Iza Trapani was born in Warsaw, Poland, where she lived until she was seven years old. Her parents fostered a life-long appreciation for books, art, and music. Iza learned to read before she started school and was always encouraged to draw, even though she would take over the entire dining table with her papers and pencils.
When Iza was seven, her mother traveled to America to visit her sister. At the time, whole families were not allowed to leave Communist Poland, so Iza's mother took her, the youngest. Their visit turned into a permanent stay. Her mother remarried and hoped to bring Iza's brother and sister to the United States, but tragically, she died too soon. Iza moved to a children's home in Lodi, New Jersey, where she stayed until she was 16. During this time, Iza's father in Poland also passed away. It wasn't until after she married and became a U.S. citizen that Iza felt she could travel to Poland without fear of deportation. Twenty-five years passed before she was reunited with her siblings.
Over the years, Iza continued to draw and paint. She wanted more than anything to create children's picture books. Crossing paths with a turtle in the woods inspired her first book What Am I? An Animal Guessing Game. Since then Iza has written and illustrated several books for children including the best-selling Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star; The Itsy Bitsy Spider; and Baa Baa Black Sheep.
Inspired by nature, children and animals, Iza has an endless wellspring of stories and ideas to share with young readers. She was once told that to be a good author a writer must know CPR—concise, precise, and rounded. In her picture books the illustrations play an integral part in enhancing and clarifying the text. It's a wonderful union of art and story with a fresh and interesting perspective.
Iza lives in the Hudson Valley of New York with her husband on their farm in a house that they designed. She has worked very hard for her success and feels blessed by the warm reception her books have received by readers young and old.
Visit her online.
Read her blog.
Read an article about Iza and her books in the Times Union.
For downloadable activities to accompany Iza's books, visit her resource page.