Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

About Andrea J. Loney

Andrea J. Loney’s debut picture book TAKE A PICTURE OF ME, JAMES VANDERZEE! (Lee & Low Books, July 2017), is the 2014 New Voices Award-winning picture book biography of the legendary black photographer of the Harlem Renaissance. It also was a winner of the Gold Medal from the California Reading Association’s 2017 EUREKA! Nonfiction Children’s Book awards, a Junior Library Guild Fall 2017 Selection, and a 49th NAACP Image Award Nominee for Children’s Literature. Her first published picture book, BUNNYBEAR, (Albert Whitman & Company, January 2017) is about a bear who believes in his heart that he’s really a bunny, and her third picture book DOUBLE BASS BLUES shares the adventures of a young black boy carrying his double bass home from school (Random House Knopf, 2019).

For a sense of Andrea’s approach to writing nonfiction, read “Mining Emotion to Bring History to Life” at the Nerdy Book club.

Publishers Weekly says: “In an absorbing debut, Loney introduces African-American photographer VanDerZee, who moved from Massachusetts to Harlem at age 18 with a dream and a camera: “He saw what was special in everyone and captured each person’s story on film.”

A community college instructor with an MFA in Dramatic Writing from New York University, Andrea volunteers for the We Need Diverse Books campaign and for Reading to Kids (where she reads many, many picture book biographies to curious second graders). She lives in sunny Los Angeles, California with her devoted family, embarrassingly spoiled pets, and towering stacks of picture books.


“My ideal mentee would be writing at least one historical/biographical picture book, so I would work with this writer on generating ideas, multi-sensory research skills, finding and using mentor texts, exploring lyrical language, developing a strong and evocative voice, mining a subject’s life history for a compelling picture book-sized story, and writing compelling query letters for editors and agents.”

— Andrea J. Loney


About the Loney Mentorship