Ethan T.
Children’s Author
Television Comedy Writer
Travels from: New York, NY

“A satisfying mission to find happiness and fun; mission accomplished.” – Kirkus Reviews

Ethan T. Berlin is an Emmy Award-nominated television comedy writer and a Junior Library Guild selected picture book author. His numerous picture books have been called “hilarious,” and “giggleworthy” by Kirkus Reviews and “recommended for all libraries” by The School Library Journal. Ethan plays the robot L.I.S.A on The Big Fib, a popular children’s podcast that was adapted into a Disney+ TV show and is regularly recommended by The New York Times and The Washington Post. Ethan’s TV credits include “Billy On the Street,” “Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell,” and IFC’s “Bunk,” an absurd comedy game show that he co-created with his best friend from high school.

Ethan tackles many social/emotional learning themes in his picture books, including resilience, tolerance, and using humor to overcome trauma. When he’s not writing his own funny stuff, Ethan teaches comedy writing at NYU and Stony Brook University.

Ethan T.'s Featured Titles

How to Draw a Brave Chicken

Hippo Park |

Another “How to Draw” lesson spins hilariously out of control in this sequel to How to Draw a Happy Cat, perfect for fans of We Don’t Eat Our Classmates and Dragons Love Tacos.

Follow these simple instructions for drawing a brave chicken: Draw an oval, two dots for eyes, triangles for the beak, lines for legs, and some wings. Easy enough. But wait . . . where is the chicken? Oh, she’s hiding! Maybe she needs armor to feel brave . . . so let’s draw her some shiny armor. Now she’s feeling brave—and she wants to chase a dragon! Oh no, Chicken! Are you sure you want to do that?

Kids and adults will have a ball watching the gang from How to Draw a Happy Cat go off the rails again! Comedian and author, Ethan T. Berlin and wicked-funny illustrator Jimbo Matison team up once again in the perfect follow up to continue the fun.

How to Draw a Happy Cat

Hippo Park |
Picture Book

A “How to Draw” lesson spins hilariously out of control when Cat just won’t stay happy! This relatable madcap read-aloud is immense fun, and perfect for fans of Dragons Love Tacos.

Drawing a happy cat seems like such an easy thing to do. Just follow the instructions in this book! Wait a minute . . . why doesn’t Cat look happy? We gave her a stuffy and a cool t-shirt! Uh-oh! Turns out drawing a happy cat is harder than it looks. Now it’s the reader’s job to find out why Cat isn’t staying happy AND draw everything she wants! (That might include skateboards, friends, and yes–even a pizza-flinging catapult.) This clever, often tender, laugh-out-loud picture book breaks the fourth wall in charming ways; will have kids asking for repeat reads; and will defintely have parents nodding knowingly at the escalating cycle of demands. Can you draw a happy cat?

Hey, You’re Not Santa!

Carthwheel Books |
Picture Book
When Santa needs a last-minute substitution, an unlikely hero steps in. Will anyone notice that Santa is…a cow? 

It’s Christmas Eve, and Santa is busy making his deliveries. But when he needs to dash back to the North Pole for some forgotten presents, an unlikely hero-a cow!- has to step into the red suit. She dashes down the chimney with a “Moo-moo-moo, Merry Christmas! and is met by a little boy waiting up for Santa. Will this cow be able to keep Christmas on track? Or will this little boy realize… “Hey! You’re Not Santa!”


Readers of all ages are sure to laugh out loud to this hilarious Christmas story, and will love being in on the joke as this cow does her best to convince everyone that she’s Santa. Full of jokes, charm, and warming holiday spirit, this book is perfect for fans of Olive, the Other Reindeer and How to Catch Santa. Don’t miss this perfect stocking stuffer, an irresistible addition to your holiday book collection that you’ll love reading year after year.

I am Not a Dog Toy

Random House Books for Young Readers |
Picture Book

A toy bear insists that he’s a kid’s toy–not a dog toy–in this story that shows that a true friendship is always one that goes in both directions.

