A former teacher and children's librarian, Marianne now lives in Florida and writes full-time. She is an active presenter at schools and literacy conferences.
Marianne's programs are interactive. With "Marsh Music" the audience performs a frog chorus. In the "Ocean" and "Rainforest" books, children sing and act out the story. Programs can be geared to a course of study, e.g. wetlands, oceans, seashores, rain forests, the Arctic, The Solar System, Australia, woodland forests, and most recently language arts (Animalogy) and how a tree grows (The Tree That Bear Climbed). Marianne takes aspiring writers through the world of book publishing--how a picture book is made from the time she gets her idea to when she is holding the finished product in her hands. Q&A's are an important part of this workshop, which is adjusted to a particular grade level. Marianne's goal is to inspire others to write stories, sharing their own thoughts, ideas and feelings.
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The illustrator of Marianne's first three books is watercolorist, Robert Noreika, a representational painter of nature, who makes her words come to life in a realistic way.(www.RobertNoreikaArt.com)
Her next two books, "Over in the Ocean,in Coral Reef" and "Over in the Jungle, a Rainforest Rhyme, are illustrated by Jeanette Canyon, whose amazing colors and shapes are actually "eye-popping" photographs of reliefs sculpted from polymer clay. (www.jeanetteandchristophercanyon.com)
In 2008 two more books were released: "Going Around The Sun, Some Planetary Fun," illustrated in brilliant colors by award-winning author and illustrator, Janeen Mason. (www.JaneenMason.com) and "Over in the Arctic, Where The Cold Winds Blow," an artful array of Arctic animals done in cut paper art by Jill Dubin. (www.JillDubin.com)
"Going Home, the Mystery of Animal Migration" was released in March 2010, illustrated in gorgeous realistic double-page spreads by Jennifer DiRubbio.
"Over in Australia, Amazing Animals Down Under" again illustrated in cut paper by Jill Dubin, was released in March. "Animalogy" illustrated by Cathy Morrison, became available in August 2011. (http://www.cathymorrison.blogspot.com/).
"Over in the Forest: Come and Take A Peek" (Dawn Publications) was released March 2012, and is the third collaboration with illustrator, Jill Dubin, who lives in Atlanta, Ga. Marianne's latest book, "The Tree That Bear Climbed." (Sylvan Dell Publishing) is beautifully illustrated by Kathleen Rietz, of Wheaton, IL. (http://www.kathleenrietz.com)
Marianne feels so fortunate that each illustrator brings a fresh and unique talent, using many different mediums.
What's next? "What's in the Garden?" scheduled for release in February 2013 illustrated by another talented artist, Cris Arbo of Buckingham, Virginia.
FRA 2004-2005 Award
Science Books & Films Best Books List
•Seashells by the Seashore
Teachers' Choice Award
North American Publishing Co. Gold Ink Award
•Over in the Ocean: In a Coral Reef
PMA Benjamin Franklin Silver Award
Marion Vannett Ridgeway Honor Book
NAPPA Gold Award
Learning Magazine Teacher's Choice 2006
Bank Street College 2005 Best Children's Books
FRA Honor Book Award 2007
2008-2009 "Young Hoosier" Award Nominee
•Over in the Jungle: A Rainforest Rhyme
iParenting Media Award 2007
Mom's Choice Award 2008
IRA Teachers' Choice Award 2008
Benjamin Franklin Gold Award 2008
2008-09 AIME/ILF Read Alouds Too Good to Miss List
2009-2010 NYSRA "Charlotte" Award Nominee
•Going Around the Sun: Some Planetary Fun
NSTA Recommends 2008
iParenting Media Award 2008
Moonbeam Children's Book Award 2008
Mom's Choice Award 2009
FRA 2011-2012 Children's Book Award Nominee
*Over in the Arctic, Where the Cold Winds Blow
iParenting Media Award 2008
Mom's Choice Award 2009
2009 ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Award Finalist
*Going Home, the Mystery of Animal Migration
Izaak Walton League Book of the Year Award for Elementary Grades
Green Earth Festival 2010 Award
Moonbeam Gold Children's Book Award for best juvenile non-fiction picture book in 2010.
