Don and Audrey Wood are a husband and wife children’s book writing and illustrating team. The dynamic duo are well known for great masterpieces such as Quick as a Cricket; The Napping House; The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and The Big Hungry Bear. Their books are full of wonder, magic, nature, and spectacular imagery and once you understand their magical and amazing childhoods you will understand how their lives have heavily influenced their works.
Audrey (Brewer) began her life surrounded by wonder and creativity. The fourth generation of artists, she follows in the footsteps of her parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents. Audrey was raised in a world full of creativity beginning with her early years when her family toured with the Ringling Brothers’ Circus. Both her parents worked as set designers and painters and the family toured the country with the Greatest Show On Earth.
Audrey later lived in Mexico where she learned Spanish and was influenced by the vibrant Mexican culture while her parents studied art. It was no surprise when Audrey began to show a great love of art. In their downtime her mother would read great tales and stories to Audrey, who soon discovered she loved the written word nearly as much as the beautiful images her family created.
Don was born and raised in the Central Valley in California, a rich and abundant agricultural epicenter. There his family farmed the land, working hard in the long summer months, but in the winter Don found his happiness drawing beautiful pictures heavily influenced by the beauty he witnessed in his hometown. His mother encouraged his creativity by covering the dining room table with the brown paper that the laundry came wrapped in. Soon laundry day became Don’s favorite day as he colored and drew on the longest paper ever on his family’s dining room table.
It wasn’t until the two met at the University of Berkeley that a romance stirred and a great partnership was formed. Don was working as a magazine illustrator when their son Bruce was born and Audrey’s love for children’s books began to blossom. While reading with her son she discovered a talent for creating her own fantastic stories. With her background in art she began creating incredible illustrations to go along with her words, and it just seemed natural for Don to collaborate with her.
Soon the two were creating great masterpieces like Moonflute. Soon a new career lay ahead of them both and now children of all ages have fallen in love with their books and will continue to as long as the dynamic duo continue their creative collaborations!
In my humble opinion, their book: The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and The Big Hungry Bear is worthy of an induction into the children’s literature Hall of fame, if such exist.
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