Judy Ann Sadler - Author

Judy Ann Sadler grew up in big, noisy family on a busy farm near London, Ontario. Ever since she can remember, she has loved to read, write and make things. When her kids were little, she decided to combine her love of words and crafts by writing craft books. She knows that making original, beautiful, useful items is amazing and wonderful, but there are also many other benefits to working with your hands: you become creative, curious, resourceful, patient, passionate and generous. She strives to be creative every day by writing words into stories, stitching fabric into quilts, knitting yarn into baby caps and baking ingredients into treats for sharing. Along with over 20 craft books, Judy Ann has written picture books, dozens of craft columns and numerous magazine features. Judy Ann's books have been translated into many languages and have sold over a million copies around the world. She has made crafts and shared stories with tens of thousands of children in schools and libraries across the country. Judy Ann works part-time at two different branches of the London Public Library, where she's delighted to spend time with books and the wonderful people who read them. One of the libraries Judy Ann works at is in a busy part of the city, and the other is in a rural village and has cows in the backyard. Judy Ann lives with her family in London, Ontario.

Birthplace?
I was born in London, Ontario.

Where do you live now?
London, Ontario.

When did you start writing?
Ever since I was a kid, I've been keeping a diary. I started writing for children in about 1989.

When did you start making crafts?
I grew up in a big, busy family on a farm outside London, Ontario. With so many children, my mother had to be very handy with sewing, knitting, baking, cooking, gardening and being creative! I tried to be helpful and soon discovered how much I also enjoyed making things such as dresses, knitted scarves, embroidered pictures and little dolls. I still do!
What is your favorite book?
There are so many fabulous books! I think Red is Best by Kathy Stinson is a perfect picture book. I also adore Jelly Belly by Dennis Lee and Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan. I think my favorite book for adults is Knowledge of Angels by Jill Paton Walsh. It's amazing!

What is your favorite food?
My favorite foods are new potatoes, popcorn, poppy seed cake and chocolate-covered almonds.

Do you have any hobbies?
I love to write, read, sew, quilt, knit, cork, bake, hike, and most of all, spend time with my family.

How did you get involved with children's books?
When my children were little, I became interested in writing picture books. I took a writing for children course where I met some kindred spirits. They helped me realize that I should try writing non-fiction, too. I thought about the crafts I enjoyed doing with my children and soon put together a proposal for a printmaking book. I sent it off, and Kids Can Press soon wrote back requesting more.

Do you have any tips for young creators?
Read and write as much as you can! Stay curious and interested in many things.

What is the thing you like the most about creating kids' books?
I love thinking of kids having as much fun creating stuff from my books as I do!

How do you research or create your books?
When I start a new book, I gather together the supplies I think I'll need and spend a few weeks or months trying out my ideas. I love reading about the history of crafts and sometimes I speak to experts. I always try to come up with new projects and I have a wonderful time making samples.

Where do you get your ideas?
I love playing with craft materials so I just keep trying new things. I also love to see traditional crafts. I enjoy seeing what children and other adults make and get inspired by their creations, too.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to teach children in far-off lands.

What is the weirdest or most interesting job you've ever had?
One of the farm jobs my brothers and sisters and I disliked most was picking stones in the fields so that my dad could plant corn. Yuk!

Do you have any special secrets or insights about one of your books or crafts?
I think the only way I can write a good book is if I fill it with creativity, enthusiasm and fun.

Knitting

2003 - Our Choice, Canadian Children's Book Centre, Winner
2002 - Parent's Guide to Children's Media Award, Commended

Making Fleece Crafts

2001 - Our Choice, Canadian Children's Book Centre, Winner

Picture Books

Non-fiction

Knitting, 2002
Beading, 1996
Corking, 1995