Growing Up! Up! Up!

I was born in the Bronx New York


but grew up in Connecticut with my mom, dad, older sister Jacqueline and dog Timmy. Timmy was very smart! He would play hide and seek with me. Timmy lived to be 18 years old, that’s 126 in dog years!

Me with Mom and sister,

We lived in a pink house with a turquoise door in Rowayton, Connecticut!


Rowayton comes from the Native American  word:
Ro –ah –wah –ha, which means creek almost dry at low tide.


  When I was a kid, I really liked to read, draw, go to the beach, go bike riding, ice skating, sledding and just PLAY and be with my friends.

Me with my friend Nancy,
I’m the short one!

One Saturday the children in my neighborhood put on a circus with games, “wild animals” and a magic show. We donated the money we raised to the pediatric patients at the local hospital.

   My favorite teacher was Miss Nancysue Carroll, in second grade.
She was so nice and friendly. She taught us lots of songs to sing and encouraged me to write stories, songs, and poems. We still keep in touch!


2nd grade, I’m the short one!

I was a member of the Blue Diamond Club in 3rd grade. We built a clubhouse out of scrap lumber in my friend’s yard and painted it bright blue, to the horror of her father! We rode around the neighborhood on imaginary horses made out of broomsticks. I named my “horse”, White Diamond. One time we camped out in a tent. Everyone told really scary stories and it was really, really dark so after they fell asleep, I ran home and “camped out” under the living room table with Timmy.

I went to the University of Connecticut, (I am only 5"2' so I didn't even try-out for the women's basketball team.) I majored in sociology and psychology with a minor in art history, then continued on for a master's degree in child development.

Graduation. YAY!


For many years, I worked at Yale-New Haven Hospital with children and teenagers; but I was not a nurse or a doctor or a physical therapist. I was a Child Life Specialist. I helped children to understand what was going to happen if they needed to have a medical test or an operation or a cast.

Being in the hospital can be pretty scary, so Child Life Specialists also help children do things they normally do - paint, draw pictures, write stories, create puppets, make music or be clowns.

A pediatric patient having fun being a clown


Peter Banks is my husband. We have been married for more than 30 years. He is a high school Physics teacher. He makes learning science really fun and helps students see how physics is part of our everyday lives. He has also been the captain of a 91 foot schooner, the Quinnipiack, an environmental education sailing vessel. My husband Peter and I have sailed from Connecticut to the Bahamas, twice, in our 31 foot sailboat, Meltemi.

We live in Branford, Connecticut, in an old house that we fixed up.


Our Sailboat Meltemi. Meltemi is a pretty Greek word, but, it means a bad storm

  So how did I get started writing and illustrating children’s books?  I took two adult education courses, one was about traditional Scherenschnitt (share- en -sssh -nit) scherren means scissors, schnitt means cut.
The other was about writing and illustrating children’s books. When I brought in a cut-paper illustration, the teacher said, “You’ve found your medium!” 

I am a full-time author/illustrator now
I also visit schools, libraries and museums as part of my job.
I love my job!


Doing a program at the Yale Center for British Art in front of
Lady Clopton from

 Nancy Elizabeth Wallace 2008-2012.
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