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Robert D. San Souci

East Bay Photo Lab

“I have always had a fascination with traveling to magical places. Many of my own stories take place in other places, other dimensions. I guess I’m the ultimate escapist.”—Robert D. San Souci

Robert D. San Souci is an ALA Notable author whose work has been recognized by American Bookseller and the International Reading Association.

ABOUT THE AUTHOREast Bay Photo lab

As a boy Robert D. San Souci was relatively shy; he found that writing was a way to express himself. Now San Souci is the author of numerous books, including award-winning children’s books and adult fantasy novels.

San Souci was born in San Francisco and raised across the bay in Berkeley. Reading and writing have always been a part of his life—his earliest memories are ones of being read to. “My father had some wonderful books from when he was a child,” he recalls. “The Wizard of Oz was one of my favorite stories.”

In the second grade San Souci was the class reporter for his school newspaper. Around the same time, he wrote his first book, which his brother Daniel—now an award-winning artist—illustrated. The brothers paired up again years later. Robert says, “I was working in bookstores at the time, writing reviews and some science fiction stories. Meanwhile, Dan was winning awards doing watercolors for local shows. We got together and decided to do a children’s book.”

Many of Robert’s ideas for his books come from reading and researching in the library. His own personal library contains several thousand volumes. He also finds inspiration by traveling and keeping his eyes open. “I love to travel by bus. I can sit and stare out the window and simply observe.” And sometimes he just wanders around and listens to people talking. “I love to listen for the flow and rhythm of the language that different people use.”

San Souci loves when a book lets him celebrate his “home base” of San Francisco, but he has also been inspired by the many places he has traveled to. “My books—many of them retellings of traditional tales—celebrate peoples and places all around the world. Stories stretch from Armenia to Australia—each, I hope, helping young readers discover how much we share in common with people around the world, while underscoring just how rich, unique, and wise many of these sometimes unfamiliar cultures are in their diverse histories and traditions.”

Because San Souci has always loved folklore, he now mines the wealth of oral tradition from around the world and brings it to life in dramatic stories for children.

Robert D. San Souci on The Silver Charm . . .

I have always been interested in the folk literature of Japan. Some years back, I became particularly intrigued by the culture of the Ainu (“Eye-noo”), the indigenous people who largely inhabit Hokkaido, the large island at the northernmost tip of Japan. They are a people whose origins remain largely shrouded in mystery and whose culture—while overlapping at some points with the Japanese—is highly distinctive. In reading into the folklore of this unique people, I came across several versions of the story that I have retold under the title of The Silver Charm.

The story itself—of an Ainu boy, Satsu, menaced by an ogre, and rescued by his two pets, a puppy and a fox cub (with a welcome assist from a most resourceful mouse!)—is exciting and delightfully simple. Yet the shifting scenes of the seaside village, the family dwelling, forest, and ogre’s hut allow for touching on some details of Ainu life that will hopefully make a wider audience aware of this little-known people and their culture.

Part of my delight in working on The Silver Charm was my chance to work with my friend, illustrator Yoriko Ito. She has visited Hokkaido on several occasions and made use of these visits to check out details that have helped make my text, as well as her wonderful, detailed illustrations, accurate reflections of key aspects of Ainu culture.

I have dedicated the book to the founders and performers of Eth-Noh-Tec, for which I sit on the Board of Directors. Eth-Noh-Tec is storytelling theatre incorporating myth, movement, and music to celebrate and build cross-cultural bridges drawing on the wisdom and resources of Pacific Rim traditions. My interest in exploring Ainu culture through The Silver Charm has certainly been furthered by my work with this group. I like to think that my book will add to awareness of this unique culture within the larger Pacific community.


Thirty Chilling Tales

“There are some delicious shivers here, with plenty of fodder for an active imagination.”—School Library Journal

“Demons, vampires, skeletons, goblins, werewolves, witches, wizards, and ghosts aplenty inhabit these tales from various parts of the world.”—Booklist

Thirty Spine-Tingling Tales

“Thirty tales that not only read well but also work as splendid choices for oral telling around a campfire, on a trip, in school, or at a sleepover.”—Booklist

“Young readers will gobble up these 30 thrilling snacks and beg for more.”—School Library Journal

Author Bookshelf

A Terrifying Taste of Short & Shivery

By: Robert D. San Souci

Ghoulies, ghosties, and long-leggedy beasties inhabit these 30 chilling tales gathered from around the world. Creepy classic and contemporary stories from Australia, Germany, India, El Salvador, and elsewhere--including...

