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Margo Humphrey was born in Oakland, California. Her mother, who had studied to become a hat designer, was very proud of her young daughter's artistic talent and always made sure that she had water colors and drawing tablets. After special high school courses at the College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, Ms. Humphrey went on to attend Meritt College and Stanford University where she obtained her master's degree in fine arts. "The way was never easy for her," her mother said. "Sometimes she had to drop out of school for months in order to earn the money to pay for her studies. But she was determined to continue."
Ms. Humphrey has been very much influenced by the art and culture of Africa. (The names in the story are African, as is much of the feeling and color.) After completing this book, Ms. Humphrey spent several weeks in Senegal, studying the architecture, fabric printing and carving of different tribal peoples. She currently teaches at the University of California (Santa Cruz).