Sandra Horning

Sandra writes picture books, beginning readers, and, most recently, the Baby Code! series of board books. Her picture book The Giant Hug (Knopf, 2005, illustrated by Valeri Gorbachev) was a Junior Library Guild selection and an IRA Children's Choice, and has been translated into many languages. Family, friends, pets, and nature spark the ideas for many of her stories.
In addition to writing children's books, Sandra also works as the library director of the Chaplin Public Library. Books surround her at home and at work! She lives in the Quiet Corner of Connecticut with her husband, two sons, and a flock of chickens and ducks (all named, of course).

Most Recent Book
Baby Code! Play book

My Inspiration

Most of my inspiration comes from whatever is going on in my life at the moment. The Giant Hug was inspired by my young son giving hugs and my father working for the post office. Raising my pet chickens inspired me to write Chicks! The Biggest Pumpkin was inspired by several nearby gardens and all the “biggest” vegetable contests at the agricultural fairs.


What advice do you have for parents and others who are trying to raise readers?

Show your child that reading is important, and make time to read every day. Visit your library regularly so that you and your children will always have a variety of books to choose from. Find books that interest your child, and read, read, read!

If you could collaborate with anyone on creating a children's book, who would it be?

James Marshall. In 2014, I had a Marshall Fellowship at the Northeast Children's Literature Collection where I went through all of the Marshall papers. James Marshall was an amazing author and illustrator who worked extremely hard and died much too young. George and Martha are two of my favorite story characters.

What do you hope young readers experience from your work?

I hope readers experience pleasure when they read or hear my stories, and it is a bonus if they also learn a little something too. For example, in The Giant Hug, a child might learn something about the postal system, or in The Biggest Pumpkin a reader might learn how the plant grows.

board Books

computers · vocabulary · science
Baby Code! Play
electronics · colors · art
Baby Code! Art
electronics · imagination
Baby Code!
computers · electronics · music
Baby Code! Music

picture Books

family · community · gardening · vegetables · farm
The Biggest Pumpkin
chickens · families · farm · early readers · animal sounds · animals · baby animals
The Giant Hug book
grandma · family · hugs · kindness · birthdays · humor
The Giant Hug


Valeri Gorbachev
Melissa Crowton
Holly Stone-Barker
Jon Goodell
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