Sunday, April 13, 2014

K is for Kelly Murphy

K is for Kelly Murphy*
Oops! "K" should have posted yesterday. So sorry.

I hope you can still enjoy this art spotlight a day late. Thanks for your patience.

I love to browse the library and bookstore shelves for hidden gems. I confess, I still prefer to judge a book by its cover. (I'm pretty good at judging by the spine too!) Anyway, One day about 8 years ago, I spotted this little beauty. Ooooo, how that cover made me grab it from the shelf and dive between the covers.

At the Sign of the Star,
by Katherine Sturtevant.
Cover by Kelly Murphy

I loved this book. Set in England in the late 1600's, this novel follows the bookish life of 12-year old Meg. She may be a bit of a feminist, but the characters, settings, and historical details made this an engaging read.

It turned out the cover was painted by Kelly Murphy. I didn't know her back then, but you'd be hard pressed not to know her now.  Below you'll find a few of her more heralded projects.

The Miniature World of
Marvin & James,

by Elise Broach 
The Mouse With
the Question Mark Tail,

by Richard Peck
Romping Monsters, Stomping Monsters,
by Jane Yolen

It is no surprise that Kelly's signature style has been honored by the Society of Illustrators, and that her books have garnered so much attention. Neither should it surprise you that she counts Edward Gorey and Shaun Tan among her heroes. Take a look at these fantastic pen and ink illustrations.
Kelly Murphy from Behind the Bookcase

Courtesy Kelly Murphy

You can hear more about Kelly's work on Mark Steensland's Behind the Bookcase.

You can find another interesting interview including her process at EMU's Debuts.

Of course, Kelly has her cuddly side too.

Mother's Day Card, by Kelly Murphy
Visit her at

*Follow the A to Z Challenge.


  1. I'm not familiar with Ms Murphy, but am glad that you have introduced her!

    1. She has landed some high profile author's books, a testament to her abilities. Enjoy searching for her work at a bookstore near you!


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