Patricia Newman

Patricia Newman wants us all to know we are part of nature. As a Robert F. Sibert Honor recipient, she shows us how our actions ripple around the world, empowers us to find our own connections to nature, and encourages us to use our imaginations to act on behalf of our communities. Patricia likes to think of her books as a contribution that helps make the world a better place for the next generation. Her nonfiction titles have received multiple starred reviews, Orbis Pictus Recommended Awards (NCTE), Green Earth Book Awards, several Eureka! Awards from the California Reading Association, and most have been included in the Bank Street College’s Best Books of the Year lists. To learn more, visit her website at or connect with her on social media.


What was your favorite book when you were a child?

I loved mysteries — Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, Harriet the Spy — anything with a puzzle to figure out. I don’t remember seeing a lot of exciting nonfiction as a child.

What’s your favorite line from a book?

For her understated wit, you can’t beat Jane Austen’s first line of Pride and Prejudice:  “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”

Who are your top three favorite authors or illustrators?

I can’t possibly choose. I have too many author and illustrator friends, all who write fabulous books.

Why did you want to become an author or illustrator?

I am a reader. Always have been. Through reading, I escape to other lives that I will never live. It breaks my heart to hear a child say s/he does not like to read. Reading is how children make sense of the world and broaden their perspective. To that end, I try to write books about cool stuff that will intrigue even the most reluctant reader to open the book and start turning pages.

Additionally, I did not like to write when I was a kid. My books and school visits are my way of showing how writing can be fun. My goal is to help every child share his/her view of the world through the written word.

Do you have any advice for future authors or illustrators?

Writing is the hardest job I have ever had. Persevere and take critique with an open mind. If you want to write for children, I suggest you join the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators ( for their industry information, the conferences, and the warm, nurturing tribe of like-minded writers and artists.