Czech artist Karel Franta, the author of illustrations of books for children and winner of a number of international awards, died at the age of 89 on Wednesday.
Franta illustrated more than 100 books for children, mainly by Czech authors, and also the production of foreign, particularly German-language publishers.
Peter Spier, an award-winning children’s-book author and illustrator who depicted Noah’s biblical journey, told the story of the Erie Canal to the words of the song “Low Bridge, Everybody Down” and gave voice to the sounds of hundreds of animals like hippos (“RRUMMPF) and starlings (“FEE-YOU”), died on April 27 in Port Jefferson, N.Y. He was 89.
It was good to see the death of Babette Cole being given the media attention it warranted yesterday, with substantial coverage on both BBC radio and TV news.
These obituary links will be added to as they appear….
Paul Goble, arguably South Dakota’s most celebrated children’s author and illustrator, died Thursday morning at his home on Ninth Street. He was 83.
Goble, who won the prestigious Caldecott Medal in 1979 for his book “The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses,” was a multi-faceted artist, writer and naturalist who first visited the American West in 1959. Infatuated with the Black Hills’ landscape, birds, free-roaming wildlife and Native American lore, Goble moved permanently to the Black Hills in 1977.
Guardian obit. by Julia Eccleshare
Brian Wildsmith, who has died aged 86, was the award-winning illustrator of more than 80 children’s picture books, whose explosive use of colour made them immediately recognisable to young readers all over the world.
Together with Quentin Blake and John Burningham, he influenced a generation of illustrators and publishers in the 1960s, when opportunities for better colour reproduction were growing.
The armadillo, butterfly, cat and other creatures in his alphabetical first book, ABC (1961), were sufficiently distinctive and innovative to win him the Kate Greenaway Medal awarded by UK children’s librarians. Encouraged by Mabel George, the children’s books editor at Oxford University Press, who championed him from the start of his career, and by subsequent editors, he published at least one and usually two books a year throughout the 1960s and 1970s.
full piece via Brian Wildsmith obituary | Books | The Guardian.
Joyce Carol Thomas, a poet, playwright and award-winning children’s writer whose work portrayed the complexities of African-American rural life, a subject often simplified in young-adult fiction, died on Aug. 13 in Stanford, Calif. She was 78.
Her death was confirmed by her sister, Flora Krasnovsky, who said Ms. Thomas had had cirrhosis of the liver from hepatitis c, which she had contracted from a blood transfusion.
Ms. Thomas wrote mostly adult plays and poetry before the publication of her first young-adult novel, “Marked by Fire,” in 1982. It won the National Book Award for children’s fiction in 1983.
This obituary (by Julia Eccleshare) of the murdered children’s author Helen Bailey appeared online earlier in the month but has only today found its way into the print edition of The Guardian.
In [her memoir] Bailey described meeting and falling in love with Ian Stewart, whose wife had died in 2010. Together, they moved from London to Royston in Hertfordshire. Bailey went missing in April 2016. Her body was found in the grounds of the home she shared with Stewart on 15 July, and he was soon afterwards charged with her murder.
The contribution of Robert Dunbar to the world of children’s literature was immeasurable and his knowledge of the subject profound. He was its champion, driven by a political belief in the power of books to make the world a better place.
Robert spent his life educating others about the importance of books in the lives of children and young people.
His boundless enthusiasm was a hallmark of the man, and his great gift to all of us. It was to be found in the reviews, lectures, commentaries and many interviews he conducted over the years, always drawing an answering spark from his guests.
However, it is his contribution to the academic study of children’s literature which will be his greatest legacy. Dunbar was a pioneer on this front from the early 1980s onwards, particularly in the promotion of young adult fiction and the intrepid generation of writers who began to work in this genre at that time.
Robert spent some 27 years as the children’s books reviewer with The Irish Times, starting on October 29th, 1988.
full obit. via Robert Dunbar: A champion of children’s literature.
Revered cartoonist Jack Davis [has died] at the age of 91.
Davis’s art career spanned several mediums, from comics, to movie posters, to advertising. One of his first jobs was drawing a Coco-Cola training manual in 1949.
In 1952, Davis went on to become one of the founding artists of Harvey Kurtzman’s Mad Magazine. He worked on the first 30 issues Mad Magazine, as well as Panic, Cracked, Trump, Humbug, and Help!
Davis has been recognized as one of the greats of the comics industry. He received the National Cartoonists Society’s Milton Caniff Lifetime Achievement Award in 1996 and received their Reuben Award in 2000. In 2003, he was inducted into the Will Eisner Hall of Fame.
full piece via Mad Magazine And EC Comics Artist Jack Davis Dies At 91.
The American children’s author Lois Duncan, who has died aged 82, was best known for her literary young adult thrillers I Know What You Did Last Summer (1973) and Killing Mr Griffin (1978). She was quick to pick up on the rise of realism in children’s fiction in the 1960s, and had a gift for creating psychological suspense thrillers with credible contemporary settings and convincing characters. She placed thoroughly normal school students in everyday settings and then threw in a dramatic surprise – sometimes supernatural, sometimes realistic – which would reveal how different people behave in challenging circumstances. Without being didactic, through her characters she showed readers the necessity of facing up to the consequences of their actions.