Betsy Maestro was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1944. Inspired by her mother, who taught nursery school and went on to be a school guidance counselor and administrator, Maestro always wanted to be a teacher, and in preparation she filled her high school summer vacations with jobs baby-sitting, tutoring, and even supervising playgrounds. She received a Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education at Southern Connecticut State College and a Master's degree in Elementary Guidance from the same institution. Maestro taught kindergarten and first grade for 11 years, during which time she became aware of the need for imaginative nonfiction to spark children's interests.
After marrying artist Giulio Maestro in 1972, Maestro decided to try writing herself. Since then the couple has collaborated on more than 50 books for children, all of them picture books, many of them nonfiction and concept books. They have received numerous awards and citations for their work. When she is not writing, Betsy Maestro enjoys reading, cooking, photography, travel, art, and antiques. She and her husband have two children and live in Old Lyme, Connecticut.