Barbara Herkert

Children's Book Author

Mom in her 40's

The Soup That Saved Valley Forge

Pepper pot soup

Selected Works

Children's Nonfiction Picture Book Biography
Released Oct. 27, 2015 with illustrations by Gabi Swiatkowska. Christy Ottaviano Books/Henry Holt, publisher.
Picture book biography
Released Oct. 13, 2015 with illustrations by Vanessa Brantley-Newton. Alfred A. Knopf, publisher.
Nonfiction picture book biography
To be released in October 2017 with illustrations by Lauren Castillo. Christy Ottaviano Books/Henry Holt/Macmillan, publisher. "Herkert's elegant prose and Castillo's stunning illustrations team up for a magnificent model of what a picture book can be...A stunner--radiant even." Kirkus starred review

Quick Links

Barb's Blogs

Interview about Sewing Stories

November 5, 2015

Tags: Sewing Stories, Picture book biography

Here's a link to an interview about my inspiration for writing about Harriet Powers and a bit about my writing process.

Patience and grace

April 15, 2015

My daughter and I were walking our dogs along the bay and came across a Great Blue Heron. It was very close, and so we stopped to observe. The bird was motionless, even with the chaos of the dogs. I pointed out its gorgeous arched neck and told my daughter that it would stay (more…)


November 13, 2013

I've been thinking a lot about resilience lately. My Oxford Dictionary defines the word "resilient" as the ability to recoil or spring back into shape after bending (substance) or the ability to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions (person or animal). I think both definitions apply to us as writers and illustrators. We (more…)

Thanks, Mom

November 20, 2012

I returned home a couple of weeks ago from visiting my folks in Ohio. My mom has advanced Alzheimer's disease. In the past, there always seemed to be a glimmer of recognition in her eyes when she saw me. This time, there was nothing but a blank stare.

My mom was a teacher most (more…)

The Ways of Dreams

June 22, 2012

Recently I was appointed the Illustrator Coordinator for the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators in Oregon. When I first agreed to accept the position, I thought, what am I doing? I haven't illustrated a book in years! It's true. I followed the path of novel writing for several years, barely spending a (more…)

In the Name of Research

February 28, 2012

Not too long ago, I made a batch of pepper pot soup as part of my research for a new book idea. In case you're not familiar with this soup, the key ingredient is tripe (cow stomach). I was surprised to find this product in my neighborhood grocery story (I later found out it's (more…)

A Funny Thing Happened On My Way to a Master's

January 15, 2012

My agent rejected my third novel the other day. This may seem like bad news, and it was, after working on this novel for two years. But something had been inkling at me for a while now, and my dear agent put it into words: "Your true calling is narrative nonfiction."

A few (more…)