Berry, Lynne

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Berry, Lynne


Born in MA; married. Education: Wellesley College, B.S. (biology), 1994; Vanderbilt University, Ph.D. (cell biology), 1997. Hobbies and other interests: Yoga, reading.


Home—Nashville, TN. E-mail—[email protected].


Children's book author. Presenter at schools.



Duck Skates, illustrated by Hiroe Nakata, Henry Holt (New York, NY), 2005.

The Curious Demise of a Contrary Cat, illustrated by Luke LaMarca, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2006.

Duck Dunks, illustrated by Hiroe Nakata, Henry Holt (New York, NY), 2008.

Contributor of poetry to periodicals, including Ladybug.


Although Lynne Berry earned a Ph.D. in cell biology, since leaving school she has discovered that writing for children, rather than a career in the sciences, is her true love. Her first picture book, Duck Skates, has been followed by several other books with toddler appeal. In addition to writing, Berry enjoys meeting with young children and discussing her work as an author.

In Duck Skates Berry introduces five little ducks. Her rhyming text follows their wintertime antics skating on the ice and playing in the snow. The five feathered friends return in Duck Dunks, where summer has replaced winter and the ducks are now enjoying a sunny afternoon at the seashore. Both books feature bright water color-and-ink art by illustrator Hiroe Nakata that brings to life Berry's engaging characters. In School Library Journal Amelia Jenkins wrote that in Duck Skates the author's "clever, rhyming verses … subtly present simple math concepts," and Nakata's art allows for ease of counting. Duck Skates features "a simple, unforced rhyme" in which "the sounds of the words will turn [children] … on to language," concluded Booklist critic Hazel Rochman. Berry's "rhythmic verse" in Duck Dunks perfectly matches the "wavering, swirling, beach-bright watercolors" contributed by Nakata, according to a Kirkus Reviews writer.

A "rhyming tale of a test of wills," according to a Kirkus Reviews writer, The Curious Demise of a Contrary Cat features Berry's story about a witch who grows frustrated when her cat ignores her commands. Whenever Witch asks Cat for help, Cat is busy hunting, stalking a spooky prey that shifts from Rat to Bat to Troll to Ghost. Ultimately, Witch finds a way to teach unruly Cat a lesson in a story that the Kirkus Reviews critic dubbed "out-and-out outlandish" and School Library Journal critic Marge Loch-Wouters praised as "a perfect choice for Halloween and for group sharing" due its call-and-response elements. Praising the detailed pen-and-ink artwork Luke LaMarca contributes to The Curious Demise of a Contrary Cat, Booklist critic Randall Enos called them "reminiscent of the work of Edward Gorey" and possessing "the right element of wackiness." According to Loch-Wouters, LaMarca's illustrations "convey plenty of action and humor."

Biographical and Critical Sources


Booklist, October 1, 2005, Hazel Rochman, review of Duck Skates, p. 61; November 1, 2006, Randall Enos, review of The Curious Demise of a Contrary Cat, p. 58.

Kirkus Reviews, September 15, 2005, review of Duck Skates, p. 1021; July 1, 2006, review of The Curious Demise of a Contrary Cat, p. 674; May 1, 2008, review of Duck Dunks.

School Library Journal, November, 2005, Amelia Jenkins, review of Duck Skates, p. 83; August, 2006, Marge Loch-Wouters, review of The Curious Demise of a Contrary Cat, p. 74.


Lynne Berry Home Page, (May 20, 2008).