About Lindsay

The formal version

Lindsay H. Metcalf is a journalist and award-winning author of nonfiction picture books: Beatrix Potter, Scientist, a Mighty Girl Best Book of 2020 and Young People’s Literature Award winner from the Friends of American Writers Chicago; Farmers Unite! Planting a Protest for Fair Prices, a Kansas Notable Book, Friends of American Writers honoree, NCSS/CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Book, and Junior Library Guild selection; and No Voice Too Small: Fourteen Young Americans Making History, a Kirkus and Chicago Public Library Best Book, Notable Social Studies Trade Book, and NCTE Notable Poetry Book. Forthcoming titles include No World Too Big: Young People Fighting Global Climate Change, a poetry anthology from the team behind No Voice Too Small (Charlesbridge, spring 2023); and Outdoor Farm, Indoor Farm, illustrated by Xin Li (Astra Young Readers, spring 2024). Lindsay lives in Kansas with her husband, two sons, two old cats, and a snoring Cavalier King Charles dog.

Click here for a short biography suitable for programs.

Photo by Anna Jackson
Photo by Anna Jackson

The personal version

I grew up on a Kansas farm, where I developed a curiosity about nature. I loved to follow my golden retriever to the creek and hunt for tree stumps gnawed by beavers, look for deer tracks, and wonder at the ripples made by pebbles I’d skipped. I also loved to ride the combine with my dad. (Chopping weeds out of the soybean fields? That was another story.)

I wanted to read all the time as a young child, so in order to get the chores done, my parents bought me a lot of books on tape. I can still hear the music for the page turns on Roger Hargreaves’ “Little Miss” stories. I memorized and recited nursery rhymes, and I loved to pretend. That may explain why one of the first stories I wrote as a kid featured a smitten, waltzing ostrich.

After high school and college, I flew the coop for a career in the city. Then I became a mom and decided to leave my job as a newspaper reporter to stay home with my kids. I rekindled my love of children’s books when I realized my two rambunctious little boys would sit still for a good story.

That gave me my mission: to tell stories that empower children and encourage them to care for the world and all its creatures. I write books for young people from my home a few miles from the farm where I grew up.

Little Lindsay with sunburnt cheeks and a golden retriever named Penny

I don’t write all the time. I also like to:

  • Play COW with my kids, and often lose. Fact: Even at 5’9”, I am not good at basketball.
  • Snuggle with my Cavalier King Charles, Ozzy (who is unaware of his breed’s connection to the British monarchy), and my cats, Gertie and Meeko.
  • Act as sous chef—veggie chopper, sauce taster, ingredient getter, dish washer—to the main chef of the house, my husband.
  • Build things out of wood, such as a lofted fort bed I once built for my youngest son.
  • Tickle the ivories on my heirloom baby grand piano and learn ukulele.
  • Plant a garden and neglect it by accident. Fact: Growing up on a farm did not give me a green thumb.
  • Help on my parents’ farm by hauling irrigation pipe in the summer or taming barn kitties. Fact: Not everyone would define the latter as “helping.”
  • Watch birds from my porch swing.
  • Connect with others who love to read and write. [insert link to CONTACT page]

Want to hear some bad poetry I wrote as a kid? Watch this video:

Little Lindsay with sunburnt cheeks and a golden retriever named Penny

Interviews

I don’t write all the time. I also like to:

  • Play COW with my kids, and often lose. Fact: Even at 5’9”, I am not good at basketball.
  • Snuggle with my Cavalier King Charles, Ozzy (who is unaware of his breed’s connection to the British monarchy), and my cats, Gertie and Meeko.
  • Act as sous chef—veggie chopper, sauce taster, ingredient getter, dish washer—to the main chef of the house, my husband.
  • Build things out of wood, such as a lofted fort bed I once built for my youngest son.
  • Tickle the ivories on my heirloom baby grand piano and learn ukulele.
  • Plant a garden and neglect it by accident. Fact: Growing up on a farm did not give me a green thumb.
  • Help on my parents’ farm by hauling irrigation pipe in the summer or taming barn kitties. Fact: Not everyone would define the latter as “helping.”
  • Watch birds from my porch swing.
  • Connect with others who love to read and write. [insert link to CONTACT page]

Want to hear some bad poetry I wrote as a kid? Watch this video:

Interviews