Mary Amato

Ivan Amato

Mary Amato is an award-winning children’s and YA book author, songwriter, and poet who lives in Maryland. Her books have been translated into foreign languages, optioned for television, and produced onstage.


What was your favorite book when you were a child?

Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh

What’s your favorite line from a book?

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” —Mary Oliver (New and Selected Poems, Beacon Press, 1992)

Who are your top three favorite authors or illustrators?

Roald Dahl, Katherine Paterson, E.B. White

Why did you want to become an author or illustrator?

I loved reading as a child and found my kindred spirits in the characters of my favorite books.

Do you have any advice for future authors or illustrators?

Keep a little notebook with you and jot down ideas, thoughts, descriptions, bits of overheard dialogue, character monologues, and anything else that pops into your head. Carrying around a writer’s notebook will make you think like a writer.