Laurie Keller

article - Laurie Keller

Laurie Keller is an American children’s writer and illustrator. She has written and illustrated books for Henry Holt & Co. Books for Young Readers, and produced illustrations for others.

American children’s writer and illustrator

Laurie Keller

Keller reading at the Gaithersburg Book Festival, 2014
Occupation Illustrator, writer
Alma mater Kendall College of Art and Design
Genre Children’s non-fiction, picture books

. . . Laurie Keller . . .

Keller grew up in Muskegon, Michigan. After graduating high school, she took education classes at a local community college and studied dance until a friend brought her to see a show at the Kendall College of Art and Design, which re-sparked her interest, causing her to enroll and receive a degree from the college in illustration.

Following graduation, Keller worked for seven years for Hallmark Cards as a greeting card artist. While there, she was allowed to design entire cards, which caused her to consider writing and illustrating books. Starting in 1997, she made illustrations for Nickelodeon, and later in 1998, she directed 6 network ID’s for the channel with Pitch Productions, using pipe-cleaners and cel animation.

Keller has written and illustrated six books for Henry Holt Books for Young Readers: The Scrambled States of America, an American geography book; Open Wide: Tooth School Inside, a dental book about tooth care; Arnie the Doughnut, about an anthropomorphicdoughnut; Grandpa Gazillion’s Number Yard, a number book, Do Unto Otters, a book about manners; and The Scrambled States of America Talent Show, the follow-up to her 1998 debut.

In The Scrambled States of America she says that she loves to organize things, and so she most likely has OCD; although she has not been diagnosed.

The Scrambled States of America
Author Laurie Keller
Country United States
Subject Geography
Genre Fiction; Comedy
Publication date
Media type Hardback
Pages 32


OCLC 38150163
[E] 21
LC Class PZ7.K281346 Sc 1998

Keller’s first book, The Scrambled States of America, was released by Henry Holt Books for Young Readers in 1998. Uncle Sam tells the story about the 50 states of America becoming bored of where they are and organizing a party, where the states meet each other, hit it off, and decide to trade places. The states enjoy their new locations, and Nevada and Mississippi fall in love. But soon they become tired and want to move back to where they were before.

Publishers Weekly gave the book a positive review, noting that “[i]t’s hard to imagine a more engaging (or comical) way to learn the 50 states and their locations.”[1]

  • A tie-incard game of the same name was published in 2002 by Gamewright.[2] It is a two to four-player game geared toward players 8 years old and up.
  • In 2008, Keller followed up with a companion book, The Scrambled States of America Talent Show. New York comes up with the idea of having all the states participate in a talent show. The states eagerly agree and prepare for their acts. However, Georgia has stage fright and is worried how her performance will go. Kirkus Reviews believed “this exuberant geographical jamboree will definitely leave readers in a state.”[3] The book was a Junior Library Guild selection.[4]

. . . Laurie Keller . . .

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. . . Laurie Keller . . .