Mem Fox is Australia's best-known children's book author. Her books are tremendously popular in the U.S. as well, and she has traveled widely as a writer, teacher, and passionate proponent of reading aloud to children.
You can also see our exclusive video interview with writer and illustrator Helen Oxenbury, Fox's partner on Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes.
Mem Fox was born in Australia but moved as an infant with her missionary parents to Zimbabwe (then known as Rhodesia) in Africa. The young Mem attended a mission school where children learned to write first in the earth and later on slates. In the 1960s, Mem Fox attended drama school in London where she later met and married her husband and developed a fondness for dying her hair what is now her signature color: red. Her first book, Possum Magic, has become a favorite in Australia as well as in the United States. It was written when her daughter, an avid reader, was seven years old and Mem Fox discovered children's literature when taking a college course.
In 1981, Mem Fox decided to change fields, going from drama to literacy to learn how children gain these skills. She worked with teachers at the university level, but took an early retirement to lecture about her passion as a literacy consultant. Her book Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to Our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever is a very personal one written from one parent to another on the profound and long-lasting benefits of reading aloud to your children each day, even as they become independent readers. She continues to write books for young readers. Her sense of story comes from her drama background they are rich in language and emotions.