Janet Stevens began drawing as a child. Pictures decorated her walls, mirrors, furniture and school work -- including math assignments. While this didn't always sit well with her teachers, it was what she loved to do.

Janet’s father was in the Navy therefore she moved a great deal and attended many schools while growing up. 

After graduating from high school in Hawaii in 1971 she landed a job creating Hawaiian designs for fabric. The printed fabric was then made into aloha shirts and muumuus.  After she graduated from the University of Colorado in 1975 with a degree in Fine Arts Janet began compiling a portfolio of “characters”, bears in tutus, rhinos in sneakers, and walruses in Hawaiian shirts. In 1977, she attended “The Illustrator's Workshop” in New York City, where it was suggested that her characters might find a home in a children's book. Luckily for libraries (and children's book readers in general), publishers agreed and her first book was published in 1979.        

Janet is the author and illustrator of many original stories and frequently collaborates with her sister, Susan Stevens Crummel.  Her trademark humorous animals also accompany the texts by such authors as Eric Kimmel and Coleen Salley, 

Janet has received numerous book awards, including a Caldecott Honor Award, Time Magazine’s Ten Best Children’s Books ,  the Wanda Gág Best Read-Aloud Book. Child Magazine’s Best Books of the Year..  Janet's books have been named ALA Notables and have repeatedly appeared on the New York Times Best Seller List. 

She is particularly proud of her state book awards, voted on by children -- which include Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Missouri, New York,  North Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Nebraska and Washington.  Janet has received the prestigious Texas Bluebonnet Award twice.

Me as a Kid

My Family

I have two children, my daughter Lindsey, a veterinarian in Fort Collins, Colorado, and Blake, an actor, juggler and mime in New York City. I also have a new addition to my family, two year old Margot, Lindsey's daughter.

My Pets

Over the years I've had many furry companions, sometimes they sneak into my books. I like to imagine what it would be like if my pets walked, talked and took over the story. Can you spot the real-life inspiration for my characters?