TTLG Author/Illustrator Profiles

Kelly Bennett

Kelly Bennett

Kelly Bennett writes books for children—both fiction and non-fiction. She has been writing professionally since 1986. Her work has also appeared in national magazines and newspapers.

At the moment, Kelly is obsessed with creating picture books. “Picture books are like icebergs,” she notes,  “so much of what  goes on goes unseen.”  And revising  picture book text is a  lot like

carving an ice sculpture.

“I start with a big, messy jumble of words, pages of words, block of words and just start chipping away. When I’m finished, I hope what’s left is as pure and simply stated as I can write it.” While she’s chipping away,  Kelly imagines  pictures to go with her words—but she never shares them.

Instead, she strives to leave lots of space in her stories for the illustrator to fill with art.

Kelly’s picture books include NOT NORMAN: A GOLDFISH STORY (Candlewick Press), inspired by her own funny goldfish, and named the Texas Institute of Letters Friends of Austin Public  Library’s  Best  Children’s  Book for 2005,  a Children’s Choice  Award, and  Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Medal winner. 

Her newest picture book – VAMPIRE BABY (Candlewick Press, July 2013) – shares the comic tale of a big brother being the “victim” of baby’s first teeth. Kelly’s other popular picture books include: ONE DAY I WENT RAMBLING (Bright Sky Press), YOUR MOMMY WAS JUST LIKE YOU (Putnam/Penguin) – a perfect follow up to her highly successful YOUR DADDY WAS JUST LIKE YOU (Putnam/Penguin); DANCE,  Y’ALL,  DANCE  (Bright Sky Press);  and   DAD  AND  POP:   An  Ode  to  Fathers  &   Stepfathers   (Candlewick   Press)  –  2010

National Parenting Publications Awards NAPPA Honors winner.

A native of California, Kelly graduated from Huntington Beach High School in 1976. Upon receiving an Associate of Arts Degree in Liberal Arts from Fullerton College, she continued her education at the California State University, Fullerton (CSUF), and San Jose State University (SJSU), where she majored in Communications with a Public Relations emphasis.   Kelly is a  graduate of the  Vermont  College  Master of Fine Arts in Writing for Children and Young Adults program. 

Kelly  participates  in  writing  workshops and  conferences,  and is  a member  of the  Society of

Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and the Author’s Guild.  Her greatest inspiration springs from adventures with her children,  Max and Alexis,  and her husband, Curtis.  Kelly divides her time between New York, Texas, and Trinidad.