Shelley Tanaka

Shelley Tanaka

Kingston, ON

Orbis Pictus Award (Winner, 2009)

IBBY Honour List for Translation (Short-listed, 2006)

Science in Society Children's Book Award (Winner, 2000)

Mr. Christie's Book Award (Winner, 1997)

Silver Birch Award (Winner, 1997)

Information Book Award (Winner, 1997)




N/A (N/A)


Shelley Tanaka was born in Toronto, Canada. She received an Honours Bachelor&;s degree in English and German from Queen&;s University and a Master&;s degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Toronto. 

Tanaka began her editing career at Clarke Irwin. She has been the fiction editor at Groundwood Books, a Canadian children&;s book publisher, since 1983, and has edited books by many Canadian writers, including Tim Wynne-Jones, Deborah Ellis, Martha Brooks, Sarah Ellis, and Alan Cumyn. She is the editor of thirteen Governor General&;s Award winning books.

Shelley Tanaka writes nonfiction for children, including books in the I Was There series and A Day That Changed America series. She has won numerous awards for her writing. Her books have been translated into several languages: German, Danish, Spanish, French, Japanese, Portuguese and Thai. Additionally, she has translated many children&;s picture books and novels from German and French into English. 

Shelley teaches in the MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults program at the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She has two daughters, and lives in Kingston, Ontario.