David Zeltser

Well, hello there!

David's paper character

Official Author Bio

David Zeltser is the author of  Lug: Dawn of the Ice Age and its sequel, Lug: Blast from the North. The novels satirize mankind’s response to climate change and have been praised by Kirkus ReviewsSchool Library Journal and Al Gore, who called the first book “a great combination of humor and powerful insight.” David’s first picture book, Ninja Baby, was the Magnolia State Book Award runner-up, featured in USA Today, and received a starred review from Publishers Weekly, which called it “a funny and pitch-perfect story.” It was illustrated by Caldecott Honor-winning artist Diane Goode and published by Chronicle Books. 

David’s most recent picture book was The Universe Ate My Homework, illustrated by Ayesha Rubio, which received rave reviews from Kirkus, School Library Journal, and NPR Science Journalist and Radiolab co-host Robert Krulwich, who then lent his voice to the trailer. Forthcoming books include Codzilla, illustrated by Jared Chapman, from HarperCollins; and The Night Library, illustrated by Raul Colon, from Random House. David also co-wrote the screenplay Solo, which will be directed by Joseph Greco (writer/director of Canvas) and Executive Produced by Bruce Beresford (director of Driving Miss Daisy).

David emigrated from the former Soviet Union at age five. After graduating from Harvard in physics, he was admitted to vet school to study wildlife medicine, but ultimately came back to his first love--storytelling. David has banded dozens of species of birds, rounded up giraffes with a pickup truck, and helped care for a baby rhino named Emmitt. He lives with his wife Fiona, daughter Naomi, and dog Ella in Santa Cruz, California. David and his friend Julia Chiapella cofounded a free after-school writing center for kids called the Word Lab, as well as the Chamber of Heart and Mystery at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History.

A few things I love

- The Harry Potter books, The BFG, Kate DiCamillo's books (especially Because of Winn Dixie and The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane), brilliant picture books that enchant adults as well as kids.

- Funny stories (here is my favorite short humor piece, published by McSweeney's waaaaay back in 2008)

- The questions kids ask about the universe. Those kinds of questions led me to study physics in college and write wacky stuff like this.

- Very small rhinos. (This is Emmitt.)

David with a Rhino

- Wildlife! (The rhinos here are from Fossil Rim Wildlife Center where I worked with the vet caring for various wild animals. At Long Point Bird Observatory, I got to hold and band over 70 species of birds. At Archbold Biological Station, I helped collect and study bugs--which is a technical term--while trying to avoid alligators. The researchers thanked me in this scientific paper which actually has the word bug in the title :-)  

Oh, and here's a big bug that landed on my lap...

David and his daughter


My email address is my last name AT mac dot com

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