Irene Latham

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Irene Latham is the author of more than a dozen current and forthcoming works of poetry, fiction, and picture books, including Charlotte Huck Honor Book Can I Touch Your Hair? Poems of Race, Mistakes, and Friendship (co-written with Charles Waters) and the Caldecott Honor Book The Cat Man of Aleppo(co-written by Karim Shamsi-Basha). Winner of the 2016 ILA Lee Bennett Hopkins Promising Poet Award, she became obsessed with octopuses after reading The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery. Just like Agnes, she enjoys sending—and receiving—postcards. Visit her at


What was your favorite book when you were a child?

I’ve always loved books about family, animals, and adventure – Little House On The Prairie , The Black Stallion, James Herriot books. Earlier loves include Horton Hatches The Egg, Waldo The Jumping Dragon, Be Nice To Spiders, Too Many Kittens

Who are your top three favorite authors or illustrators?

Only three?! I love so many. But if I must, three that arise right now, this moment: Gary Paulsen, Valerie Worth, E.B. Lewis

Why did you want to become an author or illustrator?

Writing for me is a way to love the world. Being an author is a way to share that love with others.

Do you have any advice for future authors or illustrators?

You already have everything you need; look inside your heart and allow your stories – and your life! — to unfold.