Children's author and illustrator Marie-Louise Gay was born in Quebec City, Canada on June 17, 1952. While attending the Institute of Graphic Arts of Montreal, she decided graphic art was too restraining and transferred to the Montreal Museum School of Fine Art. She worked for various Canadian magazines doing editorial illustration and illustrated a children's book. In order to learn more about illustration, she attended the Academy of Art College in San Francisco for three years. She moved to Montreal, Canada and started illustrating children's books. In 1980, she decided to write and illustrate her own picture books. In 1984, she won the Canada Council Children's Literature Prize for illustration in both the English-language category for Lizzy's Lion and the French-language category for Drôle d'école. She won the Canadian Library Association Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon medal for Moonbeam on a Cat's Ear in 1987 and for Rainy Day Magic in 1988. The latter book also earned her the coveted Governor General's Award for illustration.