Jennifer Mattson is a literary agent with Andrea Brown Literary Agency. She represents children’s books — picture books, middle grade, and young adult.
Jennifer’s background in children’s book publishing includes five years reviewing children’s literature at Booklist magazine, and five years as an editor at Dutton Children’s Books.
In the picture book arena, Jennifer is interested in authors, illustrators, and author-illustrators who bring a distinctive, well-developed point of view to their work.
She is particularly drawn to fiction in middle grade and YA, especially richly imagined fantasies that depart from typical quests. (Portals entered by protagonists who fulfill prophecies don’t tend to be for her.) The most dogeared books in her childhood library tended to be fantasy adventures, survival stories, and sprawling, atmospheric tales with Dickensian twists and satisfying puzzles. She gravitates to all of the above, but contemporary realistic fiction can work for her too, especially if it’s voice-driven and carefully structured.
Fiction that Jennifer represents includes Jenny Meyerhoff’s comic middle grade series, The Barftastic Life of Louie Burger (FSG/Macmillan); and Kate Hannigan’s sweet chapter book series, Cupcake Cousins (Disney*Hyperion), and her historical middle grade novel, THE DETECTIVE’S ASSISTANT (Little, Brown/Hachette), which won the 2016 Golden Kite Award for Middle Grade Fiction, received two starred reviews, was a Booklist Editor’s Choice, and appeared on the 2016 Amelia Bloomer List.
Picture books she represents include the first picture book by Grammy Award winning folk-roots musicians The Okee Dokee Brothers, CAN YOU CANOE AND OTHER ADVENTURE SONGS (Sterling); noted poet Linda Ashman’s lyrical ode to the rhythms of the natural world, ALL WE KNOW (HarperCollins), and her nearly wordless celebration of optimism, RAIN! (Houghton/HMH); and Kim Norman’s three Arctic Companion books that cleverly spin off favorite preschool songs, TEN ON THE SLED, IF IT’S SNOWY AND YOU KNOW IT, and SHE’LL BE COMIN’ UP THE MOUNTAIN (all Sterling).
Artists she represents include Geisel Honor winning author-illustrator Paul Meisel, who has illustrated or written a total of more than 70 books for young readers; J.R. Krause, author-illustrator of two picture books featuring a bilingual inventor mouse, POCO LOCO and HAPPY BIRTHDAY, POCO LOCO! (both Two Lions/Amazon); Ramon Olivera, debut author-illustrator of ABCS ON WINGS and ABCS ON WHEELS (both Little Simon/S&S); Liz Starin, debut author-illustrator of SPLASHDANCE (FSG/Macmillan), a Junior Library Guild selection and a PW Best Summer Book of 2016; and former Google doodler Katy Wu, illustrator of several new picture book biographies, including Laurie Wallmark’s GRACE HOPPER: QUEEN OF COMPUTER CODE (Sterling) and Carrie Clickard’s DUMPLING DREAMS (Paula Wiseman/S&S).