Jack Prelutsky was born in Brooklyn, New York, on September 8, 1940. He attended Hunter College in Manhattan, New York. Although he claims to have hated poetry during his childhood, Prelutsky rediscovered it later in life and has devoted many years since to writing fresh, humorous poetry aimed specifically at kids.
After stints as a truck driver, photographer, and folk singer, among other pursuits, Prelutsky became the author of more than forty collections of original verse and anthologies of children’s poetry, including Stardines Swim High Across the Sky: and Other Poems (HarperCollins, 2012); The Swamps of Sleethe: Poems From Beyond the Solar System (Knopf, 2009); Pizza, Pigs, and Poetry: How to Write a Poem (HarperCollins, 2008); Be Glad Your Nose Is on Your Facey and Other Poems (Greenwillow Books/ HarperCollins, 2008); Behold the Bold Umbrellaphant and Other Poems (HarperCollins, 2006); The Beauty of the Beast: Poems from the Animal Kingdom (Knopf, 1997); The Random House Book of Poetry for Children (Random House, 1983); The Queen of Eene (Greenwillow Books, 1978); and Nightmares: Poems to Trouble Your Sleep (HarperCollins, 1976).
In 2006, Prelutsky was named the first Children’s Poet Laureate by the Poetry Foundation. He lives in Seattle and spends much of his time presenting poems to children in schools and libraries throughout the United States.