Mom's Choice Award 2010
*Over in Australia, Amazing Animals Down Under
•2011 Skipping Stones Magazine Honor Award
•2011 Mom’s Choice Gold Award
•2011 IBPPG Next Generation Indie Book Award – Finalist
•2012 Learning Magazine Teacher’s Choice Award
•2011 Florida Publishers Assn. Presidents Gold Award (Children’s Picture Book)
•2011 Purple Dragonfly Book Award – First Place (Children’s Picture Book, Ages 5 & under)
•2011 Missouri State Teacher’s Assn. Reading Circle Program Selection
*Florida 2012 Book Award
Children's Literary Classics Seal of Approval 2011
Silver Medalist Independent Publishers Award
2012 SIBA Award Finalist
2011 Kansas NEA Reading Circle Catalog
2013 Teachers' Choice Award
Over in the Forest, Come and Take a Peek!
•2012 Izaak Walton League of America Book of the Year Award (Elementary Level)
•2012 Gelett Burgess Children’s Book Award (Picture/Storybooks)
•2012 Mom’s Choice Gold Award (Children’s Picture Book Category)
•2012 Purple Dragon Book Award – 1st Place (Children’s Picture Book – Ages 5-)
•2012 IBPPG Next Generation Indie Book Award – Finalist (Children’s Picture Book)
*2013 Teachers' Choice Award
"Marianne Berkes' books sing of nature!"--The Palm Beach Post
"Marsh Music has the visual and verbal pizzazz to make it a read-it-again treat." --School Library Journal
"Seashells by the Seashore is an instructive shell hunt children will enjoy even if they can't feel sun on their backs and sand between their toes."--Booklist
Marsh Morning:"Through rhythmical verse couched in musical terms and luminous watercolor paintings, this book takes young readers through a day in a marsh from dawn to dark..Highly Recommended" --Science Books & Films
Over in the Ocean, in a Coral Reef "Eye-popping artwork is the star of the show in Berkes' lively, oceanic counting book, based on the classic children's song "Over in the Meadow." Canyon uses polymer clay to create arresting visuals..."--Kirkus
Over in the Jungle, a Rainforest Rhyme "This is a handsome book on an important subject, and it can serve as recreational reading as well as an introduction to a basic unit on the rain forest." --School Library Journal
More reviews on each "My Books" page, including books published in 2008 to present. For ISBN's click onto "My Works."
...A Few Endorsements from Educators:
"Marianne read her books to our K-4th graders and was awesome. Her program actively involves the students."
"Ms. Berkes is a wonderful and energetic presenter. Her program was lively, fun and educational."
"Marianne thoroughly entertained our students (and teachers) reading her wonderful books. We look forward to having her back again with her next book."
"Mrs. Berkes was a huge hit at our school with children from K-6. She conducted writer's workshops with our older kids, giving them important tips about how to be a good writer. The students really enjoyed being able to share their creations with a "real" author. Our younger students were spellbound by Mrs. Berkes' energy and enthusiasm as she read her wonderful books and explained what goes into making a "picture" book. What a fantastic experience for all."
"Marianne's lively presentation at our library's seminar for writers captured the attention of aspiring authors and fed their hopes. Her wondrous success story is tangible proof of a talent that will take her on even greater adventures."
"I watched my second graders absolutely spellbound by Marianne's quiet and effective reading of her book about shells. How she connected with the children was pure magic. You can tell she loves children and understands them so well. I cannot wait to introduce all of her books this year."
"Marianne Berkes is wonderful with children, truly involving them in her entertaining presentations. We were the Marsh Orchestra with its myriad frog songs, we heard the birds as morning was breaking, and we were the collectors of seashells. Mrs. Berkes makes her books come alive and the children love it. The stories are fun, informative, and very well written; and Mrs. Berkes brings them to life with her puppets, her bucket of shells, and her enchanting delivery."
"Marianne's interactive presentation "Fun, Fact and Fiction" provided literacy, math, music, art and science enrichment. We thoroughly enjoyed her visit and can't wait for her next book."
"I love the way Marianne adapts her presentations to different grade levels so that it is always age appropriate and meaningful and reinforces what the students are learning in the classroom. Her presentations are not only educational but also very entertaining. I have heard so many positive comments from both students and faculty."