With a Lithuanian father and a French mother, Timothy Basil Ering studied at a design college in Pasadena, California, before indulging his longtime love of the sea as a boatswains mate aboard the USS Kitty Hawk, sailing to points as far a field as Hawaii, Japan, the Philippines, Australia, Sri Lanka and Africa. Since finishing art school - where he discovered influences as far removed as Michelangelo and Dr Seuss - he has worked successfully as an illustrator and author. Tim's artwork has appeared in books, magazines, theatre sets, private murals, and fine art galleries. Tim's first picture book with Walker Books, "The Story of Frog Belly Rat Bone", had its beginnings in a silly string of words he thought up to amuse himself as he meandered to favourite fishing spots on Cape Cod. With its surreal artwork, bursts of colour, and a quirky, handlettered text, Tim's picture-book debut exudes all the whimsy of an inspired imagination but he explores a more classical style in Newbery Medal-winning "The Tale of Despereaux" by Kate DiCamillo.