Photo by Amy Wilton


Melanie Ellsworth is the author of HIP, HIP…BERET! (HMH, 2021) and CLARINET AND TRUMPET (HMH, 2021). She has worked as a literacy specialist and an ESOL teacher, meeting fascinating students from all over the world. Now, she writes picture books and middle grade novels in lovely mid-coast Maine where she lives with her husband, daughter, and her co-worker dog. New book ideas often strike on her daily walks through the meadow and down to the river. Melanie is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and the Soaring ‘20s Picture Book Debut Group. 

See my Press Kit for standard author bio and high-res images.


I grew up in Massachusetts, next to the town of Concord where lots of interesting writers have lived – Louisa May Alcott and Henry David Thoreau, just to name a few. 

Taking my dog on walks is one of my favorite activities; we observe the way the landscape changes with the changing seasons.

my office buddy – snoozing on the job

When my daughter joins our walks, we usually have a stop or two along the way so she can climb a tree. Once upon a time, I was a pretty accomplished tree climber myself and could find all of the coziest hollows. 

Traveling is another favorite pastime. As part of an AmeriCorp NCCC team in ‘95/’96, I visited several of our country’s western states doing trail building and educational work. I’ve also lived in Costa Rica (for a year) and backpacked around Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.

These days, reading is my substitute for traveling. Books have always transported me to far-flung places and times. When I was around 10 years old, my mom read aloud to me from Charles Dickens’ novels! 

a few of my favorite childhood books

I grew up in a musical family, and my years playing the clarinet inspired one of my first published picture books, CLARINET AND TRUMPET.