American by birth, Canadian by choice, Alice Whitney grew up in a family that strongly believed in the value of reading to children, and she continued that tradition with their five children. An interest in writing was fostered by the Moncton Children’s Writers and Illustrators Group. An earlier version of Henrietta’s Nightlight won an award the Atlantic Writing Competition. The story of the nightlight had been told to her by the owner of a property the Whitneys bought and enjoyed for a few years in the Petitcodiac area, a forty-minute drive from their small farm outside of Sussex that they had moved to from Toronto in 1977. Alice taught art at the Sussex Regional High School for 14 years and holds a BFA from Cornell University. She has always had a strong interest in nature as well as art, and many of the plants and animals from both properties have found their way into the story.
Lee and Alice kept meticulous records of weather and other observations of the natural world, over the nearly forty years they lived on their farm. The Fundy Biosphere borrowed these records to create a video called the Whitney Journals about the value of citizen science, which was on display at the ROM in Toronto as part of a wider exhibition on climate change.
Alice and Lee now make their home in Fredericton, NB.