Margaret Mahy was born on March 21, 1936 in Whakatane, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand. She received a B.A. degree from the University of New Zealand. She worked as a nurse, an assistant librarian, and a children's librarian in England and New Zealand. Her first book, A Lion in the Meadow, was published in 1969. She became a full-time author in 1980. During her lifetime, she wrote more than 120 children's books including The Haunting, The Changeover, Memory, A Lion in the Meadow, The Seven Chinese Brothers, and The Man Whose Mother Was a Pirate. She won the Esther Glen Award five times, the Carnegie Medal of the British Library Association three times, the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, Hans Christian Andersen Award, and in 1999, she won the New Zealand Post Children's Book Award in two categories, Picture Book and Supreme Award. She died after a brief illness on July 23, 2012 at the age of 76.
Gavin Bishop, writer and illustrator of more than 20 children's books, was born in Invercargill, New Zealand. He studied paint at the Canterbury University School of Fine Arts in Christchurch. Bishop has been a professor and lectured extensively throughout New Zealand. He lectured in China at the invitation of UNESCO. In addition to his books, which often reflect his Maori heritage, Bishop has written two ballets and two TV series based on his first book, Bidibidi. He is the winner of the Russell Clark Medal for Illustration (1982), the Grand Prix in the Japanese Noma Concours for Children's Book Illustration (1984) and the New Zealand Children's Picture Book of the Year (1982, 1984).