Barbara also was active in her community, especially with the Easttown Library. She served as secretary of the library Board of Trustees from 1973 to 1981, and contributed generously to the construction of the current library.
When the new library opened in 2003, she inaugurated the Barbara Robinson Story Time Room by reading one of her stories to children and parents. She was honored in 2008 with the title Library Champion at a ceremony on her birthday, Oct. 24.
Barbara took a family of six nasty siblings, the Herdmans, and made them lovable in The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, The Best Halloween Ever and The Best School Year Ever.
Here's how the Christmas story begins: "The Herdmans were absolutely the worst kids in the history of the world. They lied and stole and smoked cigars (even the girls) and talked dirty and hit little kids and cussed their teachers and took the name of the Lord in vain and set fire to Fred Shoemaker's old broken-down toolhouse."
The Herdmans never heard the New Testament Christmas story, but they take over the annual pageant in their town and make a mess of it. Of course, it all turns out all right, and goodness and mercy win out.
The Best Halloween Ever tells about how the Herdman kids celebrated Halloween by "stealing all the candy, spray-painting kids green and walking off with street signs." Once again, goodness triumphs and morals are delivered.
The kids are at it again in The Best School Year Ever, in which they "take on Woodrow Wilson School, creating customary chaos for students, teachers, parents and the Fire Department," the book blurb states.
The Christmas book, published in 1971, was performed as a play at the First Presbyterian Church of Olney in December 2002. Penny Rasnake, an actress and singer, was the director, and she enlisted children from the neighborhood as performers.
The kids had their own take on the story, as one performer said when told about the visit to the Christ child by the Three Kings: "Well, it's about time somebody important showed up. If they're kings, they can get the baby out of the barn, and tell the innkeeper where to get off."
Barbara Robinson would have loved that. She relished creating quirky characters and installing them in freaky situations.
My Brother Louis Measures Worms consists of 10 stories about the Lawson family - "a cheerfully off-the-wall assortment of characters who stumble into one comic misadventure after another," according to the book blurb.
Barbara Robinson was born Barbara Jean Webb in Portsmouth, Ohio. Her father, Theodore, died when she was 3, and she was raised by her mother, Grace, a schoolteacher.
On her website, Barbara wrote, "I grew up with, and quickly adopted, the notion that reading was the only way to fill up every scrap of loose time you could snatch."
She earned a bachelor's degree in theater at Allegheny College. She married John F. Robinson, of Berwyn, in 1949.
Besides her husband, she is survived by two daughters, Carolyn Robinson and Marjorie Pinto-Leite, and three grandchildren.
Services: Private burial service will be held Aug. 3 at the Newtown Square Presbyterian Church.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the church or to the Easttown Library.