All About Me...

Me and Jeep with some Little Birdie Books!

You can say hello by emailing robink at

I was born in 1954 and spent my childhood in Wheaton, Maryland and Tuscaloosa, Alabama. I have lived near Noti, Oregon since 1979. I have been illustrating and writing books for children since 1985. After attending the Maryland Institute of Art briefly in 1973-74, I tried various trades, including veterinary assistant, activities director for a nursing home, and production/advertising artist. In 1984 I quit my last paying job and began a career as a full-time artist and writer, creating mostly spot illustrations, greeting cards and logo designs and otherwise taking on freelance print production jobs.

I carted my portfolio to New York in 1985 and landed my first picture book project with Dodd, Mead and Company. My editors there moved to Putnam, and then to Cobblehill Books, an imprint of E.P. Dutton, and until August of 1997 when the imprint was squashed, I published all of my trade books with them. I also created activity book illustrations, flash cards and posters for School Zone, McGraw Hill, and many other educational publishers.

These days I write and/or illustrate a variety of books and articles, both fiction and nonfiction. Currently I have several projects circulating - mostly picture books and nonfiction proposals. Here is an illustration from one of them, called Bats Inside! Bats Outside!:

I have also been hired to write lots of books and articles about subjects such as marine biologists, entomologists, volcanologists, and robotics! I have also written several books for The Boxcar Children Mysteries.

You can view sample illustrations and other news about me and my projects on my blog. All of my books are easy to find online via the publisher's catalogs and bookseller sites as well as public libraries.

I recently released several books from my 1990s early reader series, Chicago and the Cat, along with one of my favorites, Why a Dog? By A. Cat, all as e-books. Recently, I also released some picture books as ebooks: In a Cabin in a Wood, Pussycat Ate the Dumplings, This Old Man and I See Something You Don't See. I also revised, updated, and published The Complete Backyard Nature Activity Book, my first nonfiction title. All of these books are available on Amazon, B&N, and other online sources as well as your public library if they have ebook access.

Please don't download any of my books from a "free book" site, as these people did not get my permission or my publisher's permission to give my art away. I need to make a living just like everyone else.

Marvin and I share our lives with a border collie rescue named Jeep and two cats named Bonita and Shinny. Who needs TV when you have a border collie with cats to herd around?

My creative life is dedicated to my mom, Virginia Mullins Koontz
April 4, 1917 - May 23, 2000

I miss her, but her memory keeps me inspired.