Calef Brown writes, “Two things I like a whole lot: musical language and serious nonsense.

“My first book—Polkabats and Octopus Slacks: 14 Stories—was published in 1998 by Houghton Mifflin. People seemed to like it, and I very much enjoyed making it, so I have since written and illustrated many more.

“I also continue to create illustration for other venues, and my artwork has been published in lots of magazines and used for murals, posters, book covers, and packaging. Visit the portfolio page on to see more.

“I grew up in rural Vermont, upper west side Manhattan, row house Philadelphia, and suburban Boston.

“Some of the first stories I wrote and illustrated concerned such subjects as a giant pile of stinky dead fish, people driving tables and bathtubs, tiny Vikings who live in cereal boxes and this one time when I got my tongue stuck to a freezer box.

“I studied illustration at Pratt Institute and Art Center College of Design, but am a self- taught writer and poet.

“Four of my books were written during trips to India, the southern part of the country being my favorite place in the world.

I live on the beautiful coast of Maine with my family.”

Learn more at

OUR WHITE HOUSE. Illustration © 2008 by Calef Brown. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA.

Books by Calef Brown

Hallowilloween: Nefarious Silliness (Houghton Mifflin)

Soup for Breakfast (Houghton Mifflin)

Flamingos on the Roof: Poems and Paintings (Houghton Mifflin). Flamingos on the Roof was a New York Times #1 Bestseller In Children’s Picture Books, was featured on NPR’s Weekend Edition, won the Myra Cohn Livingston Award for Poetry, and was selected as a 2007 Children’s Book Council Choice.

Tippintown: A Guided Tour (Houghton Mifflin)

Dutch Sneakers and Flea Keepers: 14 More Stories (Houghton Mifflin)

Polkabats and Octopus Slacks: 14 Stories (Houghton Mifflin). Accolades for Polkabats and Octopus Slacks include: Publisher’s Weekly and USA Today Bestseller, featured on NPR’s Weekend Edition, Winner of the Marion Vannett Ridgeway Award for Poetry.