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Obituaries

Death notices and remembrances of children's-book people.

Judith Kerr (1923-2019)

Author/illustrator Judith Kerr has passed away at the age of ninety-five. Kerr’s first book was the picture-book classic The Tiger Who Came to Tea. She is also the creator of a long-running series about Mog, the Forgetful Cat; and more recently Mister Cleghorn’s Seal, The Crocodile Under the Bed, One Night in the Zoo, and […]

For Paul Janeczko

Naomi Shihab Nye, helped out by Lynne Rae Perkins, remembers the recently departed Paul B. Janeczko. He will be missed.     For Paul Janeczko, who Changed the World We were set up to do a reading together in Portland, Maine once — HIS TOWN — and the only attendee was a dog. As we […]

In Memoriam: Jane Langton

I first met Jane in the spring of 1975. Invited for lunch, I showed up at her beautiful home in Lincoln determined to make a lasting impression. At Harvard Square I had bought the cheapest flowers I could find — daffodils — and I arrived in her kitchen with twelve dozen daffodils. She called into […]

R.I.P. Tomi Ungerer and a Letter from Leda

We were sorry to hear about the death of Tomi Ungerer, whose is the name I hear mentioned most frequently when illustrators talk about their heroes. The New York Times has a sympathetic and informative obit of the artist but takes one cheap shot up with which Leda Schubert, dear friend of the Horn Book, will […]

RIP William Goldman

There’s a history in this office of Feelings about The Princess Bride. Some Horn Bookers find it irritating how often people quote it. (I can’t imagine why.) And others believe that this story within a story is a dweam wiffin a dweam. That “Fencing. Fighting. Torture. Poison. True love. Fate. Revenge…” is only the beginning. […]

In Memoriam: Remembering Julius Lester

When I contacted Julius Lester (1939–2018) in 2014 to ask if he would join us at my gallery to accept the seventh annual Reader to Reader Norton Juster Award for Devotion to Literacy, he said he was pleased to be celebrated and would get back to me after checking the football schedule. I wasn’t surprised. […]

Ann Durell (1931-2018)

Renowned editor and publisher Ann Durell died May 6, 2018, in New York City. She was eighty-seven. She entered the children’s book field in the 1950s, first as an apprentice and secretary at Doubleday, then taking over as head of the Junior Literary Guild, then moving to Holt, Rinehart and Winston as a children’s book […]

Richard Peck (1934-2018)

We were very saddened to hear from Roger about the death of Richard Peck late last night. Winner of the Newbery Medal (in 2001 for A Year Down Yonder), the Margaret A. Edwards Award “for significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature,” the Scott O’Dell Award, a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Award, and many others, […]

Alice Provensen (1918-2018)

Author and illustrator Alice Provensen died April 23, 2018, in San Clemente, California. She was ninety-nine. With her late husband and collaborator Martin Provensen, she illustrated more than forty children’s books, including The Glorious Flight: Across the Channel with Louis Blériot, winner of the 1984 Caldecott Medal, and A Visit to William Blake’s Inn: Poems […]

Russell Freedman (1929-2018)

We were sad to learn that Russell Freedman passed away earlier this week. The prolific nonfiction author — winner of the 1988  Newbery Medal for Lincoln: A Photobiography — wrote over sixty books, beginning with Teenagers Who Made History and including Kids at Work: Lewis Hine and the Crusade Against Child Labor; Eleanor Roosevelt: A Life […]