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Salina Age 4.png

Age 4, Photo Credit: Passport office, Korea.

Salina 2.png

Photo Credit: Roxyanne Young

I was born as Yoon, Ah in Busan, Korea in 1972, and was raised in a small rural town. There was no television. I remember my grandmother flashing beams of sunlight making them dance with two mirrors against a wall. (My kids watch t.v..) I remember eating snow off the low thatched roofs for fun. (My kids get snow cones from the ice cream truck.) I remember playing with rocks and sticks. (My kids prefer marbles and Lincoln Logs). I came to the United States in 1976 at age 4, which was when I was given my current name, "Salina."


Today, I am an author, illustrator and format designer of nearly two hundred innovative novelty books for young children, specializing in formats that are unique and interactive. I love to create books that have play-appeal like Rock & Roll COLORS, that make kids laugh and learn like OPPOSNAKES, and that surprise and mesmerize like KALEIDOSCOPE.

Many of my books have flaps, tabs, die-cuts, and wheels. Some are spinny, sparkly, bumpy, and even pop-up! Some are soft and squishy, some are shaped and shiny, and some are simply square.

Recently, I created a character named Penguin for a picture book series who will make his debut with PENGUIN AND PINECONE, with Walker & Company.

I work out my home studio, and live in San Diego, California with my husband, artist Chris Polentz and our two sons. 

Thank you for visiting, and learning more about me!


Awards and Lists:

2018 Geisel Honor Book for My Kite Is Stuck! And Other Stories

2016-2017 Keystone to Reading Elementary (Pennsylvania) book Award as for Stormy Night

2016 New York Public Library Best Books for Kids/Teen List, for Duck, Duck, Porcupine!

2016 KOHL'S Cares Summer Campaign Featured Author
(Penguin's Big Adventure, Penguin on Vacation, Found, Stormy Night, At the Park, At the Beach, and In the Ocean and 4 character plush)

2016 The Undies Case Cover Awards, Best Simplicity category, for Be A Friend

2016 Amazon's Summer Reading List, for Bear's Big Day

2016 Bank Street's Best Children's Books of the Year, for Stormy Night

2016 Amazon Best Books of the Month of May, for Duck, Duck, Porcupine!

2015 Sheffield Children's Book Award nomination for FOUND (shortlisted)

2015 Colorado Children's Book Award nomination for Penguin and Pinecone, from the Colorado Council International Reading Association (CCIRA)

2015 Children's Literature Council of Southern California Award Winner for
FOUND, for Excellence in a Picture Book

2015 International Literacy Association's Children's Choice Reading List for

2015 Nottingham Children's Book Award Winner for FOUND

2014 NYSRA (New York State Reading Association) Charlotte Award, for Penguin and Pinecone

2014 Lori Bresnahan Award, Liverpool Central School District, for Penguin and

2014 Junior Library Guild selection, for FOUND

2014 Bank Street College of Education's Best Children's Books of the Year list, for Penguin on Vacation

2014 SCIBA Book Award (Southern California Independent Booksellers
Association) finalist for FOUND

2013-2014 Nominated for Great Lakes Great Books (Michigan Reading
Association) Grades K-1 division, for Penguin and Pinecone

2013 San Diego Book Award; Winner for Best Published Children's Books (tie), for Pinwheel

2013 San Diego Book Award; Finalist for Best Published Children's Books, for Penguin in Love

2013 Book Industry Guild of New York, First Place in the Novelty Category for Kaleidoscope

2013 Best Board Book selection for Pinwheel, from Parent's Magazine

2012 Bank Street College of Education's Best Books of the Year (with
Outstanding Merit) for One, Two, Buckle My Shoe: A Counting Nursery Rhyme

2009 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal, Best Book Award, for both Toys and Rock & Roll Colors.

2009 finalist for the CBC's Children's Choice Book Awards for K-2nd Best Book of the Year, for Opposnakes

Nick Jr Family Magazine Best Books of the Year for My First Menorah




Salina Yoon is represented by 

Jamie Weiss Chilton of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency.

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