Lillian Hoban was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on May 18, 1925. She attended the Philadelphia Museum School of Art, studied dance with Martha Graham, and taught modern dance in New York and Connecticut. She also danced professionally in the 1950's. During her lifetime, she illustrated or wrote more than 100 children's books. Her first publication was a book she illustrated, Herman the Loser, written by her husband Russell Hoban, and published in 1961. She illustrated several of his books including London Men and English Men, Charlie the Tramp, Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas, and books about a badger named Frances such as A Baby Sister for Frances. After the couple divorced in 1975, she began writing and illustrating I-Can- Read-Books including Joe and Betsy the Dinosaur, Silly Tilly's Thanksgiving, and a series about Arthur the Chimpanzee and his little sister Violet. She died from heart failure on July 17, 1998 at the age of 73.