I was born in New York City, grew up in Cambridge, MA and Seattle, WA, studied English at Vassar, and then came to New York to get my doctorate in 19th-century English literature at Columbia. My dissertation was called "The Reading Public and the Illustrated Novel, 1890-1914," and a chapter of it can be found in the first issue of the journal Book History.
Tongue First, a book of essays, was published in 1998. A novel, Mister Posterior and The Genius Child was published in 2002. It was a Barnes and Noble "Discover Great New Writers" pick.
My father is playwright Len Jenkin, and together, he and I wrote a novel for children called The Secret Life of Billie's Uncle Myron (1996). Subsequently, my first picture book, Five Creatures was awarded the Charlotte Zolotow Honor and the Boston Globe/Horn Book Honor.
Subsequent picture books include Lemonade in Winter, Toys Meet Snow, The Fun Book of Scary Stuff and Water in the Park., That New Animal received the Boston Globe/Horn Book Honor as well.
For readers age 6-10, the Toys series includes three books: Toys Go Out, Toy Dance Party and Toys Come Home, all with illustrations by Paul O. Zelinsky. Invisible Inkling, also for young middle-grade readers, has pictures by Harry Bliss. Upside-Down Magic is co-authored with Sarah Mlynowski and Lauren Myracle.
To ask about school visits (nursery-5th grade) in the New York City area and further afield, contact Christine Labov at the Penguin Random House Speakers Bureau. Her email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Information on my presentations can be found here, and classroom activities for my books are here. The biographical essay on this site talks about how I came to write books for children, and this interview at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast may be of interest.