Cooney, Barbara (1917 - 2000)

Genre: Children's Literature, Illustrator

Barbara Cooney was born in Brooklyn, summered as a child on the Maine coast, received her art degree from Smith College (BA 1938). Until her death in March, 2000 she lived in Damariscotta with her husband, Charles Talbot Porter; their four children are grown. Cooney won two Caldecott Medals, an American Book Award, received the University of Maine's Maryann Hartman Award in 1998, and was recognized by Gov. Angus King as a 'Maine State Treasure.' Cooney illustrated over 105 children's books, 18 of which she also authored.

The Lupine Award for outstanding contribution to children's literature of Maine given by the Maine Library Association derives its name from Cooney's book Miss Rumphius.

Selected Bibliography

Both Written and Illustrated:

  • King of Wreck Island (1941)
  • Chanticleer and the Fox (1958; adapted from Chaucer) Caldecott winner
  • Miss Rumphius (1982)The of a woman who as a little girl loved the sea, longed to visit faraway places and wished to do something to make the world more beautiful. Winner of American Book Award
  • Hattie and the Wild Waves: A Story from Brooklyn (1990)
  • Eleanor (1996) about Eleanor Roosevelt's childhood
  • Island Boy (1999)

Illustrated Only:

  • American Folk Songs for Children in Home, School, and Nursery School (1948) compiled by Ruth Seeger
  • Kildee House (1949) by Rutherford Montgomery; Newbery Honor Roll
  • Christmas in the Barn (1952) by Margaret Wise Brown
  • Yours With Love, Kate (1952) by Miriam Mason, about Kate Douglas Wiggin
  • Five Little Peppers and How The Grew (1954) by Margaret Sidney
  • Peacock Pie (1961) by Walter de la Mare
  • A White Heron: A Story of Maine (1963) by Sarah Orne Jewett
  • The Owl and the Pussycat (1969) by Edward Lear
  • Lexington and Concord 1775: What Really Happened (1975) by Jean Colby
  • Ox-Cart Man (1979) by Donald Hall Caldecott winner
  • Where Have You Been? (1981) by Margaret Wise Brown
  • The Story of Holly and Ivy (1985) by Rumer Godden
  • The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree: An Appalachian Story (1988) by Gloria Houston
  • Basket Moon (1999) by Mary Lyn Ray

Selected Resources