Mara Bergman was born in the Bronx, New York, on leap year day. She grew up in Wantagh, Long Island, and attended Wantagh High School and the University of the State of New York at Oneonta. After moving to England with her husband, Martin Camus-Smith, in 1983 she worked for the children's publisher Walker Books. When her three children, Marissa, Eva and Jonathan, were young she decided to write picture books. Her poetry has been published widely in literary magazines and her books published internationally, having been translated into French, Japanese, Finnish, Korean and Hebrew.