Hello! I’m an author and illustrator of children’s books and a professor of illustration at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). My most recent book Mapping Sam was published in Fall 2018 by Greenwillow Books. There are more on the way, so stay tuned!


An adventurous cat named Sam explores her neighborhood at night in this gorgeously illustrated book. Informational, beautiful, and deeply moving, Mapping Sam is both a book about how maps work and an engaging, character-driven story.

“First readers explore a neighborhood map of the feline’s initial travels before embarking on a journey that will take them to the edge of the universe and back...An eye-catching introduction to maps, charts, and diagrams for the youngest of cartographers.” School Library Journal (starred review)

“The flow of the story is smooth, and the introduction of each new piece of cartography feels organic. Hesselberth’s artwork...is clear and will show well in large groups. ...A winning choice for just about anywhere that’s on a map.” Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“After Sam the cat’s family is asleep, she slips out the back door. Where does the orange tabby go? With the help of a map, children see her path. Hesselberth uses this opportunity to explain the purposes of maps and their characteristics. ..Sam takes mapping in many delightful directions.” ALA Booklist

“For kids who like their days filled with observation and information, this cozy nocturnal adventure may be their ideal bridge to bedtime.” Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books



Round, curvy, pointy, or straight-shapes are all around us.

With vibrant illustrations that highlight shapes in all their forms, this informative book reinforces the identification of circles, squares, crescents, diamonds, triangles, rectangles, trapezoids, and ovals while encouraging kids to pair shapes together to make new forms. Written and illustrated by Joyce Hesselberth.

"Get your sketchbooks ready: “Shape Shift” is the kind of book you’ll want to read with a pen and paper nearby, since it works as a storybook and a creative tool, too. . . Sure to inspire nascent builders and budding artists, too."  The Boston Globe

"Most shape books ask readers to find shapes in the everyday world; Hesselberth does the opposite and sparks children's imaginations."  Kirkus Reviews (starred review)



These poems, prayers and blessings about animals are drawn from around the world and throughout history. Speaks to a child's sense of connection with the animal kingdom. By turns amusing and reverential, Blanchard weaves together a collection that inspires gratitude and joy for a world rich in diversity and wonder. Sources include the Bible, African and Native American cultures, Lewis Carroll, William Wordsworth and Christina Rosetti. Illustrations by Joyce Hesselberth.