Anita Lobel, née Kempler, was born in Krakow, Poland, to a Jewish merchant family. She was barely five years old when the Nazis invaded in World War II. She, her brother, and their nanny were sent to the countryside for their safety, and were forced into hiding for the next four and a half years. They moved from place to place, landing in the Krakow ghetto, and finally in a convent, where the Nazis caught them. She and her brother were then sent to Ravensbrück concentration camp, but survived, and were rescued in 1945 by the Swedish Red Cross. The siblings were reunited with their parents in Sweden in 1947. In 1952, the family emigrated to the USA, settling in New York City, where she graduated from high school and earned a B.F.A. in fine arts from the Pratt Institute. After graduation, she worked for several years as a textile designer before beginning to illustrate and write books for children. Her third book, Potatoes, Potatoes, is based partly on her childhood in Poland. For many years, she worked with her husband Arnold Lobel, also an author-illustrator with whom she had two children. In 1998, she published No Pretty Pictures, a memoir of her childhood. She has received numerous awards for her work, including three Best Illustrated Book selections from the New York Times Book Review, two Boston Globe/Horn Book Awards for illustration, a Caldecott Honor Book Award, a Gradiva Award for Best Memoir, and a National Book Award.