"If you do what you always did you will get what you always got."
Laura Joffe Numeroff (born July 14, 1953) is an American author and illustrator of children’s books who is best known as the author of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.
Numeroff was born in Brooklyn, New York, and is the youngest of three girls. As a child, Numeroff was an avid reader, and by the age of 9 had decided she wanted to be a writer when she grew up.
She credits her current profession to two specific childhood favorites, claiming that they “are the reason” she is a writer: E. B. White’s Stuart Little and Kay Thompson’s Eloise.
When it came time for Numeroff to apply for college, she decided not to become a writer. Instead, she followed her sister’s footsteps and majored in fashion. Eventually though, Numeroff decided that fashion “wasn’t for me”, so she went back to her childhood dream of becoming a writer, and began taking a class on writing.
A homework assignment for one of these classes prompted Numeroff to write the story Amy for Short. In 1976 the story was published by Macmillan Publishing, launching Laura Joffe Numeroff’s writing career.
Numeroff has worked with numerous illustrators including Lynn Munsinger, David McPhail, Tim Bowers, Nate Evans, Joe Mathieu, Sal Murdocca, Sharleen Collicott, and Felicia Bond; Felicia Bond is the illustrator of the If You Give . . .™ series. When Numeroff began her career she served as her own illustrator; her first 9 books were both written and illustrated by Numeroff herself. Since her editor chose Felicia Bond to illustrate Numeroff’s If You Give a Mouse a Cookie book, she has not illustrated another book.
When asked about her earlier endeavors into illustrations during an interview, she mentioned that though she loves drawing, she decided her “strength was in writing and not in illustration” and said “I don’t think I would illustrate a whole book anymore at this point”.
Her autobiography, If You Give an Author a Pencil, was published in 2003; it is written at a second grade reading level so that it is also accessible to children. Numeroff’s books have been published in many languages. Numeroff resides in Los Angeles, California.