Jean Marzollo

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Jean Marzollo
Born Jean Martin
(1942-06-24)June 24, 1942
Manchester, Connecticut, U.S.
Died April 10, 2018(2018-04-10) (aged 75)
Cold Spring, New York, U.S.
Occupation Author, illustrator
Notable works
  • I SPY series (children's books)
  • Help Me Learn Addition
  • Help Me Learn Numbers 0-20
  • Pierre the Penguin
  • The Little Plant Doctor
  • Mama Mama/Papa Papa
  • Close Your Eyes
  • Pretend You're a Cat
  • Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King
Notable awards 2000 Rip Van Winkle Award by School Lib. Media Specialists of SE NY Assoc.
Claudio Marzollo (m. 1969)
Children 2

Jean Marzollo (June 24, 1942 – April 10, 2018) was an American children's author and illustrator. She wrote more than 100 books, including the best-selling and award-winning I Spy series for children, written completely in rhythm and rhyme.


Born and raised in Connecticut, Marzollo was a graduate of Manchester High School (1960), the University of Connecticut (1964) where she was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta[1], and the Harvard Graduate School of Education (1965).[2]

Marzollo was a high school English teacher in Arlington, MA (1965–66) and the assistant director of Harvard's Project Upward Bound (1967). In New York City, she worked on early childhood research projects for General Learning Corp. (1967–69) and was the Director of Publications for the National Commission on Resources for Youth (1970–71).

For 20 years (1972–92), she editor of Scholastic's "Let's Find Out" Magazine, working closely with art director Carol Devine Carson.[3] She has written books for teachers and parents, as well as articles about children for Parents Magazine, Redbook, and other parenting magazines.

Marzollo was known for her best-selling and award-winning I Spy series with photographic illustrator Walter Wick.[2] Among her other children's books are: Help Me Learn Addition, Help Me Learn Numbers 0-20, The Little Plant Doctor, Pierre the Penguin, Mama Mama/Papa Papa, Close Your Eyes, Pretend You're a Cat, Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King, and the Shanna Show books. After more than twenty years of writing children's books, she also began to illustrate them. She retold and illustrated five Bible stories and three Greek myths, as well as writing and illustrating two counting books for preschoolers: Ten Little Eggs and Ten Little Christmas Presents.


Marzollo died on April 10, 2018, in her sleep due to natural causes at the age of 75. She was survived by her husband, Claudio Marzollo, a retired sculptor who co-authored some of her children's science fiction and fantasy books, and two sons.[4]

Published works[edit]

9 Months 1 Day 1 Year: A Guide to Pregnancy, Birth and Babycare,
39 Kids on the Block: Chicken Pox Strikes Again #5
39 Kids on the Block: My Sister the Blabbermouth #6
39 Kids on the Block: Roses are Pink and You Stink #3
39 Kids on the Block: The Best Friends Club #4
39 Kids on the Block: The Best Present Ever #2
39 Kids on the Block: The Green Ghost of Appleville #1
Amy Goes Fishing
Baby Unicorn and Baby Dragon
Baby's Alphabet
Baseball Brothers
Basketball Buddies
Baxter Bear’s Bad Day
Birthday Parties for Children
Blue Sun Ben
Can We Eat Now?
Cannonball Chris
Christmas Cats
City Sounds
Close Your Eyes
Daniel in the Lions' Den
David and Goliath
Do You Know New?
Do You Love Me, Harvey Burns?
Doll House Adventure
Doll House Christmas
Fathers & Babies
Fathers & Toddlers
Football Friends
Getting Your Period
Halfway Down Paddy Lane
Halloween Cats
Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King
Help Me Learn Addition
Help Me Learn Numbers 0-20
Help Me learn Subtraction
Helping Hands Handbook
Hockey Hero
Home Sweet Home
How Kids Grow
I Am a Leaf
I Am a Rock
I Am a Star
I Am an Apple
I Am Fire
I Am Planet Earth
I Am Snow
I Am Water
I Love You: A Rebus Poem
I See a Star: A Christmas Rebus Story
I Spy a Balloon
I Spy a Butterfly
I Spy a Candy Cane
I Spy a Dinosaur's Eye
I Spy a Penguin
I Spy a Pumpkin
I Spy a Scary Monster
I Spy a School Bus
I Spy a Skeleton
I Spy A to Z
I SPY an Egg in a Nest
I Spy Christmas
I Spy Extreme Challenger!
I Spy Fantasy
I Spy Fun House
I Spy Funny Teeth
I Spy Gold Challenger!
I Spy I Like to Read
I Spy I Love You
I Spy Lightning in the Sky
I Spy Little Animals
I Spy Little Book
I Spy Little Bunnies
I Spy Little Christmas
I Spy Little Hearts
I Spy Little Letters
I Spy Little Numbers
I Spy Little Toys
I Spy Merry Christmas
I Spy Little Wheels
I Spy Mystery
I Spy Phonics Fun
I Spy Santa Claus
I Spy School
I Spy School Days
I Spy Spectacular
I Spy Spooky Night
I Spy Sticker Book and Picture Riddles
I Spy Super Challenger!
I Spy Thanksgiving
I Spy Treasure Hunt
I Spy Ultimate Challenger!
I Spy Year-Round Challenger!
I Spy: A Book of Picture Riddles
I’m A Seed
I’m Tyrannosaurus!
I'm a Caterpillar
In 1492
In 1776
Jed and the Space Bandits
Jed’s Junior Space Patrol
Jonah and the Whale (and the Worm)
Learning through Play
Let's Go, Pegasus!
Little Bear, You're A Star!
Mama Mama
Miriam and Her Brother Moses
My First Book of Biographies
Once Upon a Springtime
Pandora's Box
Papa Bear’s Party
Papa Papa
Pierre the Penguin
Pizza Pie Slugger
Pony Bird
Pretend You're a Cat
Red Ribbon Rosie
Red Sun Girl
Robin of Bray
Ruth and Naomi
Ruthie’s Rude Friends
Shanna's Animal Riddles
Shanna's Ballerina Show
Shanna's Bear Hunt
Shanna's Doctor Show
Shanna's Hip, Hop, Hooray!
Shanna's Lost Shoe
Shanna's Party Surprise
Shanna's Pizza Parlor
Shanna's Princess Show
Shanna's Teacher Show
Slam Dunk Saturday
Snow Angel
Soccer Cousins
Soccer Sam
Sun Song
Ten Cats Have Hats
Ten Little Christmas Presents
Ten Little Eggs
Thanksgiving Cats
The Baby Unicorn
The Little Plant Doctor
The New Kindergarten
The Rebus Treasury
The Silver Bear
The Teddy Bear Book
Think! Draw! Write!
Three Little Kittens
Uproar on Holler Cat Hill
Valentine Cats
Your Maternity Leave: How to Leave Work, Have a Baby, and Go Back to Work Without Getting Lost, Trapped, or Sandbagged Along the Way



  • Gale Cengage Learning: Contemporary Authors, volume(s) 81-84, 264
  • Contemporary Authors Autobiographical Essay, volume(s) 264
  • Contemporary Authors New Revision Series, volume(s) 15, 90
  • Major Authors and Illustrators for Children and Young Adults, edition(s) 2
  • Something About the Author, volume(s) 29, 77, 130
  • Something About the Author Autobiography Series, volume(s) 15

External links[edit]