Born in 1958, Michael Dooling grew up in the small town of Marlton, NJ surrounded by peach and apple orchards. As a young boy he played baseball, built tree houses, had snowball fights and even had a paper route. He also loved to read and draw--a combination that eventually led to illustrating children's books. His mother Patricia always encouraged him to draw and more often than not he could be found 'doodling' away.He loved adventure stories, mystery, and especially characters in costume like Sherlock Holmes and Blackbeard. Today, many years later he still likes characters in costume. In fact, he poses for many of the characters in his books. "Everyday at my house is like Halloween," Michael says. His family and friends also pose in costume for many of the characters. The covers and pages of his books are adorned with illustrations of his family and neighborhood children. He and his wife Jane have acquired an extensive collection of vintage clothes and costumes, which they may cut, shape or sew into something suitable for a pirate or one of Santa's elves.Because of his fascination with the past, he is drawn to illustrating books about history. To research his subjects, Michael travels to the actual historic site, whenever possible. Michael is the illustrator of numerous picture books, chapter books and middle grade novels. Michael likes to share his experiences with children and adults when he visits schools and librarian conferences. His inspiring and captivating assembly program titled, History Through Picture Books is a behind the scenes look at creating a children's book; how he tells a visual story with emotion, color, body posture, facial expression, perspective and value. It is a mixture of a history lesson and an art lesson. He, of course, wears a costume and even paints a face.Michael is a member of the Society of Illustrators, a graduate of Syracuse University's MFA program and has exhibited in many galleries and museums. Michael has also served as a juror on the Society's annual show and as a juror for the Original Art children's book show. In the past Michael has taught a course in children's books at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia.Michael has authored two books, Young Thomas Edison and The Great Horseless Carriage Race, the true story of America's first automobile race. The winner of this race started America's first automobile company in 1896.Everyday really is like Halloween. While working on his book Robin Hook, Pirate Hunter, Michael could periodically be seen parading in a pirate costume around his old Victorian home in Audubon, NJ where he lives with his wife Jane and daughters, Rachel and Lisa.