On March 23, 2019, Barbara Kerley received the Evelyn Sibley Lampman Award for her significant contribution to Oregon in the field of children’s literature at the Children’s Services Division workshop. The Evelyn Sibley Lampman Award is presented annually by the Children's Services Division of the Oregon Library Association and is given in memory of Evelyn Sibley Lampman (1907-1980), noted Oregon teacher, journalist, and author of children’s books.
Barbara is already an award winning author of children’s books, most notably in the world of nonfiction. Among her awards, Barbara has received two Sibert Honors, Oregon Spirit Book Award, Parents Choice Award, Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year and the list goes on! The shelves of our libraries hold many of the titles Barbara has contributed to the youth of our state. Barbara has been writing children’s books, both nonfiction and fiction for decades.
Songs of Papa’s Island was Barbara’s first book, published in 1995. A fan of Kerley’s book wrote this in a review, “…a sweet book of short stories (or songs, as they are referred to in the book) from mother to child, that describe life when the mother and father lived on a tropical island in the middle of the ocean and prepared to have a baby. It's based on Barbara Kerley's real-life history of living on Guam and giving birth to her daughter there…The rich language, story songs, were fascinating and rich from beginning to end, I felt like I travelled to Guam with the books gentle guidance.”
Barbara’s most recent book came out in 2018, Tigers & Tea with Toppy, and is currently researching her next nonfiction title. Her books have been translated to multiple languages and she has been published by National Geographic, Harper Collins among other publishing houses.
With subjects ranging from A to Z – the American Museum of Natural History and the Central Park Zoo – Barbara fills children’s worlds with wonder, adventure and fascination. Some of the many subjects she has explored include, iguanodons, Teddy Roosevelt, world peace, and Mark Twain's donkey. The perfect quote from Barbara regarding her work follows, “The best thing about writing children's books is that I get to follow my curiosity--around the world and even into outer space.”
The Lampman Committee congratulates and thanks Barbara Kerley for her engaging books, tireless research, and delightful spirit.
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