Minnesota is home to 10,000 lakes, chilly winters, and an array of gifted children’s authors. We are going to take a look at five children’s authors we adore and think you should too, starting with our very own, Vicki Shaeffer!

Vicki Shaeffer 
Vicki Shaeffer published her first book in 2020, Oh Mother How Funny, which was dedicated to her first grandchild. Starting as an old poem, then being adapted to a family lullaby Vicki transferred a few words into a magical book. However this was only the start, Vicki has just authored her second book, Oh Baby It’s a Clear Lake, which is a celebration of a baby’s summer adventures on and around a lake. Brought to life through the magical illustrations of Kristie Frudden, this book would be a wonderful addition to your child’s bookshelf library.  It is also available with a companion plushie, choice of a fluffy bunny or friendly squirrel. If you are interested in pre-ordering you can follow the link here or email library@longoverduestories.com. Vicki Sheaffer serves as one of our company advisors and as the CEO of NSNBabySoft. We are so proud to have Vicki on the North Star Newborns team and are blown away by her variety of talent! If you would like to read more about this book, please check out Long Overdue Book’s July Newsletter here.

Bao Phi
Bao Phi is a spoken word artist local to Minnesota. He has been heavily involved in the arts from a young age, he began performing his poetry when competing on the South High speech team in the Creative Expression category in the early 1990s. As of now, Phil has published three children’s books, including A Different Pond, which won the 2018 Charlotte Zolotow Award and the 2017 Asian/Pacific American Award for literature for best picture book. His other two children’s books, The Footprints and Hello, Mandarin Duck! have been heavily praised within the literary community. His children’s books focus on imagination, feeling included, kindness and wonder. He has won the Minnesota Grand Poetry Slam twice. Phi is also the recipient of multiple Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative grants. We are excited to see what he creates next! If you want to learn more about his work, click the link here.

David LaRochelle

David LaRochelle is a writer and illustrator who has been contributing to the Minnesota children’s literary community for over three decades. LaRochelle has a range of children’s books to choose from, as he has been published over 20 times. Each book is different from the last, but one thing remains the same throughout all of his work – the emphasis on understanding and kindness. Our favorite book of his is See The Dog: Three Stories About A Cat, which tells the tale of a house cat filling in for a dog while he is sick, and attempting to do the dog’s duties around the house. If you want to read more about David LaRochelle you can do so here.

Mary Casanova
Having a total of thirty-nine books, Mary Casanova has something for everyone, including you and the little ones in your life. Casanova has published 10 beautiful picture books for babies and toddlers, our favorite being, Utterly Otterly Day This story touches on the importance of connecting with and keeping our loved ones close as we grow up. To read more about her different picture books click the link here.

Michael Hall 
Last, but certainly not least, is Michael Hall, the award-winning graphic artist whose vibrant picture books come to life before your eyes. He has authored eleven books and our favorite is My Heart Is Like A Zoo, which also happens to be a New York Times bestseller! Hall’s pictures paint a wonderfully inviting world of color, curiosity, and silliness. If you want to check out his other critically acclaimed work, such as Perfect Square and Red: A Crayon’s Story, you can do so by clicking the link here!

Happy reading, everyone!