Patricia Lee Gauch a.k.a. "Christina Katerina's mom," advocate for kids, children's books, boxes, and their union, is a major inspiration for this website and all that it stands for. She grew up near Detroit and remembers fondly playing outdoors (and with boxes) as a child. She attended Miami University, and spent time as a journalist before starting to write books, inspired by her own kids. She has written over twenty-five of them, appealing to a wide range of readers. She has also been a teacher and had a long career as a children's book editor, editing such award-winning classics as Owl Moon and Otis. She lives in New York.
Loren Long is the #1 New York Times best-selling author/illustrator many books for children, including Watty Piper’s The Little Engine That Could, Of Thee I Sing by Barack Obama, and his very own Otis. He has won many major awards for his work. Loren lives in Cincinnati with his wife and two sons, and is regularly sighted on baseball fields and at blue manatee children's bookstore. Whether a book about boxes is forthcoming is subject to excited discussion.
Debra Frasier is the best-selling author/illustrator of many award-winning children's books, including the classic, "On the Day You Were Born." Her work artfully weaves academic material and heartfelt stories, inspiring educators, parents, and children alike. She is also a noted box architect/choreographer, and finds inspiration in the Minnesota wilderness. She lives in Minneapolis.
Rod Campbell is the best-selling author/illustrator of many wonderful books for babies and toddlers, including the classic, Dear Zoo. His books feature simple, oft-rhyming text, flaps, touch and feel, and other interactive elements to engage readers of all ages. He works and resides in Great Britain.
Will Hillenbrand is the acclaimed author/illustrator of many popular children's books, including Counting Crocodiles by Judy Sierra, Kiss the Cow by Phyllis Root, This Little Piggy with Jane Yolen, and Bear In Love with Daniel Pinkwater. He lives with his family in Terrace Park, Ohio.
Mark Teague has delighted readers with many children's picture books over the years, including the popular Dear Mrs. LaRue series, Pigsty, Cynthia Rylant's beloved Poppleton series, and the best-selling "How Do Dinosaurs" books by Jane Yolen. Amazingly, he is self-taught, a testament to decades of practice, imagination, humor, and understanding of nature. He is a natural with boxes, too! He lives in New York with his family.
Lois Ehlert is the beloved, best-selling author and illustrator of many books for children, most having to do with nature. She has won multiple awards, including a Caldecott Honor for Color Zoo and others for Chicka Chicka Boom Boom with Bill Martin, Jr.. Her signature medium is cut-paper and object collage (and rainbow garden boxes). She lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Denise Fleming has published many best-selling children's books, including The Everything Book and the Caldecott Honor-winning In the Small Pond. Her technique involves pouring handmade, colored cotton pulp through hand-cut stencils. She lives in Toledo, Ohio, with her family, including many cats. She enjoys planting gardens for wildlife, building things, and playing with boxes.
Cyd Moore is the best-selling illustrator of the ever-popular "Stinky Face" books, among other wonderful children's titles. She grew up on a farm in Georgia, surrounded by art and adventure. She has a lifelong love of drawing and all kinds of animals. Her work has appeared in all kinds of places, from books, to boxes, to museums. She believes that "everything and anything is possible - it's all up to you!" She lives with her family in Michigan.
Katherine Battersby is the award-winning author and illustrator of Squish Rabbit, a wonderful new character beloved by children and grownups alike. She and Squish are naturals with boxes and all manner of other homemade mischief. Ms. Battersby lives in Brisbane, Australia, home to playful rabbits and fun-loving manatee cousins, the dugongs.
David A. Carter is the mastermind behind the best-selling and beloved Bug series of pop-up books that began in 1988 with the aptly titled How Many Bugs in a Box? He is considered one of the masters of paper engineering, has many awards, and loves to share his work with children. He lives in Auburn, California, with his wife and two daughters.
Jane Yolen has written over 300 books in multiple genres, including the best-selling classics Owl Moon and How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night? Her work has won awards too numerous to count, including a Caldecott Medal. She is also a poet, a teacher of writing and literature, and a reviewer of children’s literature. She has been called the Hans Christian Andersen of America and the Aesop of the twentieth century. She writes darn good box verse, too.
Peter Sís is an internationally acclaimed illustrator, author, and filmmaker. He was born in Czechoslovakia,and moved to the United States in 1984. Maurice Sendak introduced him to a career in children's books. He has published many drawings and books and won countless awards, including Caldecott Honors and a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship. He will paint on almost any surface he can find -- chairs, walls, eggs, boxes, seashells, even hats. He continues to make books and boxes in New York with his family.
Henrik Drescher is a notable painter and has written and illustrated numerous children's books, including the best-selling parody Pat the Beastie and The Strange Appearance of Howard Cranebill, which won The New York Times Best Illustrated Book of the Year (1982). His illustrations, for kids and grown-ups, regularly appear in national and international publications. He splits his time between Toronto and China.
