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Sarah Stewart

Writer Sarah Stewart and artist David Small, married more than 30 years, like to occasionally collaborate on books. Over the years, they’ve published a number of award-winning picture books, including The Journey, The Library, and the Caldecott Honor Book, The Gardener. The secret to their collaboration? Give each other the space to be creative and tell the story in their own way. Listen in as Small describes how he created the evocative blue-hued illustration for the endpapers in their newest book, The Quiet Place.


Sarah Stewart grew up in Texas, studied Latin and philosophy in college, and has had a number of jobs (teacher, speechwriter, and ombudsman, among others) before turning to writing children’s books. All of her books have been illustrated by Small. Stewart has reviewed children’s books for The New York Times, edited copy for The Texas Observer, and occasionally has a poem published in an obscure journal. In November 2007, Sarah received the Michigan Author’s Award for overall literary merit, the highest honor granted by Michigan librarians and the Michigan Center for the Book.

David Small was born and raised in Detroit. In school he became known as “the kid who could draw good.” After getting his MFA at Yale, David taught art for many years on the college level, ran a film series, and made satirical sketches for campus newspapers. He wrote and illustrated his first picture book, Eulalie and the Hopping Head, which was published in 1981, and continued to publish drawings in The New Yorker and The New York Times. David’s books have been translated into several languages, made into animated films and musicals, and have won numerous prestigious awards, including the 2001 Caldecott Medal for So, You Want to Be President? by Judith St. George. Small has illustrated more than 40 picture books.

David Small and Sarah Stewart live in a 19th century manor house on a bend of the St. Joseph River in southwest Michigan. David’s studio is an 1890 farmhouse also overlooking the river, just a short walk from home.