Susan Middleton Elya

Susan Middleton Elya grew up in Iowa, started writing stories at age seven, traveled to Mexico City in high school, earned a dual degree in Spanish and elementary education at Iowa State University, student-taught in Venezuela, saw Machu Picchu when she was twenty-one years old, studied in Spain, taught ten years of public school, started the Spanish program and wrote the curriculum at Lewis Central Middle School in Council Bluffs, Iowa, earned a master’s degree in Linguistics from the University at Nebraska at Omaha, got married, and moved to California. 

When Ms. Elya’s oldest child said, “Teach me Spanish, Mom,” that request sparked a book called Say Hola to Spanish. Twenty-four years later, Susan is still writing rhyming picture books in Spanish and English.

Some of Susan’s best known titles are Home at Last; Oh No, Gotta Go; Bebé Goes Shopping; Fire, Fuego, Brave Bomberos; Rubia and the Three Osos, Little Roja Riding Hood; La Madre Goose; and La Princesa and the Pea.

The mother of three grown children, Ms. Elya lives in Northern California with her dog, Pepper, and other family members.

Book Reviews by Susan Middleton Elya

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The intriguing title got this reviewer’s attention. The protagonist is a T. rex named Penelope, and it’s her first day of school. Penelope is nervous about going.

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“Seven Bad Cats will become a bedtime favorite for its short jaunty story and its charming art.”

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Pink Is for Boys by Robb Pearlman is a delight.

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An online dictionary says that a poem is a piece of writing that partakes of the nature of both speech and song that is nearly always rhythmical, usually metaphorical, and often exhibits such Susan

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Along the lines of the musicals Jersey Boys (Franky Valli and the Four Seasons) and Beautiful (Carol King), the dual biography When Paul Met Artie tells the story of the

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I Am Enough starts out with beautiful art and rhyming poetic stanzas.

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How can a book with only 112 words be so satisfying?

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Margot Lee Shetterly uses the repeating phrase, “really good” throughout this true story of four women working for NASA in the 1940s and beyond.

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Chronicle likes to push the envelope, and in this case, it is covered with hearts—or maybe not. The point of the book is that a stereotypical Valentine is not what the author wants to deliver.

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“Clever . . . a nice addition in preschool, kindergarten, and first grade classrooms or on a child’s bedroom bookshelf.”

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Kudos to Candlewick for doing a sick-kid book. There can’t be too many out there, and what sick child wouldn’t want to go to an alien world to forget about how badly he or she feels?

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“William’s Winter Nap is perfect for toddlers and preschoolers learning to share.”