Picture Book Writer
Anna Marras is what you get when you can’t say Nana Marlys.
Why I write
The greatest gifts we can give come from the gifts we are given. Children’s literature offers a way for me to use my charisms to bring truth, beauty, and goodness into the world through the universal language of imagination.
The writing DNA runs in my family’s blood. My grandparents wrote exquisite letters. My mother and brothers wrote poetry and daily journals. A daughter writes complicated briefs daily as a litigating attorney. A granddaughter writes several picture books a day. Her writing and artwork adorns my HOME page banner and background. Words are important to us. They pour out of our souls. Newspaper articles, feature stories, and awards have come and gone. Yet, it’s the friendships and the process of sharing words that thrill, inspire, and motivate us. I’m so grateful for this priceless DNA. It’s a gift that can keep giving long after we’re gone.
- Don’t destroy your journals of youth, no matter how silly or incriminating. You’ll wish you had them for fodder someday.
- Trust your heart.
- Don’t bring celery to the library.
Words to live by:
- A writer in motion stays in motion.
ten eleven twelve thirteen fourteen fifteen most-cherished children’s books, in no particular order of genre or likeability:
1. ARE YOU THERE GOD? IT’S ME, MARGARET by Judy Blume
2. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Harper Lee
3. THE GIVER by Lois Lowry
4. ALEXANDER AND THE TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY by Judith Viorst (Ditto)
5. CHRYSANTHEMUM by Kevin Henkes
6. CLICK, CLACK, MOO: COWS THAT TYPE by Doreen Cronin, Illustrated by Betsy Lewin
7. IF YOU GIVE A MOUSE A COOKIE by Laura Numeroff, illustrated by Felicia Bond
8. THE GIVING TREE by Shel Silverstein
9. GOODNIGHT MOON by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Clement Hurd
10. NEW KID ON THE BLOCK by Jack Prelutsky, illustrated by James Stevenson
11. INTERRUPTING CHICKEN by David Ezra Stein
12. IF YOU EVER WANT TO BRING AN ALLIGATOR TO SCHOOL, DON’T! by Elise Parsley
13. MOTHER BRUCE by Ryan T. Higgins
14. SOLD by Patricia McCormick
15. THE MOST MAGNIFICENT THING by Ashley Spires
Go forth! Write! Slay a dragon! And dream!