An American author of children's literature, she is most famous for her popular Puppy Place and Kitty Corner books. Her stories have been translated into both French and Spanish.
She read voraciously as a child. Early in her literary career, she was particularly inspired by the children's books of Dorothy Canfield Fisher.
Her children's books often focus on childhood pets; her own first pet was a tortoise-shell cat named Jenny.
She had no children of her own, but became an aunt to three nieces.
She and Sterling North both wrote children's stories featuring animal protagonists.