Sheila Burnford was born in Scotland on May 11, 1918. In 1941 she married Doctor David Burnford. They had three children. During WW II, Sheila was a volunteer ambulance driver. She died on April 20, 1984, at the age of 65.
Sheila wrote fiction and nonfiction, her readers being both children and adults. Many of her books were on Canadian topics. The book she is best remembered for, The Incredible Journey, won the 1961 Canadian Children's Book of the Year award. The Incredible Journey was also the basis of a popular Disney film, which in turn helped the book to become a bestseller.