|Diane Stanley is an author and illustrator of fiction and nonfiction books for children. Perhaps best known for her biographies of historical figures such as Elizabeth I, William Shakespeare, and Charles Dickens, Stanley is also a noted reteller of multicultural folktales. Raised primarily by her divorced mother, Stanley had no formal training as an artist until she took a drawing class during her senior year at Trinity University. After graduation, she continued to study drawing in the hopes of becoming an illustrator of medical textbooks. Though, she is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University College of Medicine, she never pursued a career as a doctor because, she says after four years of medical school, "I suddenly discovered what I wanted to be when I grew up: a children's book illustrator." Her first book, THE FARMER IN THE DELL, was published in 1978. In addition to illustrating her own works, Stanley has also illustrated books by such authors as Verna Aardema, Jane Yolen, and her own mother--playwright and author Fay Grissom Stanley.