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Meet Shirley

Shirley ParenteauShirley Parenteau has been writing since she was a little girl on the Northern Oregon Coast where her father was a logger and her mother wrote for newspapers. When she married, Shirley moved to Northern California where she and her husband Bill and their three children restored a hundred-year-old farmhouse. It was from the porch of the farmhouse that Shirley heard frogs singing one spring evening. When a car went by on the wet street, the frogs fell silent. Gradually, they began singing again. It had been years since Shirley wrote for children, but the muse gave her a sharp poke and said, “Counting book.”

Sure enough, about a year later, Candlewick Press offered to publish the story. Only hours after that phone call, Shirley had the awesome experience of seeing her granddaughter Elizabeth born. Shortly after Elizabeth celebrated her fourth birthday, One Frog Sang arrived in bookstores. A year later, Scholastic published a book club edition with an audio disk.

Shirley’s three children are now grown and between them have six children of their own, all girls. Shirley’s earlier books include eight children’s books ranging from a picture book to young adult science fiction and five novels for women. Now with granddaughters to inspire her, Shirley is writing for children again and currently celebrating publication of a second picture book with Candlewick Press, Bears on Chairs, this one prompted by Elizabeth’s play in a bookstore when she was three. With ideas from all her grandchildren inspiring her, Shirley hopes for many more published books.