Avi was born in 1937, in the city of New York and raised in Brooklyn. He began his writing career as a playwright, and didn't start writing childrens books until he had kids of his own.
Brian Floca was born and raised in Temple, Texas. He graduated from Brown University and received his MFA from the School of Visual Arts. Brian Floca is the author and illustrator of Locomotive, winner of the 2014 Caldecott Medal. He has also written and illustrated Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11, Lightship, The Racecar Alphabet, and Five Trucks. He is the illustrator of the Poppy Stories series, by Avi; Ballet for Martha: Making Appalachian Spring, by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan; Kate Messner's Marty McGuire novels; and Lynne Cox's forthcoming Elizabeth, Queen of the Seas. His books have received four Robert F. Sibert Honor awards, an Orbis Pictus Award, an Orbis Pictus Honor, a silver medal from the Society of Illustrators, and have twice been selected for The New York Times' annual 10 Best Illustrated Books list.