From the hardcover edition: After receiving a bachelor of education degree from Rhode Island College, Helen Siiteri alternated teaching in an elementary grade school and acting in New England summer stock companies. She also served as a storyteller in the New York Public Library, and following marriage to a research biochemist, she adapted her favorite children’s story to read to their five children. The Adventures of Nicholas was published by Scholastic Press and for many years was featured in their paperback book club. When the family moved to Northern California, Siiteri was hired by an ocean engineering firm to research and prepare ship salvage reports and a history of ship salvage in the U.S. Navy. Papa Topside grew out of that research.