DonDon Tate is an award-winning author, and the illustrator of numerous critically acclaimed books for children, including The Cart That Carried Martin, (Charlesbridge); Hope’s Gift, (Penguin); Duke Ellington’s Nutcracker Suite (Charlesbridge); and Ron’s Big Mission, (Penguin). He is also the author of It Jes’ Happened: When Bill Traylor Started To Draw (Lee & Low Books, 2102), an Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Honor winner. His upcoming titles include The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch (Illustrator, Eerdmans, 2015), and Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton (Author and illustrator, Peachtree, 2015). Don is a founding host of the The Brown Bookshelf –a blog dedicated to books for African American young readers; and a member of the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign, created to address the lack of diverse, non-majority narratives in children’s literature.


Kelly Starling Lyons is a children’s book author whose mission is to transform moments, memories and history into stories of discovery. Her books include chapter book, NEATE: Eddie’s Ordeal (Just Us Books, 2004), One Million Men and Me (Just Us Books, 2007), Hope’s Gift, Ellen’s Broom, Tea Cakes for Tosh (Penguin). She is also one of the founding members of the blog The Brown Bookshelf, aimed at young African-American readers and featuring book reviews and author and illustrator interviews. Lyons makes her home in Raleigh, North Carolina.


Chris Barton is the author of the picture books Shark Vs. Train (a New York Times and Publishers Weekly bestseller) and The Day-Glo Brothers (winner, American Library Association Sibert Honor), as well as the young adult nonfiction thriller Can I See Your I.D.? True Stories of False Identities. His 2014 publications include picture book Attack! Boss! Cheat! Code! A Gamer’s Alphebet and his YA fiction debut as a contributor to the collection One Death, Nine Stories, and 2015 will bring picture book biographies The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch and The Nutcracker Comes to America: How Three Ballet-Loving Brothers Created a Holiday Tradition. Chris and his wife, novelist Jennifer Ziegler (Revenge of the Flower Girls), live in Austin, Texas, with their family..