Eric Carle died 23 May, aged 91.
The major obituaries:
‘In a story that respects grief’s slow pace, Cordell’s writing and artwork together carry grace and heart.’ Publishers Weekly, starred review
‘Cordell speaks eloquently and respectfully to the universal experience of loss and recovery.’ New York Times
“Perfectly paced to emulate the slowness of grieving and healing, heartfelt and a wonderful place for children to reflect on and talk about, loss and sadness, and the place of nature in the healing process.” BfK 5-star review
A picture book about healing after a bereavement—the death of a loved one or a family pet—by Caldecott Medallist Matthew Cordell. Louise and her family are sad after their beloved dog Charlie dies. “Life will not be the same,” Louise says, as she visits a little island that Charlie loved. But on the island, something strange happens: she meets a bear who teaches her that getting over a bereavement takes time and that sometimes, things can change for the better.
Althea Braithwaite – ‘Althea’ – died last month aged 80.
Primary school libraries and classrooms were particularly full of her slim, informative and accessible titles during the last three decades of the 20th century.
In recent years, she was better known, particularly in East Anglia, as an artist specialising in brightly coloured fused glass.
Sorry to learn of the recent death of children’s illustrator Althea Braithwaite, (1940 – 2020) who went under the simple name of Althea. In later years she turned her talents to ceramics, and she created this wonderful glass dish #althea #AltheaBraithwaite pic.twitter.com/lM3fW2Pgeo
— Colin West (@mooseandmouse) September 24, 2020
The Guardian obituary, published 20 September and linked to below, is an excellent summary of her life and career. As is the Books for Keeps Authorgraph, published while Althea was still alive:
Indeed, given only minimal entries in the standard reference books on Children’s Literature, these two sources of information together represent the best available information on Althea’s place in the history of children’s books.
If further obituaries appear, they will be added to this post.
I am very sorry for being so late in posting this news. My reaction was similar to that of Camilla Reid, writing on the Nosy Crow blog (see the link below):
I almost felt that it was impossible for Wendy to actually die. This is bonkers, obviously, but anyone who ever met her cannot have failed to notice in Wendy a vitality, a force of positive energy that is rare to encounter and would fool you into thinking it would go on forever.
She must have been at practically every children’s publishing event I ever attended in London. If she wasn’t, it would mean she was on one of her regular travelling expeditions, and if she was, you could bet that conversation would be as likely to be about her latest adventures in India, as it would about children’s books.
She will be greatly missed.
The death of, Richard Jackson, a significant children’s books editor and champion of Young Adult themes has been announced:
Richard Jackson, an editor who published books by Judy Blume, Paula Fox, Virginia Hamilton and other award-winning authors that broadened the scope of children’s literature, then late in life became a children’s author himself, died on Oct. 2 in Towson, Md. He was 84.
…His work as an editor beginning in the 1960s that changed the landscape of literature for young people. At a time when many people still thought of Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys mysteries as the height of sophistication for young readers, he published authors who wrote about bullying, race, sexuality, adolescent angst of all kinds.
He often found himself defending the books he published against complaints from librarians, school boards and parents who deemed them too strong.
Of publishing Judy Blume, Jackson said, “I felt her voice was so extraordinarily pure, I just couldn’t worry that we were going to raise hackles… There’s always someone to be offended. But it was never to raise hackles that we published her. It was the voice, and the absence of adult regret, instruction or nostalgia in those novels. She turns them over to the kids, over to the characters.”
More >>> https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/13/books/richard-jackson-dead.html
Updated full-length obit. >>> https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/13/books/richard-jackson-dead.html?smid=tw-nytobits&smtyp=cur
Richard Wilbur, whose meticulous, urbane poems earned him two Pulitzer Prizes and selection as the national poet laureate, died on Saturday in Belmont, Mass. He was 96.
Wilbur’s poems have been reguarly included in children’s anthologies and on a few occasions – for example, The Spig In The Spigot – he published with a young audience directly in mind.
Like Sarah McIntyre I spent yesterday hoping that the lack of confirmation on either the BBC or the Guardian might mean that the reports of Babette Cole’s death amounted to fake news. She has been such a considerable figure in the world of children’s books it seemed strange that news sites were not picking up on the unexpected event. The single news report I found was on itv.com and the only sources quoted were two tweets.
When I explored Facebook I discovered that the news had begun spreading at the very start of the day and emanated from her West country friends in the horse community. It was still theoretically possible, as Sarah McIntyre says, and especially given Babette’s character, that the story was being spread to see how easily people could be taken in.
There is still, as far as I can see (as 09:45 this morning) no mention of her death on either the Guardian news site or the BBC, which seems odd, although her Wikipedia page has been updated with the date of death.
ACHUKA will link to the formal obituaries as soon as they begin appearing.
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.
Brian Wildsmith, children’s author and illustrator, has died aged 86.
Wildsmith died last Wednesday (31st August) in Grasse, France.
He was born on 22nd January 1930 and raised in a small mining village near Sheffield. He won a scholarship to the Slade School of Fine Art, London where he studied for three years. He later taught maths at the Royal Military School of Music but gave it up so that he could pursue his passion for painting.
Wildsmith began working with Oxford University Press in the late 1950s when children’s publisher, Mabel George, commissioned him to illustrate 12 colour plates for Tales from the Arabian Nights. This was followed by ABC, published in 1961, which won the Kate Greenaway Medal.