Muriel Dorothy Butler was born in Grey Lynn, New Zealand on April 24, 1925. She received a diploma in education from the University of Auckland for her study of her severely handicapped granddaughter Cushla. This research was later adapted for publication as Cushla and Her Books. She was a children's book author and bookseller. She founded the Dorothy Butler Children's Bookshop in Auckland. She wrote children's books, non-fiction books, and two autobiographies. Her works include Come Back Ginger, My Brown Bear Barney, Seadog, What a Birthday!, Babies Need Books: Sharing the Joy of Books with Children from Birth to Six, Five to Eight: Vital Years for Reading, There Was a Time, and All This and a Bookshop Too. She received several awards during her lifetime including the Children's Book Circle Eleanor Farjeon Award in 1980 and the Margaret Mahy Award in 1992. In 1993, she was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for services to children's literature. She died on September 20, 2015 at the age of 90.