More about the KidLit TV Team!
Julie Gribble – Founder & Author
Julie Gribble produces works for children and the children’s literature community in both the United States and Great Britain. While a Children’s Literature Fellow at Stony Brook Southampton, she founded KidLit TV to help inspire children to learn and read. Julie is also founder of the upcoming TeenLit TV which will feature video programs for YA fans. Julie has been nominated for two Emmy Awards and is a multi-award-winning writer, screenwriter, filmmaker, and producer. Her charming picture book, Bubblegum Princess, is based on a true story about Kate Middleton and was released on the day the first royal baby, who we now know as Prince George, arrived. Copies of the book have been donated to underprivileged children in the US and to children’s hospices in the UK. In addition to writing and producing KidLit TV’s original shows, Julie co-produced Who Killed Nelson Nutmeg, a feature film shot in Dorset, England with Bonnie Wright of Harry Potter fame, and DOG BOWL, a short film by Gordy Hoffman which premiered at the 2015 Raindance International Film Festival in London. Julie sits on the Children’s Committee of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA-US) and is a member of the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP), New York Women in Film and Television (NYWIFT), and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). She has presented at the Texas Library Association Annual Conference, NYC School Library System Spring Institute, Connecticut Library Association, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, 21st Century Children’s Nonfiction Conference, and the NY State Reading Association.
Rocco Staino – Host of StoryMakers & Librarian
Rocco is the charismatic host of StoryMakers, our interview show. A captivating and important figure in the book community, he is a prominent librarian, a contributing editor at School Library Journal, a contributing writer at The Huffington Post, and the Director of the Empire State Center for the Book, which administers the New York State Writers Hall of Fame. Rocco has interviewed such luminaries as Beverly Cleary, Judy Blume, Mo Willems, Katherine Paterson, and Jean Craighead George.
Stephanie Cummings – Social Media & Project Manager
Stephanie Cummings is a former BBC Journalist sharing her lifetime love of children’s literature and illustration with her two young daughters and son — and now with you, too, through Three Cubs Book Review. Stephanie has an academic background at the undergraduate level in literature and has master’s degrees in both anthropology and design. She started her professional life in an art gallery and ended up producing radio programs for BBC Radio 4, before before launching her own boutique social media, copywriting, and brand consulting business.
James E. Ransome – Illustrator and Host of Young At Art
James is both a painter and award-winning illustrator, with work exhibited in both private and public art collections. He has illustrated over 50 books, and his awards include the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Picture Book Honor and the ALA Notable Book Award for Sky Boys; the Coretta Scott King Honor for Uncle Jed’s Barbershop; the Coretta Scott King and IBBY awards for Creation; the NAACP Image Award for Let My People Go and Our Children Can Soar; and the Simon Wiesenthal Museum of Tolerance Award, Rip Van Winkle Award, SEBA Best Book of the Year Award and Dutchess County Executive Art Award for Individual Artist.
James lives in Rhinebeck New York with his wife Lesa Cline-Ransome, a writer of children’s books. They have collaborated on a number of books including My Story, My Dance, Satchel Paige, Quilt Alphabet, Words Set Me Free: The Story of Young Frederick Douglass and Just A Lucky So and So. They live in the Hudson Valley with their four children and one St. Bernard.
Lesa Cline-Ransome – Award-Winning Author and Host of Past Present
Lesa’s first book was the biography Satchel Paige, an ALA Notable Book, and a Bank Street College “Best Children’s Book of the Year.” She later wrote Quilt Alphabet, Major Taylor: Champion Cyclist, Young Pele: Soccer’s First Star, Words Set Me Free, Light in the Darkness, Benny Goodman and Teddy Wilson, Freedom’s School, and, her newest title, Just a Lucky So and So: The Story of Louis Armstrong. My Story, My Dance: Robert Battle’s Journey to Alvin Ailey was a 2016 Orbis Pictus Recommended Book. Many of her books are in collaboration with her husband, James Ransome. Lesa’s books have received numerous honors and awards including two NAACP Image Awards. She lives in Rhinebeck with her family.
Leonard Marcus — Children’s Book Historian, Author, and Host of What Becomes a Classic?
Leonard Marcus is one of the world’s leading writers about children’s books and the people who create them. He is the author of more than 25 award-winning books, including Dear Genius: The Letters of Ursula Nordstrom; Golden Legacy: The Story of Golden Books; Show Me a Story: Why Picture Books Matter; Maurice Sendak: A Celebration of the Artist and His Life; and Helen Oxenbury: A Life in Illustration. Leonard is a frequent contributor to the New York Times Book Review and Horn Book and was Parenting magazine’s book critic for 21 years. He is a founding trustee of the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art and has curated numerous exhibitions including the New York Public Library’s landmark The ABC Of It: Why Children’s Books Matter. He teaches at New York University and the School of Visual Arts and lectures around the world. Leonard lives in Brooklyn, New York, USA.
Andrea Davis Pinkney — Award-Winning Author and Host, The BIG Picture LIVE!
