Verna Aardema was born in New Era, Michigan, in 1911. A cedar swamp in the back of her house served as her inspiration and retreat as a young aspiring writer. At Michigan State College, Verna took many writing courses, but none that were aimed at writing for children. She didn’t think about the children’s book field until many years later, when she had to make up stories to get her baby daughter to eat. Verna wrote mostly African folktales because of her fascination with that infinitely diverse continent. She published more than 25 books that have been translated into French, Spanish, Dutch, Japanese, Chinese, and Afrikaans.??Diane Dillon was born in Los Angeles in 1933. She met her future husband, Leo, when they were both studying at the Parsons School of Design in New York in 1953. They married in 1957 and became an iconic artistic duo.?The Dillons are the only illustrators to win the Caldecott Medal two years in a row, which they did in 1976 and 1977. They produced more than 100 speculative book and magazine covers together.