Jennifer J. Merz started her career in art at a young age, winning a coloring contest at age 7. She went on to earn a BA in Studio Art from Marymount College in Tarrytown NY and an MA in Art from the College of New Rochelle in NY. Having a grandfather who taught her about determination and drive, has given her a great deal of her own “drive and determination” in the pursuit of her art. Her desire to expand her knowledge base has led her to study at Parsons School of Design and at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan. An admirer of Eric Carle, Lois Ehlert, Ed Young, and Jerry Pinkney, Merz’s use of collage and gouache gives her art a very tactile, dimensional feel. She lives in Allentown, NJ with her husband and two daughters. Her interests include jazz, classical music, travel, theater and visiting museums.

Selected Reviews of Jennifer’s Books

That Dancin’ Dolly: A Retelling of Buffalo Gals, a Traditional American Song
Jennifer J. Merz
   While playing tea party in the safety of her yard, an adorable little girl and her red-haired dolly (the one with the hole in her stockin’) decide to dance. They dance and run and prance throughout the yard from morning right through to the night. This delightful book is a retelling of the traditional American song “Buffalo Gals,” which is one of those songs that you just cannot get out of your head. That is okay in this case, though, because the toe-tapping rhythm paired with the whimsically-detailed collages of Jennifer Merz will have your little girls and their dolls dancing from beginning right through to the end. This is an imagination inspiring and recommended book for moms with preschool girls who love dancing or dollies or both. It is one that needs to be read or even just looked at again and again as the collages will reveal wonderful new details every time. 2004, Dutton Children’s Books/Penguin, $15.99. Ages 3 to 5. Reviewer: Trina Heidt (Children’s Literature).

Playground Day!
Jennifer J. Merz
   Merz offers a celebratory ode to the splendor of playgrounds, her verses taking readers on an exploration of a child’s imagination… Using a collage of cut and torn papers, Merz artfully creates full-color illustrations that offer readers intriguing panoramas filled with depth and texture… Merz’s simply executed tale is a reminder to return to the basics, encouraging readers to unfetter their imaginations and embrace the creative opportunities unstructured outdoor play affords. 2007, Clarion, 32p, $16.00. Ages 3 to 6. (Kirkus Reviews, August 15, 2007)

Program Details

“From Brown Bag to Picture Book” This presentation is suitable for preK through second grade (ages 4 to 8) and includes a section on the creation of a picture book as well as a reading.

  • Groups of 15 to 20 students work best for her presentations but larger groups can be accommodated with tech support for a Power Point Presentation.

Fee: $300.00 and up.

Additional Information

To learn more about Jennifer and her publications please visit