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Verna AardemaAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Joe Torre

Verna Aardema grew up in New Era, Michigan as the third in a family of nine children. A cedar swamp in the back of her house served as her inspiration and retreat as a young aspiring writer. At Michigan State College, Verna took many writing courses, but...read more
Verna Aardema grew up in New Era, Michigan as the third in a family of nine children. A cedar swamp in the back of her house served as her inspiration and retreat as a young aspiring writer. At Michigan State College, Verna took many writing courses, but none that were aimed at writing for children. She didn't think about the children's book field until many years later, when she had to make up stories to get her baby daughter to eat.
Verna writes mostly African folktales because of her fascination with that infinitely diverse continent. Out of its jungles, deserts, and great plains have come some of the most unusual and charming folktales in the world. As of today, Verna has published over 25 books and is still working on more. Her books have been translated into French, Spanish, Dutch, Japanese, Chinese and Afrikaans. Verna lives in North Fort Myers, Florida, with her husband, Albert.

Petra Mathers was born and raised in Germany and moved to the United States as a young woman. She now lives in Portland, Oregon. Petra is an illustrator first, and a writer second. While she brews a story of her own on some burner in the back of her mind, she is busy illustrating other people's books. Petra compares illustrating other people's books to "visiting". A certain politeness, consideration, and modesty are necessary. She is a self-described "sucker for love" and her stories are always about love -- she finds unsung heroes very endearing, as well as the clumsy, balding, fumbling, shy creatures who are quietly heroic, risking everything for love

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