Children's Authors' Ally LLC

Connecting Schools With the Books and Authors Kids Love!


Susan Jeffers

Susan Jeffers, renowned children’s author and illustrator, has been writing and illustrating picture books for over forty years. She received the Caldecott Honor for Three Jovial Huntsman and has been honored with many other awards, including the Golden Kite Award for Forest of Dreams. Susan says she realizes now that she has always done the same things. When Susan was little, her best moments were spent drawing pictures, reading stories with her parents, playing with friends and sitting by the Ramapo River dreaming of horses. This has not changed. Being a children’s book illustrator has combined all of these things.

Literature has been a great support in Ms. Jeffer’s life and she has adored books such as Black Beauty and The Snow Queen and often day dreamed about how she would draw such characters. Something she has now done! The first part of Susan’s work is to find a story that inspires pictures in her. She says, “It is like being a dancer and having to wait for the music to move your feet. Everything comes from this”. Susan enjoys researching books like Hiawatha so much that she had trouble extricating herself from old photos and first person diaries of being captured by Indians, which are of course more stories.

Susan enjoys speaking to children at schools, and teachers and librarians at workshops and conferences. A typical school visit involves two 45-minute talks, which can be geared to students from K- 12. Susan especially enjoys working with the art teacher and looking at students’ work. She describes in detail how she makes her books from the first emotional connection to the story to the last line of the page. Her hope is that children will be encouraged to express themselves with their drawing and writing, and to have the satisfaction that art can bring.

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Grade Levels: Grades 3-5 , Grades K-2
Genres: Fiction