Share story time with a kid in your life and support a local author.


To prolong the magic beyond Christmas, gift the kids in your life with children's books by local authors. 

There are way more options than you would expect, with stories covering everything from the desert to Down syndrome. 

We've listed some of the authors and titles below, along with list prices, publication dates and ratings as you would find them on Amazon. 

Happy reading!

Author: Lori Alexander


"Famously Phoebe," published by Sterling Publishing, hit shelves Oct. 3. 

"Backhoe Joe" (2014) $15.99: A story about a boy who tries to adopt a backhoe that misbehaves like a rambunctious puppy. This book has 55 reviews and five stars on Amazon.  

"Famously Phoebe" (2017) $16.95: When Phoebe's little sister is born, her "paparazzi" (aka family) is no longer as interested in her. A story of sisters and new siblings. Seven reviews and five stars. 

Learn more about Alexander at

Author: Byrd Baylor

"Everybody Needs a Rock" (1985) $7.99: A rock hunter shares her 10 rules for finding a rock. The book has 4½ stars and 120 reviews. 

"The Way to Start a Day" (1986) $7.19: The book explores how people around the world watch the sunrise. This book has 4½ stars and 26 reviews. 


Byrd Baylor doing some work as she is sitting at a table near her kitchen using an old-fashioned typewriter, which she always uses to do her books Thursday April 23, 2009. 

Baylor has many other books that celebrate the natural world, the desert and the simple pleasures of life such as family and beauty. Find them on Amazon here

Author: Rhody Cohon

"Blast to the Past: Lincoln's Legacy" (2005) $6.99. The first book in a series that whisks a class back in time to learn about history up close and personal. This book has 4½ stars and 18 reviews. Cohon writes with Stacia Deutsch. Other books in the series include "Disney's Dream," "Betsy Ross's Star" and "Ben Franklin's Fame."  

Cohon and Deutsch have also written novelizations of films including "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" and "The Smurfs.


Author Rhody Cohon Downey has published more than 40 children's books. She has master's degrees in computer engineering and accounting, and never thought her career would take a literary turn.

Author: Lili DeBarbieri

"Sand Dune Daisy: A Pocket Mouse Tale" (2015) $18.95: The southwestern tale about a pocket mouse lost in the desert introduces readers to a hungry kit fox, a nonchalant lizard and a child sledding down sand dunes. This book has five stars and three Amazon reviews. 

Learn more about DeBarbieri at


Sand Dune Daisy — Credit: Courtesy of Lili DeBarbieri

Author: Chris Gall


Chris Gall illustrated all 12 covers of Arizona Highways this year. He sandwiched that between his other projects illustrating and writing books. He is the author and illustrator of the “Dinotrux” children’s books series, which was made into a Netflix cartoon.

"Dinotrux" (2012) $7.99: Adapted as an animated TV show for Netflix in 2015, the first in Gall's Dinotrux series explores a world where dinosaur-truck hybrid creatures rule the Earth. The first book has 4½ stars and 91 customer reviews on Amazon. 

"Dog vs. Cat" (2014) $17.99: This book pits these two pets against each other and explores what will bring them together — 4½ stars on Amazon and 40 reviews. 

Gall has way more books to check out. You can do so at his website:

Author: David Lazaroff 

"Correctamundo: Prickly Pete's Guide to Desert Facts & Cactifracts" (2001) $9.95: An illustrated adventure through the Sonoran Desert with Prickly Pete the packrat to learn about desert facts. The book has five stars and three customer reviews on Amazon. 

Author: Susan Lowell

"The Three Little Javelinas" (1992) $15.95: A Tucson take on the Three Little Pigs has javelinas running from a clever coyote. The book has five stars on Amazon and 96 reviews. 

"A Very Hairy Christmas" (2012) $15.95: The hairy javelinas return to their home for the holidays, but there's still a bad guy to evade. Five stars and nine customer reviews. 


Susan Lowell's kids' book "Cindy Ellen: A Wild Western Cinderella."

Author: Maria Jordan MacKeigan


Jordan Grace MacKeigan, 2, and Ana Maria MacKeigan, 8, read “A Princess Wish,” a book written by their mom for Jordan Grace’s second birthday.

"A Princess Wish" (2016) $9.99: MacKeigan wrote this story to open up conversations between parents and children about disabilities. This story is about her own two daughters and a Down syndrome diagnosis that made their relationship even sweeter. This book has five stars and 14 reviews. 

Author: Marianne Mitchell

"Maya Moon" (1995) $16.77: A Mexican folktale that explains why the moon changes shapes. The book has two five-star reviews. You can also find other books or order "Maya Moon" from Mitchell's site

Author: Judi Moreillon


Judi Moreillon

"Read to Me" or "Vamos a Leer" (2004) $6.99: This board book explores why it's so important to read to kids. The English version has five stars and six reviews. There are no reviews for the Spanish version. 

