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Barbara Cooney (1917–2000)

Author of Miss Rumphius

Includes the names: Barbara Cooney, Barbara Cooney, Barbara By Cooney

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7,643 (55,211)1,1322,745 (4.05)40
Barbara Cooney and her twin brother were born on 6 August 1917 in Brooklyn, New York, in the Bossert Hotel. She grew up on Long Island, but spent her summers as a child in Maine. Cooney attended a boarding school as a child. Cooney graduated from Smith College in 1938 and studied lithography and etching at Art Students League in New York. Just one year after graduation, she had her first commission, the illustrations for Ake and His World by Bertil Malmberg. Recalling an earlier trip to Germany before the war and the horrors that she had seen there, she felt compelled to join the Women's Army Corps during the summer of 1942. She enrolled in officer training and achieved the rank of second lieutenant, but was honorably discharged the following spring because of marriage pregnancy. The couple bought a farm in Pepperell, Massachusetts where they ran a children's camp during the summer months. By this time, Cooney was illustrating several books a year and wrote one now and then. It was for her adaptation of Chaucer's The Nun Priest's Tale that she won the prestigious Caldecott Medal, the highest honor given for illustrated children's books in the United States, in 1959. Twenty-one years later, Cooney again won the Caldecott Medal for Ox-Cart Man written by Donald Hall. In 1993, Ms. Cooney deposited more than 400 pieces of original art from 21 of her books in the Northeastern Children's Literature Collection, a part of the University Libraries' Archives and Special Collections. Works from this collection and from the artist's private collection are shown in this exhibit. Miss Rumphius won the National Book Award in 1983 and inspired the creation of the Maine Library Association's Lupine Award. Cooney died on 14 March, 2000 at the age of 83. Her last book was Basket Moon published in September of 1999. (Bowker Author Biography)
— biography from Miss Rumphius
… (more)
Little Women (Illustrator, some editions) 24,155 copies, 389 reviews
Five Little Peppers and How They Grew (Illustrator, some editions) 3,315 copies, 43 reviews
Ox-Cart Man (Illustrator) 3,025 copies, 94 reviews
Bambi: A Life in the Woods (Illustrator, some editions) 2,061 copies, 43 reviews
Roxaboxen (Illustrator) 1,998 copies, 41 reviews
Chanticleer and the Fox (Illustrator) 1,295 copies, 31 reviews
The Story of Holly and Ivy (Illustrator, some editions) 1,044 copies, 19 reviews
The Big Book for Peace (Illustrator) 720 copies, 14 reviews
Wynken, Blynken, & Nod (Illustrator, some editions) 665 copies, 20 reviews
Christmas in the Barn (Illustrator, some editions) 636 copies, 10 reviews
Kildee House (Illustrator) 627 copies, 6 reviews
Emily (Illustrator) 597 copies, 11 reviews
Seven Little Rabbits (Illustrator) 514 copies, 4 reviews
Letting Swift River Go (Illustrator) 438 copies, 8 reviews
Only Opal: The Diary of a Young Girl (Illustrator, some editions) 436 copies, 8 reviews
Emma (Illustrator) 324 copies, 10 reviews
The Little Fir Tree (Illustrator, some editions) 311 copies, 14 reviews
The Crows of Pearblossom (Illustrator, some editions) 296 copies, 9 reviews
The Man Who Didn't Wash His Dishes (Illustrator) 284 copies, 2 reviews
Peacock Pie (Illustrator, some editions) 280 copies, 3 reviews
Snow White and Rose Red (Illustrator, some editions) 258 copies, 11 reviews
The Basket Moon (Illustrator) 242 copies, 4 reviews
The Owl and the Pussycat (Illustrator, some editions) 190 copies, 5 reviews
Let's Keep Christmas (Illustrator, some editions) 167 copies
American Folk Songs for Children (Illustrator) 163 copies, 3 reviews
Where Have You Been? (Illustrator, some editions) 151 copies, 8 reviews
When the Sky is Like Lace (Illustrator) 127 copies, 6 reviews
The Book of Children's Classics (Illustrator) 105 copies, 1 review
Squawk to the Moon, Little Goose (Illustrator) 105 copies, 1 review
Best in Children's Books 01 (Illustrator) 96 copies, 1 review
Spirit Child: A Story of the Nativity (Illustrator) 93 copies, 5 reviews
The Remarkable Christmas of the Cobbler's Sons (Illustrator) 85 copies, 3 reviews
Princess Tales (Illustrator) 79 copies
Favorite Fairy Tales Told in Spain (Illustrator, some editions) 67 copies
Best in Children's Books 21 (Illustrator) 66 copies
Best in Children's Books 25 (Illustrator) 64 copies
Just Plain Maggie (Illustrator) 61 copies
Herman the Great (Illustrator) 53 copies, 2 reviews
The Donkey Prince (Illustrator) 52 copies, 1 review
Best in Children's Books 03 (Illustrator) 46 copies
Down to the Beach (Illustrator) 40 copies, 2 reviews
The Best Christmas (Illustrator, some editions) 30 copies, 3 reviews
Animal Folk Songs for Children (Illustrator) 29 copies
Peter's Long Walk (Illustrator) 25 copies
Demeter and Persephone: Homeric Hymn Number Two (Illustrator) 22 copies, 2 reviews
Read Me More Stories (Illustrator) 18 copies, 1 review
Read Me Another Story (Illustrator) 18 copies
Christmas Folk (Illustrator) 17 copies, 2 reviews
The House Mouse (Illustrator) 15 copies
Katie's Magic Glasses (Illustrator) 15 copies, 1 review
Hermes, Lord of Robbers: Homeric Hymn Number Four (Illustrator) 14 copies, 1 review
Dionysos and the Pirates: Homeric Hymn Number Seven (Illustrator) 12 copies, 1 review
Pepper (Illustrator) 10 copies
The Brookline Trunk (Illustrator, some editions) 9 copies
Three Little Dachshunds (Illustrator) 7 copies, 1 review
Yours with Love, Kate (Illustrator) 6 copies
19th century (482) American (270) American literature (358) animals (243) biography (241) Caldecott (237) children (681) children's (1,256) children's books (210) children's fiction (293) children's literature (587) Christmas (854) Civil War (301) classic (1,310) classics (1,246) collection:Fiction (396) coming of age (174) family (812) fiction (3,371) flowers (312) hardcover (433) historical fiction (543) history (273) imagination (166) juvenile (208) literature (573) New England (302) novel (304) own (211) paperback (223) picture book (1,742) poetry (392) read (378) realistic fiction (180) shelf:Fiction (396) sisters (323) to-read (939) travel (191) women (165) young adult (300)

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Short biography
Barbara Cooney was born in Brooklyn, New York. Her father was a stockbroker and her mother was an artist who encouraged Barbara's talent for art. She attended private schools and graduated from Smith College before briefly attending art school in New York. A year later, she got her first commission: the illustrations for Ake and His World (1940) by Bertil Malmberg. During World War II, Barbara served in the Women’s Army Corps and married Guy Murchie in 1944. They had two children. The couple later divorced and Barbara remarried in 1949 to Charles T. Porter, a physician, with whom she had two children. In the course of her long career, Barbara Cooney illustrated more than 100 books. After receiving her second Caldecott award, she began to write books as well. In her final years, she lived in a house in Maine overlooking the sea.
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