NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - Sherrel Campbell, a fifteen-year resident of New Providence [originally from the island of Jamaica], founded The Murphy Bear LLC, a company that specializes in children's books and merchandise. 

With the pandemic, Campbell believes that children relate more to characters and books and was inspired to create The Murphy Bear, the star in her books "Murphy Wears a Mask" and "Murphy Keeps His Distance."

The first book in the series explains to children the importance of wearing a mask and the second book of the series focuses on physical distancing. The books also educates children on how to stay safe and healthy.

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The Murphy Bear, brought to life by Campbell and Kelly Gomez, a 16-year-old high school junior.  Campbell also credits her editor and friend Farrawh Charles.

Interestingly, when Campbell was searching for an illustrator, she posted on the New Providence Community Facebook page and was introduced to Gomez. "Kelly is talented beyond her years and finds time to balance her school work, marching band, and other activities while still working on Murphy’s illustrations," said Campbell. "Kelly is currently working on The ABCs of Staying Healthy With Murphy, while Murphy and Daisy’s Backyard Sleepover waits in line." 

"Murphy Wears a Mask" and "Murphy Keeps His Distance" both explain the COVID virus to children and teaches them the importance of wearing their mask and how to practice physical distancing. 

The Murphy Bear with his removable face mask and matching children’s mask, along with both books are available on or at the Learning Express/The Teaching Room in Morristown and Verona. You can contact Campbell by email at

Follow Murphy on his adventures on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram @themurphybear and @she_aroundtheworld.