Masha D’yans greatly admires the purple prickly pear (Opuntia macrocentra), and it inspired her depiction of this book’s cantankerous narrator. A classically trained painter and graphic designer, Masha was born in Europe, and her influences include nature, fairy tales, and Japanese art. Her vibrant watercolors have appeared on greeting cards, in calendars, and in children’s books. She currently lives in Los Angeles, California. Visit her at www.masha.com.