Mary Meinking Chambers


Who's Mary Meinking?

Marys first booksI was the first born child, raised in a small Iowan town. I created an imaginary playmate, Pickens to play with. But Picken was short lived when my sister was born two years later. 
As a teen, I did a lot of babysitting. To entertain children, I wrote and illustrated children's books. A family friend, read my books to her second grade class. They were stories about a talking Liberty Bell and a peanut stealing elephant. This began my interest in writing my own children's books.

I majored in illustration in college. Mary at Computer After graduating from the University of Kansas, I started worked as a graphic designer. I created brochures and logos for many years. But I always wanted to write and illustrate for children. In 2001 I decided to fulfill that dream by taking children's writing classes.

In 2003 my first non-fiction magazine article was 
published. I use unusual “fun facts” in my non-fiction articles, hoping kids think it’s interesting too. Several of my non-fiction articles were published in 12 different children's magazines over several years.  

I've also written over 30 non-fiction children's books. The books are about arts and crafts, extreme jobs, animals, pop stars, travel and history. (They were published by Mason Crest, Capstone Press, Picture Window Books, Heinemann-Raintree Library, Bearport Publishing, Cherry Lane Publishing, ABDO Publishing and Lerner Publishing.)

I live in Iowa. My husband and I have two grown children. I continue to work as a graphic designer, for a local newspaper. When not working, writing or hanging out with my family I enjoy traveling, gardening, baking, photography and doing arts & crafts.

To contact me, email:

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” -
Pablo Picasso