Read This: A Roundup of Children’s Books by Local Authors

Northwest Ohio is home to many creative people, including countless authors of popular children’s books. From books about turtles, pigs, and stinky elephants to mysteries and holiday stories, there are sure to be many books your children will love! Some of the books are available at local libraries or may be purchased at a local bookstore or online.

RELATED STORIES: Road Trip Audio Books by Toledo Lucas County Library

Janet Foster Colville – Sylvania, Ohio

Ouchiwahwah! – A Book For All Sorts Of Boo Boos
Janet Foster Colville was a third grade teacher in Indiana for eight years. She moved to Toledo in 1990 and has been a stay-at-home mom to her four children since then. Her rhyming book is available on Amazon and at Barnes and Noble.

Photo of Author Tina Debord

Tina Ballon DeBord – Sylvania, Ohio

Smell My Elephant

Tina Ballon DeBord has degrees in writing from the University of Toledo and the University of Michigan. Tina has been writing since she was a child. Her first children’s book celebrates curiosity and was inspired by her nephew. Tina lives in Sylvania with her family. Published by Sleeping Bear Press, her children’s book Smell My Elephant is available for sale online on Amazon and at Barnes and Noble.

Image of Two Terrible Eaters Book Cover

Amy Fell – Sylvania, Ohio

Two Terrible Eaters, Everyday Regular Kids, Peter’s World Without Art, Bugbee’s Travel Tale, and Legend of the Magical Book

As a child, Amy Fell loved storytelling and drawing imaginary pictures. Today, she uses her talents as an elementary art teacher, an artist, and a writer to create fun-filled books for children! Amy’s books are available at all major book retailers. Many can also be purchased directly from the author on her website. You can also find them at,, on Amazon, at Barnes and Noble, and Books-a-Million.

Vincent Flowers – Toledo

Zoe and Zion Love To Build

A graduate from The Ohio State University, Vincent Flowers grew up in Toledo and now lives in Florida with his wife and children. The characters in his book are based on his own children and he is already making plans for his next book! Zoe and Zion Love to Build is available online on Amazon and at Barnes and Noble.

Sherelle Gaston – Toledo

Jesus Is My Best Friend, My Favorite Gift, The Faith Defenders (coloring book), and Jesus Es Mi Amigo (Spanish Edition)

Sherelle Gaston is a mother, teacher, children’s ministry leader, and best-selling author. She found her passion and purpose in a pen and loves picture books!  Sherelle’s books are available on Amazon.

Aaron Keaster – Perrysburg

See Ya’ Later Alligator, How Much What? and Mouses and Mooses

Aaron Keaster loves to make up songs and stories with his daughter Kaelee. He shares his love of music by offering music lessons and has played double bass with the Toledo Symphony Orchestra. To learn more about Aaron and his children’s books visit
Aaron’s books are also available for purchase on Amazon.

This is a photo of children's book author Aya Khalil

Aya Khalil – Toledo

Books: The Arabic Quilt: An Immigrant Story, Our World: Egypt, and The Night Before Eid

Aya Khali is an award-winning author and freelance journalist. In addition to teaching and writing, Aya enjoys spending time with her family, cycling, traveling, and hosting brunches. You can find her online at Many of her books are available for purchase locally at Gathering Volumes in Perrysburg, or on Amazon, at Barnes and Noble, and at

Daniel and Gabrielle Low – Toledo

Briella in the Sky: An Angel Story

Published by Christian Faith Publishing, Daniel and Gabrielle Low’s book offers a heartfelt look into their experience of losing a baby. Their book discusses the loss of a child with terms and illustrations that both children and adults can relate to.  Briella in the Skye: An Angel Story can be purchased at many traditional bookstores. It is also available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.


Image of Maggie Dewdrop book cover


Wayne Mello – Sandusky


Maggie Dewdrop: The Feather of Flight
Maggie Dewdrop: The Haunted Hagstone (Maggie Dewdrop, #2)
Author and illustrator G. Wayne Mello grew up loving art and literature and eventually pursued a bachelor’s degree in illustration. He loves working in his art studio, baking, gardening, and restoring his Victorian home where he lives with his family and four cats. To learn more, find him on Facebook. Published by Black Rose Writing, G. Wayne Mello’s books are available at many online sites including, at Barnes and Noble, and on Amazon.

Cynthia Olsen – Toledo area

Old Crabby Turtle, The Home For Friendless Children
L. Olsen is a designer, hiker, and award-winning children’s author. She enjoys spending time with her husband and rescue dog LuLu in their little white cottage on Lake Erie. Cynthia’s books are available for sale at Hip to the Groove in Sylvania, Gathering Volumes Bookstore in Perrysburg, on Amazon, and at Barnes and Noble.

Merrill Rainey – Whitehouse

Books:  Giants Are Very Brave People, OINK! I’m a Pig, ROAR! I’m a Dinosaur, Color, Cut, Create – Horse Ranch, Color, Cut, Create – Dinosaurs World, Asteroid Goldberg – Passover in Outer Space, and Super Hero Color – Cut – Create! Paper Toy Activity Book 

Award-winning author Merrill Rainey focuses on exploring imaginative play and creativity in his books. A cowboy-boot-wearing, illustrated book creator and paper toy maker, Merrill enjoys spending time with his wife, kids, a hungry toad, and some hermit crabs! To learn more about author Merrill Rainey visit   Many of Merrill’s books are available on Amazon and at Barnes and Noble.

Merrill Wyatt – Wauseon

Books: Tangled Up In Luck, Tangled Up In Nonsense, Tangled Up In Mayhem, Ernestine, Catastrophe Queen

Author and teacher Merrill Wyatt has an eye for adventure and loves a good mystery. She writes funny middle grade mysteries and enjoys spending time with her husband, daughter, three cats and grumpy guinea pig. Merrill’s books are available on Amazon and at Barnes and Noble.

Tamika Malik – Toledo

Books: Mad Marsha

Originally from Cincinnati, Tamika’s books highlight themes like emotions by placing her storybook characters in experiences that are relatable to children and parents. In addition to her writing career, Tamika wears an event planner hat through her role as founder and CEO of Events Planning and Such LLC, which offers premier services across many domains including event planning, clothing, and accessories. Tamika’s books are available on Amazon and Lulu.