Angela Johnson was born on June 18, 1961 in Tuskegee, Alabama. She attended Kent State University and worked with Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) as a child development worker. She is currently a free-lance writer of children's books. In 1999 she won the Coretta Scott King Author's Award for her novel entitled, Heaven. She won the award a second time with Toning the Sweep. In 2004, her novel The First Part Last earned her a third Coretta Scott King award, as well as the Michael L. Printz Award, given for excellence in young adult literature. In late 2003 she was the recipient of an extraordinary honor. She was named a MacArthur fellow, receiving a $500,000 grant known as the "genius" grant. The prize came from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, a private organization that awards grants to exceptionally talented people in a variety of creative fields.
Loren Long is a New York Times best-selling illustrator. Loren has illustrated Watty Piper's The Little Engine That Could and Madonna's Mr. Peabody's Apples. His other New York Times best-selling books include: Toy Boat by Randall DeSeve which won the 2008 Great Lakes Book Award for Children's Picture Book, Angela and the Baby Jesus by the Pulitzer Prize winning author Frank McCourt, and the chapter book series Sluggers that he created with Phil Bildner. Loren's first picture book, Angela Johnson's I Dream of Trains, won the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators Golden Kite Award for picture book illustration. His version of Walt Whitman's When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer was a Golden Kite Honor Book. Recently, Loren has written and illustrated two picture books, Drummer Boy and Otis. Loren lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with his wife and children.