Author bio

Kate Coombs

Kate Coombs - book author

I was born in Spokane, Washington, but I spent most of my childhood in Camarillo, California, which is about an hour's drive north of Los Angeles. Whenever possible as a child, I read books—books, books, and more books. The rest of the time I rode my bike with my sister, Loni, or looked after my little brother and sister. Sometimes we went to the movies at an old theater we called "The Sticky Theater" because there was always soda spilled on the floor. I was already a fan of fairy tales and comedy, so it shouldn't surprise you to hear that my favorite movie when I was a child was Snow White and the Three Stooges.

I began writing stories, poems, and plays in grade school. For the plays, I would write myself parts like The Glorious Queen and my sister parts like The Quiet Servant Girl. She was a pretty good sport about it!

When I was a teenager, I played bells in the marching band and oboe in the concert band. For a while I wanted to be a concert oboist. I even learned to cut and tie my own double reeds, a tricky task. Next I dreamed of becoming an artist. But once I got to college and started studying art, my first love—books—came back and grabbed me, so I ended up majoring in English. I eventually worked as a college writing teacher, an editor of coffee table books and technical manuals, and a grade school teacher. I later worked as a home teacher, driving around Los Angeles to teach seriously ill students. I've been teaching on and off for years, instructing students in every single grade from K-13, kindergarten to college!

While I was teaching, I was also writing stories in my free time. I wrote a lot of stories, which gave me practice and helped me become a better writer. After a while I started sending my stories to publishers, asking to have them made into books for kids. It took a long time, but eventually my dreams came true—now I'm a published writer!

Six Fun Facts
My dad used to call me Kate the Great.
I was once attacked by a monkey.
When I see a dry leaf on the sidewalk, I go out of my way to step on it and hear the crunch.
I have six brothers and sisters. We're all adopted and from four different ethnic backgrounds.
I can flicker my nostrils really well.
My favorite color is the blue-green at the top of an ocean wave when it catches the light just before it falls.

Kate Coombs is the author of books: The Runaway Princess, Water Sings Blue: Ocean Poems, The Runaway Dragon, The Tooth Fairy Wars, Goodnight Mr. Darcy: A BabyLit® Parody Picture Book, Hans My Hedgehog: A Tale from the Brothers Grimm, Breathe and Be: A Book of Mindfulness Poems, The Secret-Keeper, Monster School, John James Audubon Painted Birds: Little Naturalists


Author books

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Title
Description
01
"A dragon darkens our dells. A witch haunts our woods. Bandits roam our moors" . . . King Stromgard swept on. "In the tradition of so many monarchs, I offer my daughter's hand in marriage and half my kingdom to the prince who can rid us of these evils, restoring peace and prosperity to our realm."

And so the contest in the Kingdom of Greeve begins. But Princess Margaret is not your traditional princess. Meg firmly objects to her parents' giving her away, and she certainly has no intention of remaining in the tower where she is sequestered. Instead, she sets out to win the contest herself by enlisting the help of her good friend, her loyal maid, an eager guardsman, a young wizard, and a tenacious witch. Does Meg find her distinct place in the kingdom, or is she doomed to fulfill her royal duties?

Kate Coombs weaves a magical tale full of pesky princes, enchanted frogs, a beady-eyed scarf, and invisibility juice – a tale of wonder, but a story familiar to all who struggle to find their own place in the world.
02
Come down to the shore with this rich and vivid celebration of the ocean! With watercolors gorgeous enough to wade in by award-winning artist Meilo So and playful, moving poems by Kate Coombs, Water Sings Blue evokes the beauty and power, the depth and mystery, and the endless resonance of the sea.
03
When Meg’s dragon, Laddy, flies away from home, she knows she must go on a quest to find him. But she hasn’t counted on her parents, the king and queen of Greeve, sending ten guardsmen along. Fortunately, she is also accompanied by her best friends: Dilly, a lady-in-waiting and a cool head in any crisis not involving heights; Cam, a gardener’s assistant who knows the exact value of a brick shed filled with sausages; Nort, a skinny guardsman who has never given much thought to crows; and Lex, a young wizard with bad taste in horses, magic carpets, and sorceresses. Of course, Meg’s quest goes topsy-turvy once she enters the enchanted forest—and her adventure is just beginning. What’s more, meeting up with the dashing bandit Bain again isn’t at all what she expected. Will this princess be able to rescue herself, let alone anybody else?

