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MARTY EPSTEIN

        Perhaps because her mother was a math teacher, Marty grew up loving numbers and all things "quantitative." As a child, she struggled with reading and took only one English class in college (it was required). Once her sons were born and she started reading to them everything changed. Marty developed a passion for children's literature as well as for writing for children. Her sons inspired her two non-math children's books—The Magic Box: When Parents Can't be There to Tuck You In (Magination Press) and the rhyming Casey and Derek on the Ice (Chronicle Books). Casey and Derek on the Ice was called "a little treasure" by the Toronto Star, Kirkus Reviews applauded its "larger-than-life" plot, and the Montreal Gazette raved, "Hockey story, pictures skate to glory." It is listed among hockey books recommended by librarians.

        Eventually, her love of writing for children and her passion for math joined forces, and the idea for SMILING DOG ™ MATH books was born. Marty works with illustrator Darrin Pepe to keep the books fun, but the books are designed to address a serious issue—poor math fluency among so many U.S. children.

        Marty's motivation to be part of the effort to improve children's math enjoyment and fluency is deeply personal. Years ago, one of her children started hating and struggling with math. She was able to help, but it motivated her to research math proficiency in this country. That's when she learned it was a big problem. SMILING DOG ™ MATH books are her way of helping (along with volunteering and tutoring math).

        The SMILING DOG ™ logo was inspired by Marty's mischievous terriers, whose antics feature prominently in the books. Oh, yes, her son who struggled with math years ago went on to major in math in college, and his brother majors in physics.

        Marty grew up in Massachusetts, studied economics and psychology at Williams College (Phi Beta Kappa and Magna Cum Laude) and has an MBA from Harvard (graduating with honors) as well as a Master's degree in Psychology from Penn State. She loves winter and winter sports and was a top competitive ski racer in college (Division I All American). Another way her interests merged (winter sports and math), is that while she was living in Utah, she tutored Olympic Slopestyle Medalist and X Games Champion, Nick Goepper, in pre-calculus.

        She once again calls Massachusetts home.