Jon Scieszka was born September 8, 1954 in Flint , Michigan. After he graduated from Culver Military Academy where he was a Lieutenant, he studied to be a doctor at Albion College. He changed career directions and attended Columbia University where he received a Master of Fine Arts degree in 1980. Before he became a full time writer, Scieszka was a lifeguard, painted factories, houses, and apartments and also wrote for magazines. He taught elementary school in New York for ten years as a 1st grade assistant, a 2nd grade homeroom teacher, and a computer, math, science and history teacher in 3rd - 8th grade. He decided to take off a year from teaching in order to work with Lane Smith, an illustrator, to develop ideas for children's books. His book, The Stinky Cheese Man received the 1994 Rhode Island Children's Book Award. Scieszka's Math Curse, illustrated by Lane Smith, was an American Library Association Notable Book in 1996; a Blue Ribbon Book from the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books in 1995; and a Publisher's Weekly Best Children's Book in 1995. The Stinky Cheese Man received Georgia's 1997 Children's Choice Award and Wisconsin's The Golden Archer Award. Math Curse received Maine's Student Book Award, The Texas Bluebonnet Award and New Hampshire's The Great Stone Face Book Award in 1997.
Lane Smith is a writer and an illustrator. Lane's titles with Jon Scieszka have included the Caldecott Honor winner The Stinky Cheese Man; The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs; Math Curse; and Science Verse. He wrote and illustrated Madam President and John, Paul, George & Ben which were both New York Times and Publishers Weekly bestsellers. Lane's other high profile titles include Hooray for Diffendoofer Day! by Dr. Seuss and Jack Prelutsky; The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip by George Saunders; Big Plans by Bob Shea; and James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl. He also served as Conceptual Designer on the Disney film version of James and the Giant Peach. Lane also wrote and illustrated The Happy Hocky Family and The Happy Hocky Family Moves to the Country.