• Kelli has a Master of Publishing degree from Simon Fraser University, where an award was established in her name for innovative approach to publication design (Kelli Caldwell Design Award). After working in public relations and event planning for Harper’s Magazine in NYC, she returned to Portland, Oregon, where she started a design and publication development business, primarily focused on corporate publishing. Now as mom to twin preschoolers, a boy and a girl, it is fitting that her current focus is on picture books, though she began writing for children long before she had kids of her own. Kelli is also a songwriter, performing children’s music in the Portland area.

    Kelli grew up in Northern California and small-town Oregon, with summers in the creeks of Idaho, and has spent time living solo in Finland, Tokyo, Vancouver B.C., and at the corner of 1st Street and 1st Avenue in NYC. She now lives in Portland with her twins and husband, a black lab, a big Siberian cat, and lots of plants.

    Perhaps due to her unconventional upbringing, Kelli has always danced to her own beat. As a child, Kelli did a stint as a French clown named Rosebud; started kindergarten from a tent; lived in an octagon-shaped house on stilts; staged her first protest at age 5, by wearing a bathing suit at a nude beach; and had 50+ hamsters at one point. She has raised rabbits, angel fish from eggs, and kittens with a bottle. She currently plays ice and roller hockey, and is a collector of uncommon seeds and plants.

    Kelli is the daughter of two fine artists—her mother, an award-winning wearable artist and illustrator, who has created props for movies and children’s author promotions; her father a successful oil painter and conga drummer, who has painted local cultures throughout the world. Her grandfather also took family, including four young children, on a trip around the world in the 1950s and wrote a book about the experience: FAMILY SAFARI.