Jennifer Arena


Jen Arena feels lucky to have been surrounded by great children’s books her whole life. As a teenager, she worked at a children’s-only independent bookstore in Pennsylvania, and after graduating from college, she made her way to New York City, where she found jobs in children’s book publishing, working as an editor for Putnam, Golden Books, and Random House. She’s now a full-time author and freelance editor.

Jen’s book Lady Liberty’s Holiday was an SLJ Popular Pick for June 2016, and Marta! Big and Small was an SLJ Top 10 Latinx for 2016, a CCBC Choices 2017, and on the Huffington Post’s Best Picture Books of 2016 Honorable Mention list. Sleep Tight Snow White was included in the Society of Illustrators show while her bilingual board book Besos for Baby was named to the Texas Library Association 2×2 list. She has a number of books coming to print soon including Salsa Lullaby with Knopf/Random House, Give, also with Knopf, and Big Green Garage with Chronicle. When she’s not writing or editing, you can find Jen in her garden, on a volleyball court, or curled up with a good book. Jenarenabooks.com.

Photo credit: copyright Meredith Zinner Photography