Laura Smetana, Author & Illustrator
Laura Smetana is an award-winning author and illustrator. She loves creating bright, joyful cut-paper watercolor collages inspired by nature.
Her latest author-illustrated book, My Love for You Is Like a Garden, was recognized as a Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2023.
She is also the author of Ice Cream with Grandpa: A Loving Story for Kids About Alzheimer’s & Dementia, (illustrated by Elisabete B. P. de Moraes), which was winner of a Northern Lights Book Award. The book was inspired by the relationship between her dad and her son, before and after her dad developed Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia. Laura has three generations of ice cream scoopers in her home—one from her grandpa, one from her dad, and one she got with her family in France. Each one brings back sweet memories with loved ones.
Laura co-authored her debut children’s book, Little Squiggle’s Lake Adventure, with her son. In the fifth grade, Laura created a book about a giraffe named Little Squiggle. After reading it to her son Stirling for bedtime, he said, "We should bring Little Squiggle back, Mom!" And that's what they did.
When she isn’t writing or painting, Laura can be found inspiring kids to create their own books at school visits, gardening in her sunhat, and spending time with her family outdoors. Laura lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband and son. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and the Downers Grove Artists’ Guild.
In the News
2024 SCBWI-IL Prairie Wind - Illustrator in the Spotlight
Tornado Aftermath Doesn't Deter Local Author & Illustrator, Laura Smetana, From Creating Next Book - Art Beat for Fox Valley & Beyond
Laura Smetana Discusses My Love for You Is Like a Garden - The Children's Book Review
Children’s Book author encourages honesty for families facing dementia together - Alzheimer's Association Illinois Chapter
Laura Smetana Discusses Ice Cream with Grandpa: A Loving Story for Kids about Alzheimer’s and Dementia - The Children's Book Review
Woodridge Mother, Son Pen Children's Book - My Suburban Life