Author bio

Barbara Helen Berger

Barbara Helen Berger - book author

Barbara Helen Berger grew up loving to draw and paint. She studied Art at the University of Washington in Seattle, her home town, where she earned a BFA degree in Painting. During her five years of study, she also went to Yale Summer School of Music & Art, and to Tyler School of Art in Rome, Italy. In Italy she saw the art she had loved from childhood, seen in her father's art books at home.

For ten years after college, she worked as a painter with gallery shows in Seattle. Then beginning in 1980 she turned her focus to children's books. She says, “All along, I loved writing too. My secret wish was to bring art and words together in my own books.”

Her first was Animalia, inspired by illuminated manuscripts (Celestial Arts, 1982, re-issued by Tricycle Press, 1999). Then she went on to create the picture books she is known for, including Grandfather Twilight, considered a bedtime classic, The Donkey's Dream, and A Lot of Otters, (all from Philomel Books). She also wrote and illustrated Gwinna, a fairytale in chapters (Philomel, 1990). In All the Way to Lhasa: a Tale from Tibet, she blended her style with the influence of Tibetan art (Philomel, 2002). And in Thunder Bunny, her newest book, she blends her style with the medium of collage (Philomel, 2007).

Berger's books have won awards for both the art and writing: the Golden Kite Award for Picture-Illustration, Parents' Choice Foundation Award for Illustration, the Children's Book Award from Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association, and twice a Washington State Governor's Writers Award. Original paintings from her books have been exhibited around the country. She says, “From beginning to end, the process of creating is still my biggest joy.”

Ms. Berger lives on Bainbridge Island, in the Pacific Northwest. She received the honor of an Island Treasure Award in 2006 from the Bainbridge Island Arts and Humanities Council.

Barbara Helen Berger is the author of books: Grandfather Twilight, Gwinna, The Donkey's Dream, When the Sun Rose, A Lot of Otters, All The Way to Lhasa: A Tale from Tibet, Angels on a Pin, Thunder Bunny, The Jewel Heart, Animalia: Thirteen Small Tales


Author books

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Title
Description
01
When day is done, and shadows begin to deepen, it is time for Grandfather Twilight to close his book, put on his jacket, and go for a walk through the forest. Little birds hush as he walks by, and the rabbits and other small woodland creatures watch in silence as he performs his very special evening task and returns to his house among the trees. Small readers and listeners, too, will sense the serenity of this poetic story, and will be comforted to learn that the twilight is a gentle, friendly time.

Exquisite pictures extend and illuminate the text, to reveal the nightly miracle so faithfully performed by Grandfather Twilight. Perfect for reading aloud and for sharing at bedtime, this beautiful and reassuring book will be cherished by old and young alike.
02
Having grown a pair of wings and felt the longing for the freedom of the skies, twelve-year-old Gwinna goes to the Mother of the Owls, who sends her on a quest to find the songs of the wind.
03
A beautifully illustrated story of the Nativity.  He was just an ordinary donkey, but on his back he carried a miracle. He carried the Virgin Mary to Bethlehem on the night she gave birth. Along the way he dreamed he was carrying a city, a ship, a fountain, and a rose. He dreamed he was carrying a lady full of heaven--and he was. Barbara Helen Berger's glowing artwork and lyrical text perfectly convey the beauty and majesty of the story of the Nativity.
04
What would you do if a golden carriage pulled by a lion came to your playhouse one sunny morning? Invite him in, of course! The author of Grandfather Twilight has created a radiant picture book dreamscape that perfectly captures all the joy of a child's imaginary play date."An inspired work of art". -- Publishers Weekly

"Though the friendship is imaginary, the real feeling of spending a lovely day with a true friend is convincingly conveyed.... The story's chief strengths are the beautiful illustrations, the delineation of a child's imaginary experience, and the power of friendship". -- Horn Book
05
Mother Moon is looking for her child. As she calls for him, her tears turn into stars that fall into the sea and are rescued, along with her little one, by a lot of otters. These playful animals cavort and rollick in the starlight until Mother Moon looks down and sees them--and her child, safe and sound. Barbara Helen Berger's poetic words and luminous illustrations are beautifully fused in this dreamlike tale that is just perfect for bedtime."Toddlers are sure to delight in the mischievous antics of all those whiskery otters." --School Library Journal, starred review
06
Known for her luminescent Grandfather Twilight, Barbara Helen Berger brings beauty and power to this memorable parable from Tibet. A young boy and his yak bravely overcome all odds to get to Lhasa, giving a wise and simple message that will inspire children of any age to dream and reach for a shining goal that may seem "very far."
07
What if there was a whole city on the head of a pin? And the angels there thought they lived in the biggest, best, the only city in the universe. Until someone discovered there were other pins. And other cities. With angels dancing in every one. Now that would be a reason to celebrate! With magic in her words and art, Barbara Helen Berger invites children to wonder right along with her: What if there are worlds within worlds, and everybody's dancing?
09
"A soft dream spun of song and dance, this sweetly evocative book about the power of love will enchant young ballerinas who yearn for something magical".--"Booklist".
10
Stories for children aged 6 and up that are inspired by Chinese folklore, tales of the Christian saints, and moments from the life of Buddha, all focused on living harmoniously with the animal world.