Barr, Cathrine

About the author

Cathrine Barr (1914–87) was an American author and illustrator of children’s early readers. She was educated at the Massachusetts College of Art, where she wrote a thesis on illustration for children. After her divorce, she had an immense struggle as a single mother with two daughters, in an America that expected men to be the breadwinners. Trying to get her books published was difficult in the extreme, and at one point, the family were on the point of losing their house. Fortunately the Oxford University Press accepted her books, which she both wrote and illustrated. Barr never wrote full time: she continued to earn her living through advertising illustration.

Most of her books were about animals, ranging from chimps and giraffes through to the more conventional dogs and horses. Two of her books feature equines: A Horse for Sherry and Peppy of Portugal.

Finding the books
Both books, whilst not exactly common, are reasonably priced when they do turn up.

Links and sources
Mary Ann Barr, Cathrine Barr’s daughter, on her mother (link no longer extant)
Thanks to Lisa Catz for the photograph.

Bibliography (horse books only)

A Horse for Sherry

H Z Walck, New York, 1963, 32 pp.

A visit to her grandmother’s ranch is special: more so if the heroine can find a horse to ride. There is a horse there who seems just right, and she’s asked to show the horse, but hopes she can handle it.

Peppy of Portugal

H Z Walck, New York, 1971, 32 pp.

Manuel’s burro is very naughty, so much so that Manuel thinks he’s too mischievous to earn his living. That’s a problem, as Manuel can’t keep his burro unless he can earn his keep.