Shelley Rotner

Shelley Rotner is a noted freelance photojournalist, whose work has appeared in Time magazine, National Geographic’s World Magazine, Conde Nast Traveler, Outside Magazine, Food and Wine, and numerous others. She is also the author and photo-illustrator of over 30 award-winning children’s books. Her most recent books include Many Ways, Every Season, and Feeling Thankful.

Shelley has also traveled extensively for UNICEF documenting programs about children, women, and education. Currently, Ms. Rotner is working on a collection of large, hand-painted photographs that capture beautiful and sacred places she has discovered in her travels.

Shelley Rotner received her undergraduate degree in photography and psychology from Syracuse University and a dual Master’s degree in elementary education and museum education from Bank Street College.


What was your favorite book when you were a child?

Dr. Seuss books but especially Horton Hears a Who

What’s your favorite line from a book?

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”—Dr. Seuss

Who are your top three favorite authors or illustrators?

Mordiciai Gerstein
William Steig
Ezra Jack Keats

Why did you want to become an author or illustrator?

I’m a professional photographer and degrees in elementary education and museum education so it was a natural fit to but the two together. I also adore 5 year olds—my sweet spot and main audience.

Do you have any advice for future authors or illustrators?

Read, get to know children, and develop your ideas.