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Lesley Simpson (1963-) Biography

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

Born 1963, in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada; divorced); Education: University of Toronto, B.A. and M.A., 1987; Ryerson University, B.A.A., 1989.


Office—The Hamilton Spectator, 44 Frid St., Hamilton, Ontario, Canada L8N 3G3.


Hamilton Spectator, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, newspaper reporter, feature writer, food columnist, 1996—; writer. Has also worked as a radio producer.


Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.

Honors Awards

Sydney Taylor notable book award, Association of Jewish Libraries, for The Shabbat Box.


The Hug, Annick Press, 1985.

The Shabbat Box, illustrated by Nicole in den Bosch, Kar-Ben Copies (Rockville, MD), 2001.

When young Ira loses the class Shabbat Box, he decides to make a replacement in Lesley Simpson's picture book based on the traditional Jewish celebration of Sabbath. (From The Shabbat Box, illustrated by Nicole in den Bosch.)

The Purim Surprise, illustrated by Peter Church, Kar-Ben Publishers (Minneapolis, MN), 2003, Lerner Publishing, 2004.

Work in Progress

A series of picture books for children ages four to eight.


Lesley Simpson told SATA: "I have been writing since I was a child and had trouble getting to sleep thanks to math nightmares. When I was in Grade Six, I wrote an article about "What to Do When you Can't Get to Sleep and Have Run out of Flashlight Batteries." That article was published in a collection of work by children for children. The title was Word sandwich. What a thrill the day I got my complimentary copy in the mail!

"I write because I love creating imaginary worlds. I have many unpublished stories in my drawers at home that I am looking to find a home for.

"I am the author and illustrator of The Hug which has been translated into French.

"To other writers I would borrow the slogan from Nike and suggest 'just do it' and ignore the naysayers. Go for it! Follow your heart, and chase your dreams."

Biographical and Critical Sources


Booklist, October 1, 2001, Stephanie Zvirin, review of The Shabbat Box, p. 338.

School Library Journal, December, 2001, Amy Lilien-Harper, review of The Shabbat Box, p. 111.*

Additional topics

Brief BiographiesBiographies: Paul Anthony Samuelson (1915– ) Biography to Bessie Smith (1895–1937) Biography