Bruce Degen has loved art ever since he was a child growing up in Brooklyn, New York. "In sixth grade I had a wonderful teacher who would let me stand in the back of the room and paint all the time," Degen remembers. "Once I didn't even have to take a spelling test." When he wasn't drawing and painting, Mr. Degen loved to read books about bears, fantasy and science fiction.
Mr. Degen has written and illustrated several books among them Jamberry and Sailaway Home, and he has illustrated Nancy White Carlstrom's Jesse Bear books and Jane Yolen's Commander Toad series, in addition to The Magic School Bus books. "The nice thing about books is that they go out into the world. When a kid, parent, or teacher tells you how much he or she likes your book, you realize that you've given something that has become part of someone else's life," Degen says.