Founder, Publisher & Author
Maria uses her experiences as an award-winning author for over a decade to work with writers on getting their messages into the world. She takes pride in mentoring CRP authors & offering a customized marketing campaign that the CRP team coordinates and implements.
Author & Series Creator
Carol McCloud, a.k.a. the “Bucket Lady,” enjoys teaching people of all ages, all over the world, how to be happy. The secret: “Be a Bucket Filler. Be Kind.” She’s undertaken a “mission for meaningful happiness.”
In her book and life, Carol focuses on the reciprocating benefits of “filling” buckets by helping others and being kind. It’s a lesson she learned from her parents at an early age by putting a portion of her allowance in the church basket each week. As a result, she established a habit of giving back a part of everything her family received.
Currently, Carol’s books have sold over three million copies and have received hundreds of awards and five-star reviews for her titles. She now has ten titles, with translations in ten different languages and published in various formats.
Anita Nahta Amin
Anita Nahta Amin is the author of several forthcoming chapter books and many short stories for children. Her work has been featured in a variety of children’s literary magazines. This is her first picture book. Her family roots stretch across India from the vibrant camel-filled desert in Rajasthan to the bustling river city of Kolkata. She lives in Florida with her husband and twin children. She would love a pet camel too, as long as it doesn’t eat all of her dates.
Hannah Carmona is a writer who currently resides in Tennessee. Dazzling Travis is her second book and was inspired by her work in children’s theater. In addition to being a writer, Hannah is also a mother of two wonderful girls, co-founder of Collective Art School of Tennessee, YouTuber, and actress. When she is not working on her books, Hannah enjoys binge-watching shows on Netflix, avoiding housework, and spending time with her two cats, dog, and iguana.
Michele McAvoy is an inspirational speaker & award-winning children’s book author from New Jersey. As a child, she read Judy Blume and drew Garfield comics. For her 10th birthday, she asked for a pink typewriter. Michele always loved the smell of new books. Now all grown-up (typewriters near obsolete) she loves bringing joy to children through her own stories.
Claire Annette Noland
Claire Annette Noland knows that everyone who reads is a winner. As a children’s librarian, reading specialist, and author, she has made it her life’s goal to get kids excited about books and reading. Claire lives with her family on a river in central California. She has never won a sack race but she keeps trying.
Cindy L. Rodriguez
Cindy L. Rodriguez is the author of the YA novel When Reason Breaks and has contributed to the anthology Life Inside My Mind: 31 Authors Share Their Personal Struggles. She has also written the text for three Jake Maddox books: Volleyball Ace, Drill Team Determination, and Gymnastics Payback. Before becoming a teacher in 2000, she was an award-winning reporter for The Hartford Courant and researcher for The Boston Globe’s Spotlight Team. She is a founder of Latinxs in Kid Lit, a blog that celebrates children’s literature by/for/about Latinxs. Cindy is currently a middle school reading specialist in Connecticut, where she lives with her family.
Michelle Schaub is an award-winning children’s author and language arts teacher. Her poems appear in several anthologies, including Great Morning! Poems for School Leaders to Read Aloud. Michelle speaks at conferences on the power of poetry to boost literacy. Michelle lives near Chicago, where she loves finding creative ways to cultivate kindness.
The Little Linebacker
Stephen Tulloch is a retired NFL linebacker. He launched the Stephen Tulloch Foundation in 2009 and has helped thousands of people through his community outreach and generous giving. Tulloch was named as one of the top 100 players in the NFL in 2012 & 2013, was selected as a team captain of the Detroit Lions by his teammates and has been awarded multiple awards nationally and locally for his efforts off the field.
Award-winning author and a longtime educator, Pauline David-Sax, likes to think of writing as a time machine that allows her to revisit the past, examine the present and explore the future. She is the author of the picture book Everything In Its Place as well as several plays. Pauline lives in Brooklyn, New York. You can find her online at paulinedavidsax.com and on Twitter at @Pauline_D_S.
Christina Dendy is an American author with a wide range of experience in the K-12 educational market, particularly in the social sciences. Her published works include the picture books Hide and Shhh and The Wall and the Wild. She loves just about anything that involves exploration, on or off the printed page, and regularly tumbles down rabbit holes of one sort or another. When not writing or reading, Christina can be found meandering about Dayton, Ohio, with her tallish hobbit husband, three impish children and a few finicky furry friends.