"Ready and Waiting for You" (2013) $17: A back-to-school story to ease first-day nerves as the teachers and staff in the story get ready to welcome students back. The book has 4½ stars and four reviews. 

Learn more about Moreillon's books here:

Author: Adiba Nelson

"Meet Clarabelle Blue" (2013) $5.99: Just because this preschooler is in a wheelchair, doesn't mean she can't have adventures. This book has five stars and 27 reviews. 


ClaraBelle Blue is loosely inspired by Nelson's daughter Emory. 

Author: La Verne Olsen

"If a Peacock Follows You Home: Children's Stories by Grandma" (2007) $15.72: Written by a Tucson grandmother for her grandchildren, the inspiration for this book followed a day at Reid Park Zoo. After a peacock spent the day tailing Olsen and her grandkids, one of her grandsons asked what would have happened if the peacock followed them home. Thus this story. There are no Amazon reviews for this book. 

Author: Marge Pellegrino


Marge Pellegrino, who is a Writer-in-Residence this summer for the Pima County Public Library, began writing to help cope with the death of her brother.

"My Grandma's the Mayor" (2000) $14.95: When Annie's grandmother becomes mayor, she no longer has as much time for Annie. Annie is upset at first but soon comes to see the rewards of civic engagement. The book has 3½ stars on Amazon. 

For more books by Marge Pellegrino, visit

Author: Guy Porfirio

"Jump" (2012) $15.93: A jumping cholla takes an adventure from cactus to coyote and around the country. The book has five stars and 11 reviews. 

Porfirio has also illustrated a number of books, including some holiday stories such as "The Legend of St. Nicholas," "Clear Moon, Snow Soon" and "The Night Before Christmas." Visit his website for more. 

Author: Adam Rex

"The True Meaning of Smekday" (2015) $7.99: This funny book inspired the movie "Home" and takes place during the end of the world. Follow a cast of misfit characters and an 11-year-old girl as Earth is conquered by aliens. The book has 164 reviews and 4½ stars. "Smek for President" is the sequel.  


Adam Rex holds up likenesses of Gratuity “Tip” Tucci, left, and a Boov alien from his book.

"Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich (2011) $7.99: This is a New York Times bestseller with silly poems that provides a glimpse into the problems facing the world's scary monsters. The book has 76 reviews and 4½ stars. Think empty pantries and stinky vampires. If you love monsters, check out the followup "Frankenstein Takes the Cake."

If you're a fan of Adam Rex, he has more than a dozen other titles that you can find and purchase at his website

Author: Roni Capin Rivera-Ashford

"Miguel and the Amazing Alebrijes" (2017) $5.99: A companion to the Disney/Pixar film "Coco," this book includes game cards and stickers. Roni wrote this with her son Aaron Rivera-Ashford. This is a new book with five stars on Amazon and two reviews. 


Author Roni Capin Rivera-Ashford with her book “Miguel and the Amazing Alebrijes.”

"My Nana's Remedies / Los Remedios de mi Nana" (2002) $15.95: From fear to stomach aches, this grandmother knows all of the traditional treatments for her granddaughter. This book has five stars and 13 Amazon reviews. You can also find the followup book "My Tata's Remedies / Los Remedios de mi Tata." 

Author: Marjorie Weinman Sharmat


Prolific storyteller Marjorie Weinman Sharmat.

"Nate the Great" (1977) $5.99: This is a long-running chapter book series that encourages kids to problem-solve along with boy detective Nate. The series has dozens of books. The first book has 4½ stars and 292 reviews on Amazon. 

"Gila Monsters Meet You at the Airport" (1990) $6.98: A boy from New York City faces down his perceptions about what a move out West will be like — 4½ stars and 19 customer reviews. 

Author: Jennifer Stewart

"The Twelve Days of Christmas in Arizona" (2010) $12.95: Replace the partridge in a pear tree with a cactus wren in a palo verde and read Isabella's letters to her parents about her Christmas vacation to Arizona and all the sights she sees. This book has five stars and 13 reviews. 

"The Twelve Days of Christmas in Arizona" by Jennifer J. Stewart.

"Close Encounters of a Third-World Kind" (2013) $7.99: When 12-year-old Annie's family spends two months in Nepal on a medical mission trip she meets a local girl and goes on a journey of self-discovery. This book has five stars and five reviews. 

Learn more about Stewart at

Author: Jennifer Ward

"There Was a Coyote Who Swallowed a Flea" (2007) $15.95: A flea is the smallest thing this coyote swallows, with bigger residents of the Sonoran Desert eventually ending up in his belly. This book has 4½ stars on Amazon and 103 reviews. Ward has similar titles such as "There Was an Old Pirate Who Swallowed a Fish" and "There Was an Old Mummy Who Swallowed a Spider." Both books have 4½ stars and more than 100 reviews. 

Ward has lots of other well-reviewed books about nature, animals and getting your kids outside. Learn about her other books here:

Shop at these local stores

While these stores may not stock every title or author on this list, they may be able to help you hunt down local finds.