Petra Mathers was born in 1945 in Todtmoos, Germany and immigrated to the United States as a young woman. She has written and illustrated many books for children. The four-time winner of the annual New York Times prize for Best Illustrated Children's Book won the Ezra Jack Keats Medal for her first book Maria Theresa.
Before moving to the US, Mathers worked in a bookstore in Germany. Her first American career was a painter although she also worked as a waitress to "make ends meet."
Mathers has reported that she loves chickens, and her "Lottie's World" series, feature Lottie, a chicken, and her best friend, Herbie, a duck. Her latest book, Pierre in Love, written by Sara Pennypacker will be published in January 2007.
Mathers lives with her husband, Michael, beside the mighty Columbia River in Oregon.