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Meet Katharine

The "Official" Author Bio

(for promotional purposes)

Katharine Holabird is the award-winning author of  Angelina Ballerina and a new children's book series about a lovable little fairy called Twinkle. Katharine grew up in a family of architects and artists in Chicago, and as a child she loved to perform and dance with her three sisters. She graduated with a BA in Literature from Bennington College, and started writing children's books in 1983. Since then, Angelina Ballerina books have sold millions of copies, been translated into 20+ languages, and Angelina has become a children's classic.

The Longer Version

(In my own words)

I grew up in Chicago in a family of architects and artists, and luckily I had parents and teachers who encouraged a little dreamer like me, with my outsized imagination and even bigger emotions. As a child, I was always making up stories and dances with my three sisters. I loved reading books and adored my menagerie of pets, including a raccoon and an owl. I was always creating stories and writing, and from an early age, I knew I wanted to be a writer, though I couldn’t figure out how to become one!

I went on to study literature and creative writing at Bennington College in Vermont. After graduation, I worked on the college literary magazine for a year before I got married and moved to London, where I became a nursery school teacher and freelance writer, and then the mother of three children. Real inspiration came when my two young daughters began twirling around the house in their pink tutus. I wanted to write something for my spirited little daughters, and for young children everywhere who love to dance and perform. I picked up my pen and began dreaming and writing, and that's when Angelina Ballerina twirled onto the page and made her sparkling debut! Luckily, I was already friends with English artist Helen Craig, and she drew Angelina Ballerina as an adorable dancing mouse. The ‘little star with big dreams’ quickly found an American publisher, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Angelina Ballerina was first published in 1983, followed a year later by Angelina and the Princess. I’ve absolutely loved creating stories about feisty and big-hearted Angelina, and collaborating with the wonderful Helen Craig. Over the years Helen and I have worked together on seventeen original Angelina books, as well as many delightful UK pop-up Angelina titles and dozens of Angelina animation spin-off books. Angelina Ballerina has inspired TV animation series, children’s ballets, and two musicals in NYC – as well as the Angelina Ballerina Dance Academy franchise in the USA, UK, and Australia. In 2006, Angelina Ballerina and I were invited to attend the Queen’s 80th birthday party at Buckingham Palace, along with a host of other children’s characters and authors, including JK Rowling – what an unforgettable day!

I was absolutely thrilled when Angelina Ballerina won the Kentucky Blue Grass Award in 1985, an award that's chosen by the schoolchildren of Kentucky. Thirty-four years later, in 2019, Angelina won the Northern Lights Book Award “Time Honored” category - what a great honor! Angelina has truly become a classic children’s character.

I still love writing about Angelina Ballerina, and now I'm also writing a really fun series about a feisty little fairy called “Twinkle.” The Twinkle books are illustrated by Sarah Warburton, another exceptionally talented UK artist, and I’m thrilled that both Angelina Ballerina and Twinkle books are being published by the best publishers ever, Simon and Schuster!

After many years in London, my husband and I now live in New York City.


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