Eileen Christelow was born in Washington, D.C., on April 22, 1943. As a child, books were a huge part of Christelow's life: they were always presents for her birthday and Christmas, as well as when she was sick. Much of her childhood was spent reading and rereading them. In high school, Christelow wrote stories for the school magazine, and planned on majoring in English in college. Instead, when Christelow entered her freshman year at college she became interested in art history and eventually found her true passion in photography. Christelow received her B.A. degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1965, and soon after she began photographing buildings for architects and shooting photo essays on urban life for small magazines. While earning a living as a photographer and graphic designer, Christelow began experimenting with writing and illustrating children's picture books. Her first published book, Henry and the Red Stripes, was inspired by a poster she created for a science museum. Many of Christelow's books, including Don't Wake Up Mama!, Five Little Monkeys Sitting in a Tree, and Henry and the Dragon, have been named Children's Choice Books of the Year by the Children's Book Council and the International Reading Association. A member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, Christelow has published over a dozen books and her photographs have appeared in publications such as Home, Progressive Architecture, and the New York Times Book Review. Christelow lives in Vermont.