top of page
  • NYS Writers Institute

#IndieBookstoreBoost featuring children’s author-illustrator Samantha Cotterill

Samantha Cotterill wishes there were picture books when she was growing up four decades ago that depicted someone like her, a young person on the autism spectrum. Now the mother of two teenage sons, she created the Little Senses series that will allow kids on the spectrum to recognize themselves in a playful, fun, and therapeutic way.

Samantha, who lives in Niskayuna, has joined the Writers Institute and WAMC collaboration #IndieBookstoreBoost to support her favorite local independent bookstore, The Open Door in Schenectady. She was scheduled to do an in-store event, but the store was forced to shut down as a precaution against the COVID-19 outbreak.

Samantha will sign and personalize (with a sketch) copies of her just-released new book titled Can I Play Too? It focuses on friendship and a train track construction project with two boys who argue until a teacher helps teach them how to pay attention to the feelings of others and how to express frustration and anger in a healthy way.

Can I Play Too? is the third book in the Little Senses series, which includes Nope. Never. Not for Me! and This Beach Is Loud!

Samantha is also the illustrator of the popular Charlotte and the Rock picture book (written by Stephen W. Martin) and The Secret Rhino Society (written with Jonathan E. Jacobs). The Secret Rhino Society that will be released on June 2. Copies can be pre-ordered through The Open Door bookstore.

In this interview, she talks about her creative process, which can include fabricating miniature 3-D interiors and her characters in order to create visually dynamic scenes that become the basis for her illustrations for The Secret Rhino Society and other books.

"An image from a 3D current book I’m working on, a scene from a small indie bookstore I thought fit perfectly with this mission to boost sales for our indie sellers."

-- Samantha Cotterill


To order Samantha Cotterill books:

Send an email with your name, phone number, and the titles you'd like to order The Open Door Bookstore at


Online at:

Visit Samantha Cotterill at and follow her on and


bottom of page