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Hello! I'm Jennifer.

When I was little, I used to write and illustrate stories, just for fun. Today, I write children's books professionally, and it's still fun! It's a creative job.

My first published book, "Way Out in the Desert" (Rising Moon 1998) - which is still in print - was inspired by the Sonoran Desert where I lived for much of my life.


Spending time outdoors - observing, listening and wondering about wild things in nature - especially wild things with feathers - gives me ideas for the stories I write for children.

My books have been translated into many languages and have received many awards, honors and starred reviews. Of course, my biggest honor is knowing when one of my books resonates with readers in some way. 

If you're ever in Buckeye, Arizona, check out their public library, Coyote Branch, where my book with illustrator Steve Gray is an installation as part of the library's interior architecture!

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Before I became an author I was an elementary teacher, and it was actually an author's visit to the school where I was teaching that inspired me to try publishing my own stories.

I've been writing books for children for close to 30 years now, and I currently write full-time from my home in Illinois where I live with my husband, a chihuahua, and a crazy cattle dog.


I love to visit schools, libraries and nature centers - sharing my books and inspiring others to enjoy books, writing, and all of the "wild things" in nature. Thanks to them, we get the gift of curious and wonder. Right?

My Author Visits page has info. about my visits. Hope to meet you!

You Never Know the Power of an Author's Visit!
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In my free time I love to garden, especially with native plants for pollinators and birds. I keep a Yard List of bird species I've seen or heard in my yard, because it's fun! And I also volunteer with a native songbird hospital where we help injured or orphaned birds, from tiny hummingbirds to giant herons. It's pretty cool - and such an important place for birds in need of help. Yes, I'm a bit of a bird-nerd!  But spending time with birds has inspired many of my books. (Thanks, birds!) 

Thank you for visiting!

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