Breakfast Serials Stories and Illustrations

Illustrator Betsy James


Written and illlustrated by Betsy James:

No More Animals!
Mary ann
Natalie Underneath
the Red Cloak
What's That Room For?
Dark Heart (Young Adult)
Long Night Dance (Young Adult)

Written by Betsy James:

Blow Away Soon
The Mud Family
He Wakes Me
The Dream Stair

Betsy James

"I believe a good book doesn't explain everything. It's a springboard, an open door. It gives readers space to make their own choices and connections. To laugh. To cry. To be affected."


Betsy James was born in Missouri and grew up in Utah. With a geologist father and a zoologist mother, she learned to pay attention to rocks and animals, two things that still interest her today. With her brothers she went camping (hated it), roasted marshmallows (loved it), and stayed up too late reading. These days she loves camping, hates marshmallows, and still stays up too late reading.

She went to Mount Holyoke College and to the University of Utah. With a BA in English and no teaching certificate, "waitress in a pizza parlor" was the least of her strange jobs. Teaching herself to be an illustrator, she made medical drawings for the inventors of the artificial heart, drew mayflies under a microscope, and sketched skeletons at an archaeological dig in Mexico, where she learned to speak Spanish and eat really hot food.

People who love Spanish and green chili chicken enchiladas can’t survive anywhere but New Mexico, so that’s where Betsy’s been for twenty-six years. Her absolutely favorite thing to do is hike in the desert, picking up rocks. She owns a very large backpack, six pairs of hiking boots and far too many rocks.She has written and/or illustrated twelve books for children and young adults (she does her own illustrations about half of the time). Best known is Mary Ann (a School Library Journal Best Book, 1994), which is half-fictional, half-scientific story about a praying mantis.

Besides writing and illustrating, she likes to go to schools as a visiting-and-teaching author. Her favorite place to teach is Zuni Pueblo, where she has co-led an elementary-school writer’s workshop for years.


The Best in the World

Ever since Nick got hold of The Guinness Book of Records, he's been obsessed with notions of being the best at something. That's why he and his bet friend Clay, concoct a scheme to establish a world record of their own.

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