Otfried Preussler was born in Reichenberg, Czechoslovakia on October 23, 1923. After graduating from high school in 1942, he was drafted into the German Army and served on the Eastern front. He spent five years as a captive of the Soviets. After being released in 1949, he moved to Rosenheim, where he was a teacher and principal in a primary school. He also worked as a reporter for a local newspaper and a writer for children's radio programs. He wrote 32 books during his lifetime including The Little Water Sprite and The Little Witch. He died on February 18, 2013 at the age of 89.