Author-Illustrator Spotlight: Jennifer Sattler

© Jennifer Sattler

Feb. 16, 2018

Today we are excited to be a part of the blog tour for picture book author-illustrator Jennifer Sattler and her new board book series, DIRTY BIRDIES and JUNGLE GYM (Sleeping Bear Press, Feb. 15, 2018). She is the author-illustrator of over a dozen books, including the CHICK 'N' PUG and PIG KAHUNA series.

Be sure to enter to win a copy of the books, a tote bag, and original art!

Congrats on your new board book series, DIRTY BIRDIES and JUNGLE GYM! What inspired you? 

Well I’ve wanted to do an original board book series for a while. I love board books. I love their direct visual impact. I love how they feel in your hands. There’s a lot more back and forth when little ones are looking at board books on their own, learning to turn the pages themselves. Each page is a little moment they can turn back to. Plus, Sandra Boynton is my hero and her books are my absolute favorite!

Was your road to publication long and windy, short and sweet, or something in between? 

Good question. Well, it felt long in the beginning. Before I met my agent Anna Olswanger, I was sending things out blindly and every trip to the mailbox was full of hope. Every trip BACK should’ve had a Charlie Brown soundtrack . Once I met Anna, things started really happening for me.  My first book was SYLVIE (Random House Books for Young Readers, 2009). I’ve been published pretty consistently since then.

One of the things we love about your art is how darn cute and full of personality your characters have. What tips can you give to fellow illustrators to achieve that kind of appeal? 

I’m a face studier. I always have been. Often it’s the little movements of an eyebrow or the turn of the corner of a mouth that show you how someone really feels. My advice would be to pay attention, look in the mirror and channel your inner preschooler. They’re masters of expression.

©Jennifer Sattler

What projects are you working on now? 

I’m working on a third book in the board book series, BUNDLE UP! 

I just sent in the final art for a picture book that's coming out next fall called DOLLOP AND MRS. FABULOUS. It’s about two sisters who strongly resemble my girls when they were young. They were total opposites who loved being together even if they drove each other nuts…. oh, and these two are  bunnies. 

© Jennifer Sattler

This summer I have a picture book coming out called BULLY (Sleeping Bear Press) about a big ol’ bullfrog who wants every lily in the pond for himself. It takes every bug in the pond to get together and show him how small he really is. The message about standing up together and for each other is pretty clear. But as in all my books, I never want to preach. I want to make kids ( and sometimes their grown ups ) laugh…and smile.

© Jennifer Sattler

Where can people find you online?

 My new website is

Jennifer Sattler is the award winning author and illustrator of several children's books including SYLVIE, UH OH, DODO! the popular series CHICK ‘N’ PUG and PIG KAHUNA and her newest book FRANKIE THE BLANKIE. She grew up outside of Philadelphia and then went on to study painting and drawing at the University of New Hampshire and then the Hope School of Fine Arts at Indiana University in Bloomington. In 1996, she won a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Her books have won The Mockingbird Award for picture books and The Georgia Children's book Award. Jennifer lives in upstate New York. You can visit Jennifer at

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  1. I love this art so much! Can't wait to see and read the books.

  2. After seeing your art, I believe every book should have a bird with polka dots! Really fun.

  3. These illustrations are adorable! Congrats on the double release!

  4. Her cartoons are so funny and delightful!--and the colors are great!

  5. The art work has so much personality! I don't have littles in my life, but I'm buying these board books and gifting them to some random young mom!

  6. These books are so much fun. Kids of all ages will love the bright illustrations.

  7. Aww I love these characters' expressions! I also liked the line about walking back from the mailbox to a Charlie Brown soundtrack... haha! ;)

  8. I love Jennifer’s books, especially Silvie!

  9. I love your characters. Such great expressions you give us to look at!

  10. Jennifer, I love the way you are able to send positive messages via humor instead of preaching. Your illustrations are cute as can be. Much success to you on all your adorable, fun books.