A prolific American poet and author of young adult fiction, she is known for works such as A Full Moon is Rising and A Strange Place to Call Home. Her nonfiction works include Caterpillars, A Pair of Wings, and Exotic Birds.
She studied at New York University and at Queens College, City University of New York. She published her first children's picture book, The Dog Who Insisted He Wasn't, in 1976.
She taught high school English in New York City before becoming an acclaimed, multi-genre author.
She was born in the Bronx and raised on Long Island. She later settled in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn.
She is a contemporary of fellow American children's book author, Mercer Mayer.