Joe Cepeda received his BFA in Illustration from California State University, Long Beach in 1992 and also studied Engineering at Cornell University. He is the illustrator of award-winning picture books such as What a Truly Cool World (Scholastic), Nappy Hair (Knopf), Mice and Beans (Scholastic) including The Swing (Arthur A. Levine Books), which he wrote as well as illustrated. Mr. Cepeda has illustrated books written by numerous notable authors including Gary Soto, Pam Muñoz Ryan, Arnold Adoff, Monica Brown, Julius Lester and most recently, Toni Morrison. He has also illustrated book jackets for many titles, including Esperanza Rising. He was selected to illustrate the cover of Shaquille O’Neal and Reading is Fundamental’s Biggest Book in the World. Mr. Cepeda received an ALA 2002 Pura Belpre’ Honor Award and the Recognition of Merit Award for 2000 from the George G. Stone Center for Children’s Books. His work has been accepted to the Society of Illustrators shows in New York and Los Angeles. In addition to his illustrative work, Mr. Cepeda is sought after as a public speaker to schools and other groups. He is the current president of the Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles. He lives in Southern California with his wife and son.