Petra Mathers came to the U.S. when she was 23. She started painting the walls in her son's room and eventually had a gallery showing of her art. Friends encouraged her to try illustrating children's books. Her early books were filled with black-and-white illustrations, but Petra really wanted to do color. She has moved on and among the books that have garnered praise are Kisses from Rosa, Sophie and Lou, Patchwork Island and When It Snowed that Night. Petra now writes her own stories and accompanies them with full-color art. Her heart is in the Lottie stories and she said that she would like to be as prolific as Beatrix Potter and do scads of books. Her latest is Dodo Gets Married in which Lottie's friend Dodo meets a retired Coast Guard helicopter pilot with a wooden leg. It is a match made in heaven and the wedding preparations and big celebration bring all of her characters together at one big happy event. Petra is a self-taught artist. Her earliest works were created with crayons and cheap watercolors. Petra believes that her inspiration comes from the muses-all she really does is record what is coming to her.