Alexandra Wallner was born in Germany. Not able to speak English when she immigrated to the United States, she almost flunked first grade. But with the help of comic books--Uncle Scrooge, Donald Duck, Katy Keene, Little Lulu--she learned her new language. Words and pictures together lit the spark for her future career.
After graduating from Pratt Institute's Fine Art Program with an MFA and enjoying a brief stint in magazine design, she started collaborating with her husband John in creating children's books.
Not limited to a love for children's books, Alex and John have a passion for renovating and working in old houses. In Woodstock, N. Y. they renovated an 1850's farmhouse. They restored an 1865 townhouse in Philadelphia and remodeled a 1920's Maine island cottage.
During the long Maine winters, Alex started taking notes for a story about Sylvia and Max Saltwater and their encounters with island folk. The notes evolved into PINOCCHIO ISLAND.
They started thinking about warmer places to live when Alex became weary of slipping on ice. Breaking precedence, they moved to a warm climate into a newly built Florida house. Unfortunately soon after, they experienced three hurricanes in six weeks.
Continuing their gypsy ways, they moved to Merida, Yucatan, Mexico where they restored a mid-nineteenth century casa and added two studios in the back of the garden.
They care for an elderly Jack Russell, a family of cats, a rambunctious iguana, and a sprinkling of geckos.
Alex threw out the moving boxes and swears this is her final home.