Donn Swaby is a native of Queens, New York and a multi-genre artist with credits as a professional stage, film and television actor, musician, and writer of picture books, middle grade novels, stage plays, screenplays, television drama series, feature length articles, interviews, restaurant and music reviews, published in huffingtonpost.com, meltmagazineforwomen.com and entertainementvoice.com. A passionate lover of Nature, Donn lives in Los Angeles, California and loves hiking wherever there are trails and mountains.
The Heavy Bag
Sarah Surgey has worked within education for the last 17 years, both here in the UK and France. She has also been a writer alongside her teaching for 10 years. Firstly as a freelance feature's writer before moving into the world of children's books.
Sarah holds a 2:1 BA Honours degree in English language and literature, specialising in children's literature. This is where you will find Sarah at her happiest! Deeply immersed in the picture book world, whether writing in-house for publishers across Europe or as a freelancer for publishers in the UK. Sarah will have 5 children's books published by the end of 2023 which have been translated into 11 languages. With a concern for children’s mental well-being, she most recently worked at a children and families Mental Health Charity just before the pandemic and has worked in collaboration with agencies such as UNICEF with her books.
The Law of Birthdays
To avoid adult responsibilities at all costs Brenna spends as much time as possible road-tripping with her husband and son in their VW van to rock climb. She is agented by Dan Cramer at Page Turner Lit and co-hosts the kidlit podcast You May Contribute A Verse. Find her on Twitter @Brennajeanneret
Like many people, Sarah Hovorka wasn’t sure what to do with her life. After obtaining a degree in Anthropology and starting a career in the public sector, Sarah became a mom and homeschooler full-time. When a major health crisis hit and left her disabled, Sarah resolved to pursue a closely guarded dream… writing.
Now Sarah is the published author of Hattie Hates Hugs (2022) and the upcoming Same Love, Different Hug (2023) as well as short stories. In addition to writing, Sarah works in the public sector and spends her free time reading, homeschooling, and playing video and board games with her husband and three sons in California. You can find out more about her, her books, and follow her blog at www.SarahHovorka.com.
Shannon Anderson is an award-winning author and former teacher of 25 years. She taught at the elementary and college level and was named one of the 10 teachers who "awed and inspired" the Today Show in 2019. Shannon travels the country doing author visits and enjoys speaking at conferences and events. Click the button below to learn more about her and her books.
Pedro The Pirate
Combine humor and picture books. Stir in a middle school library. Add in a pinch of nonfiction writing, two crazy dogs, and seven kids…and voila! You have author, Ciara O’Neal. This busy southern mama lives in her library, herds squirrels with mini lassos, and plots world domination with a donut in each hand.
Illustrator Dawn Beacon lives with her husband and son in the beautiful mountains of Colorado. During the winter months she loves snowboarding with her family at their local resorts, while summertime finds her biking and gardening. Inspiration for her artwork is found directly out her back door with the abundance of wildlife and breathtaking views of the Vail Valley.
P.S. Brooks is a YA writer and children’s illustrator based in Yorkshire, UK. He is a graduate in Fine Art and works primarily in Photoshop using scanned textures such as pastels, paints and other media. He has worked in video games and enjoys connecting with other writers and illustrators online. When not illustrating or writing, he likes to watch fantasy and sci-fi movies and shows, and also plays with his Sheltie guinea pigs Little Jupiter and Big Jupiter.
Begoña Fernández Corbalán
Begoña was born and raised in a small town in Spain. As a child she loved to draw, so when she grew up she knew that she wanted to get a degree in Fine Arts. After finishing her degree, she specialized in illustration, and since then has dedicated herself to it. In her free time she likes to sit in the sun in the garden and observe how the light changes at different times of the day, something that she tries to reflect also in her work. She has worked with techniques such as watercolor, gouache or colored pencil, but keeps the digital illustration because of the great advantages it offers when working.
Never a fan of cold cereals, Donna’s go-to breakfast before school was always toasted bread and chocolate milk. Today she still enjoys an ice-cold glass of chocolate deliciousness slurped through a straw. (Note: Donna has on occasion been scolded for blowing bubbles in her chocolate milk—a habit that she has tried unsuccessfully to break.) If you are ever near Rochester, NY, she highly recommends a trip to the Pittsford Dairy to pick up a bottle of the thickest, yummiest chocolate milk ever made, certified by her three chocolate-milk-loving kids.
