Berta Hader (1891-1976)
& Elmer Hader (1889-1973)
American husband and wife authors and illustrators who wrote and/or illustrated a large number of children's books.
Berta was born in Mexico, although moved to the USA when very young. She showed artistic and literary talent from an early age, winning prizes for both disciplines. She studied both journalism and design and worked for a time in the fashion industry.
Elmer was born in California. Although he had ambitions to become an artist he first worked in the forces, as a firefighter and in theatre. He did however find time to study art and design.
The pair met in New York and soon married. Afterwards they began to write and illustrate a number of periodical articles for children, then turned to writing and illustrating children's books. One of their books won the prestigious Caldecott Medal. Elmer's works were also admired by the literary great John Steinbeck who asked him to illustrate the covers of a number of his seminal works.
Berta and Elmer were dedicated conservationists and pacifists and championed animal welfare. Animals appear in many of their books, including ponies and donkeys. All their equine titles are for younger readers and have lots of charming illustrations.