Else Holmelund Minarik (Author) Else Holmelund Minarik was the author of the Little Bear series of children's books, which sold more than 6 million copies worldwide and were adapted for television. Born in Denmark, Minarik moved to the United States with her family at the age of four. After graduating from Queens College, City University of New York she became a journalist for the Rome Daily Sentinel newspaper and taught first-graders during World War II. Minarik died in 2012. Maurice Sendak (Illustrator) Maurice Sendak was born in Brooklyn, New York. He began by illustrating other authors' books for children, but the first book that he both wrote and illustrated was Kenny's Window, published in 1956. In his lifetime, he illustrated over 80 books, and received many awards, including the 1964 Caldecott Medal for Where the Wild Things Are. In 1970 he was the first American to win the Hans Christian Andersen Illustrator's Medal. He passed away in May 2012.