Andrea Davis Pinkney was a second grader when her parents gave her a notebook and encouraged her to write stories on its pages. She is now the New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of numerous books for young readers. Her books have received multiple Coretta Scott King Book Awards, among other citations. She is a four-time NAACP Image Award nominee, and recipient of both the Regina Medal and the Arbuthnot Honor Award for her body of work and distinguished contribution to children’s literature. When Andrea isn’t writing, she’s sitting in the orchestra seat of a Broadway show, often with her husband, two-time Caldecott Honor Award-winning illustrator Brian Pinkney, and their two kids.
Roxie Munro — Author/Illustrator, Host KidLit TV special LIVE STREAMS
Roxie Munro is the award-winning author/illustrator of 40 nonfiction and concept children’s books, many using “gamification” to encourage reading, learning, and engagement. Roxie studied at the University of Maryland, the Maryland Institute College of Art, earned a BFA in Painting from the University of Hawaii, attended graduate school at Ohio University, and received a Yaddo Fellowship. She lectures in schools, libraries, conferences, and teaches workshops.
Pat Cummings — Award-Winning Author/Illustrator, Advisor
Author and/or illustrator of over 35 books, Pat also compiled and edited Talking With Artists, a series featuring notable children’s book illustrators. Her Parsons and Pratt classes list a growing number of award-winning children’s books creators. She frequently lectures at schools, libraries, and conventions and conducts an annual Children’s Book Boot Camp that connects writers and illustrators with agents and publishers. Pat serves on the boards of The Authors Guild, The Authors League Foundation and SCBWI, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She is a member of The Writers Guild of America, East and Chair of the Society of Illustrators’ Founders Award committee for its annual Original Art Show.
Bethany Edwards – Educator, Biracial Bookworms on KidLit Kibbles & Content Curation
Bethany Edwards is an elementary educator and reading specialist. She has taught in the U.S. as well as international schools in 5 different countries. Her goal is to encourage diverse representation in teaching literacy skills. She is a children’s book activist fighting for girls around the world to have equal access to an education. Her website is full of resources to empower and arm families/ teachers with tools to teach children to read. She also promotes global citizenship through reading diverse books, traveling, and learning multiple languages!
Tracey M. Cox – Author, Facebook Coach
Tracey M. Cox is a PAL member in the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI). In SCBWI, she is active in the Southern Breeze Region where she volunteers as Local Liaison for South Georgia and is the chapter’s Webmaster and PR Coordinator. She is a founding member of the South Georgia Writer’s Guild. To help promote literacy in her local area, Tracey founded and directs the Books Love & Taters Book Festival, which is held in Ocilla, Georgia on the last Saturday in October during the Georgia Sweet Potato Festival. Website | Twitter | Facebook
Kristen Balouch – Illustrator
Designer and Author & Illustrator Kristen Balouch has created eight books for children including Ezra Jack Keats Award winner MYSTERY BOTTLE and the Golden Kite winner THE KING & THE THREE THIEVES. She has collaborated on projects from exclusive designed toys and furniture for the Guggenheim Museum, fabric collections for Birch Fabrics, fine art shows in New York City, and teamed with various licensing partners. Kristen is also the founder of Little Blue Mushroom School & Literary Agency dedicated to the making of books for children. She lives in a tiny top floor apartment in Brooklyn. She likes cooking for friends and family, wandering to scout out good food, gardening, and swimming and kayaking in Lake George
Susannah Greenberg — Publicity Consultant
Susannah has represented publishers, authors, and book industry organizations throughout North America. She presented Young Adult Buzz Authors at BookExpo America and has organized numerous publishing panels for BEA and the Women’s National Book Association. She is a past president and publicity chair of the Women’s National Book Association, NY and a member of the Women’s Media Group. Susannah has spoken at the Association of Journalists and Authors (ASJA), the American Book Producers Association and has contributed articles to Shelf Awareness and Publishing Perspectives.
Laurel Nakai – Author, Songwriter
Laurel is a children’s author and singer-songwriter. She is the founder of Paper Dove Press, a publishing company through which she published her first picture book, The World God Made for Me. Laurel also writes and performs songs for kids and kids at heart. You can hear her music on her YouTube channel, SongBird. She also wrote the theme song for the KidLit TV show Ready Set Draw! Laurel has performed on a park bench and in a palace, and everywhere in between. Her favorite place to play is at home in New Jersey with her husband and two boys, where she can often be found singing silly songs. Website | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube
Meet the KidLit TV Contributors!
Kim Vij – Educator and Pinterest Consultant
Kim is a Pinterest expert and shares KidLit TV’s content with her 1.6 million followers. You might know Kim from her popular blog, The Educator’s Spin On It, but she’s also an early childhood educator, speaker, and author of “100 Fun and Easy Learning Games for Kids”. Her parenting and educational activity ideas are featured on Melissa and Doug, Sylvan Learning, and more. She is a founder of the Virtual Book Club for Kids, which offers activities to connect families with popular authors and books. A busy mom of 3, Kim loves exploring the world through books, as well as through travel.
Danielle Davis – This Writer’s Life
Danielle Davis grew up in Singapore and Hong Kong and now lives in Los Angeles. She’s a writer, picture book editor, presenter, and collaborator with an M.A. in literature and creative writing and a background teaching English to middle school and community college students. She’s author of the the picture book, To Make, the middle grade novel, Zinnia and the Bees, founding blogger of This Picture Book Life, and creator of This Writer’s Life, a video series for kids and their classrooms.
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