Bethany Hegedus is an award-winning author of novels and picture book biographies. Among her titles are Grandfather Gandhi, and Be the Change: A Grandfather Gandhi Story, both coauthored with Arun Gandhi, and Alabama Spitfire: The Story of Harper Lee and To Kill a Mockingbird. Hegedus, a former educator, teaches widely and speaks across the country. She owns The Writing Barn, a writing workshop and retreat center in Austin, Texas.
Deborah Diesen is the author of many children’s picture books, including the NYT-bestselling The Pout-Pout Fish. She loves playing with words and rhymes and rhythms. She has worked as a bookseller, a bookkeeper, and a reference librarian. She and her family live in Michigan.
Ebony Glenn is the illustrator of two #20truePBs books, FLYING HIGH and SPEAK UP, as well as #19PBbios book BRAVE BALLERINA, and MOMMY'S KHIMAR.
Emma Bland Smith is a librarian and author. Her first picture book, Journey: Based on the True Story of OR7, the Most Famous Wolf in the West, won Bank Street College’s Cook Prize. Many of her picture books feature real-life animals—wolves, dogs, pigs, ducks, and even alligators. She lives with her husband, their two kids, one cat, and one dog in San Francisco, California. Visit her at emmabsmith.com.
Julie Leung was raised in the sleepy suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia, though it may be more accurate to say she grew up in Oz and came of age in Middle-earth. By day, she is the marketing director for Random House’s sci-fi/fantasy imprint, Del Rey Books. By night, she writes and writes.
Kayla Harren graduated from the School of Visual Arts in New York City with a BFA in illustration. Books she has illustrated include A BOY LIKE YOU (winner of the 2019 EUREKA gold award) and THE BOY WHO GREW A FOREST (winner of the Eureka silver award.) Her work has been featured in the Society of Illustrators, American Illustration, Communication Arts, 3x3 Magazine, and she won the Highlights for Children Pewter Plate Award.
Kelly Starling Lyons is a teaching artist and award-winning children's book author whose mission is to transform moments, memories and history into stories of discovery. Her more than a dozen titles include Dream Builder: The Story of Architect Philip Freelon, Sing a Song: How Lift Every Voice & Sing Inspired Generations, Going Down Home with Daddy, the Jada Jones chapter book series, One More Dino on the Floor, Hope’s Gift and One Million Men and Me.
Laura Freeman is a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honoree. Her work on “Hidden Figures” written by Margot Lee Shetterly, was recognized with an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work for Children, reached the New York Times Best Seller list and was listed in 2018's “Ten Books All Georgians Should Read”. Her art has been honored at the Society of Illustrators in NYC and in the Annuals for Communication Arts and American Illustration.
Kayla Harren graduated from the School of Visual Arts in New York City where she studied Illustration. Picture books she has illustrated include Hannah’s Tall Order, Mary Had a Little Lizard, Who Sang the First Song?, and Juma the Giraffe. Her work has been featured in the Society of Illustrators Annual Exhibition, Communication Arts, American Illustration, and 3x3 Magazine. Kayla lives in Minnesota with her husband and dog.
Leah Henderson’s middle grade novels include One Shadow on the Wall and the forthcoming The Magic In Changing Your Stars. Her work appears in the YA anthology Black Enough: Stories of Being Young & Black in America and her forthcoming picture books include Mamie on the Mound, A Day For Rememberin’, and Together We March. Leah holds an MFA in Writing and is on faculty in Spalding University's graduate writing program.
Lisa Robinson is a child psychiatrist and a children's book author. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from Lesley University. She lives in the Boston area with her family and three cats. When she's not working or writing she's flying through the air with her daughters on aerial silks at her local circus studio.
Magdalena is a Minneapolis-based illustrator and graphic designer. Equality's Call (Beach Lane Books) is her first picture book.
Meeg Pincus (co-founder of #20truePBs) is the author of WINGED WONDERS, illustrated by Yas Imamura, and MIEP AND THE MOST FAMOUS DIARY, illustrated by Jordi Solano. She's also the author of 12 more nonfiction PBs in various stages of production. A nonfiction writer/editor for 25 years and a humane educator, Meeg loves to inspire kids with stories of real "solutionaries" who help people, animals & the planet.
Michelle Meadows is the author of 10 picture books for children -- with more books in the works. Michelle loves creating heartwarming stories that are enjoyable to read aloud. Her books include HIBERNATION STATION, PIGGIES IN PAJAMAS, BRAVE BALLERINA: The Story of Janet Collins and FLYING HIGH: The Story of Gymnastics Champion Simone Biles. Michelle studied journalism and literature at Syracuse University in New York. She is represented by literary agent Rosemary Stimola.
Miranda Paul is a award-winning children’s author of One Plastic Bag and Water is Water, both named Junior Library Guild selections. Her titles have received starred reviews from School Library Journal and Publisher’s Weekly in addition to being named to several recommended and “best of” reading lists. Miranda makes regular appearances at schools, libraries, and bookstores, is the mentorship chair for We Need Diverse Books and volunteers for Books for Africa.
Nancy Churnin is the award-winning author of eight picture book biographies including Irving Berlin, the Immigrant Boy Who Made America Sing, a Sydney Taylor Book Award Notable and National Council for the Social Studies Notable; Manjhi Moves a Mountain, winner of the South Asia Book Award and a Junior Library Guild selection and The William Hoy Story, on multiple state reading lists. A former theater critic for The Dallas Morning News, Nancy lives in North Texas.
Rita Lorraine Hubbard is the author of THE OLDEST STUDENT, HAMMERING FOR FREEDOM, AFRICAN AMERICANS OF CHATTANOOGA, and a number of nonfiction books for teens and adults. She owns and manages The Black History Channel, and the children's book review site Picture Book Depot. Hubbard lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Rob Sanders writes fierce and funny picture books. From nonfiction to fiction, Rob’s unique style and voice rings with clarity. He is a writer who teaches and a teacher who writes. Every school day Rob teaches elementary school kids about books and words and reading and writing. Then he hurries home to write books—books that inform, inspire, and encourage kids of all ages. He also mentors other writers, leads writing training, and critiques manuscripts.
A Cuba native raised in Miami, Silvia López served as children’s librarian for over three decades. Her books include eBooks, picture books and nonfiction. Just Right Family: An Adoption Story (Whitman) won the 2018 Florida Book Award and Handimals: Animals in Art and Nature (Macmillan) was starred in Booklist. Upcoming releases besides Selena Quintanilla: Queen of Tejano Music (Little Bee Books) are Pacho Nacho (Capstone) and My Little Golden Book about Frida Kahlo (Random House).
Suzanne Slade is the award-winning author of more than 100 children's books. SWISH! THE SLAM-DUNKING, ALLEY-OOPING, HIGH-FLYING HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS is the newest addition to her picture book titles about inspiring heroes from her hometown of Chicago. Other Chicago books include EXQUISITE: THE POETRY AND LIFE OF GWENDOLYN BROOKS and DANGEROUS JANE (Jane Addams).
Vivian Kirkfield is the author of #20truePBs book MAKING THEIR VOICES HEARD and four other books for children.
Yas Imamura is an Asian American illustrator from Portland Oregon. She has done work for clients like Anthropologie, Sanrio and Papyrus. She also owns a greeting card shop called Quill & Fox.