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June 2015
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Tom Lichtenheld - Click to see all titles by this author.

Benevolence - Having a general desire for the good of others, and disposition to act so as to further that good.

Tom Lichtenheld’s birthday is on June 14th.

As a child, Tom Lichtenheld would sit at his kitchen table, drawing pictures of ships and trucks on a blackboard. It wasn’t until years later, when his nephew asked him to draw a pirate, that his career as an author and illustrator would become a wonderful reality.

Tom’s imagination is inspired by being consciously aware of the people and events around him. He notices people—what they are doing and how they are behaving—and then a story forms in his mind. “I get my ideas by keeping my eyes and ears open, especially when I’m around kids. … I always write with a specific child in mind, as if we’re just having a fun conversation.”

Tom attended Rock Valley Junior College in northern Illinois, working in their public relations department designing brochures. He continued his education at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, graduating with a degree in Fine Arts. During his undergraduate years, he studied printmaking, book design, and letterpress printing. He also worked part-time in an advertising agency doing layouts. He has had a fantastic career in advertising, first as an art director, Illustrator, and author for Fallon Worldwide in Minneapolis, then as a vice president/creative director for the Chicago-based agency Cramer-Krasselt. He has received many prestigious awards for his work.

Although Tom claims his stories are all made up, complete nonsense, and nothing factual, his tales allow kids the truth of identifying and validating their feelings. He loves going to schools to speak on how important it is for kids to understand that imagination is “not just a novelty” and has “real value” in this world. “There are many ways that you can make a job, make a living, with your creativity,” he says.

Tom is married to his own personal editor, his wife, Jan.

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