Russell Hoban was born in Lansdale, Pennsylvania on February 4, 1925. He attended art school in Philadelphia and during World War II, he served in the Army and earned a Bronze Star. He taught art in New York and Connecticut, and also worked as an advertising copywriter and a freelance illustrator before beginning his career as a writer. He began publishing children's books in the late 1950s, including What Does It Do and How Does It Work?, Bedtime for Frances and the six other books featuring Frances, The Story of Hester Mouse Who Became a Writer, What Happened When Jack and Daisy Tried to Fool the Tooth Fairies, and The Mouse and His Child, which was adapted as an animated film in 1977. In 1973, he published his first adult novel, The Lion of Boaz-Jachin and Jachin-Boaz. His other books for adults include Turtle Diary, Pilgermann, and Ridley Walker. He received the John W. Campbell Memorial Award and the Australian Science Fiction Achievement Award for Ridley Walker. He died on December 13 at the age of 86.
Award-winning illustrator and children's author, Quentin Blake was born in 1932. His first drawings were published in "Punch" when he was 16. He has illustrated almost 300 titles some in collaboration with famous writers such as Russell Hoban, John Yeoman and Roald Dahl. He is the creator of characters such as Mister Magnolia and Mrs. Armitage. His works have earned him numerous awards including the Whitbread Award, the Kate Greenaway Medal, the Emil/Kurt Maschler Award, the Bologna Ragazzi Prize, and in 2002 the Hans Christian Andersen Award for Illustration. In 1999, he was selected as the First Children's Laureate.