Will Hillenbrand

Will Hillenbrand photo

Will Hillenbrand grew up in Cincinnati and graduated from The Art Institute of Ohio-Cincinnati. After taking a class in picture book art, he decided to try illustrating children's literature. Now, after more than 60 books, Will is an acclaimed and beloved illustrator. He lives in Terrace Park.


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School Visits & Speaking Engagements

Will emphasizes the artistic process and inspires the audience to pursue their own creativity. Will excels at connecting with any age group and clearly explaining his craft. Audience: Youth or Adult. Please visit this link for more about Will Hillenbrand's speaking.


Will Hillenbrand's Books

Mighty Reader cover

MIGHTY READER AND THE BIG FREEZE (2019): A new superhero is on the scene to inspire reluctant readers in a comic book style picture book.

Hugo, a beagle puppy, transforms himself into Mighty Reader when his canine classmates run into reading disasters. In his first adventure, Hugo's his new friend Barkley freezes up when he must read aloud in class. Mighty Reader gives Barkley the confidence to put on a performance that even impresses the visiting author. Filled with terrific advice for new readers, this book is inspiring and filled with humor. (Ages 4-8)


Santa's Story cover

SANTA'S STORY (2019): Santa is ready to leave on Christmas Eve, but he can't find the reindeer anywhere. Dasher is busy dashing, Donner is dozing, and Cupid is crooning. It isn't until Santa remembers their annual tradition—reading a Christmas story together—that the reindeer are ready. Reindeer merriment abounds in this charming yuletide tale about honoring the celebration of holiday customs with those you love. (Ages 4-8)


I'M A DUCK (2018): Sometimes it takes a lot to get your webbed feet wet! This adorable picture book makes a splash with a satisfying story about conquering your fears.

One day, an egg rolled out of a nest and right into a deep pond. Now that egg is a little duck, and the water is still very scary. Jumping into the pond at all seems impossible, never mind swimming in a line with all his brothers. "You're a duck, and ducks don't sink," Big Frog points out. Practicing in a puddle helps a little, while backrubs and snacks from his mother help a little more. Big Frog offers to hold his friend's wing and dive in together, but our little duck knows that some challenges need to be faced alone. Even when they are very scary! (Ages 4-8)


First Star

FIRST STAR: A BEAR & MOLE STORY (2018): It's a beautiful summer afternoon, and Mole wants to stay outside and watch the stars turn on. Bear suggests they hike up to Camp Tiptop and stay the night. They pack—stuffing and rolling—stop to pick blueberries—yum, yum, yum!—and climb, climb, climb. As dusk falls at the summit, Bear tells Mole the bearish legend of how the first stars came to be: long ago, First Father Bear, First Mother Bear, and First Little Bear were the only bears in the world, and there were no moon or stars... In this beautiful and imaginative story, Hillenbrand spins an enchanting tale of friendship, storytelling, and starry nights. (Ages 4-8)


Share Big Bear Share cover

SHARE, BIG BEAR, SHARE (2017): Big Bear's forest friends eye his berries hungrily, but he doesn't notice as he digs into his delicious snack, When the old oak tree says, "Share, Big Bear, share," he thinks the tree has said, "Hair, Big Bear, hair!" One comical scene follows another as Big Bear keeps misunderstanding the old oak tree's message until things finally get sorted out. Whimsical illustrations highlight the humor in this gentle story about the importance of sharing something special with friends. (Ages 4-8)


Me and Annie McPhee cover

ME AND ANNIE MCPHEE (2016): A cumulative counting book and rollicking read-aloud, full of fun for readers who love This Is the House that Jack Built and There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly. What begins as an empty island in the middle of the sea becomes fuller and fuller as readers turn through the pages. The lonely island "just big enough for me and Annie McPhee" might not be so lonely after all! (Ages 4-8)

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