Anika Denise grew up in Queens, in a book-loving, food-loving Puerto Rican-Italian family.
As a little girl, she enjoyed reading, writing short stories, and performing one-girl shows in her living room.
She graduated 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. (Also, 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 those living room performances, but now plays the part of “Mom” under the direction of her three daughters: Sofia, Isabel and Esmé.
It has been her best role so far.
Anika Denise is the celebrated author of five picture books, including Starring Carmen!, Monster Trucks, Baking Day at Grandma’s and Bella and Stella Come Home. In March of 2019, to coincide with Women’s History Month, HarperCollins Children’s Books will publish her forthcoming picture book, Pura Belpré, Planting Stories — a biography of pioneering Puerto Rican librarian, author, and storyteller Pura Belpré. Anika lives in Rhode Island with her family.
Totally Made Up Bio
For over 20 years, Anika Denise performed internationally with some of the best circuses in the world as a trapeze artist and animal tamer. She was an ensemble cast member in an off-off-off-Broadway production of Cabaret and played the role of “Girl in Bakery” in the made-for-television film: A Taste of Romance (Hallmark, 2011). Her hobbies include juggling, baton-twirling, extreme knitting, and deep-sea diving.