After our teacher read aloud Harriet the Spy, my childhood best friend and I started our own detective agency. We dressed in disguises and roamed the neighborhood observing people and taking notes. Back at spy headquarters (my friend’s house) we shared these discoveries and tried to make sense of the lives of others. Our play evolved, and soon every day after school we rushed home to write, illustrate, and read aloud our original stories to each other. By age ten I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up.
I have illustrated over twenty-five award-winning books for children, and have also written three including: The East-West House: Noguchi’s Childhood in Japan; Dreaming Up: A Celebration of Building, which was an ALA Notable, a Horn Book Honor Award winner, an International Reading Association Honor Award winner, and more; and Water Land: Land and Water Forms Around the World. I also work as an art director, designer, and educator. I teach “Writing for Picture Books” at the Academy of Art in San Francisco. I live with my family in Palo Alto, CA.