Author bio

Judy Sierra

Judy Sierra - book author

I took a roundabout path to becoming a children's author. Out of college I did temporary work in offices and libraries, while at night, I wrote poetry and made strange life forms from cloth. When I teamed up with a puppeteer, Bob Kaminski (my husband), I was able to bring my cloth creations to life. We began performing on the streets of San Francisco, at Renaissance fairs, and at schools. After attending a workshop on Balinese shadow puppetry, we traveled to Bali and Java to learn ancient techniques from modern masters, and we adapted material from American folklore to the shadow screen. I became so fascinated by the power of ancient myth and folktale to engage a modern audience that I enrolled in the Folklore and Mythology Program at UCLA, where I received my Ph.D. While I was a student there, I attended a talk by the author-illustrator Uri Shulevitz, and heard him say that a picture book is like a small theater. A puppet theater is also a small theater, I thought. I can do that! My first children's books were adaptations of folktales, and soon, I was able to incorporate my lifelong habit of writing poetry into my work.

Currently (2018), I live in Portland, Oregon, with my husband. I divide my writing time between children's books and a long term project on folktales, grandmothers and cultural evolution.

Judy Sierra is the author of books: Wild About Books, The Sleepy Little Alphabet: A Bedtime Story from Alphabet Town, ZooZical, EIEIO: How Old MacDonald Got His Farm with a Little Help From a Hen, Suppose You Meet a Dinosaur: A First Book of Manners, Mind Your Manners, B.B. Wolf, Born to Read, The Secret Science Project That Almost Ate the School, The Great Dictionary Caper, Tell the Truth, B.B. Wolf


Author books

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Title
Description
01
It started the summer of 2002, when the Springfield librarian, Molly McGrew, by mistake drove her bookmobile into the zoo.

In this rollicking rhymed story, Molly introduces birds and beasts to this new something called reading. She finds the perfect book for every animal--tall books for giraffes, tiny ones for crickets. "She even found waterproof books for the otter, who never went swimming without Harry Potter." In no time at all, Molly has them "forsaking their niches, their nests, and their nooks," going "wild, simply wild, about wonderful books." Judy Sierra's funny animal tale coupled with Marc Brown's lush, fanciful paintings will have the same effect on young Homo sapiens. Altogether, it's more fun than a barrel of monkeys!
02
A delightful book to read out loud with children who are just learning their ABCs.

It's sleepy time in Alphabet Town. But the twenty-six little letters of the alphabet all have something they need--or want--to do before BIG-letter moms and dads tuck them in. Not since the classic Chicka Chicka Boom Boom has there been such an appealing way to teach the youngest child the ABCs while providing a one-minute goodnight story. Of course, Melissa Sweet's animated watercolor, pencil, and collage illustrations may beg for a little more time to match up all the toys with the right letters, and Judy Sierra's rollicking rhymed story will want to be heard again and again. Okay, so maybe it's a three-minute story!
03
Winter weather is keeping children from visiting the zoo. So the animals are out of sorts—listless, grumpy, and no longer fun. All except two little friends, a very small hippo and a baby kangaroo. Their hip-hopping, toe-tapping,  and rap-rocking soon has the other animals joining in the hip-aroo beat. "Racoons danced in pairs, baboons danced in troops, and snakes joined the dancers as live hula-hoops." Children's favorite songs get a funny new spin—seals bark out "The seals on the bus go round and round"—as the animals create their very own musical.

Young readers and listeners will be amazed and delighted at how the animals chase the winter doldrums by getting along as friends, pooling their talents, and pushing themselves to new heights. After all, these are the same clever animals who learned to read in Judy Sierra's and Marc Brown's Wild About Books, an award-winning New York Times #1 bestselling picture book. ZooZical is sure to inspire some "can do" fun in kindergarten and primary grades.


From the Hardcover edition.
04
The Little Red Hen gives old MacDonald some pointers on composting — and a legendary farm is born — in this rhyming, rollicking read-aloud.

