Born on December 26, 1937, in Glen Ridge, New Jersey, Van Leeuwen proved herself to be a tomboy outside the home and a bookworm inside. Loving books she wanted to grow up and become a writer. Yet, at age eleven, she tried to pen her own story about horses and discovered how difficult writing could be. Deciding to pursue a different path, she graduated from Syracuse University with a major in journalism. She figured she would edit for magazines when she landed a job in New York City as an editor of children's books. This profession rekindled her desire to write, and after taking a writing class, she saw her first book Timothy's Flower
published. After the births of her two children, van Leeuwen found that the children's nap time was most opportune moments to write short stories. These stories eventually led to Tales of Oliver Pig
. This award-winning author has penned over fifty books and counting. From picture books to young adult novels, van Leeuwen has found success. She is currently interested in historical fiction. When she isn't writing from her home in New York, she teaches a workshop for authors, visits schools, and volunteers in a first grade classroom.
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