Dr. Ilona Holland is an educator and children’s book author. Ilona taught at the Harvard Graduate School of Education for 14 years. She also conducted numerous evaluations for PBS programs like Martha Speaks, Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?, WordGirl, and Wild Kratt’s. Since retiring, she spends most of her time writing for children and visiting schools all over the world.
Ilona’s titles have won state and national recognition and awards. She is proud that her first book, Buddy Bison’s Yellowstone Adventure, is included in United Through Reading. This is a program that reaches 100,000 military families around the globe. That book was also selected by Today’s Show’s Hoda Kobt as one of her favorites. Ilona’s other books have received first place awards given by the Delaware Press Association (The Great Explosion) and the National Federation of Press Women (The Lost Locket of Lewes). See ilonaeholland.com for more.
Dr. Ilona Holland is an educator and writer who inspires children to ask questions and be awed by history and the world around them. She taught at the Harvard Graduate School of Education for 14 years. Throughout her career, she also conducted numerous evaluations for PBS programs like Martha Speaks, Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?, CyberChase, and Wild Kratt’s. She served as an advisor for the PBS Emmy Award-winning WordGirl. Since retiring, she spends most of her time writing for children and visiting schools all over the world.
Ilona’s titles have won state and national recognition and awards. Her first book, Buddy Bison’s Yellowstone Adventure is included in United Through Reading, a program that reaches 100,000 military families around the globe. Her other books have received first place awards given by the Delaware Press Association and the National Federation of Press Women. Her work has also been featured in Ed Magazine and her first book was selected by Today Show’s Hoda Kobt as one of her favorites.
Ilona is involved in her community. Over the years, she has served on the boards of the University of Delaware, Delaware State University and the Delaware Art Museum. She currently serves on the Delaware Council on Libraries, the Educational Advisory Board of the National Park Trust, The Dean’s Advisory Council for the School of Education (University of Delaware) and is a trustee for the Lewes Historical Society and the Children’s Beach House in Lewes, DE and the Biggs Museum of American Art in Dover, DE. She holds an Ed.D. from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education. See ilonaeholland.com for more.
Frequently Asked Questions:
I have been writing educational materials for children for over 40 years. However, I only started writing children’s books in 2014. I was thrilled to have my first book, Buddy Bison’s Yellowstone Adventure, published by National Geographic Kids.
I would like to make information accessible and exciting to children. Too often history is packaged for adults. Kids don’t usually see themselves in historical contexts. I want to help change that. History is for everyone. Lucas Clawson, Hagley Museum historian, guided me to a first-hand account of the Great Explosion of 1818 written by Eleuthera duPont. She chronicled the events of the explosion as she remembered them taking place when she was just 11 years old. I built on that to write The Great Explosion: A Powder Mill Chronicle.
I often hear from adults that they learn from my books and enjoy the stories and particularly the back matter. That makes me incredibly happy. I have been told that adults are likely to relive childhood memories as they read The Lost Locket of Lewes. They especially enjoy the maps and information about the town.
Judy Love is the illustrator of those books. She does each spread as a separate work of art on paper. In that way, she can capture incredible historical details. She and I work together to ensure that all the images are historically accurate. We have a great time. It always feels more like fun than work!
“True life stories – exciting and tense. Kids will love them!”
– Diane Earley, Creative Director, Charlesbridge Publishing
“The author has combined a magical tale with the most fascinating history lesson to captivate any reader of any age…Great care to the historical material provided after the story was evident. “Fact from fiction” was spot on. … Adding “Evaporating Peaches” “Muskrat Stew” and “Pirates of Lewes” to the end of the book with creativity at its best. The illustrations are absolutely beautiful and add additional life to the tale. … It was a wonderful tool to keep the magic going. Brava!”
– Reviewer, National Federation of Press Women
“Everything about this book is exquisite, from the imaginative story to the gorgeous illustrations and especially the enriching historical detail. Dr. Holland makes the area’s fascinating history leap off the page through her illuminating explanations and accompanying maps, captions, diagrams, documents, and even recipes… If you enjoy the Delaware beaches, you will absolutely adore this book.”
– Reader, Catherine C.
“If you’re heading to Yellowstone this summer, be sure to check out Buddy Bison’s Yellowstone Adventure. This is a fun story for young readers to learn more about Yellowstone….Buddy Bison, who is also the mascot for the National Park Trust, loves to teach kids all about the park they’re visiting as well as the importance of being a great park visitor. In this story, Buddy comes to life and teaches Elena about Yellowstone, including about the geysers (old Faithful), bison and more. At the end of this book, readers will find fun facts about Yellowstone, a brief history of the park, a map of the park, and pictures.”
– Mundie Mom and Mundie Kids Book Reviews
“This book is the perfect gift for children – very entertaining and well written story, wonderful illustrations and certain to make kids more interested in our national parks and nature. I wish there were more books like this. Kudos to the author.”
– Reader, Jan R.