Leslie Patricelli has been writing and illustrating since she was a kid, and as a grownup has won many awards for her best-selling books, many featuring an adorable, bald baby and the best featuring a box or two. She lives with her family in Idaho.
Andrea Kang is a toy designer, artist, and illustrator, who has created a unique universe of characters and stories referencing childhood memories (including boxy ones) and folktales. A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, current projects include a collective 'Harley and Boss' with Nathan Jurevicius and the Baby Unplugged™ series with John Hutton. She lives in Rhode Island.
Salina Yoon is the creator of over 70 innovative, interactive books for the very young, including the bestseller, The Icky Sticky Frog, and Old MacDonald Had A Farm from her popular line, "A Salina Yoon Book." Born in Korea, she moved to the United States at age four, and now lives with her family in California. She is also a friend of box turtles.
Karen Katz has written and illustrated more than fifty picture and novelty books for children, including the bestselling Where Is Baby's Belly Button? and the multiple-award-winning Counting Kisses. She has a deep interest in folk art, Indian miniatures, Shaker art and Mexican art, and used to make baby beds out of boxes as a child. She lives with her family in New York.
Nancy Shaw is the author of the best-selling Sheep books, and more. She came up with the idea for Sheep In A Jeep during a very long car trip with her husband and two children. It's fun to think what wild wooliness those silly critters could dream up with a box. She lives in Michigan with her family.
Bob Staake's designs appear everywhere from New Yorker covers to books to magazines, animation to greeting cards, advertising, to cereal boxes. He has authored and/or illustrated over 50 books and won numerous awards, including a New York Times Best Illustrated Book of the Year for The Red Lemon. With boundless energy and humor, he is surely a fun person to design boxes with.
Matthew Van Fleet’s innovative books have been introducing children to basic concepts for almost twenty years. His unique formats invite toddlers to touch, push, pull, lift and even sniff as they explore colors, shapes, numbers, letters, opposites and more. His books include the #1 New York Times bestsellers Tails and DOG. We hope BOX is on the way...
Dan Yaccarino is known the world over for his children's books and character designs. His bold illustrations add wit and energy to best-selling classics including Good Night, Mr. Night, and he has won many prestigious awards. He lives with his family in New York City surrounded by vintage toys, including a box or two.
Eileen Christelow is a beloved author/illustrator with a life-long love of reading, writing, and drawing. She has had many adventures, fueling her playful imagination, best-selling "Five Little Monkeys" books, and wonderful works featuring dogs and boxes. She lives in Vermont with her family.
Iza Trapani was born in Warsaw, Poland, where she lived until she was seven. She always loved books, art, and music, fueling a life-long desire to create children's books. Crossing paths with a turtle in the woods inspired her first - What at Am I? - and she has since written, illustrated, and won awards for many, including best-selling nursery rhymes such as Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star. She lives in the Hudson Valley with her family.
Sandra Magsamen is an artist, art therapist, mom, author of Living Artfully, and creator of the vibrant and best-selling Messages From The Heart brand, including Baby Love. She designs gifts and ideas that encourage us to live with heart, including playful box habitats. She lives artfully with her family in Maryland.
Diane Goode was born in New York, studied art in France, spent time as a teacher, and is the illustrator of dozens of beloved and critically acclaimed picture books, including When I Was Young in the Mountains, a Caldecott Honor Book. Her graceful aesthetic shows in her ballet box. She lives in New Jersey with her family.
Amy Hest was born in New York, ever-surrounded by books: as a children's librarian, in publishing, and then - and now - as a writer. She is the author of more then 30 books, including the best-selling Kiss Good Night and the Baby Duck series. She has won many awards, and continues to be inspired by themes of family, emotion, and yes, boxes.
Deborah Guarino grew up reading, writing, and drawing. She studied in London, published plays and stories, and has worked in wonderfully writerly jobs - store detective, Empire State Building portrait photographer, improv theatre - but is best known as the author of Is Your Mama a Llama?, a classic inspired via a trip to the zoo with her son. She lives and works in Jew Jersey with her family.
Kate McMullan is a lifelong reader and writer, first inspired by guinea pigs as a child (some seen playing with boxes). She began her career as a teacher, then an editor, and now has written more than 50 books for children of all ages, including If You Were My Bunny, and the best-selling I Stink!, illustrated by her husband, Jim. She lives in New York with her family.
blue manatee's own Miss Kelli Gleiner is an art(and mess)-maker, a story time reader, an events planner, a master bookseller, a manatee sketcher, and a huge fan of playing with boxes.
Michelle Sinclair Colman is the best-selling author of the "Babies Wear" series, including Urban Babies Wear Black. It is rumored that a "Manatees Wear" series is forthcoming. She lives in New York with her family, including at least one box prodigy who may or may not wear cardboard at times.
John Schindel is the author of the best-selling BUSY books series, including Penguins, Pandas, and Doggies. He searches worldwide for the best combination of photographs and rhymes, including the stuffed animal world. He lives in the San Francisco Bay area.