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Anna Alter Books & Biography


Anna Alter is the author and illustrator of Estelle and Lucy, Francine's Day and The Three Little Kittens. She has also illustrated several books by other authors, including The Purple Ribbon and The Bird Shadow. She lives in Boston, Massachusetts, where she teaches young children.

In her own words:

I began drawing at an early age, both my parents were artists and encouraged me to be as creative as I wanted to be. I was always surrounded by beautiful books, and have wanted to create them ever since. I consider writing and illustrating books for children a great privilege, a passion and the most wonderful job a person could have.

Though as a child I was always involved in an art project of some kind, it was not until I was a teenager that I began writing stories to go along with my pictures. I knew at the age of fourteen that this was what I wanted to spend my life doing. I was lucky enough to attend the Rhode Island School of Design, where I pursued children’s book illustration right from the start. My first book with Greenwillow, Estelle and Lucy, began at RISD as a project in one of my studio classes.

After I graduated I quickly moved to Boston, portfolio in hand. I began working at a children’s book publisher and learning about the steps I needed to take to pursue my childhood dream. Once I was able to have my stories and illustrations published, I knew that all the time spent chasing this career was well worth it.

I have never differentiated between the art on walls and in museums, and the art in picture books. I feel books are a unique art form in their ability to fully absorb and transport their reader. My hope is that the stories I’ve written, and the art that supports them, gives children a place to see themselves in the world.

In addition to writing and illustrating, I also spend my time teaching in various ways. Some days I teach children’s book illustration at Montserrat College of art. Some days I travel to schools to talk about making books. Other days I work with preschoolers at the Boston Children’s School, who love their books as dear friends, teachers, and sometimes snacks! I am honored to count my books among them.