When Shirin Shamsi became a mother, she began writing stories her own children would see themselves in. She currently lives in the city of Darien, Illinois, USA, with her husband and cat. When she's not busy writing for children, Shirin spends her days sharing her love of Barefoot Books as an independent bookseller in her community. Manal Mirza is a designer and illustrator based in Chicago, Illinois, USA. Manal creates her paintings digitally and draws inspiration from her experiences. Being a young Muslim American Pakistani woman, her illustrations highlight the different identities that she juggles day to day. Manal brings her own positive outlook to her work, aiming to empower women around the world.