Amazon and iTunes best-selling author and founder of Audrey Press, Valarie Budayr is a play and reading advocate whose mission is to inspire children, families, and communities to experience and create a world together through books while having fun. She is passionate about making children’s books come alive on her website Jump into a Book so that kids of all ages can experience the stories in new and exciting ways. Author of The Fox Diaries: The Year the Foxes Came to our Garden and The Ultimate Guide To Charlie and The Chocolate Factory and A Year in the Secret Garden, Valarie is passionate about making kid’s books come alive and encouraging families to pull books off of shelves and stories off of pages. As co-founder of Multicultural Children’s Book Day, Valarie is also committed to raising awareness for children’s books that celebrate diversity and multicultural characters and is also working to get more of these of books into classrooms and libraries.
In addition to being the owner and creative director of Audrey Press, an independent publishing house specializing in creating magical journeys through their innovative books, Valarie is also the founder of the award-winning website, Jump into a Book. This site hosts their ever famous book club where the pages of the books being read truly come alive. It is also dedicated to creating fun activities and adventures for children, families, and all who love the stories from our favorite children’s books. She is also a regular contributor to the online magazines Rhythm of the Home and The Little Acorn Enrichment Guide.
But before Valarie turned author and publisher, her musical talents dominated and she was best known as a concert pianist. Studying at Portland State University and The Hochschule in Vienna Austria, she earned a Masters equivalent from the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. From there she taught in community music schools in Allentown PA, Champaign Urbana, and the piano preparatory program at Maryville College. In addition to being a pianist, she was also a classical composer as well as two-time winner of the National Endowment of the Arts Meet the Composer Award.
A native of Portland Oregon, Valarie currently lives in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee with her wonderful husband, three creative children and one much-adored cat. She also has strong family ties to the country of Sweden, from where her family originates. Valerie’s other creative interests are music, travel, knitting and gardening. She loves living a daily creative practice, where even a good cup of coffee is art.
Roscoe was born in London and grew up in France. His parents (a British father and an American mother) are both artists and met while studying at an art school in Paris. His father is a world class illustrator who has illustrated over 70 books and worked for many major publishing companies. So naturally, art was always very present in Roscoe’s life as were languages. He grew up speaking both French and English. In fact, Roscoe developed a true passion for foreign languages, studying German, Spanish, Latin, Portuguese, as well as more unusual languages such as Guarani, Chamorro, Zulu and even Rapanui (the local tongue of Easter Island).
Roscoe loves cereal and skateboarding, doesn’t like potatoes nor dressing gowns, and probably enjoys playing with Legos and miniature cars just as much as his two young sons. He loves books, buys lots, but doesn’t always have time to read them. He thinks magnets and gravity are some of the most amazing things on this planet and his motto is and has always been: “Live the life you love and Love the life you live”.
Soon after graduating from high-school, and driven by his love of foreign languages, Roscoe moved to Spain to study Spanish literature at the University of Seville. He then went on to study in the United Kingdom and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Studies with first class Honors from the University of Wales in Swansea. During the next few years, Roscoe worked as a children’s English teacher in Spain and Japan.
Aware of his passion for art and design, one of the schools asked him to create and design a short school curriculum workbook. The school was so pleased with the result that Roscoe soon found himself in charge of designing not only the workbooks, but also all the school pamphlets, catalogues and newsletters. Soon after, he was even asked to design logos for a few local companies, who had heard about his work through the school. Roscoe later decided to take his design skills to the next level and earned a professional design certificate with honors from the New York based Sessions School of Design. Since graduating, Roscoe has been working as a freelance graphic designer and has worked for a variety of clients and companies from Australia, England, France, New-Zealand, Japan, Singapore and the USA.
He joined Audrey Press at the end of 2010 to work on the Fox Diaries followed by the Jump Into a Book Ultimate Guide Series in 2011.
Along with design, Roscoe also has a true passion for board sports. He is a keen skateboarder and sometimes participates in local contests. He also enjoys the sea and is a frequent surfer on the beach breaks at Lacanau Ocean, on the West coast of France. Roscoe lives in Bordeaux (France) with his wife and two children.