photo credit:   Heather Weston

    photo credit: Heather Weston

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. 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. 

Later picture books include A Greyhound, A Groundhog, Lemonade in Winter, Toys Meet Snow, The Fun Book of Scary Stuff,  A Fine Dessert, Tiger & Badger,  and Water in the Park.That New Animal received the Boston Globe/Horn Book Honor as well. 

For readers age 6-10,  Toys Go OutToy Dance Party and Toys Come Home, all have illustrations by Caldecott-medalist Paul O. ZelinskyInvisible Inkling, also for young middle-grade readers, has pictures by Harry Bliss.  The Upside-Down Magic series is co-authored with Sarah Mlynowski and Lauren Myracle.

I've written articles for a number of magazines and essay collections as well. If you're interested in my work for young adults, visit E. Lockhart.

For school visits (nursery-5th grade), contact Christine Labov at the Penguin Random House Speakers Bureau. Her email:

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.