A North Carolina author and illustrator born on Pamlico Sound, North Carolina, Credle worked as a teacher in the Blue Ridge Mountains and and artist in New York City, where she also worked as a governess. It was in her role as a governess that she decided to try her hand at writing and illustrating books for children. While living in New York, she worked as an artist for the American Museum of Natural History, as well as the Brooklyn Children's Museum. She continued to write throughout her time as an artist. Her first and most well-known book, Down Down the Mountain (1934), was finally accepted and was the first picture book ever done of the Blue Ridge country.