About the Author

About Greg Pizzoli (in his words)

gregI am truly honored that my picture book, NUMBER ONE SAM, has been chosen to be the 2015 PA ONE BOOK, EVERY YOUNG CHILD and that I have the opportunity to meet young readers all across the state and share stories with them.

When I was growing up, I don't think that I even realized that there were people writing the books I loved. I knew that some books looked similar, or were funny in the same ways, but I don't know that I realized that Ed Emberley, Roald Dahl, Arnold Lobel, Maurice Sendak, The Berenstains, and Margaret Wise Brown were the people writing them.

I knew only that I loved certain books – either ones that I checked out again and again from my local library, or the rare book that I owned myself. It was just my mom and I when I was young, and I think reading was a distraction for both of us. It helped me to escape the boredom and banality of everyday life, and for my mom, I'm sure it gave her a nice break from me. I was a curious kid, and prone to taking things apart without the slightest idea or interest in putting them back together. Books were something that could keep me occupied for hours, and they did.

We moved around A LOT when I was a kid. Changing schools, changing states, the whole bit. Every time we moved, my toy collection got smaller and smaller, as toys I didn't play with as much were gifted to neighbors or donated to a church drive. But books I could keep. And three books from my childhood stand out above all others in my memory. I'm incredibly lucky in that I still own all three copies. Those books are "Owl at Home" by Arnold Lobel, "But No Elephants" by Jerry Smath, and "The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More" by Roald Dahl.

When I look and hold and smell (and read) my childhood copies of these books, I am instantly transported back into the curious young boy I was when I first read them. The idea that any one of my books, NUMBER ONE SAM, or otherwise could have that kind of effect on someone is incredibly humbling, and it inspires me to work hard everyday in bringing new stories to new readers.

The idea that I will be helping kids to realize that YES – people write these books – and that YES – they could write a book, too, is pretty amazing, and I'm so grateful for the opportunity. I look forward to meeting everyone along the way.

Greg Pizzoli is an author, illustrator and screen printer from Philadelphia.

His first picture book, The Watermelon Seed, was published by Disney*Hyperion Books and was the 2014 recipient of the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award. His second book, Number One Sam, is the 2015 PA ONE BOOK, EVERY YOUNG CHILD.

After college, Greg spent two years as a full-time volunteer in AmeriCORPS from 2005-2006. In 2009, he received his MFA from the University of the Arts.


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