2012 Notable Authors

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In 1995, successful art director Tom Lichtenheld’s nephew, Adam, asked him for a drawing of a pirate.  20 pages of pirate silliness later, Tom had his first children’s book, Everything I Know About Pirates.  He has since created 15 books, including the award winning What Are You So Grumpy About? and Duck! Rabbit!   His exuberant style and attention to detail has won him fans among children and adults alike.  His newest title, Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site, is a New York Times Best Seller. 

Tom grew up near Lake Michigan, and in the summer he and his brothers would spend their days at the beach.  As a child, he loved to draw, but didn’t do very well in school.  His school counselors didn’t know quite what to do with him, so finally recommended he become a sign painter.  He took their advice and credits that work─creating perfectly even letters on signs─as great experience for a future designer.  He then went on to work his way through art school and later became an art director, working in advertising.  

His work as a children’s book illustrator is done in watercolor and colored pencil, and he starts with sketches and doodles, which later become his books.  His wife, Jan, is an integral part of his work, acting as editor, scheduler, organizer and bookkeeper.  Tom’s online presence is wonderful for fans, parents, teachers and librarians as it includes great activities for each title and many resources to promote literacy.  He mentions that he maintains his connection with children by keeping photos of children he knows on his desk, so that while he is creating he can think of specific kids and consider, what would make that kid laugh? Clearly, this technique works, as his are some of the funniest picture books on the shelves.  Tom Lichtenheld continues to write and illustrate prolifically.   


Anne Powers was born in Cloquet, Minnesota, in 1913. A prolific writer of historical romances, Powers was a long-time resident of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  After moving there in the mid 1930’s, she married, started a family, worked in the Promotional Department in what has now become the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and also taught a course in freelance writing at Marquette University for 15 years.

Powers began writing in high school and published her first book, The Gallant Years, in 1946, under her maiden name, Anne Powers. Most of her books have appeared in foreign editions and have been translated into French, Swedish and Spanish. During her lifetime, she wrote 17 novels spanning many historical time periods and demonstrating a deft control over the written word.

Though she passed away at the age of 74 in 1987 after a battle with cancer, her legacy continues through her work and the lives she touched.

Complete Works:

The Delaware River Man (1973)
Eleanor: The Passionate Queen (1987)
The Gallant Years (1946)
Heart’s Journey (1986)
The Ironmaster (1951)
No King But Caesar (1974)
No Wall So High (1949)
The Only Sin (1953)
The Promise and the Passion (1977)
Queen’s Ransom (1985)
Rachel (1973)
Ride East, Ride West (1978)
Ride With Danger (1958)
Royal Bondage (1977)
The Royal Consorts (1978)
Secret Splendor (1986)
The Thousand Fires (1957)