Born and raised in New Jersey, Brian Selznick cannot remember a time when he was not drawing and making things. His mural of a dinosaur on his fifth grade classroom wall was a big hit, and he had a one-man show in junior high school.
He graduated from the Rhode Island School of Art and Design with the intention of becoming a set designer for the theater, but a job designing window displays at Eeyore's Children's Bookstore in New York City changed his mind. Working at the store became a crash course in children's literature, and his first book was published while he worked there.
Soon he left to pursue a full-time career in children's book illustration; he also has designed theater sets and is a professional puppeteer. His first book, The Houdini Box, was inspired by a fascination with the famous magician and his secrets. He has illustrated both novels and picture books for other writers, including the Sibert Honor books WHEN MARIAN SANG by Pam Munoz Ryan and WALT WHITMAN: WORDS FOR AMERICA by Barbara Kerley. His illustrations for Barbara Kerley's THE DINOSAURS OF WATERHOUSE HAWKINS won a Caldecott Honor Award in 2002; and in 2008, his groundbreaking and breathtaking THE INVENTION OF HUGO CABRET was awarded the Caldecott Medal.
He divides his time between Brooklyn, New York, and San Diego, California.