Maud Fuller Petersham was born on August 5, 1889 in Kingston, New York and grew up to be part of a Caldecott Medal-winning husband-and-wife team. She was the daughter of a Baptist minister, graduated from Vassar, and spent a year at art school in New York where she met Miska, her lifelong collaborator.
Working in lithographs, their illustrations for reading texts during the 1920s made them leaders in the field. They went on to be known for their informational story books, creating seventy books for children. The Petershams’ first book was The Poppy Seed Cakes, commissioned by May Massee at Doubleday in 1929.
They won a Caldecott Medal in 1946 for The Rooster Crows: A Book of American Rhymes and Jingles. Other titles include The Rootabaga Stories by Carl Sandburg, The Box With Red Wheels, and The Christ Child.
Maud and Miska influenced the development of illustrated books for children in America and their books were reflections of their lives and backgrounds. “Anyone who knows our books knows us.” Maud died in 1971.