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Creator / Helen Lester

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Helen Lester (born June 12, 1936) is an American author of numerous children's books, most famously the Tacky The Penguin books. She was born in Illinois, and, after a number of moves, has settled in the rural town of Pawling, New York.
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Mrs. Lester credits many of her writing ideas to her earlier career as a schoolteacher. She claims many of her famous children's book characters were inspired by the second graders she taught. This close-to-life inspiration informs the relatable themes of Lester's books, which include everyday issues such as anxiety and bullying and the value of the odd person out.

Mrs. Lester's prose frequently gets paired with illustrator Lynn Munsinger's pictures, though she did illustrate at least one book herself, Author: A True Story, which covers the process of creating a book.

When not writing children's books, Mrs. Lester speaks to children across the country, encouraging the authors of tomorrow, and enjoys knitting, reading, cooking, snowshoeing, and badminton.

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