Meet the Author and Illustrator

Meet the AuthorGEF_0002B
While growing up in St. Louis, MO, Noreen O’Brien was a Girl Scout, a piano student, and a bookworm. She earned a college degree in theatre arts with a minor in English, and worked many years in marketing and publications for non-profit organizations. After completing a master’s degree in education, she taught in classrooms for six years. She tutored for another five years and edited two history textbooks.

In 2011 O’Brien moved to Fond du Lac. She landed a position with UW-Extension, where she learned about the 4-H youth development program. She combined her background in writing and education to create Badger State Buddies. In her free time, she quilts, enjoys public television, and avoids housework.



About the Illustrator  photo Emily Bury

Emily Bury is a senior at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, where she majors in illustration and minors in communication design. She was a junior when she created the artwork in Badger State Buddies.

Bury drew all the black and white drawings as well as a color cover. She started them in March of 2014 and finished in May. The book has 24 chapters, so the writer suggested scenes to draw for about 15 of them. Bury e-mailed her sketches to the writer, who asked for certain details or a different angle. Then the artist made her final drawings.

A native of Kenosha, Bury likes to use traditional media (such as pencil and paper) with digital media (such as PhotoShop). Through her coursework, she has had experience in designing packages, illustrating posters and book covers, and making scientific diagrams and pop-up art.






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