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Press Kit

Media Contact

Short Bio

Angela Burke Kunkel is a school librarian by day and a writer in the very early mornings. Her debut picture book with illustrator Paola Escobar, DIGGING FOR WORDS, JOSÉ ALBERTO GUTIÉRREZ AND THE LIBRARY HE BUILT (Schwartz & Wade), celebrates perseverance, community, and the power of books. Look for PENGUIN JOURNEY, her nonfiction picture book-in-verse with Catherine Odell, in October 2021(Abrams). Her third picture book with illustrator Claire Keane, MAKE WAY, will be released in 2023 by Random House Studio. You can learn more at, or follow Angela on Instagram @angkunkel.

Alternate Bio

Angela Burke Kunkel is the author of DIGGING FOR WORDS: JOSÉ ALBERTO GUTIÉRREZ AND THE LIBRARY HE BUILT, illustrated by Paola Escobar and published by Random House/Schwartz and Wade. Angela was inspired to write DIGGING FOR WORDS after seeing a video of José Alberto Gutiérrez's incredible library. A current school librarian and former English Language Arts teacher, she has experience working with all types of readers, from the reluctant to the voracious. A graduate of Simmons College, Angela has taught in alternative and public schools in Massachusetts, as well as at a New Mexico middle school with a nationally-recognized dual education program.  She now lives with her family in Vermont. Look for her next picture book, PENGUIN JOURNEY, in 2021, and MAKE WAY, in 2023. You can learn more about Angela at, or follow her on Instagram @angkunkel.

Hi-Res Image Gallery

Author photos by Mei Lin Barral.

Angela Burke Kunkel
Angela Burke Kunkel
Angela Burke Kunkel

Angela's Books



     In the city of Bogotá, in the barrio of La Nueva Gloria, there lives two Josés.

     One, a garbage collector, prepares his truck for its route through wealthy neighborhoods. Señor José drives all night, scanning the sidewalks as he works, searching for hidden treasure . . .

     The other, a young boy, dreams of Saturday, when he can visit Señor José's library, filled with towering stacks of books rescued from the trash. 

     This stunning celebration of community and libraries was inspired by the real life of José Alberto Gutiérrez, who has helped bring the magic of books to the children of Colombia.

Pub Date: September 8, 2020

Hardcover: 40 pages

Publisher: Random House/Schwartz & Wade

ISBN: 978-1-9848-9263-8


A lyrical picture book exploration of emperor penguins’ incredible journey to parenthood, with stunning watercolor art.

Packed Snow / Moon glow
Wind-blown / All alone 

This young picture book is about the incredible lengths to which emperor penguins go for their young ones. Angela Burke Kunkel’s lyrical text and Catherine Odell’s gorgeous illustrations detail the penguins' amazing journey, and an author's note and bibliography provide added context.

Pub date: October 26, 2021

Hardcover: 40 pages

Publisher: Abrams Appleseed

ISBN: 978-1-4197-4589-8

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