ABOUT JOANNE STEWART WETZEL
I grew up as an Air Force brat. I’ve lived in ten states and on the Greek island of Crete. My picture book, The Christmas Box (Alfred A. Knopf), is the story of how my family was together at Christmas even though we were thousands of miles apart. It was named a Noteworthy Book for Children by Bank Street College of Education. I went to nine schools by the 5th grade and my last picture book, Mermaid School (Alfred A. Knopf, 2018), is about how to make friends at a new school. Its German edition is titled In der Meerjungfrauen-Schule.
I saw my first play, Peter Pan, on Broadway when I was seven. The children flew! Ever since I’ve known something magical might happen in a theater at any moment. When I saw another magical play, Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, I vowed to see a production of every one of his plays. I completed that vow when I saw Two Noble Kinsmen, at the Globe Theatre in London in 2018. My first book, OnstageBackstage (Carolrhoda), co-written with Caryn Huberman, was a photoessay about the Palo Alto Children’s Theatre. My middle grade novel, Playing Juliet (Sky Pony Press, 2015), is also set in a children’s theater.
I’ve served as the SCBWI Regional Advisor for San Francisco and South, and began the Traveling Storytime at the Redwood City Library. Its volunteers, who read to preschoolers in day care facilities, have made over half a million child visits.