Brian Selznick has been working as an author and illustrator for a number of years. His fanciful, cartoon-like drawings can be seen on many books, some of which I'm sure you are familiar. Having attended The Rhode Island School of Design and then working at Eeyore's Books for Children in NYC, Selznick developed of love for children's books. His first book, The Houdini Box was publishing in 1991, quickly followed by titles such as Frindle, The Doll People, Mary's Ghost, When Marian Sang, and the Newbery Award Winning The Invention of Hugo Cabret.
Kate Douglas Wiggin was born in 1856 in Philadelphia. Her father died during the Civil War, leaving Kate and her sister Nora to be raised by their young widowed mother. They moved to Portland, Maine a few years after her father's death, where he mother remarried. A baby brother was born. Education in such a rural area was stilted, consisting of some public education, a finishing school, and home schooling. Even with this limited schooling, Kate still received more education than most girls of her time period. In 1873 Kate and her family moved to San Francisco as her step-father was ailing, sadly he died three years later of a lung disease.
Kate was devoted to education and the well-being of children, often fighting against child labor in an era when such things were rarely thought about. Kate loved the wild ways of the street children she taught, but had to resign from teaching as was the custom at the time when she married Bradley Wiggin. Still, Kate continued to devote herself to the children, raising money through her writing starting with her first story The Story of Patsy and The Birds' Christmas Carol. Kate never had children and when her husband died in 1989, Kate moved back to Maine. Kate was said to have grieved and wear widow's black for the rest of her life, but that did not stop her from traveling and writing. Her most popular and famous novel is Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. Among her other stories were The Old Peabody Pew, Penelope's Experience in Scotland, Mother Carey's Chickens, along with several non-fiction pieces speaking out against child labor. All the proceeds from Kate's books went to her living costs and the children she loved so much.
From very early in life, LeUyen Pham has been touched with luck. At the age of two, her family escaped on the very last transport ship out of Saigon right before the Vietnam War broke out. Her father worked for the CIA, and his connections helped them escape to California. Despite her parents dream to become a lawyer, and her degree in political science, Pham knew she would never be a lawyer. Pham won a scholarship thanks to a mentoring profesor and spent the next three years in an accelerated art program. Pham then had another stroke of luck when she landed a job just out of college working for Dreamworks. On the side Pham strted to illustrate picture books. Her first book The Sugarcane House was done in pencil illustrations. She has now illustrated over 30 books including Can You Do This, Old Badger?, Big Sister, Little Sister, A Father Like That, Freckleface Strawberry, Alvin Ho, Bedtime for Mommy, God's Dream, and Grace for President.