Bonnie Verburg has been editing and publishing books for children and adults for nearly four decades. She began her career at Little, Brown & Company, moved on to become Editor-in-Chief of Harcourt Publishers, and in 1992 she moved to Scholastic Inc. as Editorial Director of the Trade Book Group. She founded her children's book imprint, the Blue Sky Press, in 1993. Verburg has worked with a broad range of award-winning writers and illustrators, including Caldecott Medalists Leo & DianeDillon, Newbery Medalists Virginia Hamilton, Cynthia Rylant, Cynthia Voigt, Robin McKinley, and Nancy Willard, as well as Caldecott Honor Illustrator Don Wood and popular writer Audrey Wood, to name a few. In the adult world, she has edited all of Jimmy Buffett's fiction and was the person who asked him to try his hand at writing books. She brought bestseller Dav Pilkey to the Blue Sky Press and published his wildly successful The Adventures of Captain Underpants and 29 additional Pilkey books. When Sophie Gets Angry... by Molly Bang , Raven by Gerald McDermott, and David Shannon's now-classic No, David! were Caldecott Honor Books, and Virginia Hamilton's In the Beginning was a Newbery Honor Book. Verburg launched Rodman Philbrick on her first Blue Sky list with his acclaimed Freak the Mighty, followed by The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg, also a Newbery Honor Book. Verburg writes about her work on everythinggrowswithlove.com, a collection of snapshots about her experiences working with geniuses such as Virginia Hamilton, Robin McKinley, Lois Ehlert, Debra Frasier, Jane Yolen, Barry Moser, and many others. "I have the best career in the world," she says, "and that makes me president of the optimist's club."
After working with Mark on several books, she asked her friend Jane Yolen to write a bedtime dinosaur book for her young son--with Mark's illustrations in mind
--which resulted in the international bestselling How Do Dinosaurs... series. Bonnie thought of The Tree House that Jack Built back in 1977,
but in 2012 she asked Mark to write it himself. To her surprise, Mark wanted to use her sketchy "idea" version as the first-draft text. The Kiss Box
(12/2011) is the first book she published under her own name, although she has published many books under pseudonyms. Bonnie lives in Santa
Monica, CA, with her son, two dogs, a cat, three birds, a gecko, and a five-foot king snake. Her birthday, and Mark Teague's birthday, is February 10.
"Angels fly because they take themselves lightly." --G.K. Chesterton
Bonnie with Jane Yolen in Scotland, 2013
Art © copyright by Mark Teague from The Tree House that Jack Built, published June 1, 2014 by Orchard/Scholastic. Text © copyright 2014 by Bonnie Verburg. This site is not sponsored by Scholastic Inc. Scholastic Inc. is not responsible for content, permissions, text, or use of videos and images. Approval pending. All rights reserved.