As a kid I imagined a life where I would live in a little red house in the middle of New England with animals to love and stories to write. And that’s what I’m doing. The reality is every bit as fun as the dream!
Today my critters are my greatest inspiration. Both the ones that live indoors with me and the ones who live on my land: the deer born outside my studio window, the bear who snitches seed from the bird feeder, the bobcat who slinks quietly by, and more. Even a few from the neighbor’s farm keep me inspired.
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Lita Judge is the author and illustrator of 30 fiction and nonfiction books including The Wisdom of Trees, Mary’s Monster, One Thousand Tracings, Born in the Wild, Red Sled, and Hoot and Peep. Her book, Flight School, has recently been adapted into an off-Broadway musical which was shown in New York City and China. Awards for her books include the International Reading Association Children’s Book Award, an ALA Notable, NCTE Notable Book, a Kirkus Best Book, and the Jane Addams Honor. Before she created art and books, Lita was a geologist and worked on dinosaur digs. But a trip to Venice Italy inspired her to quit her job and pursue a lifelong passion for creating art. Now, when not in her studio, she can be found backpacking through Europe with her sketchbook and easel in hand. Painting in the streets of Italy, France, Sweden, Russia and many other places have inspired her many of her books. The novel, Mary’s Monster, was inspired through reading Mary Shelley’s journals while exploring places she had traveled. This book created a rich opportunity to explore working in a completely new form, that of combining free verse with full page illustrations in novel form. Lita was drawn to capturing the interior world of Mary Shelley’s mind, as well as the realistic images of her life. Creating this book was a journey in itself and took five years to complete. Lita lives in New Hampshire.