Children’s Author
Illustrator of Children’s Books
Travels from: Boston, MA

“Lively illustrations give oodles of discussion topics, making this a book young children will love listening to over and over.” ― Kirkus Reviews

Renée Kurilla is a children’s illustrator, author, and designer who loves drawing nature, animals, and working on projects that require a little bit of research.

Renée has illustrated many books for kids including ORANGUTANKA (by Margarita Engle), CHICKS RULE! (by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen), and the ADA LACE series (by Emily Calandrelli). She has written a few books as well! The picture book ONE SPRINGY, SINGY DAY and early reader graphic novel, THE FLOWER GARDEN. There are two more publishing in 2023: IT’S FALL! and ONE UPSIDE DOWNY DAY.

Renée has a BFA in Illustration and a minor in Graphic Design from Lesley University College of Art and Design. Before transitioning to a full time career in children’s books, she was a Lead Artist at FableVision Studios for 10 years.

Renée currently lives in Bellingham, MA with her illustrator husband Keith Zoo, her 7 year old daughter, Zoey, and Yoshi the fish.

Renée's Featured Titles

It’s Winter! (Celebrate the Seasons, 2)

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers |

There’s so much to love about winter! From snowball fights with friends to holidays spent with loved ones, cozy up with this celebration of a festive, favorite season from #1 New York Times bestselling artist Renée Kurilla.

Flurries flutter, soft and light. It’s winter, and our world is bright!

Pull out your warmest coat, mittens, and scarf! It’s time for sledding, skating, and snowmen! And don’t forget the hot chocolate, decorations, and special time with family and friends—it’s winter! From Hanukkah and Kwanzaa to Christmas and Valentine’s Day, get in the spirit of the season with this joyful rhyming follow-up to It’s Fall! from a New York Times bestselling creator.

Mermaids’ Song to the Sea

Hippo Park |

From acclaimed poet Dianna Hutts Aston (An Egg is Quiet) and #1 NYT bestselling illustrator Renée Kurilla (Just Because by Matthew McConaughey) comes a charming book in which three adorable mermaids share bedtime blessings with the sweet creatures of the coral reef.

Like Goodnight Moon, but for the creatures of the sea:

Bless clams in their beds, and lobsters in pods.
Bless sharks in their shivers, and squids in their squads.

In this gorgeous rhyming picture book perfect for cozy bedtime reading, three mermaid troubadours sing their blessings to sea creatures everywhere. “Bless clams in their beds, and lobsters in pods,” they sing. “Sharks in their shivers, and squids in their squads.” Draped with leis and strumming harps, the mermaids travel the ocean to deliver a benediction to their beloved community—fish, whales, sharks, sea snails and many more. Endpapers will identify all of the featured ocean creatures in this one-of-a-kind book that honors the denizens of the sea and brims with a gentle spirit of kindness and environmental awareness. With colorful, ethereal illustrations that will have young mermaid lovers turning the pages again and again, this special picture book is ideal for gift giving, vacation/staycation readalouds, or enjoying in a group storytime anywhere.

It’s Fall! (Celebrate the Seasons, 1)

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers |

An homage to the joys of the season—from jumping into piles of leaves, to trick-or-treating, to baking tasty meals—written in sweet and simple verse.

Colors bursting, shadows tall. There’s lots to celebrate—it’s fall!

Break out your fuzzy socks and cozy scarves! Bring on the doughnuts, cider, and pies! It’s time for corn mazes, trick-or-treating, and all the Thanksgiving food you can eat.… It’s fall! With playful rhymes and lively illustrations, this celebratory book shows the many ways we welcome and enjoy a special season.

One Upside-Downy Day

Harry N. Abrams |

From Renée Kurilla, author and illustrator of One Springy, Singy Day, comes an exploration of the not-so-great days of toddlerdom and the ways little ones can self-soothe to ease those upside-downy days away.

Sluggish, Weepy,
Eyes still looking sleepy;
You were in no mood to play
When you got out of bed today.

Follow a diverse cast of young children as they experience big feelings—anger, shyness, and sadness—in this patient, rhyming, full-color picture book. One Upside-Downy Day is a love letter to emotional understanding and the sometimes-gray days of being a toddler.

One Springy, Singy Day

Harry N. Abrams |

A joyful ode to toddlerdom that follows a group of little ones through one buzzy, busy day

One Springy, Singy Day is a vibrant, joyful story that follows a diverse cast of young children as they play throughout their day. Inspired by author-illustrator Renée’s own “busy bee” two-year-old, this love note from parent to child illustrates the wondrous and boisterous adventure of raising a springy, singy, squeezy toddler.

The Flower Garden

Harry N. Abrams |

A magical graphic novel adventure perfect for fans of Peter & Ernesto or Tiger vs. Nightmare

After planting a seed packet in the backyard, things don’t go as expected for best friends Anna and Tess. They fall asleep in the sun and wake up to blooms as tall as buildings! Did the seeds really grow that fast?

All is explained when Anna and Tess meet May, a little garden gnome whose magic is responsible for the transformation. The girls are May’s size now, and they follow her through the flower garden and into May’s underground gnome home—discovering new things about their world and themselves along the way.

This immersive graphic novel from author-illustrator Renée Kurilla is perfect for emerging readers. It explores growing and changing friendships and offers details to discover on every page and with every read.


Large Group Assembly (K-3)

Renée tailors her presentations for each grade level. She begins each talk by describing what an author and illustrator does, the types of interests she had as a kid, and what led her to a career in publishing. She explains how illustration is “everywhere” around us, showing children the many different paths to choose with a career in illustration. Each talk focuses on a chosen book: Renée will read a book, show process images, share stories of how the book was made, and do a drawing demo (or draw-along depending on the size of the audience)! Her presentation always ends with Q&A and optional book signing/personalization. (Length: 30-45 min)



Small Group Workshop (K-3)

Renée will work with small groups to develop characters and story ideas, providing worksheets and discussion topics to spark kids’ imaginations. She will use her book THE FLOWER GARDEN as a reference point and go over some of the process in more detail. She will help the children create their own work to be proud of. (Length: 1.5 hours)


Medium/Large Group Assemblies (for grown-up kids)

Tailored to college students, Renée describes her interesting path to children’s book illustration starting with a career in animation. With a fun, colorful slide presentation, she will get students excited and motivated to further pursue a career in the arts, discuss career possibilities, and answer any questions that arise! (Length 30-45 min)

Renée’s News Link

Renée’s Sketchbook

Renée’s Art

Renée’s Etsy Shop

Honors, Awards & Recognition

Winner of the 2024 Benjamin Franklin Award for Best Children’s Picture Book (0-3 Years)
Winner of the 2024 Moonbeam Award (Preschool)
A Children’s Book Council 2024 Favorite (K-2nd Grade)

Starred Review Publishers Weekly
Kid’s Indie Next List September/October ’23
One of Publishers Weekly new and noteworthy children’s books of August ’23
Featured on the cover of The Horn Book Magazine September/October ’23
An Amazon Editors’ Pick

Instant #1 New York Times Bestseller

Booklist Starred Review
Booklist Top Ten Graphic Novels for Children
ALA Graphic Comics Round Table Best Graphic Novel Pick
Good Housekeeping Kids’ Book Award
Chicago Public Library Best Fiction for Young Readers

Amazon Editors’ Pick

American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture Book of the Year
Junior Master Gardener Growing Good Kids Award Winner

Media Kit

By clicking the link below you will be directed to a Google Docs Folder
where you can download author photos and cover images.

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