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Leslie Bulion (1958–) Biography

Personal, Addresses, Career, Member, Honors Awards, Writings, Work in Progress, Sidelights

Born 1958, in New York, NY. Education: Cornell University, B.A.; University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography, M.S.; Southern Connecticut State University, M.S.W. Hobbies and other interests: Hiking, bicycling, cross-country skiing, scuba diving, pottery, knitting, reading, eating chocolate.


Agent—Moon Mountain Publishing, Inc., P.O. Box 188, West Rockport, ME 04865-0188.


Children's book writer and editor.


Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, Authors Guild, Authors League.

Honors Awards

Tassy Walden New Voices in Children's Literature Award, for Young-Adult Novel, 2001; Children's Africana Book Award, African Studies Association, 2003, for Fatuma's New Cloth.


Fatuma's New Cloth, illustrated by Nicole Tadgell, Moon Mountain Publishing (North Kingstown, RI), 2002.

Missing Pieces, Steck-Vaughn (Austin, TX), 2003.

One Piece at a Time, Steck-Vaughn (Austin, TX), 2004.

Tall Ships Fun, Moon Mountain Publishing (North Kingstown, RI), 2004.

Contributor to periodicals, including Parents and Child. Contributing writer to Edmin.com, 2000–02; author and editor of readers for educational publishers.

Work in Progress

Middle-grade novel to be published in 2006 by Peachtree Publishing. Collection of insect poetry to be published by Charlesbridge Publishing, 2006.

Accompanying a young girl and her mother, readers can enjoy a trip to an East African market, complete with the sights, sounds, and taste of nurturing chai tea, in Fatuma's New Cloth. (Illustration by Nicole Tadgell.)


Journalist and writer Leslie Bulion was inspired by her family's travels in East Africa to pen her first children's book, Fatuma's New Cloth, thus beginning a new branch of her career as an author. Published in 2002, the picture book follows a young girl named Fatuma as she accompanies her mother to the local market one day. Her mother promises Fatuma that, after the family shopping is done, the girl will be allowed to purchase a kanga cloth for a new dress and also stop for a treat: a cup of chai tea. While at the market many shop merchants try to impress their opinions upon young Fatuma about what constitutes the perfect chai. However, it is when Fatuma selects a brightly colored kanga cloth that the answer is revealed. Printed within the brightly patterned cloth is the saying: "Don't be fooled by the color. The good flavor of chai comes from the sugar." In other words, there is much more to a person than just what meets the eye.

Reviewing Bulion's debut book in School Library Journal, Anna DeWind Walls wrote that the book's overall message is "sweet" and "the story drifts along at a dreamy pace." A Publishers Weekly critic commented that "Tadgell's artwork highlights the glorious colors of the area's fabrics and landscapes, and demonstrates the warmth of a closely knit community in which tradition is paramount."

Biographical and Critical Sources


Bulion, Leslie, Fatuma's New Cloth, Moon Mountain (North Kingstown, RI), 2002.


Publishers Weekly, May 20, 2002, review of Fatuma's New Cloth, p. 65.

School Library Journal, December, 2002, Anna DeWind Walls, review of Fatuma's New Cloth, p. 85.

Skipping Stones, March-April, 2004, review of Fatuma's New Cloth, p. 34.


Leslie Bulion Home Page, http://www.lesliebulion.com (May 3, 2005).

Moon Mountain Publishing Web site, http://www.moonmountainpub.com/ (May 3, 2005).

Additional topics

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