IMG 7876 copyJennifer O’Connell grew up in Connecticut and received her BFA degree in illustration from Philadelphia College of Art (now The University of the Arts). She worked at Unicorn Graphics in Washington, DC before becoming a freelance illustrator and designer. She has two grown children and lives in Bethesda, MD, with her husband, Kevin.

Jennifer is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and The Children’s Book Guild of Washington, DC. She enjoys giving presentations about her books and workshops on the magic of creating picture books.

Jennifer’s Ten Timid Ghosts is a New York Times, Publishers Weekly, USA Today and Amazon bestseller which has sold over a million copies.

Her nonfiction picture book, The Eye of the Whale received the Green Earth Book Award, a Moonbeam Gold Award, a Maryland Blue Crab Honor Award, and has been named an Honor Book by the Society of School Librarians International. It was a Maine Literary Awards Finalist and has been selected by Reading is Fundamental for it's STEAM list. It has also been accquired by Scholastic for their school market.

Jennifer's latest picture book, Elephants Remember, tells the true story of how South African conservationist Lawence Anthony saved a traumatized herd of wild elphants when, against all odds he gained the trust of the matriarch. 

Her illustration honors include two Christopher Awards for Imagine That! Exploring Make-Believe, by Joyce Strauss and Promise Not to Tell, by Caroline Polese. A Garden of Whales, written by Maggie Davis, received The Vermont Publisher’s Association “Special Merit Award.” Jennifer also received The Strathmore Paper Company “Award of Excellence” for her stationery suite design for Chanterelle Caterers of Washington, DC.

In addition to writing and illustrating children’s books, Jennifer has produced illustrations for educational and corporate publications. She is a studio and plein air oil painter, with paintings in collections in the U.S. and abroad.

Her clients have included: Scholastic, Inc./Cartwheel Books, Tilbury House Publishers, Art In Hand Cards, Firefly Books, Ltd., Camden House Publishing, Human Sciences Press/Plenham Publishing, Teaching Strategies, Inc., Association Montessori International, The Washington Post, Marriott Corporation, Teaching Young Children and Young Children magazines of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, Johns Hopkins Early Childhood, Science Weekly, Sunrise Cards, The Food Marketing Institute, Green Acres School, Applied Management Sciences, L.J. Colker & Associates, The Georgetowner, Cachet Four Seasons, Anna Martin, Ltd., Chanterelle Caterers, Les Dames d’Escoffier, Pennywhistle Press, The International Association of Cooking Professionals, The American Cooking Guild, Food Service Focus, Inc. and Landscape Projects, Inc. 

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