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Erick Berry
A smiling woman in a short-sleeved shirt and pants sits on a chair with what appears to be a typewriter on her lap
Born Allena Champlin
(1892-01-04)January 4, 1892
New Bedford, Massachusetts
Died February 1974 (aged 82)
Occupation Writer, illustrator
Nationality American
Genre Children's literature
Notable works

Evangel Allena Champlin Best (January 4, 1892 – February 1974), better known by her pen name Erick Berry, was an American author, illustrator and editor.

Early and personal life

Berry was born on January 4, 1892, in New Bedford, Massachusetts. She was married at least twice, the second time to fellow writer Herbert Best. She derived her pen name from her interest in Eric Pape and the surname of her first husband.


Berry published many children's books from the 1930s to the '60s, and worked as an author, illustrator, and editor. Perhaps the most popular book she wrote was 1933's Winged Girl of Knossos, which she also illustrated. It won a Newbery Honor in 1934. In that year, Anne Dempster Kyle's The Apprentice of Florence, illustrated by Berry, won the same award. She also illustrated several of her husband Best's works, one of which, Garram the Hunter: A Boy of the Hill Tribes, also won a Newbery Honor. She also edited at least one publication, Walter and Marion Havighurst's 1949 children's historical novel Song of the Pines.


Berry died in February 1974, at the age of 82.

As author

As sole author

  • Girls in Africa: 1928 (also illustrated)
  • Penny-whistle: 1930 (also illustrated)
  • Humbo the Hippo and Little-Boy-Bumbo: 1932 (also illustrated)
  • Winged Girl of Knossos: 1933 (also illustrated)
  • Cynthia Steps Out: 1937
  • Homespun: 1937 (illustrated by Harold von Schmidt)
  • Honey of the Nile: 1938 (also illustrated)
  • Hudson Frontier: 1942 (also illustrated)
  • Sybil Ludington's Ride: 1952 (also illustrated)
  • Hay-Foot, Straw-Foot: 1954 (also illustrated)
  • Green Door to the Sea: 1955 (also illustrated)
  • Horses for the General: 1956 (also illustrated)
  • The Land and People of Finland: 1959
  • The Land and People of Iceland: 1959
  • The Four Londons of William Hogarth: 1964
  • You Have Got to Go Out: The Story of the United States Coast Guard: 1964
  • Mr. Arctic: An Account of Vilhjalmur Stefansson: 1966
  • The Springing of the Rice: A Story of Thailand: 1966 (illustrated by John Kaufmann)
  • When Wagon Trains Rolled to Santa Fe: 1966 (illustrated by Charles Waterhouse)
  • The Magic Banana and Other Polynesian Tales: 1968 (illustrated by Nicholas Amorosi)
  • A World Explorer: Fridtjof Nansen: 1969 (illustrated by William Hutchinson)

With Herbert Best

  • Men Who Changed the Map: 1968
  • The Polynesian Triangle: 1968

As illustrator

Books by Herbert Best

  • Garram the Hunter: A Boy of the Hill Tribes: 1930
  • Tal of the Four Tribes: 1938
  • Gunsmith's Boy: 1942
  • The Long Portage: A Story of Ticonderoga and Lord Howe: 1948
  • Not Without Danger: 1951
  • The Columbus Cannon: 1954
  • Underwater Warriors: Story of the American Frogmen: 1967

Books by other authors

  • Pinky Pup and The Empty Elephant - Dixie Willson: 1928
  • This Side of Jordan - Roark Bradford: 1929 (Harper & Brothers) and 1930 (William Heinemann Ltd)
  • Bee of the Cactus CountryNora Archibald Smith: 1932
  • The Apprentice of Florence — Anne Dempster Kyle: 1933
  • Araminta — Eva Knox Evans: 1935
  • Jerome Anthony — Eva Knox Evans: 1936
  • The Polynesian Triangle — Eleanor Weakley Nolen: 1938
  • Key Corner — Eva Knox Evans: 1938
  • The Pilgrim GooseKeith Robertson: 1956

As editor

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