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More about Jeanne

Jeanne Walker Harvey is an award-winning children’s book author. She hopes books will inspire children to realize the power and beauty of words. 

Jeanne has reviewed over 170 picture book biographies on her weekly blog on News & Reviews (and previous ones on True Tales & A Cherry on Top.)

Jeanne is excited to announce the publication  of TWO picture  book biographies in 2022!   

Ablaze with Color - The Story of the Painter Alma Thomas (Harper Collins 2022)  is  a stunning  celebration of art and imagination. The picture book, illustrated by Loveis Wise,  tells the inspiring true story of Alma Thomas, the first Black woman to have a solo exhibit at the Whitney Museum in New York City and the first Black woman to have her work chosen for the White House collection.  

Dressing Up the Stars - The Story of Movie Costume Designer Edith  Head (Beach Lane/Simon &  Schuster 2022), illustrated by Diana Toledano, tells the inspirational story of Edith Head, beginning with her childhood in a remote desert mining camp through to her time in Hollywood  where she won her first of eight Oscars, more than any other female Oscar winner in history including actresses. 

Jeanne's other narrative nonfiction picture books include two about American artists: Maya Lin: Architect of Light and Lines: Designer of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial (2017) and My Hands Sing the Blues: Romare Bearden's Childhood Journey (2011) and one large-format book about a bunch of boats found on the San Francisco Bay: Boats on the Bay (2018), and two books about rescued marine mammals: Honey Girl: The Hawaiian Monk Seal (2017) and Astro the Steller Sea Lion (2013).


Her amazing agent is Deborah Warren of East West Literary Agency.


Jeanne with Golden Gate Bridge in the background
Jeanne with children in a bookstore
Jeanne's cat coworker
Jeanne as a child

Ever since she was a child, Jeanne dreamed of being a children’s book author. She was quite the bookworm as a girl. She loved curling up with her family’s collie and reading, reading, reading. Every week her mom took her to the local library, and Jeanne returned home with a tower of books. 


Along the way Jeanne has had many jobs, ranging from working as a roller coaster ride operator to an attorney for high-tech companies to a writer of magazine articles to a teacher of Language Arts and writing workshops at a public middle school. 


She studied literature and psychology at Stanford University, and volunteered for many years at the local public school library, the Marin County Literacy Program. Jeanne is a long-time school group docent at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and a trustee on her town’s library board.


Jeanne lives across the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge  in Sonoma. She has two terrific grown sons and a sweet gray and white tabby cat she adopted from the Humane Society. Her cat sits on the papers on Jeanne's desk when she writes (or walks across her keyboard when she’s bored). 


When not writing, Jeanne can be found enjoying time with family and friends, dancing in Zumba class, walking along the Bay looking for sea lions, hiking, visiting modern art museums, exploring new places and eating chocolate in all forms.

See what Jeanne is currently up to


Awards / Nominations

Jeanne in her Sonoma Studio

Newspaper article featuring Jeanne in The Sonoma Index-Tribune

Jeanne At A Visit

Ablaze with Color: A Story of Painter Alma Thomas
*STARRED* Reviews: Booklist, School Library Journal, Horn Book

  • School Library Journal Best Books of 2022

  • New York Public Library Best Books for Kids 2022 – Nonfiction

  • Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Books of 2022 –Informational Books for Younger Readers

  • Jane Addams Children's Book Award 2023 Finalist – Younger Children

  • NAACP Image Award Nomination for Outstanding Literary Work – Childrens

  • California Independent Booksellers Alliance Golden Poppy Finalist –Picture Books

  • 2022 Best Nonfiction Books – Nerdy Book Club

  • Charter Oak Children's Book Nonfiction Nominee 2022-2023

  • ARTNews - Best 2023 Children’s Books About Artists

  • CCBC (Cooperative Children’s Book Center) Best of the Year 2023 Choices

Dressing Up the Stars: The Story of Movie Costume Designer Edith Head 

*STARRED* Review: Booklist

  • CCBC (Cooperative Children’s Book Center) Best of the Year 2023 Choices

  • CBC (Children’s Book Council) Children’s Favorites Awards 2023

Maya Lin: Artist-Architect of Light and Lines

*STARRED* Review: Hornbook

  • An NSTA Best STEM Book of the Year

  • An NCSS Notale Social Studies Trade Book for Young People

  • An NCIBA Book Award Nominee

  • A Junior Library Guild Selection

  • A Washington Post Book that Can Help Build Strong Girls and Boys for Today's World

  • A Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Book

  • An Evanston Public Library Best Book of the Year

  • A Texas Topaz List Selection

  • An Amazon Best Book of the Year

Boats on the Bay

  • The Northern California Independent Booksellers Association's (NCIBA) Golden Poppy Award in the Picture Book Category

Honey Girl: The Hawaiian Monk Seal

  • NSTA – CBC Outstanding Science Trade Book 2018

  • Animal Behavior Society Outstanding Children's Book Award – Finalist

My Hands Sing the Blues: Romare Bearden's Childhood Journey

  • International Reading Association (IRA) Children's and Young Adult's Book Award Winner – Primary Category

  • New York Public Library's Best Books to Read and Share – Picture Book Category

  • Bank Street List of Best Children's Books of the Year – Biography Category

  • Gelett Burgess Center for Creative Expression Gold Medal for Picture Book Artist Biography

  • Moonbeam Children's Book Award – Tied for Gold for Picture Book All Ages

Astro the Steller Sea Lion

  • Mom's Choice Gold Award

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