Mercer Mayer is the writer and illustrator for Little Critter First Readers, as well as Little Critter Spectrum. He began writing and illustrating children”s books in 1966 and since that time, he has published over 300 titles. Open almost any of the award-winning author/illustrator”s books, and out may pop dragons, cuddly monsters, wonderful creatures, and endearing critters. “Most of my books are about things that happened to me when I was a little kid,” says Mercer. “Now that I” m a big kid, I write about things that happen now, especially with my own children and grandchildren. They always remind me of what it is like to be little." Born in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1943, Mercer Mayer spent his childhood hunting lizards and snakes in the swamps near his home. When he was thirteen years old, his family moved to Hawaii. After high school, he attended the Honolulu Academy of Arts and later received additional training at the Art Students League in New York City. Upon completion of his studies, he set out with pen and ink to write and illustrate a collection of children's books, reflecting many of the adventures he experienced as a child. He and his wife, Gina, write the Little Critter stories together. They live in New England. In 2007, Mr. Mayer was commissioned by Laura Bush to create the artwork used for the National Book Festival held on September 29 on the National Mall. He was an honored guest to the event, giving a demonstration and autographing hundreds of books for fans who attended.