Valerie Worth

Valerie Worth (1933-1994)

Acclaimed poet Valerie Worth was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and grew up in nearby Swarthmore, where her father taught biology at Swarthmore College. The family then moved to Tampa, Florida, and Bangalore, India, where they lived for one year. Valerie returned to Swarthmore to attend college, graduating with an English degree and High Honors. Shortly thereafter she married George Bahlke, a fellow Swarthmore graduate. After settling in Clinton, NY, Valerie met Natalie Babbitt at Kirkland College, and Natalie began to illustrate Valerie's work, starting with Small Poems in 1972. Three more volumes followed: More Small Poems (1976); Still More Small Poems (1978); and Small Poems Again (1986). All four volumes were issued in a single paperback, All the Small Poems (1987), and seven years later, All the Small Poems and Fourteen More was released and was then followed by a paperback edition in 1996. In 2002, FSG posthumously published Peacock and Other Poems by Valerie Worth, with pictures by Natalie Babbitt, a collection of 27 poems which Publishers Weekly, in a starred review, said "heralds the joy of words." School Library Journal, in a starred review, declared that "[Valerie Worth's] work gives children something to admire and aim for."

Valerie Worth was honored by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) in 1991 with its Poetry Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children, which acknowledges a body of work.




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Pug
Pug

Valerie Worth, illustrated by Steve Jenkins
Margaret Ferguson Books

In the follow-up to the well-received Animal Poems, Pug: And Other Animal Poems examines a wide range of animal behavior, from the fleetingness of a fly...


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Animal Poems

Valerie Worth; Pictures by Steve Jenkins
Farrar, Straus and Giroux

“Ms. Worth brilliantly employs all aspects of the poet’s craft.” – The New York Times Book Review Each of the exquisite twenty-three poems in this...


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All the Small Poems and Fourteen More

Valerie Worth; Pictures by Natalie Babbitt
Square Fish

All four Small Poems books in one volume plus fourteen new poems "every bit as worthy as their predecessors" (The Horn Book)


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