Maryann Cocca-Leffler of Maine, is the Author and Illustrator of over sixty books for children. Maryann’s picture book, Janine (2015) was recently chosen by the ILA as a 2016 Teacher’s Pick. Both Janine and its sequel, Janine and the Field Day Finish (2016), were inspired by her daughter, Janine. Together they have developed a corresponding website, www.janinesparty.com with a mission to help change public perception of children with disabilities. Other favorite books which are used in the classroom include, Mr. Tanen's Ties, Mr Tanen's Tie Trouble, A Homemade Together Christmas, Bus Route to Boston, Jack’s Talent and Bravery Soup. Her very first book, Thanksgiving at the Tappletons’ written by Eileen Spinelli, was re-released by HarperCollins as a classic. Maryann’s upcoming book, Growing Season will be published by Sterling Books. When not in her studio, Maryann is traveling to visit schools or digging in her garden.
I visit Schools all over the country where I show the creative process of making a book, talk about where ideas come from and get kids excited about reading and writing while encouraging students to write and illustrate their own stories. In my book JANINE and JANINE AND THE FIELD DAY FINISH my goal is to change public perception of children with disabilities, and increase awareness, inclusion and acceptance. My books empower kids with challenges and encourage all kids to stand up for themselves and others, love who they are, and be the best they can be.
Recently Janine (2015) was chosen by the ILA as a 2016 Teacher’s Pick. Over the years Maryann has garnered Kirkus Star reviews, ABA picks, the California State Reading Award, Florida State Reading Award and the Hoosier State Reading Award, and several Bank Street Best Books, among others. Her Scholastic “LET IT” Seasons Series has sold over two million copies. As a playwright, Maryann wrote a play based on her Princess KIM books. Princess K.I.M. The Musical won a National New Play Festival in 2012 and has had sold out performances on the East and West coasts.
Maryann grew up in the Boston area and attended Massachusetts College of Art and Design where she received a BFA in Illustration.
To learn more about me and my books visit: www.maryanncoccaleffler.com www.janinesparty.com www.PrincessKimTheMusical.com