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Amanda (Moeckel) Calatzis has an MFA from the Illustration As Visual Essay program at School of Visual Arts. She is the illustrator of forthcoming picture books Mom Bod (by Nikki Powers, Walker Books US, 2025) and Just One Girl (by Trinka Hakes Noble, Sleeping Bear, 2024).

Other books include: 

Are You My Cutie Patootie? 

(by Monique Aiken, Schiffer Kids, 2024)


Mister Rogers' Gift of Music

(by Donna Cangelosi, Page Street Kids, 2022).


Khalida and the Most Beautiful Song

(Page Street Kids, 2018). 

Amanda's first word was “light.” She spent much of her childhood drawing people and stories in any notebook she could find. She and her neighborhood girlfriends ran feral in the woods, and presided over a lake that was crowned on the opposite shore by an old theme park. Screams from the rickety rollercoaster were the herald of summer.

She brings light-filled, untamed magic into her books, with paint, collage and embroidery. She welcomes soulful and empathetic stories, magical realism, nature adventures, diverse casts of characters and difficult subjects. 

“In the mud and scum of things, there always, always something sings.” 

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

(her 3rd cousin, a few times removed)

Her work has been featured by the Norman Rockwell Museum, in the Society of Illustrators’ Original Art Show, The Children’s Book PodcastSeven Impossible Things Before Breakfast, and other popular kidlit blogs.

After leaving her small town, and spending a couple decades as a city dweller, Amanda now lives near a stretch of the Appalachian Trail in the Hudson Valley, along with her husband, two small children and more charismatic wild animals than she can count.

She is represented by Charlotte Boudreau of Prospect Agency.

For her pet portraits, see

Select Client List

  • Walker Books US/Candlewick Press

  • Sleeping Bear Press

  • Schiffer Kids

  • Page Street Kids

  • Playboy Magazine

  • Gap Kids

  • Greater New York Hospital Association

  • Henri Bendel

  • Paul Stuart

  • Kinetika Records

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