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John Steptoe was born in Brooklyn, New York on September 14, 1950. He attended the High School of Art and Design in Manhattan. He was an author and illustrator of children's books. His first book, Stevie, was published in 1969. During his lifetime, he illustrated 15 more books, 9 of which he also wrote. The Story of Jumping Mouse and Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters were named Caldecott honor books. Mother Crocodile and Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters received the Coretta Scott King Award for Illustration. He died of AIDS on August 28, 1989 at the age of 38. (Bowker Author Biography)
— biography from Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters: An African Tale