Once upon a time, Old MacDonald didn’t have a farm. He just had a yard — a yard he didn’t want to mow. But under the direction of the wise (and ecologically sensitive) Little Red Hen, Mac learns to look at the environment in a very different way, and whole new worlds start to bloom with the help of some mud, garbage, horse poop, and worms! Judy Sierra’s spirited verse, paired with Matthew Myers’s exuberant illustrations, yields a fresh take on a children’s classic, complete with raised-bed gardens and an organic farmers’ market—making this a perfect story for armchair gardeners and devoted locavores of all sizes.
05
A little girl is shopping in a grocery store when—surprise!—she meets a dinosaur. Don't worry. The dinosaur is very friendly. She's polite, too. In this funny story, told in lilting read-aloud rhyme, the girl has numerous opportunities to be helpful to the clumsy shopping dino and demonstrate when to say "thank you," "excuse me," "I'm sorry," "You're welcome," and other niceties of life. Tim Bowers's whimsical illustrations bring an extra dimension of fun to Judy Sierra's hilarious picture book fantasy. Altogether, Suppose You Meet a Dinosaur is an entertaining and painless way to show preschoolers why basic manners are a good thing to have.
06
BIG BAD WOLF, now old and residing in the Villain Villa Senior Center, is invited to a tea by a children's librarian. His best friend, a toothsome crocodile, warns him that he will have to mind his manners. B. B. Wolf makes up a song: "Sip your tea and never slurp, say 'excuse me' if you burp. Smile and have a lot of fun, but don't go biting anyone." He remembers to say "please" and "thank you" and he gives a nervous Red Ridinghood, Three Little Pigs, and Gingerbread Boy his biggest smile ever, but when his stomach starts to gurgle, he gets a little mixed-up about what to do when you burp. This hilarious read-aloud story is a gentle reminder for children still learning their manners.
07
THE AWARD-WINNING COLLABORATORS of the New York Times #1 picture book bestseller Wild About Books are back with a new story that promotes books and reading. Told in Judy Sierra's inimitable read-aloud rhyme, the narrative chronicles the amazing successes of Sam--thanks to his early love of books. The story ranges from Sam's infancy, when his mother reads him a picture book ("then another, then another, then another . . . such a perfect, patient mother"), to school age, when he cleverly uses some of his favorite books to rid his town of the rampaging baby giant, Grundaloon. "'Here's my secret, ' Sam decreed. 'Readers win and winners read.'" Marc Brown's playful pictures joyously complement this fun-to-read, upbeat story
08
Students, heed this little rhyme:
When it's science project time,
Do not make goop,
or glop,
or grime,
And never mess with
mutant slime
.
09
Words have secret lives. On a quiet afternoon the words escape the dictionary (much to the consternation of Mr. Noah Webster) and flock to Hollywood for a huge annual event—Lexi-Con. Liberated from the pages, words get together with friends and relations in groups including an onomatopoeia marching band, the palindrome family reunion, and hide-and-seek antonyms. It’s all great fun until the words disagree and begin to fall apart. Can Noah Webster step in to restore order before the dictionary is disorganized forever?
10
Big Bad Wolf’s first visit to his local library (as related in Mind Your Manners, B.B. Wolf) was such a success that he returns to tell his version of “The Three Little Pigs.” His outrageous spin on the tale draws skeptical remarks from his audience: “Isn’t that wolf’s nose getting longer?” asks Pinocchio. “It’s a cooked-up, half-baked tale,” snaps the Gingerbread Boy. And “Tell the truth, B.B. Wolf!” squeal the Three Little Pigs. Caught in his own lie, B.B. explains that he is a reformed villain: “Now I’m begging on my knees, Little Pigs, forgive me, please!” How B.B. turns his bad old deed into a good new one provides a happy ending to this fun-to-read fractured fairytale.