Beloved Children’s Author Shirley Barber Has Died At 88

The author passed peacefully in her sleep.
Shirley Barber

Shirley Barber has died aged 88.

Her death was announced by her publisher Brolly Brooks, who revealed the author passed peacefully in her sleep.

The beloved children’s author wrote and illustrated more than 30 picture books, including the popular Martha B. Rabbit, The Enchanted Woods and the Fairies’ Cook series. Her illustrations also became puzzles, colouring books, diaries, calendars and memory books.

Shirley Barber
Martha B Rabbit: the Fairies Cook by Shirley Barber

Barber was a third-generation artist and grew up in The Channel Islands. She moved to Australia in the 1960s and settled just outside of Melbourne, in Watsonia.

Barber’s first book, Martha B. Rabbit: the Fairies’ Cook was published by Memory Press in the 1980s. Barber had written the story as a child and the original handmade book is still in the hands of her family today.

Shirley Barber
Rainbow Magic by Shirley Barber

Barber’s illustrations of bunnies, fairies and magical creatures sold more than 10 million copies world wide, didn’t just resonate with a generation of children in the 1980s and 90s but remain in the hearts of different generations today.

On TikTok, the search term Shirley Barber has more than 7.8 million views, with her books becoming a cult collectable with Gen Z.

It’s obvious she will be greatly missed.

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