The child of Caldecott Award-winning children’s book authors, Rachel Zemach grew up surrounded by literature, art, and humor. After becoming Deaf suddenly at age ten, she attended a series of schools that had one thing in common—a lack of accessible education—until, four years later, she found herself at a school for the Deaf. Thus began a love for American Sign Language and the richly idiosyncratic, passionate, and innovative culture and community of the Deaf.

While raising a family, after completing a degree in education, Zemach began teaching in the Deaf classroom of a local public school. Shocked at the deprivation she encountered there, she retired with a sense of urgency to write this book. She now lives with her husband in Northern California.