Lesléa Newman is a poet, an animal lover, and the author of Hachiko Waits, Runaway Dreidel!, Cats, Cats, Cats!, Daddy’s Song, and other picture books. Her awards include the Parents' Choice Silver Medal and a Poetry Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. She was the 2008-2010 poet laureate of Northampton, Massachusetts. Newman was born in Brooklyn and grew up there and on Long Island. She has a B.S. in education from the University of Vermont and a Certificate of Poetics from Naropa Institute, where she was Allen Ginsburg’s apprentice. She has worked as a preschool teacher, secretary, waitress, freelance reporter, and sales clerk, and now teaches writing for children and young adults at Spalding University. She lives in western Massachusetts.