Iona Margaret Opie was born on October 13, 1923. During World War II, she made meteorological maps in the Women's Auxiliary Air Force. She married Peter Opie in 1943. Together they collected children's rhymes, riddles, and street culture. Their books included I Saw Esau, The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes, The Oxford Nursery Rhyme Book, The Lore and Language of Schoolchildren, Children's Games in Street and Playground, and The Classic Fairy Tales. After her husband's death in 1982, she continued the work alone. Her books included The People in the Playground, Tail Feathers from Mother Goose, Here Comes Mother Goose, A Dictionary of Superstitions, and Children's Games with Things. Her son Robert collaborated with her on The Treasures of Childhood. She was made CBE in 1999. She died on October 23, 2017 at the age of 94.
Iona Opie is a leading authority on children's lore and literature. With her late husband, Peter Opie, she wrote the pioneering study of children's culture, The Lore and Language of Schoolchildren. The Opies have also edited The Oxford Nursery Rhyme Book, and The Classic Fairy Tales.
Tail Feathers from Mother Goose: The Opie Rhyme Book