Elvira Woodruff was born in Somerville, New Jersey, in 1951. She wrote her first poem at age 9, and remembers fondly the excitement and joy of creation — feelings with which she has become familiar in the many creative activities she has pursued in her varied life and career. After attending Adelphi and Boston Universities, she worked variously as a janitor, a gardener, a baker, a window decorator, a library aide, and an ice cream truck driver; she also owned a store that sold toys and clothing. Helped by her cousin, author/illustrator Frank Asch, Woodruff began writing for children when she was in her thirties. Though she found the work difficult at first, she discovered that old joyful feeling again, and persevered, publishing her first middle-grade novel, Awfully Short for the Fourth Grade, in 1989.
Since then, Woodruff has written more than 20 books for children, including picture books, historical fiction, and light-hearted fantasy. Research for her books has taken her as far away as Italy, England, and France. Woodruff enjoys making presentations at schools, grabbing the attention of her young audiences with wit, wigs, and a suitcase of wacky props. The mother of two, she makes her home near Allentown, Pennsylvania.