Ioana Hobai grew up in Bucharest, Romania, where she first learned to paint with her uncle who was a professional artist. She attended the Nicolae Tonitza art school in Bucharest and has a B.Arch / M.Arch from the Ion Mincu Institute of Architecture and Urbanism. Her author-illustrator debut, Lena’s Slippers (2019), inspired by her childhood in communist Romania, was selected as a Bank Street’s Best Children’s Books of the Year. She also wrote and illustrated A Whale of a Mistake (2020), and illustrated Before You Sleep (2018), written by Annie Cronin Romano. Ioana lives in Massachusetts with her daughters.