• Melissa Iwai was born and raised in a small town on the central coast of California called Lompoc (pronounced “Lompoke”). She always knew she wanted to write and illustrate children’s books from the time she was a young child, because her favorite past time was either reading or drawing. She still has a copy of the first book she wrote and illustrated called, The Dog Around the Corner, and is ever grateful to her 5th grade teacher, Ms. H, for making it a “real” book by laminating the pages and binding it.

    Melissa lives in Brooklyn with her husband, Denis Markell, and their son, Jamie. She has illustrated numerous award winning books for children, including Good Night Engines, Snuggle Mountain and Toolbox Twins.

    Soup Day is the first book that she both wrote and illustrated. The story was inspired by her love of cooking for her family and the joy of creating new dishes together with her son, including (but not limited to!) Chocolate Honey Peanut Butter Yogurt, Cheddar Cheese and Jelly Bites, and Veggie Chips (Sauteed Broccoli Stems). Recipes available on request!


  • I became a children’s book author and illustrator because books were always my companions and source of solace as a child I seek to evoke a feeling of well-being and comfort in my writing and illustrations. I want every child to feel included and seek to depict kids who might not always see themselves in books. I feel incredibly lucky to be able to do what I love as a career.   

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