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Anna Jane Hays

Melora Mennesson

Anna Jane Hays has had first hand experience with seven preschoolers–her own two children and five grandchildren–as well as over 30 years experience in creating educational picture books, storybooks, and print activity books for preschoolers.

She joined Children’s Television Workshop in 1970 and used her creativity and expertise to help develop publishing based on SESAME STREET, the then-new, innovative, PBS preschool educational television series. She was first Managing Editor of the Sesame Street Magazine start-up and developed original Sesame Street Book publishing in partnerships with Golden Press and Random House.

After 29 years at SESAME STREET she retired as vice president/editor-in-chief of Book Publishing at Children's Television Workshop. Anna Jane continues her work in children’s publishing and has since published several storybooks and picture books with Random House, including SILLY SARA, THE PUP SPEAKS UP, and several other Step Into Reading and Sesame Workshop titles.

Anna Jane Hays received her A.A. at Stephens College, Columbia, MO and her B.A. in Honors English at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM. She pursued a variety of post-graduate academic studies including Writers Workshops at New York University and Columbia University.

Author of numerous books for U.S. and European publishers, Anna Jane continues her work in children's publishing as an editor, writer, and consultant. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.


Author Bookshelf

Happy Alphabet!

By: Anna Jane Hays
illustrated by: Joe Mathieu

A string of wacky people, animals, and objects, each beginning with a different letter of the alphabet, gather to celebrate a birthday! Each page presents a letter of the alphabet, and every phrase rhymes...

Here Comes Silent E!

By: Anna Jane Hays
illustrated by: JoAnn Adinolfi

Research shows that early instruction in phonics is the first step to reading success. Well, here “e” comes! This Step 2 Phonics Reader uses rhyme and visual clues to illustrate the important concept...

Kindergarten Countdown

By: Anna Jane Hays
illustrated by: Linda Davick

"MY SCHOOL STARTS in one week so—I have SEVEN DAYS to go. Mom says be patient, do not worry. But I can't wait! I'm in a hurry!"In this delightful book a little girl counts off the days...


Silly Sara: A Phonics Reader

By: Anna Jane Hays
illustrated by: Sylvie Wickstom

Silly Sara spills and slips and trips! Sara is sick of being silly, so she decides to become Super Sara in this beginning phonics reader that promotes word recognition through rhyme.

Smarty Sara

By: Anna Jane Hays
illustrated by: Sylvie Wickstrom

SARA HAS A surprise for her friends. With her journal at her side, Sara plots and plans, draws maps, and writes a poem as she makes her way from home to the secret destination. This sweet, sunny, rhymed...

So Big! (Sesame Street)

By: Anna Jane Hays
illustrated by: Christopher Moroney

This book is based on the familiar game So Big or How Big is Baby? Using repetition and imitation, it ends with a triumphant finale in which the parent and child answer the question "how big is baby?"...


Spring Surprises

By: Anna Jane Hays
Illustrated by: Hala Wittwer Swearingen

It's time to say goodbye to winter and celebrate all the fun and exciting surprises springtime offers—like flying kites, making mud pies, watching new baby animals take their first steps, and dancing among the...

The Pup Speaks Up

By: Anna Jane Hays
illustrated by: Valeria Petrone

Pal is a pup who’s a bit on the quiet side. But after some gentle prodding and encouragement from a few “talkative” friends, the pup finds the courage to speak up and take his final bow-wow!...