My love of storytelling has been an integral part of my life since I was a child. My first memories are of Sarasota, Florida, at the winter quarters of the Ringling Brothers Circus. There my father, a young art student, earned extra money by repainting the big top and sideshows. My mother often took me to watch him work and made up wonderful stories about the people in the brightly colored murals of the tallest man in the world, the snake woman, and the fat lady who couldn't stand up. Later, as the eldest of three sisters, I naturally fell into the role of storyteller. With my sisters as an audience, I would open one of my parents' colorful art books and make up stories about the paintings. By the time I reached fourth grade, I had two burning ambitions: I wanted to live in Dr. Dolittle's house, and I wanted to write and illustrate children's books. I am proud to have accomplished the latter, and although I do not live in Dr. Dolittle's house, I am sure he would feel quite at home in mine. We enjoy the company of numerous animal friends, many of whom are characters in my books. For me, the creation of a children's picture book provides so many creative possibilities. Each book combines many disciplines art, music, drama, literature, and even dance. Writing and illustrating picture books is, for this reason, a demanding art, but it is also rewarding, because every project carries its own unique sense of wonder and excitement into my daily life.