Peggy Rathmann’s first children’s book, ‘Ruby the Copycat’, turned an embarrassing personal incident into a well-received story and earned the”most promising new author”distinction in the 1991 Cuffies Awards. Her second book, ‘Good Night, Gorilla’, was an American Library Association Notable Children’s Book and her third title, ‘Officer Buckle and Gloria’, allowed Rathmann to walk off with the Caldecott Medal in 1996.
‘Good Night Gorilla’ was inspired by Peggy’s love for gorillas,”I wanted to teach sign language to gorillas, but after taking a class in signing, I realized what I’d rather do was draw pictures of gorillas”. Ms. Rathmann studied commercial art at the American Academy in Chicago, fine art at the Atelier Lack in Minneapolis, and children’s-book writing and illustration at the Otis Parsons School of Design in Los Angeles. Peggy’s homework assignment produced an almost wordless story, ‘Good Night, Gorilla’, inspired by a childhood memory.