ABOUT LENA SHIFFMAN:

I was born and raised in Sweden, a country rich in story-telling. I grew up reading the wonderful books about Pippi Longstocking, The Children of Noisy Village and many other books by Swedish author Astrid Lindgren. I cannot remember when I didn't draw or paint.

When I was seven, I was given a book of Hans Christian Andersen's Fairy Tales, and spent hours creating my own pictures for the stories that I read. I have now been illustrating children’s books for more than twenty years.

My first book was Keeping a Christmas Secret written by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. It received a Christopher award in 1989.  Since then I have illustrated many magazines and books, such as My First Book of Words, and numerous Hello Readers for Scholastic Inc., including the book Dancing with Manatees, which has sold more than half a million copies in countries all over the world—even as far away as China. Other books include: When I lived with Bats and Playing with Dolphins, both written by Faith McNulty. Ocean Waves & Other Tales and Playdates & Other Tales by Helen H. Kimbrough are my most recent books.

I attended Spectrum Institute of Commercial Art in NJ, and later studied at The Parsons School of Design and the Art Students League in New York City. I am a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and a former council member of the Rutgers University Council on Children's Literature (RUCCL).

Currently, I work as an art instructor for Hunterdon Museum of Art in Clinton, the Somerset Art Association in Bedminster, the Zimmerli Art Museum in New Brunswick and for the Hunterdon Park and Recreation—in New Jersey. I am comfortable teaching young or old and inspired by my students' passion for the arts.

In January, 2011, I was highlighted as the featured illustrator on Kathy Temean's blog. Kathy is the RA for NJSCBWI. To see the article, click here.

I live in Flemington, New Jersey, with my husband Brian, daughter Emily and our two cats Delilah and Bella.

When I’m not illustrating or teaching art, I enjoy visiting schools to share my passion for children's books. I love being an illustrator and hope to be an inspiration to children—young and old—who love books as much as I do.