A fun bear, who wears a vest with many pockets, is the brand new toy for a little girl. Bear couldn’t be more excited to play with the girl, but she is a little less than enthused. In fact, she throws him into the dog’s water bowl. Splash! Bear doesn’t take the hint. Dog, however, is very excited to play with Bear. But Bear insists he is not a dog toy, he is a kid’s toy. So he keeps trying to get the girl’s attention… to no avail. Will Bear ever realize that Dog is the better friend?

Kids making friends will see that friendship isn’t really friendship unless it’s reciprocated in this hilarious and sweet picture book.

The Hugely-Wugely Spider

Farrar, Straus and Giroux |
Picture Book

We’ve all heard of the Itsy-Bitsy Spider right? But have you heard of the the Hugely-Wugely Spider? He’s just like Itsy-Bitsy except he’s a little—no—a lot bigger.

The Hugely-Wugely Spider went up the water spout, well not really, because he wasn’t invited by the other spiders. And maybe because his size was bit of an issue . . . But that didn’t stop him from trying. The Itsy-Bitsy Spider and his friends get into a bind when down comes the rain and threatens to wash them out, and only the Hugely-Wugely Spider can save them. With his quick thinking and huge thorax, Hugely-Wugely clogs the drain and saves the day.


How to Write Jokes

In this hour-long workshop, I use my 20 years of comedy writing experience to teach students how to write their very own jokes. I know what you’re thinking, “School is supposed to be serious!” Don’t worry, I’m very serious about joke writing! Why? Because it’s fun and because it inspires a love of writing and reading in students who may not be inspired by more academic writing. Students will be so preoccupied with making each other laugh, they won’t realize that they’re learning important language arts concepts such as exaggeration, point of view, word patterns, irony, satire, reading comprehension, and basic grammar. No teacher preparation required beforehand. Recommend grades 2nd-12th.


Turn Your Emotions Into Stories

This hour-long workshop helps answer that age old question, “How do I come up with a story?!” I teach students how to use their own emotions as a springboard for writing stories. By discussing the emotional origins of my books, The Hugely-Wugely Spider, I Am Not a Dog Toy, and How To Draw a Happy Cat, I demonstrate how student emotions can form the backbone of a compelling story. The workshop covers important social emotional learning skills as well as reading and writing curriculum. No teacher preparation required beforehand. Recommend grades 1st-12th.


Let’s Write a Story!

Learning how to write stories can be daunting, so let’s do it together! In this hour-long workshop, students and I create the outline of a simple story using the concepts of protagonist, protagonist want, antagonists, and overcoming antagonists. Once we create a story together, students break off into small groups to come up with stories of their own. No teacher preparation required beforehand. Recommend grades K-12th.


Add Humor To Your Writing

In this hour-long workshop, I use my 20 years of comedy writing experience to teach students how to add humor to their writing. Why humor? Because it makes any kind of writing more enjoyable for the writer and the reader. Students come into the workshop prepared to discuss a piece of material they’re already writing and then I demonstrate to them how they could add humor to the work. Students will learn important writing concepts such as point of view, setting and breaking expectations, exaggeration, patterns, and storytelling. Student material can be in any genre of fiction or nonfiction. Recommend for grades 3-12th.

The Journal of Nonsense

Private Comedy Writing Coaching

For Kids and Students

Honors, Awards & Recognition

2018 Junior Library Guild Selection
2021 Red Bud Read Aloud Award Winner
2022 Junior Library Guild Selection

Praise For The Hugely-Wugely Spider

2018 Junior Library Guild Selection

“A gigantic spider saves their itsy-bitsy friends in this hilarious twist on an old fingerplay. With remarkably appealing spiders showing energy and emotion on every page, this clever, well-paced story is sure to appeal to children with a taste for zany, self-referential humor.” —Kirkus

“In this debut children’s book, Ethan T. Berlin, an Emmy Award-nominated comedy writer, mines comic gold from that familiar sing-song rhyme about the Itsy Bitsy Spider who climbed up the water spout. The plot line follows the song perfectly, complete with the dire threat of rain which brings Hugely-Wugely to the rescue. The droll illustrations by Karl Newsom Edwards are perfect.” – The Buffalo News

Media Kit

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where you can download author photos and cover images.

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