Maria Gianferrari

Maria Gianferrari is a community scientist, self-taught naturalist and bird nerd who holds an M.A. in Creative Writing and a Ph.D. in English. She is the author of narrative nonfiction picture books which celebrate urban ecosystems, the natural world and our wild neighbors including Coyote Moon, Hawk Rising, Whoo-Ku Haiku: A Great Horned Owl Story, Be a Tree! and most recently, Bobcat Prowling. Maria lives with her scientist husband and Maple the dog in a house encircled by trees.


What was your favorite book when you were a child?

Scuttle the Stowaway Mouse by Jean Conder Soule & Nancy Soule

What’s your favorite line from a book?

From Kyo Maclear’s Birds, Art, Life: “I want for every overextended person in my life stretches of unclaimed time and solitude away from the tyranny of the clock, vast space to get bored and lost, waking dreams that take us beyond the calculative surface of things.”

Who are your top three favorite authors or illustrators?

Louise Erdrich, Felicita Sala, Jen Bryant

Why did you want to become an author or illustrator?

I love writing about the things that inspire my curiosity, wonder, and awe and sharing them with kids.

Do you have any advice for future authors or illustrators?

Read-read-read; write-write-write; and don’t forget to play!