Photo Credit: May Gunsul

About Carrie:

Carrie Tillotson is the author of Counting to Bananas, a 2023 Oregon Book Award finalist and 2022 Oregon Spirit Book Award Honor Book; B Is for Bananas, a 2023 Amazon Best Books of the Year selection; and the forthcoming Alpacas Here, Alpacas There. As a child, Carrie loved to read, paint, and draw, and thought books were written by long-dead people. She later met a real-live author and realized she could be an author one day, too.

After getting a master’s degree in public health, Carrie worked as a biostatistician for more than 10 years. Her job involved counting lots of numbers (but not many bananas). Carrie now sculpts her interests in science and fun into playful picture books. When not reading and writing, you can find her running, playing games, and eating ice cream (though usually not all at the same time). She lives in Oregon with her husband, son, and two dogs who are always going bananas.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What did you want to be as a grownup?

Lots of things! An illustrator, teacher, graphic designer, researcher, epidemiologist, and writer.

What’s your favorite animal?

I have two favorite animals—orcas and alpacas.

What pets do you have?

I have two golden retrievers, Lucky and Willow. I used to have three chickens, Carrot, Daffodil, and Feathery. One time, Carrot sat on my head and left a little “surprise” on my shoulder. She wasn’t allowed to sit on my head anymore after that incident.

Where do you get your ideas?

Everywhere! Overhearing conversations, playing with my son, reading or listening to the news, and spending time in nature are common times and places when inspiration strikes. The idea for Counting to Bananas came from a conversation between my son and his swim instructor!

What was your favorite childhood book?

Probably The Mystery of the Missing Red Mitten, by Steven Kellogg. I loved the surprise of finding where the mitten was hiding all along. I still have a signed copy! 

What is your favorite quote?

“The braver I am, the luckier I get.” – Glennon Doyle in Untamed


Carrie Tillotson