Valerie Bolling


Valerie Bolling is passionate about creating stories in which all children can see themselves and feel seen and heard, valued and validated. She is the author of six picture books: Let’s Dance! (SCBWI Crystal Kite Award winner); Together We RideTogether We RideTogether We Swim,  Ride, Roll, RunTime For Fun!, Bing, Bop, Bam, Time To Jam, Rainbow Days, and I See Color which was a Scholastic Acorn early reader series. A graduate of Tufts University and Teachers College, Columbia University, Valerie has been an educator for 30 years and is an active member of the kidlit community – teaching picture book classes (independently and for the Highlights Foundation), serving as a mentor, and presenting at conferences. Valerie lives in Connecticut with her husband where they enjoy traveling, hiking, reading, going to the theater, and dancing.


Together We Swim was a 2023 Kirkus Prize Young Reader’s Finalist. The book is a joyful, encouraging ode to a mother and son’s relationship and the unforgettable experience of a child’s first swimming lessons. Jumping into the water can be more than a little scary! But with Mom’s steady arms, there is no fear of sinking. With a kick, a splash, and his family’s cheers of encouragement, one determined boy finds his groove, making waves in this fun-filled day at the pool. ​Embrace the feeling of accomplishment in this joyous, reassuring story about perseverance and new experiences.