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(New Balkin Buddies...)


Since Balkin Buddies began in 2004, we have grown to include a large number of authors and artists to our list. Unfortunately, we could not accommodate subsequent authors and artists that we wanted to add in the same manner as our initial list. All the same, we did want to include them as Balkin Buddies.


Therefore, we decided to provide you with links to their websites. Should you wish to contact any of them, just go to the links shown. Authors are provided first in alphabetical order, followed by illustrators. Those who both write and illustrate books are shown under illustrators.


From time to time, other authors and artists we feel are appropriate will be added to this page. Should you have any questions or comments, or would like to share your experiences with any of the authors and artists we represent, please contact Catherine at telephone 727-378-4191 or email her through this website. We are very interested in hearing your comments on all of our authors' and artists' books and programs, so please don't hesitate to contact us.



S.A. BODEEN * See also Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen below * Gr K-3 and YA (ages 12 up) * Picture Books are multicultural, mainstream and special needs * Award-winning novels are often thrillers * Middle-grade fiction * presentations can be geared for specific topics and events, but usually include the topics of writing and revision * Resides in Hudson, WI:,

ROBIN BRICKMAN * PreK - 3 * Illustrator * Art and Science workshops for all ages * Nature books, Non-fiction books * Resides in Williamstown, MA:

STEPHANIE CALMENSON * Pre-K to adult * Writing/Publishing -- all aspects, all ages * Picture Books * Fiction, Nonfiction, Rhyme, Prose * Concepts * School Days * All About Dogs! * Lots of Humor * Resides in New York, NY:

M.C. DELANEY (AKA MICHAEL DELANEY) * Gr 3 - 5 * Author/Illustrator * Humorous books * Humorous school visits * Humorous Skype chats * Humorous library and bookstore visits * Talks about how the Obi books came to be written * Reads one or two chapters from one of his books * Humorously touches upon some of the serious subjects that come up in his books (like self-confidence, believing in yourself) in a light-hearted manner * PowerPoint presentation * Resides in Vermont:

DOUGLAS FLORIAN * K to 6 * author and illustrator * poetry * wordplay * humorous presentations include audience participation * presentations connect science and non-fiction with poetry and creative writing * offers drawing demonstrations * Resides in New York, NY:

MIKE GRAF * Gr 1 to 8 * This former elementary school teacher, district mentor teacher in science and weather, adjunct professor at Chico State in Northern California teaching Child Development, and currently a part-time TV weather forecaster writes fiction and non-fiction, including teachers' books and science kits on weather * His "Adventures with the Parkers," an adventure series in the National Parks, is part of Accelerated Reader and won a Learning Magazine Teachers' Choice Award * His geography books take students all over the world * He has also written realistic fiction books for children about the outdoors * and some of his most popular topics when doing school visits include weather, national park adventures, writing realistic fiction, storytelling and selected readings, and topic-based science based on his books * He is comfortable speaking to any size group, from small to large, in workshop style, or in whole school assemblies.

Resides in Chico, CA:

HEATHER HENSON * Gr K - Young Adult and Adults * Her picture book for 4-8 year olds, That Book Woman, which was illustrated by Caldecott Medalist David Small, received the prestigious Christopher Medal and the Great Lakes Book Award * It was also a finalist for many state book awards, including the Texas Bluebonnet Award and the Nebraska Golden Sower Award * It was a Smithsonian Magazine Notable Book For Children, a CBCNCSS Notable, has been published in many languages and is now part of the 4th grade curriculum in South Korea * Its universal message promoting literacy and a love of reading is what makes it a favorite among teachers, librarians and students * a former children’s book editor, Henson can speak to all ages about all aspects of the book-making process, from start to finish * She prefers small groups, but can do multiple sessions * Resides near Danville, KY:

