top of page
HS-feb 2-9-22-B.jpg

Hello! I'm Lori Mortensen and I write children's books!

Did I always write children's books? No, but I've always loved reading. One of my favorite memories is when my third grade teacher, Miss Hall, read to us after lunch recess. One chapter a day. Books like Ellen Tebbits, Charlotte's Web, and A Wrinkle in Time. I couldn't wait to find out what happened next. Books continue to be some of my best friends. I didn't start writing until I began reading to my own children and wondered—What could I write? 

I've been writing ever since!

Official stuff

Lori Mortensen is an award-winning children's author of more than 100 books. Her books, which reviewers have praised as “stellar” “as good as it gets” and “begs to be read aloud,” have been published by such notable publishers as HarperCollins, Henry Holt, Abrams, Bloomsbury, and Peachtree. Popular releases include, Arlo Draws an Octopus illustrated by  NYT bestselling author/illustrator Rob Sayegh, Jr., If Wendell Had a Walrus, illustrated by NYT bestselling author/illustrator Matt Phelan, Mousequerade Ball, Cindy Moo, Chicken Lily, Cowpoke Clyde Rides the Range, a Bill Martin Jr. Picture Book Award Nominee and the sequel to Amazon bestseller Cowpoke Clyde and Dirty Dawg, and picture book biographies, Nonsense! The Curious Story of Edward Gorey, and Away with Words, the Daring True Story of Explorer Isabella Bird.


When she’s not greeting geese at the lake, or putting her nose in a mystery, she’s tapping away at her keyboard, conjuring, coaxing, and prodding her latest stories to life. Today, she lives in the foothills of Northern California with her family and all birds that flock to her feeder—including a daredevil squirrel.

Barnes and Noble.jpg
CP Library storytime.jpg

Fluffius Maximus

Max was my dear office buddy for nearly 20 years. Sometimes, he'd pose with my latest release. Sometimes he'd leap into my Christmas card. Sometimes he sat where he didn't belong—like my desk—and worked his way into many of my stories. It was always exciting with Max around. I miss him every day.

last years card-1.jpg

Feathered friends

If you've read the "official stuff" you know that when I'm not at my computer, I just might be off bird watching. I've only been bird watching for a few years, but it's super fun. It's sort of like going on a treasure hunt. You never know what you might find! Here are just a few of the birds I've found—a Great Horned Owl, bald eagle, and spotted towhee. 

CP Birdwatching.jpg
Author and Cindy Moo.jpg


Cindy Moo has a lookalike! I had no idea until I met Butterfly Tully. She has the same brown patch over her eye, and the same brown and white coloring. And it's clear she has great taste in books.


My book went to the White House!

honeybeepage 002.jpg

Years ago when President Obama was in office, the White House beekeeper went to a beekeeping event in Maryland and bought my rhyming, nonfiction picture book, In the Trees, Honey Bees!, for the Obama children, Malia and Natasha. Wow! My book buzzed all the way to the White House!  Sweet!

I love writing picture books!

Better than the pitter-patter of rain. Better than piles of crunchy fall leaves. Better than a Maui Zowie pizza. (And that's sayin' something!) Why? Because picture books are like magical portals to whole new  worlds. The best ones are silly, surprising, clever, and heartwarming—the very kind I try to write. And when I actually do it, and I arrange the words just right, I feel like jumping up and down and shouting, "Hooray!" (Or, reading to some chickens!)

Mortensen.Chicken Lily3.jpg
Asilomar Gang.jpg

What am I doing right now?

Typing at the computer, of course! (That was a trick question!) But when I'm not typing, I might be drumming up a new idea, relocating spiders outside (yeah—that's a thing at my house) or brain-storming with the best writing friends ever—you know who you are! Or, who knows? I could be signing books, visiting a school, or ruling the world from a big red Fairytale Town throne. (Okay, maybe I was just reading one of my books!)  

Fairy Tale Town3.jpg

Happy book birthday!

Mrs. D's crowd-1.jpg
Me and ChloeE.jpg

Everyone has a birthday—and so do books! Their birthday is the date they're released into the world. My latest picture book biography, Nonsense! The Curious Story of Edward Gorey had a book birthday at Mrs. Dalloway's bookstore in Berkeley, California.  There were some awfully fun people there—Kwame Alexander, Chloe Bristol, Mintie Das and many others! Thanks Mrs. Dalloway's!

Whoa! That's a lot of books!


I've written A LOT of books! Many, many more than I can include here. Fiction and nonfiction, early readers, leveled readers, shared books, first graphic novels, picture book biographies, and mid-grade nonfiction for many publishers. The covers pictured here are some of the titles I've written for Picture Window Books, Stone Arch Books, Capstone Press, Rourke Publishers, and KidHaven Press. 

Meet the author and author trivia

bottom of page