Elsa Knight Bruno

ELSA KNIGHT BRUNO taught kindergarten for twenty-nine years. She has published fiction, nonfiction, and poetry in many children’s magazines. Punctuation Celebration is her first picture book. She lives in Sylvania, Ohio.

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Q & A

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in New Jersey. We spent a lot of time at the shore. It was my favorite place. I remember the sand being so hot and the waves being freezing cold. We always had to wear a hat.


What is your earliest memory of writing/drawing?

I don’t think I got the writing bug before I was in college. I won the best short story in my children’s literature class. It was entitled Freckle Face! Later, after I was married, I would dabble in short poems from time to time.


What inspired you to write/illustrate your first book?

After I had been teaching for a few years, I self-published a book about our city of Toledo, OH, entitled, If They Could See Me Now! I also illustrated it. I felt our city had some wonderful history and I wanted children to know more about it.


Do you use your childhood as inspiration?

I remember all my emotions, good and bad, as a child. I was afraid of the dark. I was painfully shy. I remember the excitement of Christmas, and the joy of getting a new baby brother. In some ways, I am still six years old inside.


What books from your childhood have most influenced your work? What about adult titles?

I loved all books, from nursery rhymes and fairy tales to The Arabian Nights and Uncle Wiggley’s Fortune. Dad read to us every night. I enjoy a wide variety of adult books, but probably a good mystery tops the list.


What are your hobbies and interests besides reading and books?

Good jazz, Italian cooking and tennis!


Who are a couple of your favorite author/illustrators? What is it about their work that inspires and interests you?

My favorite author/illustrator is Douglas Florian. His poetry is amazingly clever and silly. Just what kids love. I’ve memorized a few of his books because I read them so many times to my kindergarteners.


What one or two words of advice would you give for young authors/illustrators?

Write for the fun of it. Don’t expect it to be perfect at first. The more you write, the better it will be.


by the author

Punctuation Celebration

Elsa Knight Bruno; Illustrated by Jenny Whitehead
Square Fish

Punctuation marks come alive in this clever picture book featuring fourteen playful poems. Periods stop sentences in a baker’s shop, commas help a train slow...

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