About June


June Sobel, the oldest of four sisters, was born in Queens, New York. Her father, Arthur Sobel, a CPA, met her mother, Clara Levine, when he winked at her across the dance floor at the Grossinger’s Hotel. Clara encouraged a love of reading in her daughters from an early age. Trips to the local library were a routine part of June’s childhood when the family moved to the Long Island suburb of Oceanside, New York. June also loved to draw and paint. In high school, her Saturday classes at the Art Student’s League in New York City influenced her decision to major in art in college. June received a Studio Art degree from Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York. After spending two years as a graphic designer in the music industry, she moved to California to pursue an MFA in Painting at Stanford University. Upon graduation, June received an individual grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

For a while, June juggled a fine art and graphic design career. Her paintings and drawings were exhibited at many museums and galleries throughout the United States including the Smithsonian and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. As a freelance artist, she created illustrations for the gift and stationery industries, toy companies and advertising agencies.

With the birth of her son, Adam, June rediscovered the read-aloud magic of books for the very young. She collected picture books long before she became a mother. When her toddler grew obsessed with heavy equipment at two years old, she wrote the book she couldn’t find, an ABC book about construction that also told a story. B Is For Bulldozer – A Construction ABC (illustrated by Melissa Iwai) became her first book. It was followed by another rollicking alphabet adventure, Shiver Me Letters – A Pirate ABC (illustrated by Henry Cole.) A cross-country train trip inspired the bedtime travels of her bestseller The Goodnight Train (illustrated by Laura Huliska-Beith).

The success of The Goodnight Train has led to four subsequent picture books including a Halloween themed edition that debuted in 2022. Tow Truck Joe launched a new series about an animated, problem solving tow truck and his helpful best friend, a pup named Patch. Tow Truck Joe Makes A Splash brought summer fun in May 2021. Readers can look forward to Ho! Ho! Ho! Tow Truck Joe (Clarion/Harper Collins – 2023) and First Day! Hooray! (Clarion/Harper Collins – 2024) coming soon.

June lives in Westlake Village, California with her husband, Mark Raudonis.

Author Visits

June is available for school visits, library visits, Zoom chats and more.

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Check Out the View From My Office!

I work in a room with a view of the Santa Monica Mountains. Having grown up in a flat place, I longed to live near mountain. My dreams came true! Check out my Instagram account to see the ever-changing vista outside my window.


Ten Things About Me

1. I saved the life of a butterfly when I scared a cat.

2. I try to read at least 50 books a year.

3. I took my driving test 5 times. It’s a long story.

4. I love to talk to dogs and babies.

5. I collect odd words like rasceta, clishmaclaver and flumadiddle in a little notebook.

6. I was in a hitchhiking contest across upstate New York that ended in a tie.

7. I opened my door one day to find a flopping fish jumped out of the koi pond in front of my house. I picked it up and saved its life.

8. I wanted to be a cowgirl when I grew up.

9. I have heli-hiked in the Bugaboos and communed with penguins in Patagonia.

10. I love halvah, Satsuma tangerines, salted caramel and dark chocolate.