Most famous for his 1997 Caldecott Medal-winning work Golem, this children's author and illustrator also penned Sumo Mouse, Tough Cookie, and other popular books for young readers.
After briefly attending the University of Maryland, he enrolled at Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey's Clown College and later worked for Prince George's Country Puppet Theatre.
When his children were young, he became a full-time writer.
He was born in England, and he later lived in Maryland and Virginia, U.S.A. He and his wife, Donna Harris, founded an educational touring puppet troupe known as the Clarion Shadow Theatre.
He and fellow writer and illustrator Kevin Henkes were both recipients of the prestigious Caldecott Medal for children's literature.