Tammy Yee has worked on more than 40 books. She grew up in Hawaii, where she explored tide pools, swam in streams, and wrote and illustrated spooky stories her teachers politely read. After she graduated from college she worked as a pediatric nurse. Having children rekindled her love for picture books, so in 1994 she exchanged her stethoscope for a paintbrush and she's been writing and illustrating ever since. In 2022, she was inducted into Children's Literature of Hawaii's (CLH) Hall of Fame.
I grew up in Honolulu, Hawaii, where I explored tide pools, caught crayfish in island streams, and collected monarch caterpillars from crownflower trees to raise into butterflies.
My mother, an elementary school custodian, never skimped on books. She splurged on a set of World Book Encyclopedias, and I spent hours leafing through the gilt-edged pages. Starting with A for ancient Anatolia, I trekked through the gardens of Babylonia, immersed myself in Cleopatra's man troubles, and explored the ziggurats of Mesopotamia.
Mom also subscribed me to Parent Magazine's Book-of-the-Month Club, which hooked me on picture books and inspired me to write and illustrate spooky stories my teachers politely read
After graduating from college, I cared for children as a pediatric medical-surgical and oncology nurse. Having my own children rekindled my love for picture books, so in 1994 I exchanged my stethoscope for a paintbrush and I've been writing and illustrating ever since.
I have worked on more than 40 books including The Tsunami Quilt: Grandfather's Story (written by Anthony Fredericks, Sleeping Bear Press), a Bank Street College Best Book of the Year and Storytelling World Awards Honor recipient in the Pre-Adolescent Listeners category; A is for Aloha (written by Uilani Goldsberry, Sleeping Bear Press), selected by the Hawaii Center for the Book to represent the state at the 2006 National Book Festival; Lullaby Moon (written by Elaine Masters), winner of the 2003 Ka Palapala Po'okela Award for Excellence in Children's Books; and Baby Honu's Incredible Journey, an island children's classic now in its 38th printing.
Children's health and advocacy remain important to me. My favorite project was designing an ocean-themed decal for CT Scan equipment at the local children's hospital. One nurse told me that the bright colors and characters made the procedure less scary for her young patients.
I also love creating educational activities, posters, and origami to support our libraries and environmental agencies--once a nerd, always a nerd!
In the past, I served as a Regional Advisor and an Illustrator Coordinator for the Hawaii Chapter of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).
Today, I live in Windward Oahu with my family, a rabbit, five birds, a cat, and a flatulent bulldog named Roxy.
And I still collect monarch caterpillars.
Published author/illustrator of more than 36 children's books, fiction and nonfiction, and several craft books. Experience in commercial murals for digital reproduction.
Former Regional Advisor (2015-2017) and Illustrator Coordinator (2014) for SCBWI-Hawaii (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators). Responsibilities included:
- Organizing SCBWI Hawaii's 2017 conference featuring editors Alvina Ling and Andrea Welch; art directors Lauren Rille and Tracy Shaw; and author David Estes
- Organizing SCBWI Hawaii's 2016 conference featuring author-illustrator and 2015 Caldecott Medal Recipient Dan Santat, author-illustrator Kirsten Carlson, agent Suzie Townsend and editor Naomi Long Eagleson
- Promoting children's literature and kidlit content creators through collaboration with the Hawaii State Library and other community organizations.
Children, animals, wildlife, conservation, multicultural, humor, science, mythology, cryptozoology, biography
Digital illustration, watercolor
University of Hawaii at Manoa
Bachelor of Science, Nursing, Registered Pediatric Nurse
Mural for the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Family Medical Building at the Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center
Murals for Kapiolani Medical Center renovation
Decal design for CAT Scan Machine
Disney Aulani Travel Map Mural
Irrawaddy River Dolphin art for fundraising
Character development and educational poster design promoting reef-friendly sunscreens.
Hawaiian Rocky Shore identification and coloring sheet
Kipahulu Ohana coloring sheet featuring reef and shoreline fish, near shore invertebrates, intertidal invertebrates and seaweed of Kipahulu, Maui.
Official poster for the Hawaiian Monk Seal Recovery Program
Educational material promoting Puget Sound conservation