The International Directory
of Published Authors and Illustrators of Books
for Children and Young Adults.
Find artists and writers to present at your school, library, bookstore, conference or other venue!
John Steven Gurney
John Steven Gurney is the author and illustrator of the picture book Dinosaur Train. He has illustrated over 140 chapter books for children, including popular series such as The A to Z Mysteries, The Calendar Mysteries, The Bailey School Kids, and Palace Puppies. His first graphic novel, Fuzzy Baseball, will be released in the Spring of 2016
John lives in Southern Vermont with his wife and two children. Since 2002 he has been invited by schools in thirty one states and five countries to share his experience with school children.
Awards and Honors
June Jam Calendar Mysteries # 6 appeared on the Bank Street Books Best Books List of 2012 (for children 5-9)
Dinosaur Train was a 2009 Oregon SMART Book Award Nominee
The Meanest Hound was chosen for the Iowa Children's Choice Award Master List and the Young Hoosier Book Award Master List (2006-2007)
John combines live drawing with a PowerPoint presentation to demonstrate how illustrators use pictures to communicate ideas. John shares his illustration development process, which includes concept sketch, visual research, refined sketch and painting. He explains the publishing process; how an illustrator most often works with the editor, and not with the author.
John presents his information with clarity and humor. Volunteers from the audience get to experience what it’s like to pose for an illustration. John answers questions and draws cartoons. Whenever possible John loves to lead the entire audience in large group “draw-along” activities, so students can leave the session with drawings that they created.
John adapts his presentation for the age of the audience, K-6. He also offers a variety of cartooning and story concept workshops.
John charges $875 for a full day in the Northeast, $975 if air travel is involved. The daily fee is reduced when multiple days are booked. Travel and overnight accommodations are extra.
John Steven Gurney (author and illustrator) Reading level: 5-10 years Paperback 56 pages. Publisher: NBM/Papercutz (May 24, 2016) ISBN-10: 1629914770 ISBN-13: 978-1629914770
It's the game everyone has been waiting for—The Fernwood Valley Fuzzies vs. The Rocky Ridge Red Claws! The Fuzzies, featuring such all-star players as Jackie Rabbitson, Sandy Kofox, and Hammy Sosa, are ready. So are the Red Claws, with players like Gator Gibson, Stretch Giraffolo, and Fernado del Toro. Together they'll make this the greatest game ever played between the two longtime rivals. And you have a front row seat at Fuzzy Field!
From Booklist– "Though their roster is full of animals, the Fernwood Valley Fuzzies are a classic underdog team: despite a lot of talent, they have never beaten the Rocky Ridge Red Claws. One fan–Honey Blossom Possum–is so determined to see her team win that she trains and eventually makes the team. She might be the tiniest team member, but her inimitable spirit is just what the Fuzzies need. Along with the slick play-by-play narrative of the game. Gurney slips in plenty of entertaining extras, such as baseball cards and team photos. Meanwhile, the players' names are all baseball and animal puns, and there's a spread detailing each team's sponsored products–Hammy Sosa (a pig) owns a clothing boutique, while Snaps Tortelli (snapping turtle and Red Claws catcher) has a barbed wire company. The scenes are densely packed with detail, and the players–rendered in a slightly cartoonish but naturalistic style–are richly expressive at every turn. Baseball-loving kids will get a kick out of the action on the field, while burgeoning graphic-novel readers will appreciate the snappy visual storytelling." —Sarah Hunter
From Publishers Weekly– "Gurney (the A to Z Mysteries series), in his first graphic novel, offers an entertaining play-by-play account of a baseball game between two rival teams, the Fernwood Valley Fuzzies ("These are the good guys!" he notes) and the Rocky Ridge Red Claws. The co-ed teams, whose uniforms echo those of the Dodgers and White Sox in years past, consist of various animals, often with punny names like Hammy Sosa and Sandy Kofox. With the addition of fan turned rookie Blossom Honey Possum, the Fuzzies hope to finally beat the Red Claws. "What a beautiful day for baseball!" shouts the lizard announcer, only to wail "What a horrible day for baseball!" a few pages later as Gurney zips to the ninth inning, with the Fuzzies down by three. Gurney's love of the game is apparent, and he fills the pages with visual jokes and other references for fellow fans. It's hard not to see a little Babe Ruth in the Fuzzies' hulking bear of a first baseman/manager, and when the game gets good, fans follow along via radio, television and even newspaper, which must be doing some very fast reprinting." Ages 6-10.
