Barb Rosenstock has always loved true stories and has the distinction of being the only 4th grader so obsessed with history that she hung out on weekends at antique stores and in her hometown’s tiny library hoping to learn odd bits of trivia about the past. Now, she writes books for children about history’s interesting people, places and events. Her picture book The Noisy Paint Box: The Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky’s Abstract Art, illustrated by Mary Grandpré, received a Caldecott Honor in 2015. This led to their further collaboration on a series of art-related titles: Vincent Can’t Sleep: Van Gogh Paints the Night Sky, Through the Window: Views of Chagall’s Life and Art, which was awarded a Sydney Taylor Honor, and Mornings with Monet. Barb’s book The Secret Kingdom: Nek Chand, a Changing India and a Hidden World of Art, illustrated by Claire A. Nivola was named an Orbis Pictus Honor Book and awarded the South Asia Book Award (SABA). Otis and Will Discover the Deep the Record-setting Dive of the Bathysphere, illustrated by Katherine Roy, was awarded the SCBWI Golden Kite, named an Orbis Pictus Recommended Title and a NSTA Best STEM book.
Other titles include: The Camping Trip that Changed America: Theodore Roosevelt, John Muir and Our National Parks, illustrated by Caldecott medalist Mordicai Gerstein (CLA Beatty Award, Parent’s Choice Award Silver), Ben Franklin’s Big Splash: The Mostly True Story of His First Invention, illustrated by S.D. Schindler (NSTA Best STEM book), The Streak: How Joe DiMaggio Became America’s Hero (Orbis Pictus Recommended), and Thomas Jefferson Builds a Library, illustrated by John O’Brien (Orbis Pictus Recommended). Barb has also written poems and essays for a variety of publications, is a keynote speaker and panelist for educational or literacy conferences (ALA, ILA, NCTE and others) around the country. She was a visiting author at the Library of Congress in 2018, a special honor.
Barb has a BS in Psychology from Loyola University in Chicago and spent almost twenty years as a creative manager for corporate graphic design and marketing departments. In 2001, she received a MAT in Elementary Education from National Louis University after student teaching second grade. While reading to her students and two young sons, she fell in love with picture books, joined SCBWI and started writing for children. Barb has taught picture book writing and nonfiction topics at the Highlights Foundation and for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). She has visited hundreds of elementary schools and loves to share nonfiction writing, revision and research processes with students from PreK through middle school. A life-long resident of Chicago, Barb lives with her family in its northwestern suburbs. She loves walking her standard poodle, Nikki, visiting museums, attending musical theatre, dance classes, reading piles of good books, and working on whatever comes next.