Alice McLerran was an "Army brat" and moved every year or so -- from Hawaii to Germany, from New York to Ecuador. She still leads a gypsy life, traveling the world with her physicist husband and dividing time between their home in New York and their "dacha" in the mountains of Oregon. She's happy to visit schools anywhere! The McLerran cat, Shuwa, prefers to stay home. "Children often ask me how I started being a writer, and I tell them: by loving stories. My mother made up stories at bedtime, and my grandmother was a story-teller as well. I always read, and read, and read. I think most writers do. One bit of luck, I think, was that from the first I wrote for others. Over the years I made countless poems and little books as gifts. When you write for real readers, of course you want to do your best.
Cynthia Rylant is the acclaimed author of more than eighty books for young people, including the novel Missing May, which received the John Newbery Medal. She lives on an island in Puget Sound, Washington. Jill Kastner is the illustrator of many books for children, including The Waterfall and her own Barnyard Big Top and Snake Hunt. A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, she lives in Weehawken, New Jersey.