kristina McMorris

Ellie Mae Dreams Big!

The sister duo of New York Times best-selling novelist Kristina McMorris and award-winning artist Amanda Yoshida makes their collaborative debut with a delightful story of a girl whose big dreams are far from ordinary.

"What do you want to be when you grow up?"

At the teacher's all-important question, Ellie Mae's mind swirls with ideas. An astronaut or a chef? Better yet, why not an astronaut-chef? Since the moon is made of cheese, her galactic grilled cheese sandwiches could be known throughout the universe! Or...she could be a ballerina-painter, creating masterpieces while leaping across the stage.

In the end, there are so many options, Ellie Mae fears she can't possibly pick–until the answer dawns on her. What she chooses will surprise her classmates as much as the reader!

For an Ellie Mae-themed activity kit perfect for young readers and students, download here.
To invite Kristina and/or Amanda to visit your class or grade school,
feel free to reach out!

Behind the Story

The inspiration for our story came partly from my oldest son, who as a child had an especially hard time deciding between options (the Chuck E. Cheese prizes display was an absolute nightmare!), as well as my own "interesting" career aspirations when I was a kid. I distinctly recall being torn between becoming a nun (despite not being Catholic) and a bellydancer...because, well, I liked their outfits. Thankfully, Ellie Mae has much sounder reasons behind her ideas while still being just as creative.

The Sisterly Duo

Yoshida sisters Even at three years old, my youngest sister, Amanda, knew what she wanted to be when she grew up. "A children's book illustrator and a mom," she would tell countless people. (Yes, those were really her exact words.) The fact she is now living that dream, as an incredible mother and full-time, award-winning picture book illustrator, fills me with indescribable pride. When she asked if I'd be interested in collaborating on a book together, I didn't hesitate. Needless to say, the day we signed our contracts and celebrated with champagne was truly a thrill!