Beatrice Schenk de Regniers was born in Lafayette, Indiana and studied social work administration at the University of Chicago, earning her M.Ed. in 1941. Her first book, The Giant Story, was illustrated by Maurice Sendak and published in 1953. Since then she wrote over fifty books, ten of which were published under the pseudonym of Tamara Kitt, including The Adventures of Silly Billy (1961) and The Boy Who Fooled the Giant (1963). May I Bring a Friend? (1964), illustrated by Beni Montresor, was awarded the Caldecott Medal in 1965.