Jack Prelutsky, born in 1940 in Brooklyn, New York, is primarily known as a poet for children but he is also a gifted musician, actor, photographer, sculptor and potter. He proposed to his future wife, Carolynn, on the day they met; she accepted the next day. Prelutsky studied voice and first planned to be an opera singer. However, he decided he did not have the drive to sing opera, and he became a folk singer. Later he tried his hand at drawing. For fun, he wrote some short poems and made some drawings, which became his first publication. He has since published numerous books of illustrated poetry and also provided illustrations for books by other writers, including many in translation. Prelutsky never condescends to his young readers. He deals in verse with many imaginative creatures, but he also writes about people and problems such bullies, school, and fear of the dark. He is aware of the sound of his words and likes to perform his poetry to the accompaniment of the guitar. He visits schools and libraries to perform his work. Jack Prelutsky is the recipient of numerous awards. In 1977 The Children's Book Council honored him for Nightmares: Poems to Trouble Your Sleep. His other award-winners are The Mean Old Mean Hyena, The Headless Horseman Rides Tonight, and The New Kid on the Block.
Petra Mathers came to the U.S. when she was 23. She started painting the walls in her son's room and eventually had a gallery showing of her art. Friends encouraged her to try illustrating children's books. Her early books were filled with black-and-white illustrations, but Petra really wanted to do color. She has moved on and among the books that have garnered praise are Kisses from Rosa, Sophie and Lou, Patchwork Island and When It Snowed that Night. Petra now writes her own stories and accompanies them with full-color art. Her heart is in the Lottie stories and she said that she would like to be as prolific as Beatrix Potter and do scads of books. Her latest is Dodo Gets Married in which Lottie's friend Dodo meets a retired Coast Guard helicopter pilot with a wooden leg. It is a match made in heaven and the wedding preparations and big celebration bring all of her characters together at one big happy event. Petra is a self-taught artist. Her earliest works were created with crayons and cheap watercolors. Petra believes that her inspiration comes from the muses-all she really does is record what is coming to her.