The Authors and Illustrators - Profiles

Shelley Tanaka

  Shelley Tanaka was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario. She is a third-generation Japanese Canadian. She has an Honours B.A. (German and English) from Queen's University (Kingston, Ontario) and an M.A. in Comparative Literature from the University of Toronto. Shelley has worked in book publishing for thirty years, first as an editor at Clarke, Irwin and Company, and since 1984 as editor at Groundwood Books. As an editor of books for young adults, she has worked with many of the best children's authors in the country, including Diana Wieler, Welwyn Wilton Katz, Sheree Fitch, Sarah Ellis and Tim Wynne-Jones. Since 1984 she has been the fiction editor for Groundwood Books in Toronto and has edited twelve Governor General's Award-winning books, including titles by Martha Brooks, Deborah Ellis and Tim Wynne-Jones. Shelley is also the author and translator of more than twenty books, including New Dinos, The Illustrated Father Goose, Footnotes: Dancing the World's Best-loved Ballets (with Frank Augustyn), the Mr. Dressup activity books (with Ernie Coombs), and seven books in the I Was There series. Her books have won the Information Book Award (On Board the Titanic and The Buried City of Pompeii), the Silver Birch Award (On Board the Titanic), the Mr. Christie's Book Award (Discovering the Iceman) and the Science in Society Book Award (Secrets of the Mummies). Lost Temple of the Aztecs was named second-best non-fiction title for 1998 by Quill and Quire and was shortlisted for the Norma Fleck Non-fiction Book Award. Attack on Pearl Harbor was runner-up for the 2002-2003 Texas Bluebonnet Award. On Board the Titanic and The Buried City of Pompeii were finalists for the Deutsche Jugendliteraturpreis. Shelley is also the author of two books about the environment -- The Heat Is On: Facing Our Energy Problem and A Great Round Wonder: My Book of the World. Most recently, she has written four books in the A Day That Changed America series -- The Alamo, Gettysburg, D-Day and Earthquake!
  Shelley now lives near Kingston, Ontario



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