Diane deGroat grew up in New Jersey. She attended Pratt Institute, graduating in 1969 with a BFA in commercial art. She started her career at Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, designing their first basic reading series for grades K-6. At Holt she learned all aspects of children's publishing, including illustration, layout, production, and marketing.
Since 1972 she has free-lanced, illustrating over 150 children’s books for many well-known authors such as Eve Bunting, Lois Lowry, and Johanna Hurwitz.
In 1993 she began writing and illustrating her own stories. Her “Annie Pitts” chapter books follow the adventures of America’s favorite redhead as she strives to be an actress— but must first survive third grade! Her books about Gilbert the opossum include Roses are Pink, Your Feet Really Stink, a New York Times Best Seller, and Trick or Treat, Smell My Feet. Eleven additional books are in this series, winning several state children’s choice awards. In 2009, a spin-off series of I Can Read books (HarperCollins) debuted, offering beginner readers their own stories to read about Gilbert and his friends.
Breaking from her traditional watercolor style, Ms. deGroat collaborated with Shelley Rotner in 2009 to produce Dogs Don't Brush Their Teeth! for Scholastic/Orchard, using a combination of art, collage, and photographs. Homer, also with Shelley Rotner, was a fun sequel about dogs playing baseball. Still in a dog mode, she illustrated blogger Ree Drummond's books about Charlie the Ranch Dog which were NY Times best sellers. Ms. deGroat’s latest book is another break with traditional art. The Adventures of Robo-Kid uses charcoal drawing and digital coloring for this hybrid comic/picture book. Read about how she creates her books on her blog: www.thestorybehindthestories.com. Ms. deGroat resides in Amherst, MA.