Children's author and illustrator Rosalyn Schanzer views history as series of grand adventures full of fascinating people — stories just waiting to be told. And she loves to tell them, bringing real-life characters like George Washington (and that other George, King George III), Benjamin Franklin, Charles Darwin, Lewis & Clark, Davy Crockett, and others to life through vivid storytelling and rich-in-detail illustrations. Extensive research, humor, and an understanding of human nature are at the heart of all her nonfiction books for kids.
You can watch the interview below, view the interview transcript, read a short biography on Roz Schanzer, or see a selected list of her children's books. (This video is also available on YouTube and iTunes.)
Rosalyn Schanzer was born into a family of artists and storytellers who inspired a love of exploration and adventure. Schanzer feels equally at home buried inside a dusty history book as she does traveling the world from the Galapagos Islands to the Africa plains to the Andes Mountains.
In her early professional life, Schanzer focused on her illustration skills and painted pictures for greeting cards, posters, children's games, and books. Although she loves being an illustrator, Schanzer realized that what she really wanted to do was bring together her own words with her illustrations. So, in 1993, she started writing the kinds of books she wanted to read as a child: great adventure stories about real events and people in history. Schanzer revels in the research and becoming a kind of history detective — discovering things about people and the past that no one knew before.
Schanzer is an avid photographer, champion swimmer, chocolate-lover, and active member of I.N.K. (Interesting Nonfiction for Kids), a community of writer's dedicated to writing and promoting great children's nonfiction. Schanzer currently lives in Fairfax Station, Virginia with her husband Steve.