Alexis York Lumbard Author Biography

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Home > Children's Authors > Alexis York Lumbard

Alexis York Lumbard

Photo of Alexis York Lumbard

A busy mother of three and an active author of children’s books, Alexis York Lumbard is the author of a number of award-winning books for Wisdom Tales. Her most recent is a retelling for children of an ancient fable, When the Animals Saved Earth: An Eco-Fable, illustrated by Demi. Before that, it was the touching and hopeful tale Pine and the Winter Sparrow, illustrated by Beatriz Vidal. Alexis’s previous book for Wisdom Tales, Everyone Prays, is a bright and colorful concept book celebrating the diverse ways that people pray around the world. Everyone Prays was illustrated by Alireza Sadeghian. Alexis’s previous book was the award-winning beautiful bedtime book Angels, illustrated by the well-known artist Flavia Weedn. Alexis York Lumbard’s first book for Wisdom Tales was the much-acclaimed and award-winning retelling for children of the Persian masterpiece The Conference of the Birds, once again illustrated by the well-known author and illustrator Demi.

One of Alexis’s favorite writers, the famous children’s book author and illustrator Tomie dePaola, wrote to her about their work in The Conference of the Birds, saying “Congratulations on a lovely book. You [both] have made a wonderful contribution to the world of children’s literature… Please, keep up the good work!” We are fortunate that Alexis already has two other children’s books scheduled for publication, with others, no doubt, not very far behind.

Alexis began writing her own stories after she first became a mother in 2005 and she noticed a sad lack of high quality books for the youngest of readers. With a B.A. in Religious Studies from George Washington University, it is her sincere hope to bring the wisdom and beauty of the world’s religions to the eager and gifted minds of young children.

Alexis would like to share some of her experiences as a writer and as a mother with you:

Photo of Alexis York Lumbard with her family
Alexis York Lumbard with her family when she was a little girl
Alexis as a child on Whidbey Island
Alexis York Lumbard with a camel
Alexis York Lumbard talking sense to her camel Mabruk, in the Egyptian desert
Alexis York Lumbard with her daughters
Alexis York Lumbard with her
three daughters
“I was born in 1981 on a military base in North Carolina, the second daughter of my parents, Debra and Stephen York. My father served in the U.S. Marine Corps for most of my childhood. Like many military families, we moved around frequently. Of all the places we lived in those early years, my fondest memories are of Whidbey Island, Washington. I remember riding the bumpy ferry to and from Seattle and watching with great wonder the many birds taking flight. Little did I know that my very first children’s book, The Conference of the Birds, would involve these feathered friends!

“When I turned seven we moved to northern Virginia, a wonderful melting pot of people from around the world. By the time I was a student at The George Washington University, my interest in other cultures quickly developed into a love for world religions. It was during this time that I also met my husband. Shortly after graduation, I joined my husband in Egypt, where he was teaching at the American University in Cairo. When I wasn’t studying classical Arabic, I would explore the colorful streets of Old Cairo and visit some of the most magnificent mosques in the world. My fondest memory from Egypt however, was a five-day camel trek through the desert to Saint Catherine’s Monastery in Mount Sinai. Come to think of it, riding a camel is a lot like riding a ferry; it is bumpy, but wonderful.

“After Egypt, we moved to Amman, Jordan, where we had our first child. We lived in Jordan for only a year, but what a remarkable year it was! My husband had a unique job serving His Majesty King Abdallah II as an advisor for Interfaith Affairs. The Levant is a dazzling jewel, which fills many a visitor with wonder and delight. This special time in Jordan and those wonderful weekend visits to Damascus and Jerusalem planted the seeds for my next book, Everyone Prays, a concept book in celebration of faith as such. In every person, in every community, and in every single thing on earth there is something wonderful from which to learn, something wonderful to cherish.

“Were it not for motherhood, I do not think I would have become an author. For there was a book that I wanted to read to my children, but this book did not yet exist. So I said to myself, ‘Well, why don’t you write it!’

“I quickly learned that writing isn’t as easy as it sounds. But if we dig around deep enough we will find that there is an artist of some sort hidden inside us all.  As Ray Bradbury once observed, “We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.” So I studied the principles of good storytelling and learned to draw upon the past and present in order to write from the center. That is why I love storytelling; good literature has the capacity to engage the whole self. 

“Even when I am not writing there is always something swirling about my mind. I think about stories while playing with my children. I think about stories while washing the dishes. But most of all, I think about stories while reading great books. If I had to choose one author whom I admire the most, I would choose Leo Lionni. I especially love Frederick, the poet mouse with a philosophical nature. Children are little people capable of asking, and reflecting upon, very big ideas.”

Fascinating Facts about Alexis:

One of her favorite movies is “A Man For All Seasons” and she named her website “Child For All Seasons” after it ( ). This 1960s film won six Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor and was based on the original play by Robert Bolt. Both the film and the play depict Sir Thomas More’s (known by Catholics as Saint Thomas More) clash with King Henry VIII over his divorce from Catherine of Aragon. It is a simple story of conscience. Neither wealth nor power or loss thereof (and even threat of death) could sever More’s commitment to his principles and all that he held sacred. The title, "A Man For All Seasons" refers to just that. 

One of her very favorite quotes is:

“None of us knows what the next change is going to be, what unexpected opportunity is just around the corner, waiting a few months or a few years to change all the tenor of our lives.”
—Kathleen Norris, poet and essayist

Awards for this Author’s Wisdom Tales Books

  • The Conference of the Birds (illustrated by Demi):
    • Finalist in the USA “Best Books 2012” Awards (sponsored by USA Book News) in the categories “Children's Picture Book: Hardcover Fiction,” “Best New Children's Picture Book,” and “Best Interior Design”
    • Finalist for the 2012 ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Award for “Picture Books”
    • Silver Medals from (MIPA) Midwest Independent Publishers Association for the "Illustration: Graphic" and "Interior Lay Out" categories
  • Angels (illustrated by Flavia Weedn):
    • Winner of the 2013 Midwest Book Award Gold Medal in the category “Children’s Picture Books”
    • Finalist for 2013 Foreword Review “Book of the Year” Award in the category “Picture Books”
  • Everyone Prays: Celebrating Faith Around the World (illustrated by Alireza Sadeghian):
    • Winner of the 2015 Eric Hoffer Book Award in the “Children’s” category
    • Finalist in the “Children's Picture Book: Hardcover Non-Fiction” category of The USA “Best Books 2014” Awards, sponsored by USA Book News
    • Finalist in the “Children's Religious” category of The USA “Best Books 2014” Awards
  • When the Animals Saved Earth: An Eco-Fable (illustrated by Demi):
    • Winner in the “Picture Book” category of the 2015 Middle East Book Awards
    • Award-Winner in the “Children's Mind/Body/Spirit” category of the 2015 USA “Best Book” Awards
  • Pine and the Winter Sparrow (illustrated by Beatriz Vidal):
    • Gold Medal in the “Illustration – Graphic” category of the 2015 Midwest Book Awards

Author Extras & Links

  • Alexis York Lumbard has her own Facebook page. To visit her page, click here.
  • The web site of Elan Magazine has an interview with Wisdom Tales author Alexis York Lumbard. You can read the interview by clicking here.
  • Alexis has been featured in an article/interview in the news journal The National, Abu Dhabi Media’s first English-language publication. To read the article, click here.

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