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- Date of birth: October 29, 1933
- Died: July 31, 1994
- Born: in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, The United States.
- Description: (October 29, 1933 - July 31, 1994)
Acclaimed poet Valerie Worth Bahlke was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and grew up in nearby Swarthmore, where her father taught biology at Swarthmore College. The family then moved to Tampa, Florida, and Bangalore, India, where they lived for one year. Valerie returned to Swarthmore to attend college, graduating with an English degree and High Honors. Shortly thereafter she married George Bahlke, a fellow Swarthmore graduate. After settling in Clinton, NY, Valerie met Natalie Babbitt at Kirkland College, and Natalie began to illustrate Valerie's work, starting with Small Poems in 1972. Three more volumes followed: More Small Poems (1976); Still More Small Poems (1978); and Small Poems Again (1986). All four volumes were issued in a single paperback, All the Small Poems (1987), and seven years later, All the Small Poems and Fourteen More was released and was then followed by a paperback edition in 1996. In 2002, FSG posthumously published Peacock and Other Poems by Valerie Worth, with pictures by Natalie Babbitt, a collection of 27 poems which Publishers Weekly, in a starred review, said "heralds the joy of words." School Library Journal, in a starred review, declared that "[Valerie Worth's] work gives children something to admire and aim for."
Valerie Worth was honored by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) in 1991 with its Poetry Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children, which acknowledges a body of work.