Sibylle von Olfers was born Maria Regina Angela Hedwig Sibylla von Olfers in the Castle of Metgethen (Schloss Metgethen) near Königsberg, Prussia, one of five children in an aristocratic family. She was educated by governesses and tutors and created picture books as a child. Encouraged by an aunt, she attended art college. At age 25, she joined an order of nuns. She taught art, and wrote and illustrated children's books. Her work combined elements of the Arts and Crafts and Art Nouveau movements. Her illustrations were marked by strong, simple designs and a keen eye for the natural world. She's best known today for her book Etwas von den Wurzelkindern (The Story of the Root-Children, 1906). She died at age 34 from a lung infection.