Kelly Murphy

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This article is about the author and illustrator. For the volleyball player, see Kelly Murphy (volleyball).

Kelly Murphy is an American author and illustrator from Massachusetts. Murphy attended the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in Providence, Rhode Island, her student work receiving distinction from the Society of Illustrators. After graduating with a bachelor of fine arts degree in illustration in 1999, Murphy started a freelance career as an editorial and children's books illustrator. She wrote and illustrated her first picture book The Boll Weevil Ball in 2002[1] and has since illustrated a dozen more, including stories written by award-winning authors such as Kathi Appelt, J. Patrick Lewis, Linda Sue Park, Richard Peck and Jane Yolen. Murphy has also created artwork for theater[2] and film, including the 2003 indie feature Little Erin Merryweather[3] and the 2013 documentary Muscle Shoals.[4]

In 2009 Murphy earned an E.B. White Read Aloud Award[5] for illustrating the New York Times Best Seller[6] Masterpiece, written by Elise Broach. She has also illustrated a companion book to Masterpiece, The Miniature World of Marvin and James, written as well by Elise Broach. James to the Rescue is forthcoming in 2015. She has taught at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design and Montserrat College of Art[7] and is currently a faculty member of the Rhode Island School of Design.[8]


Murphy was one of 5 artists whose work was exhibited in the 18th Annual Children's Book Illustrators' Show & Signing at the Chemers Gallery in Tustin, CA in 2009.[9]

Murphy's original art was exhibited in the 2010 Children's Book Illustrators Exhibition at the Brush Art Gallery & Studios, celebrating outstanding illustration contributions in the field of children's literature, with fellow RISD alumni illustrators Christopher Bing, David Macaulay and David Wiesner.[10]

Murphy's work has been exhibited at the Museum of American Illustration in New York City, NY.[11]

In 2012, Murphy's work received a Gold Award in the Illustration West 50 competition and was exhibited at the Gallery Nucleus in Alhambra, California.[12] Murphy was also chosen from RISD's illustrious alumni as one of the select artists featured in RISD ICONS: A Legacy of Illustration from the Rhode Island School of Design[13] exhibit at the Woods Gerry Gallery.

In 2014, Murphy was a keynote speaker at the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators 2014 Writers & Illustrators Working Conference in Austin, Texas.[14]


Chapter Books[edit]

Picture Books[edit]

  • The Boll Weevil Ball (2002)
  • A Place To Grow (2002, Illustrator, written by Stephanie Bloom)
  • Loony Little (2003, Illustrator, written by Dianna Hutts Aston)
  • Dancing Matilda (2004, Illustrator, written by Sarah Hager)
  • Good Babies (2005, Illustrator, written by Tim Myers)
  • Fiona's Luck (2007, Illustrator, written by Teresa Bateman)
  • Gallop-O-Gallop (2007, Illustrator, written by Sandra Alonso)
  • Hush, Little Dragon (2008, Illustrator, written by Boni Ashburn)
  • The Peach Boy (2009, Illustrator, written by Alex Frith)
  • Brand-New Baby Blues (2009, Illustrator, written by Kathi Appelt)
  • Over At The Castle (2009, Illustrator, written by Boni Ashburn)
  • Creepy Monsters, Sleepy Monsters (2011, Illustrator, written by Jane Yolen)
  • Face Bug (2013, Illustrator, written by J. Patrick Lewis, photographs by Fred Siskind)
  • Romping Monsters, Stomping Monsters (2013, Illustrator, written by Jane Yolen)
  • The Slowest Book Ever (2016, Illustrator, written by April Pulley Sayre)


External links[edit]