Audrey and Don Wood have collaborated on more than 50 books for children. Their internationally known books — including The Napping House, Heckedy Peg, and King Bidgood’s in the Bathtub (a 1986 Caldecott Honor book) — have been translated into many languages including Gaelic, Greek, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, French and Spanish. Both Audrey and Don write and illustrate their books, depending on the particular project.
You can watch the interview below, view the interview transcript, read a short biography of Audrey and Don Wood, or see a selected list of their children's books.
Audrey Wood has written many popular picture books, including the bestselling The Napping House (and the companion book, Full Moon at the Napping House), Weird Parents, Piggies, and Heckedy Peg.
Storytelling came early in Audrey’s life. Her father was employed by Ringling Brothers Circus, commissioned to paint the big top and sideshow murals. Audrey heard stories about all the circus folks from the family of "little people" who lived next door.
As the oldest of three daughters, Audrey began telling stories to her younger sisters, using her parents' art books to make up stories about the paintings. Although she has always been interested in writing children’s books, it was the birth of her son Bruce that inspired her to begin her journey as a writer. Audrey’s husband, Don, is the illustrator of many of her books. Their first book together was Moonflute.
Audrey expresses her love of art, music, drama, dance, and writing through her picture books. Sh especially enjoys writing and reading aloud “step-and-repeat” stories — such as The Napping House — that showcase the "music of language.”
Don Wood was born and raised on a farm in the Central Valley of California — one of the most fertile farming areas in the country. His family grew peaches, sweet potatoes, almonds, grapes, and oranges. By the time Don was 11 years old, he had forty acres of potatoes to take care of by himself (that's a lot of potatoes!).
At that same young age, Don decided to be an artist. Since summer was so busy, winter was his time to draw. “I could never find pieces of paper big enough. In those days, the laundry came wrapped in light-brown crinkle paper. One day my mother had an idea. She ironed the crinkles out of the paper and gave it to me. At last! A giant piece of paper! It covered the entire kitchen table. From then on, laundry day was art day.”
Don attended college at the University of California at Santa Barbara and did graduate work at the California College of Arts and Crafts. He met Audrey at Berkeley while studying there. When Audrey began to write children's picture books, Don was illustrating magazines and it seemed natural for him to illustrate one of her books. He enjoyed it so much that he’s been illustrating children's picture books ever since.
After making a home in Hawaii for many years, Audrey and Don Wood now live in Santa Barbara, California.
Learn more at Audrey Wood’s official website.