Author and illustrator Blair Lent was born on January 20, 1929 in Boston, Massachusetts. He received a degree in art from the Boston Museum School in 1953. He travelled to Switzerland and Italy on a study grant and then worked for the Container Corporation of America designing tin-can labels and for the Bresnick Advertising Company designing bank loan advertisements. He wrote and illustrated Pistachio, which was published in 1964. He also wrote and illustrated John Tabor's Ride (1966); Baba Yaga (1966) using the name Ernest Small; Bayberry Bluff (1987); Molasses Flood (1992); and Ruby and Fred (2000). He specialized in illustrating international folk tales retold by other writers including The Wave (1964); Tikki Tikki Tembo (1968); Why the Sun and the Moon Live in the Sky (1968); Little Match Girl (1968); and The Funny Little Woman, which won the Caldecott Medal in 1973. He died of pneumonia on January 27, 2009 at the age of 80.