Our Out-of-this-World Authors & Illustrators



illustrator of Such a Library!: A Yiddish Folktale Re-imagined

Esther van den Bergwas born and raised in a small Dutch village where she spent a happy childhood reading books, building huts and drawing the things that surrounded her. Her love for creating things got her into art school, where she graduated as an illustrator some years later. Since then, many of her illustrations have been featured in books, magazines and animations. Besides illustrating for others, Esther also writes and illustrates her own picture books. She likes to draw animals and humans alike and especially loves how they sometimes resemble each other in all their quirky ways. Esther lives in the lovely city of Amersfoort with her partner and their two daughters. .

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author of DIJ - Do It Jewish: Use Your Jewish Creativity!

Barbara Bietz is an award winning author of several books for children. Barbara created the website JewishBooksforKids.com where she interviews authors, illustrators, editors, and more. When Barbara isn't reading, she is probably typing away at her desk working on a manuscript. Barbara loves reading, doing crafts, and playing the guitar. She lives with her family in Southern California.

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illustrator of DIJ - Do It Jewish: Use Your Jewish Creativity!

Daria Grinevich is passionate about traveling the world. She loves exploring the mystery of new countries through nature, and unfamiliar cultures by living with the locals and learning new languages. One time, she spent a month restoring a castle from the middle ages in France. Ever since childhood, Daria could spend hours on arts and crafts of all kinds and later she graduated with a degree in Architecture and Town Planning. Through her illustrations, Daria gives magical life to everyday objects in her own special vision with different mediums and techniques. You can find her daily sketches and illustrations on her Instagram page, @Darianrty.



illustrator of Such a Library!: A Yiddish Folktale Re-imagined

Jill Ross Nadler has had a varied career with jobs that include professional storyteller, children’s television host, and stilt-walking toy soldier. She’s the co-founder of Page Turner Adventures, a touring theater company that inspires kids to collect, tell, and write stories. She’s written leveled readers for Fountas & Pinnell and a middle grade novel about an unusual girl who visits the world’s strangest roadside attractions. In addition to stories, Jill collects names. She’s been known as both Riley Roam and Storyologist, Page Turner. When she’s not writing or performing, Jill can be found curled up with a good book, visiting weird museums, or creating robots out of Altoid tins. She lives in South Florida with her husband and way too many cats. 



illustrator of Asteroid Goldberg: Passover in Outer Space

Growing up, Merrill Rainey spent most of his Saturday afternoons watching monster movies, drawing superheroes, and going on imaginary adventures with his siblings. Today, he is a cowboy-boot-wearing, award-winning illustrator, designer, and paper engineer. Merrill likes to experiment with art tools and uses marker, cut paper, and water soluble graphite to create his illustrations. Merrill is the creator of Color-Cut-Create! a Paper Toy Activity Book. He lives in the historic town of Maumee, Ohio with his editor (his wife), subject matter experts (his kids), and very opinionated coworkers (two pups, two goldfish, and some crabby hermit crabs).



author of Asteroid Goldberg: Passover in Outer Space

Brianna Caplan Sayres would love to spend Passover in outer space, but for now, she enjoys celebrating seder with her husband and their two future astronauts in her hometown, Seattle, Washington. Brianna is the author of picture books including the bestselling Where Do Diggers Sleep at Night? series illustrated by Christian Slade and Night Night, Curiosity illustrated by Ryan O’Rourke.