Beatrice Schenk de Regniers was born in Lafayette, Indiana. She studied social work administration at the University of Chicago and earned her M.Ed. in 1941 from Winnetka Graduate Teachers’ College. After doing social work for several years, she was sent to the Sinai Peninsula to a Yugoslav refugee camp, constructing a kindergarten and teaching American folk dances to the children.
During the 1950s she began writing for children, and The Giant Story (illustrated by Maurice Sendak) appeared in 1953. In addition, she freelanced articles and short humorous pieces for adults, and wrote a series of short stories and columns including some with Edna Mitchell Preston, which were published in McCall’s Magazine. In 1961, she became the first editor of Scholastic Book’s “Lucky Book Club,” working four days a week, but “Mondays are reserved for my own writing. I’ve trained all my friends not to call me on Mondays.” Twenty years later she retired to write for the theater. Her first production appeared in 1986, based on her book Everyone Is Good for Something. She wrote more than 50 children’s books, earning many awards and honors, including the Caldecott Medal for May I Bring a Friend? illustrated by Beni Montresor.
Ms. de Regniers died in March of 2000.