Sheldon Oberman was an educator, artist, and author from Winnipeg, Manitoba. He was a diverse talent but was best known for his award-winning children's books, a number of which drew on his experiences growing up in a Jewish family. After studying literature at the University of Winnipeg, where he earned a B.A. in 1972, and at the University of Jerusalem, he completed a B.Ed. at the University of Manitoba and started a career as a high school English and drama teacher in Winnipeg. His routine of telling bedtime stories to his children evolved into an interest in writing his own stories, which include several award-winning works. Oberman enjoyed performing these stories live in front of young audiences, and to keep his acting talents honed he took on small movie roles; he also wrote screenplays and directed short films. In addition, he wrote lyrics for the popular Canadian children's entertainer Fred Penner, and five of the albums released by Penner featuring Oberman's songs received Juno nominations. More recently, Oberman gained critical acclaim for his 1999 title, The Shaman's Nephew: A Life in the Far North, written with Simon Tookoome, which was shortlisted for the Governor-General's Award. Sheldon passed away in March 2004 in Winnipeg. After his death, the Manitoba Writers' Guild named their writing program for emerging authors after him.