Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Deborah Ruddell  

Pen Name: None


Audience: Children;

Born: 1949 in Terre Haute, Indiana

-- Website --
-- Deborah Ruddell on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Ruddell resides in Peoria.

Biographical and Professional Information

Deborah Ruddell is a graduate of the University of Illinois. Before writing children’s books, she was an art teacher and a graphic designer.As a child, Ruddell and her twin sister, Robin Luebs, would draw pictures and create stories in which they played the starring roles. Today, they both have gone on to become authors. Ruddell is a children's poet while Luebs also illustrates children's books including, ''Who Said Coo?'', written by her sister, Deborah Ruddell.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Today at the Bluebird Cafe
ISBN: 0689871538

Margaret K. McElderry Books. 2007

It's all-you-can-eat
at the Bluebird Café,
A grasshopper-katydid-cricket buffet,
with berries and snails
and a bluebottle fly,
a sip of the lake
and a bite of the sky.

A world of birds unfolds in twenty-two vivid poems that capture the unique personalities of birds from backyard blue jays to toucans and cockatoos. Come sweep through the sky with an eagle, compare table manners with a vulture, and mock a mockingbird -- if you dare!

Debora Ruddell's poems are funny and thoughtful, silly and sweet. Joan Rankin's delightful pictures enchant the eye and tickle the funny bone. There is something for everyone who flies through the pages of this brilliantly birdbrained book.

A Whiff of Pine, a Hint of Skunk: A Forest of Poems
ISBN: 1416942114

Margaret K. McElderry Books. 2009

In a watery mirror
the rugged raccoon
admires his face
by the light of the moon:
the mysterious mask,
the whiskers beneath,
the sliver of cricket
still stuck in his teeth.

Take a lighthearted romp through four seasons in the forest with these whimsical poems. Marvel at the overachieving beaver, applaud the race-winning snail and its perfect trail of slime, or head off to be pampered at a squirrel spa.

Warning: Deborah Ruddell's quirky cast of animal characters and Joan Rankin's deliciously daffy pictures will cause giggles. The woods have never been so much fun!

Who Said Coo?
ISBN: 1416985107

Beach Lane Books. 2010

Lulu is one seriously sleepy pig. But every time she snuggles in her cozy bed, she’s disturbed by the noises of two naughty birds outside her window. Whoooooo…Coooooo….Lulu must find a way to get her wide-awake pals to pipe down. But as her frustration grows, will she be able to ask them nicely?

Brimming with pitch-perfect rhymes, fun-to-say animal noises, and heaps of humor, this book is a delightful read-aloud that’s perfect for bedtime—or anytime!

The Popcorn Astronauts: And Other Biteable Rhymes
ISBN: 1442465557

Margaret K. McElderry Books. 2015

Take a bite out of the calendar with this cheerful collection of delicious seasonal poems, each one an ode to a favorite food!

The daring popcorn astronauts
are brave beyond compare—
they scramble into puffy suits
and hurtle through the air.

And when they land, we say hooray
and crowd around the spot
to salt the little astronauts
and eat them while they’re hot.

Dive into a watermelon lake and sing the praises of mac and cheese in this playful and poetic celebration of food. In spring, bow to the “Strawberry Queen” and eat “Only Guacamole.” In summer you’ll meet Bob the Ogre, who only eats corn on the cob, and in fall, you can learn “21 Things to Do with an Apple.” And then in winter, retreat from the cold at “The Cocoa Cabana!”

Stellar team Deborah Ruddell and Joan Rankin deliver a whimsical celebration of the tastiest treats of life in this palatable poetry collection.


Today at the Bluebird Cafe

  • Chicago Public Library's Best of the Best for 2007
  • Kirkus Starred Review
  • A Whiff of Pine, A Hint of Skunk

  • 2010 International Reading Association (IRA)

    Teachers' Choice Book

  • ALA 2010 Notable Children’s Books
  • School Library Journal Best Books of 2009
  • The Bulletin Blue Ribbon Books
  • Junior Library Guild Selection
  • CCCB Choices
  • 2010 NCTE/CLA Notable Children's Books in the Language Arts
  • Bank Street Best Books of the Year
  • Kirkus Starred Review
  • Who Said Coo?

  • 2X2 Reading List, Texas Library Association , 2011
  • Kids' Indie Next List, Summer 2010
  • ILLINOIS READS Book List Selection, Illinois Reading Council, 2016
  • The Popcorn Astronauts

  • Kirkus Starred Review
  • Publisher’s Weekly Starred Review
  • ILLINOIS READS Book List Selection, Illinois Reading Council, 2018

    Speaking Engagements

    Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)