Martha E. H. Rustad

Martha E. H. Rustad is the author of more than two hundred nonfiction children’s books, on topics ranging from snowflakes to termites to the Statue of Liberty. She lives with her family in Brainerd, Minnesota.


What was your favorite book when you were a child?

Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown and Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery

What’s your favorite line from a book?

“I am doomed to remember a boy with a wrecked voice—not because of his voice, or because he was the smallest person I ever knew, or even because he was the instrument of my mother’s death, but because he is the reason I believe in God.” from A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving

Who are your top three favorite authors or illustrators?

J. K. Rowling, Charles Dickens, Dr. Seuss

Why did you want to become an author or illustrator?

For as long as I can remember, my nose has been stuck in a book. I find the process of creating books nearly as fun as reading them.

Do you have any advice for future authors or illustrators?

Read everything: fiction, nonfiction, news, magazines, poems. Read text written by women, men, children, people with lives similar to yours, and people whose lives are very different than yours.

Constantly pore over words and sentences. Think about the writer and what he or she intended. Even the text on your cereal box was composed by a writer. Read it, consider it, rewrite it, and improve it, if you can.

Practice writing excellent sentences. Ask someone to read what you’ve written.

Read books out loud and ask others to read out loud to you. Listen to audio books.