Playing with Osito, Jugando con Baby Bear (Barranca Press, 2018) was written in collaboration with Lisa Maria Burgess.


iSee You Later, Amigo! (Barranca Press, 2016) was written by Peter Laufer, my brother. In a sweet, gentle story about a little girl, her school friends and her grandmother, this book deals openly, warmly and realistically with Spanglish as their third language.


Suzy and Peter back in the day


Prairie Dog Song (Lee & Low Books, 2016) was written in collaboration with Cindy Trumbore.


Parrots Over Puerto Rico (Lee & Low Books, 2013) was written in collaboration with Cindy Trumbore.


Cindy Trumbore and I are in New Mexico.


In 2009 I told my friend Karen Leggett Abouraya that I was on my way to see the pyramids. She LOUDLY INSISTED (and succeeded in persuading me) that we include Alexandria in our itinerary.

The Alexandria addition turned out to be a life-changing event for me and its inspiration grew into our continuing collaborations.


Hands Around the Library (Dial Books For Young Readers, 2012) was just the beginning. There have been several related honors, adventures and activities including my second trip to Alexandria, that time with Karen, when we both spoke at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina.


Malala Yousafzai, Warrior With Words (StarWalk Kids Media, 2014) was our second collaboration (under my pen name, L.C. Wheatley). In addition to English it has been published in Spanish, Danish, Swedish and Korean. A Chinese edition is expected momentarily.

In 2019, Lee & Low Books published a new edition of Malala Yousafzai, Warrior With Words (Susan L. Roth) in both Spanish and English.

And, best of all, we have more collaborations cooking...

Karen Leggett Abouraya and I pose in front of her Egyptian applique.



Listen to the Wind (Dial Books for Young Readers, 2009) was written in collaboration with Greg Mortenson.

But every published book requires an enormous amount of “backstage collaboration”, too. Besides the essential participation of my editor, Alisha Niehaus, and my designer, Teresa Kietlinski, I was privileged to have yet another major, albeit unsung, collaborator on this project. That heroine, or “backstage collaborator” of Listen to the Wind was Julia Bergman.

Julia Bergman was the first person to tell me the story of the building of the Korphe school, and I was the first person to hear the account of her first trip to Korphe, Pakistan. Her descriptions of the twenty-four varieties of apricots (in every shade of orange in the universe) found in the high valleys below Korphe, are as vivid for me today as they were when she told me many years ago.

When I expressed my great desire to write and to illustrate Listen to the Wind, Julia encouraged me immediately, and never faltered in her support. She was perpetually available for discussion, as a source and as a source of sources of information. She sent me artifacts, books, and photographs to study.

She never tired, nor did she ever encourage me to give it all up, not even once, during the twelve long years of my struggle to get this book published. “Onward!” is what Julia always said to me at every turn.

In a way, this long gestation period, often full of frustrations, helped to make the lovely whole year (often NUMBER ONE) on the New York Times Bestseller Picture Book List even sweeter.



And then there was Do Re Mi (Houghton Mifflin, 2006), written in collaborazione with Angelo Mafucci. Angelo helped me all along the way with this book, providing me with invaluable, scholarly information on my subject, and with introductions to all the people and places I needed to visit and to know. He gave me keys to his city. He shared his cathedral, his school and his choir.



Angelo Mafucci and I presented Do Re Mi to Pope Benedict XVI in Rome on
September 5, 2007. Do Re Mi is now officially part of The Vatican Library.

No collaboration was ever as difficult - or as rewarding - as the one that Nancy Patz and I shared when we both wrote and both illustrated together, Babies Can’t Eat Kimchee! (Bloomsbury Children’s Books, 2007). It may not sound so difficult to integrate two very different styles of art work into one cohesive whole, but it is.

Nancy Patz and I are celebrating Babies Can't Eat Kimchee! at the launch party in
The Children's Bookstore, Baltimore Maryland, January, 2007, with wine and kimCHEESE.



Collaborations are great for ideas, support, courage, encouragement, and, above all, fun. Made in Mexico (National Geographic Society, 2000) was created in collaboration with my brother, Peter Laufer. He insisted that we take a trip to Paracho in order to research the book. The visit to Paracho inspired every illustration, and we had a wonderful time besides.



I began writing and illustrating children's books in collaboration with Ruth Phang. Patchwork Tales (Atheneum, 1984) was first, followed by We Build A Climber (Atheneum, 1986).

Even though Ruth went on to become a children's librarian, she still helped me with almost every book I did: editing, encouraging, supporting and sharing her ideas, knowledge and experience. Ruth and I collaborated on My Favorite Things (Hansol, Korea, 2008) and Look at Me. Most recently, we collaborated on Leo and Sam and Sam and Leo (StarWalk Kids Media, 2013). This is the story of true friendship, dedicated to the real Sam and the real Leo, our grandsons, who are really friends.