Anika Denise grew up in Forest Hills, Queens, in a big, fun, loud Puerto Rican-Italian family.
As a little girl, she loved reading, writing short stories, and performing original plays in her living room.
She graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in marketing communications, and went on to get a Very Grown-up Job in advertising. While doing her Very Grown-up Job, she met lots of nice people and learned a great many useful things, but couldn’t shake the feeling she was meant to do something… different.
One day, she met the dashing children’s book illustrator, Christopher Denise, who explained, he drew “animals with clothes on” for a living, and encouraged her to write him a story (and to go on a date with him).
One wedding, three kids, and many messy first drafts later, Anika is back to writing short stories (in the form of picture books!).
She still enjoys original performances in the living room, but now plays the part of “Mom” under the direction of her three young daughters Sofia, Isabel and Esmé.
It has been her best role so far.
Anika Denise is the author of several critically acclaimed books for young readers, including three illustrated by her husband, Christopher Denise: Baking Day at Grandma’s, Bella and Stella Come Home, and Pigs Love Potatoes. Publishers Weekly hailed her latest picture book, Monster Trucks, illustrated by Nate Wragg, “a mash up made in heaven” in a recent starred review. Coming soon is the first in a new picture book series illustrated by Lorena Alvarez, titled Starring Carmen (Abrams 2017); and a fourth collaboration with Chris, an ode to middle kids, titled The Best Part of Middle (Henry Holt, 2018). Anika’s books have been recognized by Parents’ Choice Foundation, The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, and the Rhode Island Center for the Book. When not writing tales of vroom and doom, Anika can be found zipping around her hometown of Barrington, Rhode Island in her monster minivan, or reading not-so-scary stories with her husband and three kids. Visit her online at anikadenise.com and on Twitter @AnikaDenise.
Totally Made Up Bio
Anika Denise is a popular competitive Monster Truck driver who recently made a name for herself on the Poquito Loco tour. When not hot air ballooning, base jumping or white water river rafting, she can be found at home reading with her family, or perfecting her recipe for the world’s spiciest salsa.