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 Out, Toy Dance Party and Toys Come Home, all have illustrations by Caldecott-medalist Paul O. Zelinsky. Invisible 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.
For school visits (nursery-5th grade), 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.