Authors & Illustrators Author & Illustrator Appearances


Maria T. DiVencenzo, Author

Maria T. DiVincenzoMaria T. DiVencenzo is an award-winning author and publisher of books for children. Her most recent publications, The Scariest Dream Ever (Winterlake Press, 2010) and The Star of Christmas (Winterlake Press, 2009,) have been recognized with multiple industry awards. As a HarperCollins author, Maria wrote Little House in Brookfield, Little Town at the Crossroads, and Little Clearing in the Woods, novels depicting the childhood of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s mother, Caroline. Intent on producing exceptional books that delight, inspire and support children, DiVencenzo founded Winterlake Press in 2007.  An independent publisher, Winterlake Press uses proceeds from book sales to support children’s programs in schools and libraries. In 2010, Winterlake Press became a founding sponsor of, a storybook support program that connects deployed US service men and women with their families back home. Maria lives in Western New York with her husband, four children, and shaggy black schnoodle.

Elaine S. Verstraete, Illustrator

Elaine S. Verstraete creates art and illustration from her Middlesex, NY, studio, a renovated hunting cabin that sits nestled near hilltop evergreens with views of the valley below. Elaine has illustrated numerous children’s books, including Many Ways to be a Soldier, Germ Hunter, and Shipwreck Search. Elaine currently teaches illustration at Rochester Institute of Technology, plays folk- and bluegrass-style acoustic bass, and adores the shenanigans of her four Siamese cats, Koto, Shogun, Django, and Fila.


Alixandra Martin, Illustrator

A professional artist for many years, Alix Martin has traveled throughout the U.S. and Europe studying and creating art. She studied art education and taught painting at the Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, FL. Her murals can be found in San Francisco, California, Olonzac, France, and The Florida Keys. She currently has her work on display at the Albright Knox Collectors Gallery (Buffalo, NY), in Toronto at the HAG Atelier Gallery, redFISH Art Studios and Gallery in East Aurora, N.Y, the Gallery and Studios she founded, and the neíghborhood collective on Elmwood Ave. in Buffalo N.Y.

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