In The Runaway Princess, Meg and her friends defeated a pack of princes. Now they’re going to need swordplay, magic, and a whole lot of courage to find Laddy and get back home!
04
It’s the Tooth Fairy against Nathan, a boy who’d rather keep his tooth than get the cash, thank you very much!

Nathan’s lost his first tooth! And he’s thinking he’ll hold on to it, so thanks-but-no-thanks, Tooth Fairy. This is one tooth that is staying with its owner.

Except the Tooth Fairy has other ideas. And we’re not talking about some run-of-the-mill garden fairy here. No, this is the Tooth Fairy. She’s on a tooth procurement mission—and she’s not about to let some little boy get the best of her.

But she may have met her match in Nathan…
05
The adored children’s classic Goodnight Moon gets a classic lit makeover in this charming parody of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice novel. All of Austen’s much-loved characters are at the Netherfield Ball.



In the great ballroom, there was a country dance, and a well-played tune, and Elizabeth Bennett; and Mr. Darcy surprised, by a pair of fine eyes . . . And don’t forget Jane with a blush and Mr. Bingley turned to mush, and a gossiping mother and father saying hush.




Parents and toddlers alike will enjoy this new take on Austen’s timeless work à la Goodnight Moon.
06
A classic tale of love and acceptance from the Brothers Grimm is beautifully rendered in this magical retelling.

Hans is an unusual boy. Born a hedgehog from the waist up, he knows what it's like to truly be an outcast. Even his amazing fiddle playing can't help him fit in. So Hans flees to the forest with his herd of loyal pigs and only his music to keep him company. But then a most unusual thing happens: When Hans crosses paths with two kings with two lovely daughters, his luck starts to change. Will this lonely soul find true love after all?

This lively and lyrical retelling of the classic Grimm's tale, paired with lush, detailed illustrations, reminds us of the power of music, the importance of belonging, and the transformative effect of love.
07
I breathe slowly in,
I breathe slowly out. My breath
is a river of peace.
I am here in the world.
Each moment I can breathe and be.

Hear thunder crash, feel your toes touch sand, and watch leaves drift softly away on a quiet stream. The simple poems in Breathe and Be help children learn mindfulness as they connect to the beauty of the natural world.

Mindfulness teaches us how to stay calm, soothe our emotions, and appreciate the world around us. Whether we’re watching tiny colored fish darting in the water or exploring the leaves, branches, and roots of a towering tree, the thoughtful words and the lovely art of Breathe and Be remind us how much joy we can find by simply living with awareness and inner peace.

Ages 4–8
08
In the village of Maldinga, anyone troubled by a secret knows just where to take it—by following the winding path through the woods to Kalli's cottage. Tailors and farmers, marriage-makers and bakers—almost everyone comes to see Kalli, for she is the village secret-keeper, and over the years she has stored hundreds of secrets. But one long winter, Kalli falls ill, and the weight of the hidden secrets begins to catch up with her. Spring brings the curious villagers, who wonder what ails their secret-keeper. The time has come for them to help Kalli and for her to learn some unexpected secrets. Is it possible not all secrets are sad? And could someone have a secret that's just for Kalli?

An original fairy tale as beautifully illustrated as it is told, The Secret-Keeper is a book to share with everyone.
09
Twilight's here. The death bell rings. Everyone knows what the death bell brings—it's time for class! You're in the place where goblins wail and zombies drool. (That's because they're kindergartners.) Welcome to Monster School. In this entertaining collection of poems, award-winning poet Kate Coombs and debut artist Lee Gatlin bring to vivid life a wide and playful cast of characters (outgoing, shy, friendly, funny, prickly, proud) that may seem surprisingly like the kids you know . . . even if these kids are technically monsters.
10
Introduce your baby to the stunning artwork of famous naturalist John James Audubon.

John James Audubon was an ornithologist, naturalist, and painter. He is known for his stunning illustrations and paintings of North American birds in their natural habitats, painting over 700 species discovering 25 new kinds of birds during his lifetime. John James Audubon Painted Birds shares his legacy and his love of nature with budding bird-watchers through a clever poem and gorgeous illustrations. As Audubon said, "the world is not given by [our] fathers, but borrowed from [our] children."

Kate Coombs has written several books for children, including the award winning poetry collection Water Sings Blue and most recently Goodnight Mr. Darcy. A former teacher of every grade from kindergarten through college, Kate makes her home in Utah.

Seth Lucas is an illustrator and designer with a BFA in graphic design. He is the co-creator of Ello There Outdoors selling prints and accessories supporting the National Parks and outdoors. He lives in Indianapolis, Indiana, with his wife and daughter.