Kelly Starling Lyons
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Kelly Starling Lyons

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Kelly Starling Lyons began her journey to become a children's book author in her hometown of Pittsburgh. She learned the art of storytelling from her mom who took her to productions at a children's theater, wrote plays and made up bedtime tales. Her grandparents, who showed their imagination through cooking and gardening, taught her to honor the magic of history and home. Surrounded by creativity, Lyons began to write. She curled up near the radiator behind her bedroom door and allowed her pen to take her to other worlds. A canopy of trees transformed into a make-believe fortress, backyards hid treasure and tunnels to faraway lands, bridges that crossed the Monongahela, Allegheny and Ohio rivers spanned distance and time. Now a children's book author and teaching artist, her mission is to center Black heroes, celebrate family, friendship and heritage and show all kids the storyteller they hold inside. Many of her books have won accolades including a Caldecott Honor for Going Down Home with Daddy, illustrated by Daniel Minter; Christopher Award for Tiara's Hat Parade, illustrated by Nicole Tadgell; a Geisel Honor for Ty's Travels: Zip, Zoom, illustrated by Nina Mata and Junior Library Guild selection for Dream Builder: The Story of Architect Philip Freelon, illustrated by Laura Freeman. Her latest picture book, My Hands Tell a Story, illustrated by Tonya Engel, earned two starred reviews. Kelly also writes for chapter book readers. Her Jada Jones series has earned praise for celebrating an African-American girl who loves science, friends and family. The latest is Jada Jones: Nature Lover. In 2022, Kelly's Miles Lewis spin-off series debuted. The first book, Miles Lewis: King of the Ice, is a Junior Library Guild selection. Stay tuned for more easy readers, picture books and chapter books. Find out more about Kelly at www.kellystarlinglyons.com. Thanks for your support.
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