Books for Babies and Young Readers

     Need a quality holiday gift for the youngsters in your life? Try a children’s book about the Bay written by a local author. Here are seven of our Bay Country friends and their marvelous collection of books for kids of all ages.

     Elaine Ann Allen, who wrote the Olly the Oyster series and Mallory the Forgetful Duck published by Schiffer Books, grew up on the Eastern Shore. She wanted to write stories about sea animals with a more practical point of view. Rather than their physical characteristics or how they fit into the ecosystem’s food chain, she wrote about the purpose of the animals’ lives in relation to their environment. Her books entertain and educate. Find them at

     Multi-genre author Mick Blackistone got interested in writing a children’s book in 1986, when he responded to a request for an article to educate kids about cleaning the environment. He wrote The Day They Left the Bay and has been writing about the Bay ever since. Named an Admiral of the Chesapeake by former Maryland Gov. William Donald Shaefer, Blackistone writes captivating stories for adults and children, all centered around the Bay his ancestors came to know when they landed off the Potomac River on St. Clements Island in 1634. Find them at [email protected]

     Priscilla Cummings (left) was nearly five years old, growing up on a dairy farm in western Massachusetts, when she climbed the hayloft to write stories about the barn cats who lived there. She now lives in Annapolis and writes the prolific Chadwick series sharing her love for all the animals of the Bay. Published by Penguin Random House and Schiffer Publishers.

      Cindy Freland (below) loves writing about the Bay because of the mysteries lying just underneath the “sparkle

s.” She became inspired to write Jordan the Jellyfish after her daughter was stung while swimming in the Bay. She now has nine books in the Chesapeake Bay Adventure series. Find them at

     Janie Suss was an avid reader who turned writer when her aunt suggested she write about the osprey living at the end of her family pier. She won the Mom’s Choice Award for her educational and inspiring Oscar and Olive Osprey: A Family Takes Flight. Find it at



The Chesapeake Mermaid has been telling stories to children for years, but when she suddenly lost her hearing from a bacterial infection, she began writing during her recovery. She wrote The Last Bivalvian and The Giants of the Bay, both wonderfully illustrated by Angela Rose Mitchell. Go to or to Amazon.

     I, William Sells, was first published with Leaf, an adventure novel for kids ages eight and up. Leaf was named a Must Read by the Ben Franklin awards. When I moved to Chesapeake Beach in 2018, I was intrigued and inspired by monthly wildlife migrations to write Count on the Chesapeake, A Bay-friendly counting book for babies, toddlers and anyone else who counts. Find it at Barnes and Noble and Amazon.