Joe Thompson's is both an author and an illustrator. He often illustrates his own books. He grew up in China until age 20 when he went to America. In American he studied art and looked to discover his natural strengths. His stories cover a wide range of topics and cultures. When he illustrates his books his illustrations reflect the culture of the country when the story takes place. Because Joe Thompson is both storyteller and illustrator his verbal messages and pictorial messages meld together to form an organic whole which enriches the readers experience.