Deborah Bodin Cohen

Photo provided by the author.

Deborah Bodin Cohen was ordained at Hebrew Union College – Jewish institute of Religion. She is the author of many children’s books including the Engineer Ari series, The Seventh Day, Papa Jethro, and Nachshon Who Was Afraid to Swim. Her books have received numerous honors, including a National Jewish Book award, Sydney Taylor honor designations and the Sugarman prize. She lives in Rockville, MD, with her husband David and three children.


What was your favorite book when you were a child?

There are so many!   As a younger child, I loved The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton and Frederick by Leo Lionni.   When I got a little older, I read The Little House on the Prairie series and The Wrinkle in Time series over and over again.   I also really enjoyed Judy Blume’s books.

What’s your favorite line from a book?

The line “Duck was a neutral party, so he brought the ultimatum to the cows” from Doreen Cronin’s Click, Clack, Moo – Cows that Type always makes me laugh when I read it to my children.

Who are your top three favorite authors or illustrators?

Right now, I am reading the Harry Potter series with my Jesse.   I love J.K. Rowling.  I’ve read the Harry Potter books all at least twice.  
My all-time favorite book and author is probably To Kill a Mocking Bird and Lee Harper.
In college, I did my undergraduate thesis on two African-American authors, Gloria Naylor and Toni Morrison.  

Why did you want to become an author or illustrator?

I don’t know if I consciously decided to become a writer.  I always have loved to write.  At some point, my friends urged me to try submitting my work for publication.

Do you have any advice for future authors or illustrators?

When you write, don’t show your work to other people until you have a rough draft nearly done.  It always stalls my creativity when I get feedback too soon.