When Peter Catalanotto was in first grade, his mother would take him to the bookmobile on Thursday afternoons. He loved climbing the steps and entering that library on wheels. This was not a direct connection to him wanting to be a writer or illustrator when he grew up but rather a bookmobile driver. He thought this had to be the greatest job in the world. In between answering questions and checking out books for patrons the driver simply sat in a cushioned seat, sipped a soda and read.Peter loved books as a child but never imagined writing and illustrating them. By the age of eight, he wanted to work as an artist when he grew up but his notion of that was moving to New York City, spending his whole life drawing and painting, slowly starving to death, and then after he was dead, everyone would buy my paintings.He graduated from Pratt Institute in 1981 and began working as an illustrator for print publications such as Reader’s Digest, Family Circle, Woman’s Day and American Girl Magazine. In 1984 he began illustrating Young Adult book jackets and after painting the cover for Judy Blume’s “Just as Long as We’re Together” in 1987, the editor, Richard Jackson approached him to illustrate a picture book; “All I See,” written by Cynthia Rylant.Peter has published 46 books for children, 16 of which he’s written, including “Ivan the Terrier,” “Matthew A. B. C.” and “Emily’s Art.” The first of his early reader series; “Monkey & Robot” was released in January 2013. More of “Monkey & Robot” was published in March 2014.He’s illustrated for some wonderful writers including Mary Pope Osborne, Joanne Ryder, Megan McDonald, George Ella Lyon and Robert Burleigh. Since 1990, he’s visited over 1,500 elementary schools in 40 states showing students his creative process from inspiration to final book.Contact a speaker booking agent to check availability on Peter Catalanotto and other top speakers and celebrities.