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Kelly Murphy facts for kids

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Kelly Murphy is an American author, illustrator and educator. She is based in Providence, Rhode Island.

Early life

Murphy was born in Boston, Massachusetts and raised in southeastern Massachusetts. She attended the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in Providence, Rhode Island. Her student work receiving distinction from the Society of Illustrators of New York. 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 and has since illustrated more than 40 books for children, including stories written by authors Dave Eggers, J. Patrick Lewis, Linda Sue Park, Richard Peck, Beatrix Potter and Jane Yolen. Murphy has also created artwork for theater, film and animation, including character designs for the Sesame Workshop animated show Esme & Roy on HBO, and the 2013 documentary Muscle Shoals.

She has taught at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design and Montserrat College of Art, and is a faculty member of the Rhode Island School of Design.


In 2009 Murphy earned an E.B. White Read Aloud Award for illustrating the New York Times Best Seller Masterpiece, written by Elise Broach. She subsequently illustrated books in a companion series for younger readers, The Masterpiece Adventures, by the same author.

In 2019 All the Greys on Greene Street, written by Laura Tucker and illustrated by Murphy, was distinguished as a best book of the year by The New York Times, Kirkus Reviews, BookPage and Publishers Weekly.


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.

Murphy's original art was exhibited in the 2010 Children's Book Illustrators Exhibition at the Brush Art Gallery & Studios, with fellow RISD alumni illustrators Christopher Bing, David Macaulay and David Wiesner.

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

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. Murphy was also chosen from RISD's illustrious alumni as one of the artists featured in RISD ICONS: A Legacy of Illustration from the Rhode Island School of Design 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.

Murphy is one of the illustrators and authors presenting at the Lincoln School's 2018 Rhode Island Festival of Children's Books and Authors.

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