In her Own Words..."Igrew up in a valley four miles from Jollyville, Texas (outside of Austin), where I attended first grade in a threeroom school. Friends and playmates, other than my brother and sister, were rare. Since we didn't have television, I entertained myself. Any movie, comic book, or old Nalional Geographic " fed my imagination with stories."Books were time-travel machines carrying me around the world and into other lives. I took what I read, then changed it, adding different characters to make the stories my own. I played these out with homemade paper dolls. At the end of the day, my characters were swept into a box and hidden away so that no one would find them and laugh at me."The only hint that I might one day write came while I lay sick, whining over my inability to do the things I dreamed of. My mother suggested I could write. Then I could do whatever I wanted without ever leaving my bed. That was not what I had in mind. I wanted to have the kind of wild adventures that another sickly child, Robert Louis Stevenson, wrote about."Among my favorite books were Bambi, The Jungle Book, and The Wind in the Willows --all with friendly animals. Living in the country, I heard foxes and raccoons kill our chickens. Even gathering eggs could be frightening. Chicken snakes, swollen with swallowed eggs, often lay coiled in dark nests. I decided to tame the wild world and bring it inside to live. I tried rabbits, snakes, hawks, and a fox, but discovered that wild things do best in the wild, just as waves are best left in the ocean."When other children ran outside to play, I hung around listening to the grown-ups. One day, my grandfather offered to tell me about when he and his brother went to the Klondike, or the time they drove cattle from Texas to the Dakotas. I was thrilled. Until my grandmother said, "That child doesn't want to hear your old tales." Later, when traveling, I found myself searching for his lost stories."What I wanted to do with my life changed depending upon the day, the month, and year. I planned to run a museum, raise angora goats, be a composer, play the violin, dig for lost civilizations, work in a zoo, sail around the world, save the planet from humanity, explore the Amazon basin, collect unknown orchid species, be a photographer, and drive from Alaska to the tip of South America."It wasn't until after I had graduated from college that I began to write. Then, needing to earn a living, I became an accountant. That didn't last. Encouraged by my husband, Carl, I escaped and returned to writing."As a child, I liked pretending I was grown. But now that I'm grown, I like nothing better than pretending I'm a child again."
Mark Buehner was born in Salt Lake City, Utah in 1959. He is the award-winning illustrator of numerous children's books, including some that were written by his wife, Caralyn Buehner. He has illustrated such works as Snowmen at Night, Fanny's Dream, The Adventures of Taxi Dog, The Escape of Marvin the Ape, The Queen of Style, and Balloon Farm. He won a Best Picture Book from Publishers Weekly for My Life with the Wave (1998).