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Author, Anita Vestal, and illustrator, Diane Schuman, are childhood friends from school days in Ridgewood NJ. Both live in central Florida now and team up for creative projects now and then.
As a very young child, Diane learned to love the world of art by drawing and painting alongside her father, Joseph A. Bonafede, "The Painting Bartender". She also inherited talent from her grandfather, Ugo Catani, an accomplished artist and professor with studios in Italy, England and Australia. Diane studied art in Ridgewood NJ and briefly at Syracuse University. Art has always been a part of her life, personally and as a hobby. Diane is married to Albert Schuman and has three children, Matthew, Erica and Justin. She and husband Al live in Lithia, Florida.
Anita has had many professional endeavors including authoring two books and many articles of a scholarly nature that address peacebuilding with young children. Anita started her career with Peace Corps service in Latin America and later dedicated many years to training and professional development in the federal Head Start program nationwide. Currently she is a certified mediator, an accredited teacher of T'ai Chi Chih and a college professor. Known to her students as Dr. V, Anita splits her time between Latin America and central Florida. She is one of seven Vestal sisters, with one son, Daven, and many nieces and nephews.