Daniel Manus Pinkwater (born November 15, 1941) is an American author of children's books and "Young Adult" fiction. His books include Lizard Music, The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death, Fat Men from Space, Borgel, and the picture book The Big Orange Splot. He has also written an adult novel, The Afterlife Diet, and essay collections derived from his talks on National Public Radio. Many elements of his fiction are based on real events and people he encountered in his youth. Pinkwater is a trained artist and has illustrated many of his books, but for more recent works, that task has passed to his wife, Jill Pinkwater. His artistic technique varies from work to work, with some books illustrated in computer drawings, others in woodcuts and others in Magic Marker. Pinkwater varies his name slightly between books (for instance, "Daniel Pinkwater", "Daniel M. Pinkwater", "Daniel Manus Pinkwater", "D. Manus Pinkwater"). He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, to Jewish immigrant parents from Poland. He describes his father as a "ham-eating, iconoclastic Jew." His parents moved to Chicago, where he grew up. He attended Bard College.