John Steven Gurney (author and illustrator) Reading level: 4-8 years Hardcover 32 pages. Publisher: Harper Collins (2002) ISBN-10: 0060292458 ISBN-13: 978-0060292454
Pre-school aged Jesse takes a night time ride on an oversized train full of friendly dinosaurs.
From Booklist– "Jesse takes a fanciful ride on a train full of dinosaurs in a daydream inspired by his favorite interests: 'Trains and dinosaurs. Dinosaurs and trains.' Jesse climbs aboard the train on a huge, spiked tail (the tail belongs to a giant purple engineer, appropriately clad in overalls and cap). The passengers on the train would be right at home on Amtrak (the little old lady, the conductor in uniform and spectacles, business folk reading the paper and travelers in jeans and T-shirts), except for the fact that they happen to be dinosaurs of all sizes and colors, their long necks and tails poking from every open window. When the train goes through a tunnel, they all must duck, and when they rush to one side to check out a volcano, they tip over the train. The Day-Glo bright colors, very simple text and the dinos' hilariously goofy facial expressions will attract many young train and dinosaur aficionados; they'll appeal to plenty of other picture-book fans, too." –Diane Foote (Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved)Preschool-Grade 1.
John Steven Gurney
710 Western Ave
Brattleboro, VT 05301
Phone (802) 258-2654
Ron Roy (author), John Steven Gurney (illustrator) Reading level: 6-9 years, Paperback 96-144 pages.
Publisher: Random House (1997-2015)
Dink, Josh and Ruth Rose solve a different mystery in every book. There's a mystery for every letter of the alphabet, plus 7 super editions!
White House, White Out
ISBN-10: 0375847219 ISBN-13: 978-0375847219
ISBN-10: 0385371594 ISBN-13: 978-0385371599
26 Book Set
ISBN-10: 0439867789 ISBN-13: 978-0439867788
Ron Roy (author), John Steven Gurney (illustrator) Reading level: 6-9 years, Paperback, 80 pages. Publisher: Random House (2009-2014)
It’s a mystery every month from A to Z Mysteries author Ron Roy! In this spin-off series the younger sibling take center stage and get to be the detectives.
June Jam (book #6)
ISBN-10: 0375861122 ISBN-13: 978-0375861123
October Ogre (book #10)
ISBN-10: 0375868887 ISBN-13: 978-0375868887
November Night (book #11)
ISBN-10: 0385371659 ISBN-13: 978-0385371650
13 book set
ISBN-10: 1609330536 ISBN-13: 978-1609330538
The Meanest Hound Around
Bill Wallace and Carol Wallace (authors), John Steven Gurney (illustrator) Reading level: 7-10 years Paperback 160 pages. Publisher: Aladdin (2004) ISBN-10: 0743437861 ISBN-13: 978-0743437868
Fluffy Freddie meets up with Spike, a watchdog-in-training, who's just not mean enough to satisfy his cruel junkyard master. Freddie helps his new friend escape, and together they set out, struggling through danger and adventure to find a new home.
From School Library Journal– "A story to melt the heart of the most reluctant reader, this tale features Freddie, an appealing canine narrator who tells of being loved by his boy, but abandoned by his boy's father. Wet, miserable, cold and frightened, he comes upon a junkyard run by two bullies, one human and one canine. He befriends Spike, forced to be a watchdog there, helps him escape and the two begin a series of encounters with hostile geese and ferocious coyotes before finding a happy home. The plot unfolds at a steady pace, and the ample dialogue lends immediacy to the story. Black-and-white illustrations, one or two per chapter, capture some of the canines' terrifying adventures and the tale's joyful resolution. For early readers who like animal stories, this one is a good choice." –Cynde Suite, formerly at Horry County Memorial Library, Surfside Beach, SC (Copyright © 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. All rights reserved.) Grades 2-4.
Laura Dower (author), John Steven Gurney (illustrator) Reading Level: 7-10 years, Paperback 128 pages. Publisher: Disney-Hyperion (2013).
