About the Author

Hillenbrand smallGetting to Know Will Hillenbrand


Will has lived almost all of his life in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he grew up as the youngest of four boys and was surrounded by stories at home and in his neighborhood. His mother told him that he was born with a pencil in his hand because he always loved to draw, a passion which continues to this day.

Favorite Place to Draw During Childhood

On the stairwell walls of his home with crayons


BFA from the Art Academy of Cincinnati; The Ohio State University

First Picture Book

Traveling to Tondo: A Tale of the Nkundo of Zaire, retold by Verna
Aardema [Knopf, 1991]

Newest Book

Bear and Bunny, written by Daniel Pinkwater [Candlewick Press, 2015]

Inspiration for Bear and Mole Series

His relationship with his son. When Ian was three years old, he pretended to be a mole which led to the creation of What a Treasure! and Spring Is Here. Three other stories have followed so far including Kite Day, Off We Go! and All for a Dime!

Number of Published Books

Over 60 books for young readers

Writers and Retellers Whose Works He's Illustrated

Judy Sierra, Margery Cuyler, Judith St. George, Eric Kimmel, Phyllis Root, Jane Yolen, Karma Wilson, Maureen Wright, Olivier Dunrea & Jane Hillenbrand, among others

Favorite Medium

Whatever allows him to show his audience the ideas he wishes to convey, but he does favor his graphite pencil. He also uses digital media including drawing and creating paintings on his iPad.

Best Part of Being a Creator of Children's Picture Books

His audience of young people. When he sees the faces of young children who are engaged with books—especially his books—it delights his heart. To think that he might play a part in their becoming readers/thinkers is an additional benefit. Will is honored and is very excited about being invited once again to take part in the PA One Book tour!