A Terrifying Taste of Short & Shivery: Thirty Creepy Tales

By: Robert D. San Souci

Ghosts, ghouls, goblins, and long-legged beasties inhabit these 30 chilling tales gathered from around the world. Twenty hair-raising illustrations highlight creepy classic and contemporary stories from...


By: Robert D. San Souci

Even More Short & Shivery

By: Robert D. San Souci
illustrate by: Jacqueline Rogers

Thirty spine-chilling stories from around the world provide plenty of shivers in this spooky collection.  Curl up with old friends like Washington Irving's "Guests from Gibbet Island" or Charles Dickens'...


By: Robert D. San Souci


By: Robert D. San Souci

Larger Than Life

by Robert D. San Souci illustrated by Andrew Glass

An American Bookseller Pick of the Lists

"This collection will practically leap from the shelf into many an eager hand....


By: Robert D. San Souci


By: Robert D. San Souci


By: Robert D. San Souci

More Short & Shivery

By: Robert D. San Souci

Thirty hair-raising stories from around the world fill this spooky collection with delicious shivers and spine-tingling chills. Sit down and meet "The Vampire Cat," "The Draug" and "The Rolling Head";...

Peter and the Blue Witch Baby

By: Robert D. San Souci
illustrated by: Alexi Natchev

Long, long ago, lived a handsome young tsar named Peter. When he decided to marry, he rejected the beautiful Molnya because of her cold, hungry eyes. But Molnya was really a witch, and she put a curse on Peter:...

Short & Shivery

By: Robert D. San Souci

A collection of ghost stories, spooky shorts, and frightening folktales from all over the world, perfect for scary sleepovers, staying up all night, or reading alone under the covers—if you dare!
“No one...

Song of Sedna

By: Robert D. San Souci

Eskimo legend tells of a beautiful maiden, Sedna,  who marries a mysterious, handsome hunter only to  discover that he is really a demon.


By: Robert D. San Souci

The Brave Little Taylor

By: Robert D. San Souci, Daniel R. San Souci (Illustrator)

A spirited retelling of the favorite tale from the Brothers Grimm, lavishly illustrated. A little tailor who kills seven flies at one blow is so impressed with his own bravery that he ventures out to tell...

The Christmas Ark

By: Robert D. San Souci

The Hobyahs

By: Robert D. San Souci

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

By: Robert D. San Souci

The Silver Charm

By: by Robert D. San Souci
illustrated by: Yoriko Ito

Long ago, in the days when there were still ogres in the world, a little boy named Satsu went out to play with his best friends, a puppy and a fox cub. But Satsu wandered too near the edge of the forest, where...

The Six Swans

By: Robert D. San Souci

Young Arthur

By: Robert D. San Souci
illustrated by: Jamichael Henterly

To protect his life, Arthur, son of King Uther, was hidden from the court when still a baby. Growing up in Sir Ector's household, Arthur knew nothing of his noble birth. Then one day at a tournament, he...


By: Robert D. San Souci

Set in Medieval Europe, this is Robert San Souci's magical tale of Guinevere--from her childhood to her marriage to King Arthur. When Guinevere's father's castle is besieged by invaders, she must travel...


By: Robert D. San Souci


By: Robert D. San Souci

The Birds of Killingworth

By: Robert San Souci
Illustrated by: Kimberly Root

The Hired Hand

By: Robert San Souci
Illustrated by: Jerry Pinkney

The Enchanted Tapestry

By: Robert D. San Souci

The Firebird

By: Robert San Souci
Illustrated by: Kris Waldherr

The Samurai's Daughter

By: Robert San Souci
Illustrated by: Stephen Johnson

The Snow Wife

By: Robert D. San Souci

The Talking Eggs

By: Robert San Souci
Illustrated by: Jerry Pinkney

The author of such delights as The Christmas Ark and The Enchanted Tapestry joins forces with illustrator Pinkney to resurrect a colorful folktale that captures the unique flavor of the American South....

Kate Shelley

By: Robert D. San Souci

The House in the Sky

By: Robert D. San Souci

The Red Heels

By: Robert D. San Souci

Nicholas Pipe

By: Robert San Souci
Illustrated by: David Shannon

The Secret of the Stones

By: Robert San Souci
Illustrated by: James Ransome

When John and Clara return to their cabin from working in the fields one evening, they are startled to discover that all of their household chores have been done. The mysterious, magical Aunt Easter tells...

Callie Ann and Mistah Bear

By: Robert San Souci
Illustrated by: Don Daily

Cut from the Same Cloth

By: Robert D. San Souci

Meet the fascinating women of American Folklore and Legend in this award-winning collection!

Have you heard of the Star Maiden, Old Sally Cato, or Sweet Betsey from Pike?

Everyone knows about Paul Bunyan,...