Ashley Spires has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design and a Graduate Diploma in Illustration from Sheridan College. In addition to her illustration, Ashley has founded Chicken Tika Creations, which sells her hand-make felt creations across Canada. The felt finger puppets that inspired Penguin and the Cupcake are available at her website www.chickentika.com. Ashley was the illustrator of A Bloom of Friendship: The Story of the Canadian Tulip Festival, which was nominated for the Silver Birch Award, the Hackmatack Children's Choice Award and the 2007 Red Cedar Award. She was a featured illustrator for the BC Libraries Summer Reading Club in 2006.