Brenda Figueroa is a freelance illustrator based in Madrid. She was born in El Salvador, a colorful land of volcanoes, coffee plantations and beautiful sand seashores. At an early age, she developed a deep interest and sensitivity for illustrated books. Her professional background includes a Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design and a Children’s Book Illustration MA. She has several years of experience in advertising and a wide range of illustration projects, including published picture books.
Heather Heyworth lives and works in a sleepy Suffolk market town in the UK. Her introduction into the world of children’s books started with illustrating, designing, and co-publishing her own licensed character activity books. She wrote and illustrated her first picture book in 2009. To date she has illustrated many books including picture, board and educational books. From an early age she has had a passion for illustration and can’t imagine doing anything else.
Claire LaForte (JungHwa Lee) is a former animator having worked in Seoul, South Korea for nine years. Her passion for drawing began as a child sketching in the sand and on the rocks all about the remote little island on which she grew up in Korea’s Yellow Sea. She likes to think her illustrations today are done with the same joy and enthusiasm as that little girl’s on the island.
Tim Palin was born in Salem, MA, to a non-witching family (as far as he knows). From elementary school and beyond, Tim took lots of art classes and stayed up WAY too late drawing. He had a knack for making works of art using everything from pencils and ink to clay and egg cartons and Popsicle sticks! It didn't take him long to discover that Popsicle sticks weren't really his medium. Now he uses his computer and his imagination to make the world a cuter place. When Tim isn't illustrating or designing books, you can find him baking cakes, time-traveling, planning his global takeover, and binge-watching cheesy sitcoms with his super-charming husband, Michael, and three canine beasts, Edith, Lavinia, and Esteban (who goes by 'Steve').
Cary Pillo grew up in a small town nestled near the foot of the Cascade Mountains in Washington State. She spent her childhood riding her bicycle, drawing, and building forts in the forest. Cary attended Washington State University and majored in Fine Arts. She has illustrated numerous articles, educational materials, and books for children. She lives in Seattle with her husband and a mischievous fox terrier named Atlas. Cary still rides her bike and draws but prefers hiking in the forest instead of building forts.
Ronnie Rooney grew up in coastal Massachusetts. As a young girl, she always envisioned herself as an illustrator, creating art for people to enjoy. Her dream is to have a studio close to the beach. For now, the Army has other ideas for her husband and their family. In the meantime, she is enjoying painting in her studio, and taking long strolls along the Hudson River with her labradoodle, Cricket.
Julia Seal knew from the age of five what she wanted to do for a living—draw pictures! After graduating with a degree in Graphic Design and Illustration and then working in the greeting card industry (and getting covered in glitter every day!) she finally moved onto her dream job—illustrating children’s books. She lives in a small village in England with her husband and two children—who provide plenty of inspiration.
Kathryn Selbert is a freelance illustrator currently living in New York with her French bulldog Margot. She earned her BFA in Illustration from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). Her work is inspired by the people she meets in her everyday life, our colorful world, flora and fauna, and having fun.
Kim Shaw has been drawing and painting since she could hold a crayon. Because of her passion for unusual food, and her big hair, she was born to illustrate Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun. She is a self- taught artist and comes from a very artistic family. Kim attributes her ability to both of her wonderful grandmothers, Gloria and Marian, who were also artists.
Born and brought up in the Steel City, Jamshedpur, drawing and coloring has been Parwinder’s hobby and passion since childhood. Spending the early years of his career in classical 2D animation and fascinated by various styles of illustrations, he was ultimately driven to the beautiful world of children’s books. Freelancing has given him the chance he always wanted – he is able to explore more subjects and travel to different places.
Alicia was born in Spain. She has been drawing since she was three, and has never stopped. She studied cinema and arts. She has been working as an illustrator for known Spanish publishers and this is her fifth book. She also has done comics for magazines and stationary design. She has always loved animals and nature and this is very apparent in her artwork.
Melquea is an illustrator who has experience wanting to unsay the Thing, even now as an adult! She’s extremely grateful to her friends and family who love, support, and appreciate her. Her favorite animated movies are “Song of the Sea”, “Coraline”, and “Wolfwalkers.” When not illustrating, you can find her hoarding artbooks like a dragon, concocting tea blends like a witch, and cuddling her sweet tabby cats. Melquea is the illustrator of Two Homes in Omar’s Heart (2021) published by Room to Read and is illustrating another picture book with Includas Publishing (2023). She is a SCBWI member and an admin of #BlackCreatorsHeadquarters, an organization that supports and amplifies Black stories in the Publishing industry. Her favorite books to illustrate feature Black girls of all shapes and skin tones.
