Mary Quattlebaum


About Me

my info

Bryan, Texas.

Grew up:
King George, Virginia.

The College of William and Mary

Graduate School:
Georgetown University

First Book:
Jackson Jones and the Puddle of Thorns, 1994.

Favorite Color:


Favorite Books from Childhood:

Misty of Chincoteague

Jane’s Blanket

The Golden Treasury of Poetry

Favorite Foods:

Popcorn, peanut butter peaches

I grew up in the country in a large family (7 kids), with lots of pets (dogs, cats, hamsters, goats, horses, turtles, chickens, ducks). My earliest memory is of my dad reciting nursery rhymes to me and my brothers and sisters, right before bedtime.  We could each choose one.  My favorite was “Hickory Dickory Dock,” and one of my sisters always wanted “Little Bo Peep.”

I’ve loved poetry and sounds ever since:  the bobwhite call of quail, the whicker of horses, the murmur of frogs in our pond.

As the oldest kid, I often read aloud to my brothers and sisters.  We loved Curious George, Amelia Bedelia, and Make Way for Pirates.  Every two weeks we visited the nearest public library and checked out so many books we had to lug them to the car in a clothes basket.  They inspired our galloping games of mustang and the wacky family plays we put on.  I wrote a series of teeny-tiny books about a girls and her pet donkey, based on Billy and Blaze.

As an adult, I’ve had lots of different experiences and jobs:  theme-park worker, 18th century tavern waitress for Colonial Williamsburg, poetry instructor.  As a medical writer for a children’s hospital, I first became interested in writing for children.  My husband and I led a weekly volunteer project that combined magic and poetry to entertain sick kids and encourage their writing.  Their poems and stories were so moving, playful, and solemn that these kids inspired me to try writing for kids like them.

I live in a city now—but still like to do country things.  One of my favorites:  watching the birds, butterflies and other wild critters that visit the wildlife garden created by my family and me in our backyard.