Ruth Krauss was born in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1911. She attended the Peabody Institute of Music in Baltimore and received a BA from the Parson’s School of Applied Art in New York City. During the 1940s and 1950s, Krauss spent time at the Bank Street Writer's Laboratory, where authors were encouraged to work directly with children; her A Hole Is to Dig (published in 1952) was written collaboratively with nursery school students and was illustrated by Maurice Sendak. The many outstanding illustrators Krauss worked with in the course of her long career include her husband, Crockett Johnson, the creator of the comic strip Barnaby and author of Harold and the Purple Crayon. A playwright and poet, as well as an author for children, Krauss died in 1993 at the age of 81.