Moser, Lisa

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Moser, Lisa


Born in Fairfield, IA; married; children: one daughter. Education: Graduated from University of Iowa. Hobbies and other interests: Softball, tennis, volleyball, golf, traveling.


Home—Grafton, WI. E-mail—[email protected]


Author. Taught elementary school in Worthington, OH.


Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.

Awards, Honors

Books for Beginning Readers selection, Cooperative Children's Book Center, 2008, for Squirrel's World.



The Monster in the Backpack, illustrated by Noah Z. Jones, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 2006.

Watermelon Wishes, illustrated by Stacey Schuett, Clarion Books (New York, NY), 2006.

Squirrel's World, illustrated by Valeri Gorbachev, Candlewick Press (Cambridge, MA), 2007.


A former elementary school teacher, Lisa Moser has written a number of well-received picture books. Hailing from a family of readers, Moser developed a love for literature at a young age. She frequently visited her hometown library, and she once read her favorite book, Little Women, five times in a single year. Moser's grandmother often created stories that featured Moser and her sister in starring roles. "She would draw pictures to go with them and bind them with bright red yarn," the author noted on her home page. "When I read those stories, I was amazed. From that moment on, I wanted to be a children's author."

A graduate of the University of Iowa, Moser taught fifth grade in Ohio before she became a published author. Her debut work, The Monster in the Backpack, was inspired by an incident with one of her students, who had trouble opening a stuck zipper on a backpack. While preparing for school one day, young Annie is startled to find an unexpected visitor hiding in her pink-and-blue-flowered backpack. The monstrous creature proves more troublesome than frightening, however: he proceeds to devour Annie's lunch and put bubble gum in her shoes. He also hates to be left alone, and when an exasperated Annie considers trading her backpack for a new one, the monster finds a messy but heartfelt way to win over his new friend. "The zany story is written in simple, clear language," remarked School Library Journal contributor Laura Scott.

In Watermelon Wishes, a young boy and his grandfather complete a special project together. When Charlie and Grandpap plant a watermelon patch, Charlie hopes that one seed will grow into a unique watermelon that makes wishes come true. As the summer passes, Charlie and Grandpap tend to the garden regularly, and they reward themselves for their hard work by going fishing, playing cards, and swimming. When the watermelons are ripe, Charlie selects the perfect one and reveals his secret wish to his grandfather. "Moser works in some nice horticultural details," a contributor in Kirkus Reviews stated, and Mary Hazelton, writing in School Library Journal, noted, "This sweet story is filled with positive images of shared experiences and cooperation."

An incredibly energetic animal is the subject of Squirrel's World, a chapter book that "will charm and challenge emergent readers," remarked a Kirkus Reviews critic. In the work, Squirrel attempts to lend support to his friends, including sleepy Turtle, hungry Mouse, and frightened Rabbit, though his frenetic antics often create more problems than they solve. "Repetitive text and well-designed pages support the efforts of young readers who will likely enjoy Squirrel's humorous misadventures," Neala Arnold wrote in School Library Journal.

"Writing is hard, imperfect work," Moser remarked on her home page. "Sometimes I love what I write. Sometimes I can write all day and only have one good paragraph. I fail more times than I succeed, but that is okay. I know that if I keep at it, I will eventually have a great story."

Biographical and Critical Sources


Horn Book, November-December, 2006, Betty Carter, review of The Monster in the Backpack, p. 721.

Kirkus Reviews, November 15, 2006, review of Watermelon Wishes, p. 1177; August 15, 2007, review of Squirrel's World.

School Library Journal, August, 2006, Laura Scott, review of The Monster in the Backpack, p. 94; December, 2006, Mary Hazelton, review of Watermelon Wishes, p. 110; September, 2007, Neala Arnold, review of Squirrel's World, p. 172.


Lisa Moser Home Page, (August 10, 2008).