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 and has claimed that they “are the reason” she is a writer: E. B. White’s Stuart Little and Kay Thompson’s Eloise. As she once pointed out in an interview, both stories not only captured her attention but also sported main characters that lived in her very own city of New York.
When it came time for Numeroff to apply for college, she followed her sister footsteps and majored in fashion. Eventually though, Numeroff came to terms with the fact that fashion "wasn't for me" and began taking a class on writing as she returned to her previous dream of becoming a writer. A homework assignment for one of these classes prompted Numeroff to write the story Amy for Short, and in 1976, the story was published by Macmillan Publishing and launched 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 was 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.
If You Give a...
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie was the book that launched Numeroff's hit "If You Give A..." series. It was rejected by publishers nine times before it was finally accepted by Harper. These stories use a circular story format, presenting to the reader a chain of events that has no definite end, and rely heavily on consequences of actions in an If->Then setup. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie spawned numerous more books that expanded from the mouse to include the characters of a moose, a cat, and a pig.
What People Do Best
The first book in this series by Numeroff, published in April 2008, was What Mommies Do Best/ What Daddies Do Best. Illustrated, using watercolors, by Lynn Munsinger, it is written for children ages 4 — 8.This children’s book is a two part story. On one side of the book is What Mommies Do Best. This book demonstrates many of the great things that mommies do like: give piggyback rides, teach children how to ride a bicycle, and sew a button on a teddy bear.Following What Mommies Do Best, the book can be flipped to reveal What Daddies Do Best. This side illustrates all the special things that daddy does with you. The stories are identical. Both mommy and daddy do the same things in each book. Subsequent books concern grandparents and aunts and uncles.What Mommies Do Best/ What Daddies Do Best uses different animals in its brightly colored illustrations to show young children the things parents do that make them so special. Each illustration shows a different animal parent with their young child.
Laura Numeroff's Ten Step Guide to Living with Your Monster, illustrated by Nate Evans, was published in April 2002 for children ages 4 — 8. This book gives kids a different idea about monsters. Instead of being afraid of them this story shows you how to make a monster a good pet. This guide outlines Numeroff’s ten basic steps to buying, naming, and dealing with your pet monster. There are things you should know like choosing a monster that can tie its shoes, how to take your monster to the vet, not to choose a monster who tries to eat your shirt, and that “Fluffy” is not a good name for a monster. With each step is a bright, colorful illustration to help you choose your own pet monster.A portion of the profits from Laura Numeroff's Ten Step Guide to Living with Your Monster were donated to The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research.
Phoebe Dexter Has Harriet Peterson’s Sniffles, published in January 1977, tells the woeful tale of Phoebe Dexter who is stuck at home because she is sick. Upset that she is missing all the happenings of her school day, Phoebe busies herself pretending she is a dog and eventually playing Go Fish with her grandmother who comes over to keep her company. The book is both written and illustrated by Numeroff.
Oprah Winfrey choose two of Numeroff's books for her Kid’s Reading List. Laura Bush invited Numeroff to the White House to be honored for her "If You Give a..." Series at the “Laura Bush Celebrates American Authors” event. She has also won numerous awards for her individual stories including: