Phyllis Root

Image of Phyllis Root

About the Author

I was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana, on Valentine’s Day 1949 and grew up among green grass, gardens, trees, open fields, and books, books, books.  My father says he remembers me reading in my high chair.  I used to make up stories in bed at night when I couldn’t sleep and my parents had caught me with my book and my flashlight.  Of course, I was the heroine in all those stories.  My cousins loved the ghost stories I would tell them.  By fifth grade I knew I wanted to be a writer, but I did not start writing books until I was thirty, when I took a class that taught me all those tools of writing I had never encountered before, tools like character, setting, plot, tension, and dialogue.  I have been writing for twenty years now and still love messing around with stories.


In those years I have published twenty-nine books, starting with Moon Tiger in 1985.  In 1997 Aunt Nancy and Old Man Trouble, an original tale about a female trickster, won the Minnesota Picture Book text award.  What Baby Wants was cited as a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year in 1998.  I am currently teaching in the MFA Writing for Children program at Vermont College, Union Institute and University, to help support my writing habit.  I live in Minneapolis with my children, two cats, and numerous butterflies in season amid green grass, trees, lakes, and more books, books, books.  In my spare time I love canoeing, sailing, gardening, and of course reading…


Phyllis Root graduated with Highest Honors from Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Indiana, in 1971.  She is currently an instructor in the Compleat and Practical Scholar program for children at Vermont College, Norwich University in Vermont.