ANNA OLSWANGER * Grades 3-5 for Shlemiel Crooks and Grades 6-9 for Greenhorn * Author of Shlemiel Crooks, a modern folktale set in the early 20th century about a town of Jewish immigrants playing tug-of-war with Pharaoh over wine made from grapes left over from the Exodus; and Greenhorn, a middle grade novel based on a true story about a young Holocaust survivor who arrives at a Brooklyn yeshiva in the 1940s with only a small box that he won't let out of his sight * Shlemiel Crooks has been adapted into a family musical that can be performed in schools * Drama Source licenses the performances rights. * Anna is also the co-producer of the 25-minute indie film Greenhorn, based on the novel of the same name * TMW Media distributes the film with public performance rights, and Anna's fee includes a screening of the film * Both the book and film Greenhorn touch on stuttering and bullying * Anna sends a Teachers' Guide prior to her presentations to prepare teachers and students * The Teachers' Guide for Shlemiel Crooks includes Research & Discussion Questions for Language Arts (Vocabulary, Yiddish), Social Studies, Fine Arts, Food & Cooking (with a Matzo recipe), and Group Discussion questions about Good Neighbors, Heroes, Tradition & Heritage, and Slavery * The Teachers' Guide for Greenhorn includes Research & Discussion Questions for Language Arts, Social Studies, Fine Arts, Food & Cooking, Sports & Games, and Group Discussion Questions about Belonging, Bullying, Disabilities, Friendship and Self-Discovery. Resides in northern NJ:

DEAN PITCHFORD * Gr 3 to 7 * An Oscar-winning songwriter, playwright, screenwriter, director and middle grade author, Dean has written character driven books for middle grade students that critics have called " riotous," "poignant," and "incredibly satisfying." These adjectives could also describe his author appearances.

Resides in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, CA:

DARREN SARDELLI * K - 8 * library programs, * school assemblies, * writing workshops * poems that are out of this world * Picture Books * Poetry * Riddles * Lots of Humor * Resides in Long Beach, NY :

GEORGE SHANNON * Gr PreK - 5 * Picture books * Interactive Folktales * Poetry * Wordplay * Humor * Resides in Bainbridge Island, WA:

STEPHANIE STUVE-BODEEN * Gr K-3 and YA (ages 12 up) * Picture Books are multicultural, mainstream and special needs * Award-winning novels are oftenthrillers * Middle-grade fiction * presentations can be geared for specific topics and events, but usually include the topics of writing and revision * Resides in Hudson, WI:,

PENNY WARNER * Gr 3-8, Young Adults and Adults * Winner of two Agatha Awards for Best Children's/Young Adult Novel * Anthony Award winner for Best Juvenile Mystery * writes fiction and nonfiction, for adults and children, and interactive middle grade mysteries * presents code-busting activities for 4th and 5th grade students * talks about the editorial process and offers writing tips * experienced in teaching child development * can discuss the process and development of creating a mystery series * helps students write a "library mystery" program, which is then acted out in the local or school library * offers writers tips on promoting their work in the media * has made a number of TV appearances on shows like the Dr. Spock PBS series and "Parent Sense" * Resides in Danville, CA:

JUDY YOUNG * Gr K to 8 * Author of 18 picture books (with more scheduled to release in 2015 and 2016, including her first middle grade novel) * Fiction * Poetry * Nonfiction * Digger and Daisy Early Reader Series * School programs: Presents nationwide, offering a variety of fun, educational and inspiring programs for students, each emphasizing the writing process * Offers poetry writing workshops for students grades 2-8 * Frequent speaker at libraries, young author conferences and children's literature festivals * Frequent featured author and keynote speaker at educational conferences nationwide * Former teacher, offers professional development programs about teaching poetry writing * Awards include: Mom's Choice Gold Award; Educator's Choice Gold Award; Storytelling World Award; National Parenting Publications Gold Award; Women Writing the West WILLA Award Finalist; Society of School Librarians International Honor Award; Paterson Prize Honor Award * Finalist for numerous State Reading Awards * R is for Rhyme, A Poetry Alphabet was performed by the Tanner Creative Dance and Children's Dance Theatre at the University of Utah * Resides near Mink Creek, ID, speaks nationwide: