About the Author and Illustrator:

Marie Betts Bartlett

I never expected to be a children's author and illustrator but here I am! I've written and illustrated "The Little Yellow Trolley Car", "Poppy's Purpose" and more books are on the way.

Actually though, it's not completely a surprise. I've always loved children, and enjoy helping them learn and discover new things. Starting when I was about eight years old I used to organize games and activities for birthday parties for my younger siblings. As an adult, I've taught children from pre-K to grade 12; worked with children with special needs; and parented with my husband our own two children who are now young adults.

My interest in art and creativity has developed mostly in adulthood. After I graduated from college, I began to make cards and gifts for family and friends- things that celebrated their birthdays, weddings, graduations or children's births. I often create works with paper collage. This kind of art is especially gratifying for me because I can focus on colors, shapes and fitting them together on the paper. Assembling the pieces is similar to math problem solving- which has always been a favorite of mine!

I wrote and illustrated my first small book 30 years ago for my young niece's birthday. She was turning five during maple sugaring season and lived far away from sugar maple trees and snow. But she loved maple syrup! I lived in Massachusetts, and understood syrup making. So I made her a little book about how maple syrup is made. I remember loving the process of putting words together in ways that would make ideas and images come alive in her mind.

I still live in western Massachusetts with my husband. Through him I have learned more about trains that I ever imagined. I look at trains and railroads with new eyes. I travel by train and am a conductor and motorman on the trolley that is the centerpiece of "The Little Yellow Trolley Car." Trains are not the only thing I write about, but they are interesting in so many ways. They provide me with lots of inspiration for crafting stories that connect them with the lives of young people.

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