Frogs falling from the sky, a turtle frozen in a hailstone, a man who was struck by lightening seven times-these and other weird weather facts are explained in simple text. This is a level 2 reader in the "All Aboard Reading" series. Children will be fascinated by the weird, but true, stories, and enjoy the colorful artwork.
Heidi Petach (PEA-tack) has enjoyed a number of unusual careers on her way to becoming a best-selling illustrator and author. With a Master’s Degree with Highest Distinction from Indiana University School of Music, Heidi initially launched a career as a concert pianist and composer. She played concerts around the world, was featured on TV and radio, made recordings, and was commissioned to compose solo piano, piano/organ, and orchestral works.
“Writing children’s books and composing music are similar,” Petach explains. “In both, it’s important to balance phrasing, achieve clarity, create color, and connect emotionally with your audience.”
Following her music career, Petach worked in Promotions and Special Events at the Cincinnati Zoo. Her continuing love of animals is evident in all her books. Creating the artwork for the Zoo’s brochures and flyers inspired her to enroll full-time at the Cincinnati Academy of Design.
A tip from a neighbor connected Heidi with a local publisher and her first children’s picture book. Contracts with major publishers, including Grosset & Dunlap and Putnam soon followed. Petach’s books have received glowing reviews and have been nominated for awards. One- The Night Before Valentine’s Day by Natasha Wing- appeared on the New York Times Children’s Books Best-Sellers list for five weeks running.
Equally adept in the fiber arts, Petach’s fiber art designs have won numerous national awards and honors as well. Her favorite thing to do, though, is author visits. “It brings out the performer in me!” she laughs. “I love connecting with kids. I think I never really grew up!”
All told, Heidi Petach has authored eight books and illustrated more than sixty. She has a grown son and soon will have a daughter-in-law. Heidi lives in Cincinnati, OH with her husband Jay and cat Jackie.