About the Author

About the Author
Cheryl Olsten

I grew up on the north shore of Long Island. New York City was just a short train ride away, and I would get there as often as possible once I was old enough to travel on my own. Determined to learn everything about photography and magazine journalism, I signed up for classes taught by prominent editors, and courses at the International Center of Photography and NYU. When it came time for college, I enrolled at Syracuse University’s School of Visual Communications. The professors and experience were invaluable and I learned a lot during my time there.

In the early 80’s, I moved to Pennsylvania, just across the Delaware River from New Jersey.  After starting a family, I freelanced for a few regional magazines and fell in love with NJ’s surprisingly varied and unexpectedly pretty countryside. In 1999, determined to share this “other side” of The Garden State, I put my knowledge of visual communications to work and launched​ New Jersey Life ​magazine. New Jersey resident and cosmetics industry icon, Bobbi Brown, graced our inaugural cover. A few years later, we launched a second magazine, ​New Jersey Life Health and Beauty. During my twelve years as publisher, with each new issue the editorial staff and I collaborated with award-winning freelance writers, photographers and illustrators to bring our vision to life.

My fondness for the written word developed further in the company of NJL’s talented editorial team and the notable freelance writers, whose unique approaches brought credence to our storytelling. I have no doubt some of those editors and writers whose writing style I admired back then, shaped the voice that has developed in me as I craft these children’s stories today.

I still live across the Delaware River from New Jersey in New Hope, Pennsylvania with my husband, Steven, and our sweet pup, Nugget. We have three wonderful grown children, with whom many of our fondest memories are exploring shelves full of imaginative and awe-inspiring books like ​Dr. Seuss, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Giving Tree, Where the Wild Things Are, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, Polar Express, Harry Potter.

It’s all come full circle for me and I feel very lucky to be combining my skills, passion, and professional experience. As I write these stories, channeling my own inner child, I hope they will one day keep the company of similarly captivating books, feeding the imagination of curious children just like ours.


The EQUUS Foundation is the only national animal welfare in the United States 100% dedicated to protecting America’s horses and strengthening the bond between horses and people.

Book Smiles a 501 (c)(3) non profit – Book collection center distributing donated lightly used book to teachers and children in under-served areas. For more information on how to donate go to booksmiles.org.

“Every child in America should have the chance to be academically successful. Being able to use language and words is power.” Larry Abrams, founder.