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"I grew up on a small farm in Southern Michigan, one of seven children. With three boys and four girls, we put on shows, had a band, formed clubs and had almost enough kids to have a baseball team. We had creeks to wade in and fields to roam. The woods were filled with wild flowers and mushrooms. Summers seemed endless.

Trinka in 1st Grade“My earliest memory of wanting to be an artist is the smell of crayons. Ours were kept in an old cigar box. They were broken, chewed, and well used. You couldn’t even recognize the different colors, so you had to test each color by drawing on the cigar box lid. Oh, the smell when you opened that lid … ahhh … and a nice sheet of manila construction paper … my life’s requirements were met!

“In second grade, something great happened. We were drawing pictures of Santa’s sleigh. I worked hard on my drawing. To my surprise, my teacher, Mrs. Stanley, put only my picture up on the bulletin board because it was so good. That's when I decided to be an artist. And I did! In The Day Jimmy’s Boa Ate the Wash, a teacher takes the kids on a class trip. I named her Mrs. Stanley!

“When I was twelve, another wonderful thing happened. That Christmas, my dad made me the best present ever...a professional drawing board! I was speechless and didn't even thank him. So, when I became an author and illustrator, I thanked him in a special way by writing and illustrating Apple Tree Christmas for him.

Hakes Farm“We had the usual farm animals as well as some unusual wild animals because my mother was good at bringing up orphans. We had a little red fox named Rascal with a broken paw, tiny twin raccoons named Nip and Tuck, a hawk with a broken wing, a baby badger who liked to sleep in a bread loaf pan, and four baby skunks who thought my older brother was their mother!

“Animals were a huge part of my childhood, so writing stories about a kid named Jimmy who loves animals, and had a congenial thirty-foot pet boa constrictor, seemed perfectly normal to me.”

Ms. Noble wrote the popular Jimmy's Boa series, illustrated by Steven Kellogg. The series has been translated into seven languages and featured on the PBS children's program Reading Rainbow and in Newsweek.  Her first book with Penguin USA was The King's Tea, along with Apple Tree Christmas and  Hansy's Mermaid.

Trinke Halkes Noble in her studioThe Scarlet Stockings Spy (2004) was awarded an IRA Teacher’s Choice (2005), followed by The Last Brother (2006). Apple Tree Christmas (2005) was reissued by Sleeping Bear Press in a Holiday Classic edition. The Orange Shoes was also awarded an IRA Teacher's Choice (2008).

Ms. Noble graduated from Michigan State University in 1967 with a BA in Fine Arts, then taught art in Michigan, Virginia and Rhode Island. After moving to New Jersey in 1972, she studied children’s book writing and illustrating in New York City at Parsons School of Design, the New School University, Caldecott medalist Uri Shulevitz’s Greenwich Village Workshop, and most recently at New York University. A board member of The New Jersey Center for the Book and the Rutgers University Council on Children's Literature, she was awarded Outstanding Woman 2002 in Arts and Letters in New Jersey for her lifetime of work in children's books along with citations from the United States Congress and Senate.

The Nobles live in a circa 1780 house in the historic Jockey Hollow area of northern New Jersey. Says Trinka, “I still use the same drawing board my father made for me long ago. I still love to draw and I still love the smell of crayons!”

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