Martha Seif Simpson
I remember desperately wanting to learn how to read when I was young, but it took me a while to figure out how to do it. When I was in third grade, I found Henry Huggins by Beverly Cleary, and that book turned me into a real reader! I read every Beverly Cleary book I could find and then moved on to other authors. I love children's books so much that I eventually became a children's librarian so I could keep reading kids' books, and then introduce them to boys and girls at the library!
I started writing for fun when I was in eighth grade. I liked thinking up silly stories and inventing goofy character names. And I was always making up my own words to popular songs that I heard on the radio. This turned out to be a useful skill as a children’s librarian, because I have written lots of songs to use in storytimes.
I grew up in New Bedford, Massachusetts. My parents owned a small store, Dotty’s Variety (named after my mother) which had a penny candy counter, back when you could actually buy Bazooka bubble gum and red licorice for a penny. My brother and I often helped out at the store during the 18 years that my parents owned it. Perhaps I was thinking of the store when I wrote The Dreidel That Wouldn’t Spin: A Toyshop Tale of Hanukkah and Esther's Gragger: A Toyshop Tale of Purim.
My husband, John, and I have two boys and two girls. My first picture book, What NOT to Get Your Mom on Mother’s Day is dedicated to my children - Paul, Rose, Nick, and Shayna, who are all grown up now.
Although I have been writing children’s stories for several years, it took a long time for me to break into the children’s book market. Meanwhile, I went to library school and became Head of Children’s Services at the Stratford Library in Stratford, CT. I published several library resource books which you can read about on this web site. I enjoyed writing them, but now I want to focus on writing for kids. I will keep you updated on my progress!
Awards and Recognition
- 2015 Independent Books Pubishers Association Benjamin Franklin Silver Award for The Dreidel That Wouldn't Spin: A Toyshop Tale of Hanukkah
Press and Media Mentions
- The CT Post featured a 2 page interview about Esther's Gragger in the February 10, 2019 Sunday Arts & Style section
- Foreward Reviews published an interview in their January/February 2019 magazine
- Information about The Dreidel That Wouldn't Spin: A Toyshop Tale of Hanukkah on the Wisdom Tales website . It includes a link to the book trailer and excerpts from several reviews.
- This link to my website includes a child's review of What Not to Give Your Mom on Mother's Day, links to a Mother's Day card craft, and more.