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Blog: This Writing Life


  • Writer's pictureMelissa Stoller

3 Question Interview - ANN D. KOFFSKY

I'm delighted to feature my friend and critique partner Ann D. Koffsky on the blog today. Ann is a brilliant and prolific author/illustrator - I've highlighted her stories before - here and here. Ann's latest picture book is UNDER-THE-SEA SEDER (Apples & Honey Press, March 2023). Ann shares about the inspiration behind her new Passover book, and chats about stories, creativity, and connection. Welcome back, Ann!

STORIES – Discuss the inspiration for your ideas and stories, and share the process about your latest projects.

For Under-the-Sea Seder, the inspiration was my kids. Like many children, one (or more!) of my own kids has ADD, which made Passover seders, and any meal with tablecloths, a challenge. We always had to be creative in finding ways to hold their attention and make the meal meaningful to them. That experience is what inspired me to write this story, and the character of Miri.

CREATIVITY -- How do you showcase your creative side through writing/illustrating and other pursuits?

I like to share my art on Facebook, and I enjoy sharing my stories with my fellow authors in my writing groups. Hearing the critique of other folks trying to do the same thing that I am means so much, and has really helped me make my writing stronger.

CONNECTION -- How do you connect to your young readers through your writing/illustrating, and how do you stay connected to the KidLit community?

To the kidlit community? As I said above, I am in a couple of writing groups, including one with you, Melissa! And that group gave me my connection to you…so it worked!

You and I are also part of a Facebook group called Jewish Kidlit Mavens, as well as the 12 x12 Picture Book Challenge…all of these groups help me find other like-minded people doing the same insanity, I mean, WORK as I am. Which makes it that much more rewarding.


Ann D. Koffsky is the author and illustrator of more than forty books, including Under the Sea Seder, What’s In Tuli’s Box, Sarah Builds a School, the Kayla & Kugel series, Judah Maccabee Goes to the Doctor and Shabbat Shalom, Hey. Several of her books have been PJ Library selections, and her book Noah’s Swimathon received a Sydney Taylor notable designation from the Association of Jewish Libraries. Ann distributes free, Jewish themed coloring pages before the holidays. To sign up to receive them, just email Ann through her website, and put “SIGN ME UP!” in the subject line.


Ann D. Koffsky

Author and Illustrator

WHAT’S IN TULI’S BOX? (Apples and Honey, 2022)


SHEEP SAYS SHALOM (Greenbean, 2023)

UNDER THE SEA SEDER (Apples and Honey, 2023)

KAYLA AND KUGEL’S SILLY SUKKOT (Apples and Honey, 2023)

THE PEDDLER AND THE PRESIDENT, (Apples and Honey, 2024)


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1 Comment

Apr 03, 2023

Yay—two of my favorite authors collaborated on this interview! This book had me at the cover. The idea behind it is so relatable (though my husband is the one with the limited attention span in our family) and it's handled in such a creative, engaging, and informative way. I've already ordered copies for my grandchildren.

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