Sunny and Rex are royal puppies! Sunny is a lady-like goldendoodle, and Rex is a mischievous beagle. Together, they love living in the palace with their owners and best friends, Princess Annie and Prince James.
Sunny and the Royal Party (book 1)
ISBN-10: 1423164733 ISBN-13: 978-1423164739
Sunny to the Rescue (book 2)
ISBN-10: 1423164865 ISBN-13: 978-1423164869
Sunny and the Snowy Surprise (book 3)
ISBN-10: 1423164873 ISBN-13: 978-1423164876
Sunny and the Secret Passage (book 4)
ISBN-10: 1423164881 ISBN-13: 978-1423164883
The Night Before Christmas
Clement Clark Moore (author), John Steven Gurney (illustrator) Reading level: 4 and up Library Binding 32 pages. Publisher: Scholastic (1989) ISBN 0613365518
John Steven Gurney’s version of the classic Christmas poem.
Debbie Daey and Marica Thornton Jones (author), John Steven Gurney (illustrator) Reading level: 7-10 Paperback 80-128 pages. Publisher: Scholastic (1991-2007)
The hugely popular early chapter book monster series for young readers. Somebody is new in town. Are they really a monster? Or just an eccentric teacher? You decide.
The Abominable Snowman Doesn't Roast Marshmallows (BSK#50)
ISBN-10: 0439650372 ISBN-13: 978-0439650373
Ogres Don't Hunt Easter Eggs (BSK Holiday special)
ISBN-10: 0439408342 ISBN-13: 978-0439408349
10 Book set
ISBN-10: 043956932X ISBN-13: 978-0439569323
Debbie Daey and Marica Thornton Jones (author), John Steven Gurney (illustrator) Reading level: 7-10 years Paperback, 80-112 pages. Publisher: Scholastic (1998-2000)
Mrs Jeepers’ brother moves to Bailey City and opens an Inn for their visiting monster friends. The Bailey City residents generally act more monstrous than the visiting guests.
The Monsters Next Store (book#1)
ISBN-10: 0590107879 ISBN-13: 978-0590107877
The Hauntlys’ Hairy Surprise (Special Edition#1)
ISBN-10: 0590043021 ISBN-13: 978-0590043021
Kate Finch (author), John Steven Gurney (illustrator) Reading level: 7-10 years Paperback 96 pages Publisher: Scholastic (2013)
A fun, funny new chapter book series full of adorable pets and silly adventures! Twins Meg and Charlie are moving into their great-great-aunt's hotel, and they're in for some surprises! The run-down hotel is full of cool old rooms, a rooftop garden, even an elevator. There's also one big problem–it doesn't have any guests. But when Meg and Charlie volunteer to look after a neighbor's golden retriever puppy, the fuzzy little furball gives them a great idea. They're going to transform their new home into an amazing hotel...for pets!
From Booklist– "Twins Meg and Charlie have moved with their parents into the Diamond Hotel, which is owned by their great-great-aunt. They are there to help run the business so their aunt does not need to sell the hotel and move into a retirement home. The family arrives to find a building, although architecturally interesting, in need of repair, and the business faltering. When a neighboring business owner is injured, the twins volunteer to take care of his puppy. That leads another neighbor to ask the twins to take care of her pet rabbit while she is away at a family function. Both pet-sitting jobs go well, and when another neighbor asks for them to take care of her pet, the idea comes to the family to convert the floundering Diamond Hotel into a pet hotel. Simple and engaging, this title and others in the series should appeal to most children, especially animal lovers." Grades 1-4. –Suanne Roush.
Calling All Pets (Book #1)
ISBN-10: 0545501806 ISBN-13: 978-0545501804
Carol and Bill Wallace (author), John Steven Gurney (illustrator) Reading level: 8-12 Paperback 128 pages. Publisher: Aladdin (2002) ISBN-10: 0743406397 ISBN-13: 978-0743406390
The adventures of a young wolf calf named ‘Bub’, and his wolf puppy friend named ‘Snow’
Kristin Earhart (author), John Steven Gurney (illustrator) Reading level: 4-8 Paperback 96 pages Publisher: Scholastic (2007-2009)
When Happy Go Lucky, a young quarter pony, is moved from his home to the stables at Big Apple Barn, endless adventures await him!
Set of 5 books
ISBN-10: 0545174295 ISBN-13: 978-0545174299
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