Laura Gehl

Laura Gehl is the award-winning author of more than three dozen picture books, board books, and early readers including Who Is a Scientist?, I Got a Chicken for My Birthday, Dibs!, and Climate Warriors: Fourteen Scientists and Fourteen Ways to Save our Planet. A former science teacher with a PhD in neuroscience, Laura lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland, with her husband and four children.


What was your favorite book when you were a child?

Too many to list—but a few favorites included the All of a Kind Family series, Bread and Jam for Frances, and anything by Richard Scarry or Susan Cooper.

What’s your favorite line from a book?

“I said that I thought the secret of life was obvious: be here now, love as if your whole life depended on it, find your life’s work, and try to get hold of a giant panda.”

This line is from Anne Lamott’s Hard Laughter.  Not a children’s book, but a terrific book, and good advice for anyone.

Who are your top three favorite authors or illustrators?

Again, I can’t pick just three!  But for today I will say Gordon Korman, Richard Scarry, and Susan Cooper.

Why did you want to become an author or illustrator?

I have loved reading books for as long as I can remember—and I am a speed-reader, so I read hundreds of books every year.  For a lifelong lover of books, getting to be part of creating a book always seemed like a too-good-to-be-true kind of job.  It still does!  I can’t believe I get to do this important job every day.

Do you have any advice for future authors or illustrators?

Join a critique group, write every day (but don’t give yourself a hard time about the days when you can’t manage it), and never give up.