All About Me...

Me and my banjo

You can say hello by emailing robink at

I was born in 1954 and spent my childhood in Wheaton, Maryland and Tuscaloosa, Alabama. I have lived near Noti, Oregon since 1979. I have been illustrating and writing books for children since 1985. After attending the Maryland Institute of Art briefly in 1973-74, I tried various trades, including veterinary assistant, activities director for a nursing home, and production/advertising artist. In 1984 I quit my last paying job and began a career as a full-time artist and writer, creating mostly spot illustrations, greeting cards and logo designs and otherwise taking on freelance print production jobs.

I carted my portfolio to New York in 1985 and landed my first picture book project with Dodd, Mead and Company. My editors there moved to Putnam, and then to Cobblehill Books, an imprint of E.P. Dutton, and until August of 1997 when the imprint was squashed, I published all of my trade books with them. I also created activity book illustrations, flash cards and posters for School Zone, McGraw Hill, and many other educational publishers.

These days I write and/or illustrate a variety of books and articles, both fiction and nonfiction. Currently I have lots of projects circulating including middle-grade novels, novelty books, picture books, and several nonfiction projects. I have also been writing lots of work-for-hire books and articles about things like dinosaurs, animal sounds, light, family trees, and indigenous people.

You can view sample illustrations and other news about me and my projects on my blog. All of my books are easy to find online via the publisher's catalogs and bookseller sites.

I recently released three books from my 1990s early reader series, Chicago and the Cat, along with one of my favorites, Why a Dog? By A. Cat, all as e-books. And I revised and published The Complete Backyard Nature Activity Book in 2012. They are all available on Amazon, B&N, and other online venues.

Marvin and I share our lives with a border collie rescue named Jeep and an odd little cat named Bonita. Who needs TV when you have a border collie with a cat to manage?

My creative life is dedicated to my mom, Virginia Mullins Koontz
April 4, 1917 - May 23, 2000

I miss her, but her memory keeps me inspired.