Nathalia Takeyama was born in 1996, São Paulo, Brazil. Being half Japanese, half Brazilian she grew up surrounded by two beautiful cultures that inspire her every day. She loved to draw since she was a little kid so she went to college to pursue her dreams and majored in Animation Design in 2017, after that, she won a scholarship in Quanta Academia de Artes for an Illustration course from 2018 to 2019. The world and nature inspire her to be a better version of herself and evolve her illustration so she can bring joy to as many people as she can. Nathalia works mainly in digital media, with a love for texture, colorful palettes, and diverse characters. You can find her reading a book, watching a movie, taking her adopted dog – Lucy - for a walk, daydreaming, and doodling away fun ideas.
Alejandra was born in Guanajuato, Mexico and graduated in Fine Arts but currently only wants developing as an children books illustrator, because that is what really makes her happy. Alejandra wants her images to tell a story and generate an emotion in the reader. Alejandra likes to illustrate both fiction and non-fiction books. Some of her latest works are:
What the Animals Eat and Moth, both published by Reading Champions.
The Heavy Bag
Larisa is a freelance illustrator introducing her work as Little Witch Factory illustrations. Nothing unusual that she is passionate about her work like every artist, as she’s been into drawing as long as she became aware of her existence. Even though a fan of many illustrating styles, children's illustrations are one of her favorites, saying: " It keeps you optimistic, sincere and creative. I enjoy bringing to life stories from different authors. It is some kind of creation of new worlds”. She is having fun when creating existing beings with changed appearance or illustrating some non-existing creatures and imaginary places. Larisa believes that through colorfulness and interesting stories we develop children's imaginations and intelligence.
The Law of Birthdays
Marina Kondrakhina is a freelance illustrator based in Toronto, Canada. She constantly finds inspiration all around her, but especially in children; in their behavior creativity, energy, and in their ways of dealing with emotions. She draws fun and cute illustrations using mixed digital media. Despite her fear of heights she chose a rock climbing as a hobby and enjoys climbing local mountains and cliffs with her family and friends. Her motto in life is to Never Give Up.
Elif Balta Parks
Elif Balta Parks is a cheese lover, hamster admirer, chocolate connoisseur and a prolific Children’s Book Illustrator. She grew up in Istanbul, Turkey next to the bright, blue Bosporus and even as a child knew she wanted to be an artist. She then also completed a degree in Business and went on to study at Central St. Martins School of Fine Art for a short time before embarking on her first books. Elif strives for bright, cheerful illustrations that capture the joy of childhood. Since starting her professional career she has illustrated over 60 Children’s Books and is ready for so many, many more. As long as there is a warm chair, some tea and a cat around, she will be doing what she loves best.. Illustrating. Elif lives in Shropshire with her husband, their cat and Dean Martin (who is always singing from the stereo while she works.)
Giulia calls herself a bittersweet illustrator, because in her illustrations she likes to mix poetry, irony and, at times, a grotesque note. She was born in 1993 in Piacenza. She attended the Bruno Cassinari Artistic High School while attending sculpture courses at the 'Isti- tuto dell'Arte e Tecnologia del Marmo'. Also in 2012, she received a merit scholarship for
International School of Comics in Reggio Emilia, where she fell in love with illustration.
In 2015, Giula opened the Foglie al Vento studio together with Alessandra Santelli, where she works on commissions for private individuals and agencies.
Pedro The Pirate
My name is María Antonella Fant, I was born, and currently live in Argentina. I’m a Visual Designer, a Children’s Books Illustrator, and a Concept Artist. I have studied Graphic Design and Illustration. Since very young age, I have been a self-driven person. As I grew up my illustrations adopted a very similar personality as mine, childish, restless and curious, taking inspiration from TV cartoons and children books that I used to read when I was a toddler. I love to create characters and stories to go along with them, and really enjoy thinking as a child, drawing like them, and for them.
Sarah is the owner of Burlap & Pearls Photography. She is a lifestyle family and newborn photographer serving the Metro Detroit and Ann Arbor regions. Sarah has built her photography business by focusing on authentic and emotive images that portray the true connection found in the families she photographs . Sarah’s favorite things in life are her husband, two children, dogs, and chips & salsa.