Peggy Rathmann was born Margaret Crosby Rathmannn on March 4, 1953, in St. Paul, Minnesota. She always loved to draw. When she was in 7th grade, her brother was in 9th, and she drew beautiful campaign posters for him when he ran for student council president. (He won.) After the election, when he went to take down the posters, all of his were gone - having been taken by other students.

Peggy went to lots of colleges, changing her major repeatedly. She eventually earned a BA in psychology from the University of Minnesota.   "I wanted to teach sign language to gorillas, but after taking a class in signing, I realized what I'd rather do was draw pictures of gorillas."

She went on to study commercial art at the American Academy in Chicago, fine art at the Atelier Lack in Minneapolis, and children's-book writing and illustration at the Parsons School of Design in LA.   "I spent the first three weeks of my writing class at Otis Parsons filching characters from my classmates' stories. Finally, the teacher convinced me that even a beginning writer can create an original character if the character is driven by the writer's most secret weirdness. Eureka! A little girl with a passion for plagiarism!"   The resulting book, Ruby the Copycat, earned her Publishers Weekly's "Most Promising New Author" award in 1991, an excellent start to her career.

When Officer Buckle and Gloria won the 1996 Caldecott Medal, the publisher sold out of its remaining copies within days of the announcement. During that week, it received more back orders for this book than for any other previous Caldecott winner.

Peggy lives and works in San Francisco, in an apartment she shares with her husband, John Wick, "and a very funny bunch of ants."


Bootsie Barker Bites

Good Night, Gorilla

Officer Buckle and Gloria   (1996 Caldecott Medal)

Ruby the Copycat

Ten Minutes Till Bedtime

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