Erick Berry (1892-1974)

Award-winning American author and illustrator. Erick Berry was a pseudonym and the author was actually female! She was born Allena Champlin in New Bedford, Massachusetts in 1892. An early love of books was instilled in her by her librarian father, however she went on to study art. She was so influenced by Eric Pape that she took on the name of Erick for her writing. Berry was her married name from her first marriage.

After graduating Ms. Berry took on a wide range of art-related jobs including murals, advertisements and designing toys and cards. She then went on to further study art in Paris and then travelled to Africa. Her first two books were non-fictional accounts of life in Africa. There she also met her second husband, Herbert Best, an author whose books she was to illustrate. She went on to write many more books of her own. These included a wide range of subjects and were both fiction and non-fiction. She won the Newbery Honor Award in 1934. Most of her books she also illustrated herself. Two of her books featured horses; both are historical stories set in the time of the American Revolution.

Horse & Pony Books:

Reprinted in hardback by Macmillan in 1963.
SUMMARY: Historical horse story set in the days of the American Revolution. 16 year old  Lem wants to enlist in George Washington's army but is too short. When he makes friends with a corporal in the army he is allowed to contribute to the war effort by looking after the horses and  scouting out good horses for the army to buy.

(VIKING [USA] 1952)
Reprinted in hardback by Viking?
Available as a print-on-demand paperback.
SUMMARY: Historical story set in the days of the American Revolution. Apparently based on a true story of two sisters who become involved in the war. Sybil and younger sister Rebecca work on the farm while their father is away fighting. Sybil is nervous of riding her horse Star until she has to ride for help when the British attack nearby.

Collector's Info:
Easy to find in America, especially Horses for the General. Both are quite hard to find elsewhere in their earlier formats, however Sybli Ludington's Ride is now available as a print-on-demand paperback edition in the UK. It is however quite pricey.