Although Kate DiCamillo now possesses the reputation of an award-winning, dedicated author, her childhood was unfortunately overcast by illness. Born on March 25, 1964, Kate's family moved to Florida during her childhood, as her birthplace of Merion, Philadelphia, was too severe weather-wise for her constant sickliness. Before their removal to Florida for her health, Kate had already experienced a host of diseases, among them pneumonia, mumps, and measles. Regardless of her health, being raised in Florida had an enlivening effect on her writing, and some of her stories take place there. Now a resident of Minneapolis, Minnesota, Kate's energy and dedication have blossomed into an impressive career as "storyteller" for adults and children alike. She is the recipient of several awards, including the Newbery award, and she continues her disciplined regimen of writing every day; for, as Kate herself has said, she feels very fortunate to tell stories for a l! iving. Although she has no children of her own, this lively author has "lots of friends" and is aunt to "three lovely children and one not so lovely dog."