Akiko Hayashi was born in Tokyo in 1945. She graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts of Yokohama National University, after which she began working as a magazine illustrator. Her first children's book, Hajimete no Otsukai (Mii-chan's First Errand), was published in 1973. Since then she has become one of Japan's leading picture book illustrators and authors, receiving numerous awards including the Ehon Nippon Award and the Sankei Jido Shuppan Bunka Award.
Akiko Hayashi has produced nearly 40 picture books that have been translated into more than ten languages. Hayashi currently resides in Nagano in Japan.