Charlotte Zolotow has died at age 98. She was an author and editor of children’s books. She wrote more than 70 picture books, including Mr. Rabbit and the Lovely Present and William’s Doll. She worked as an editor at Harper & Row with her own imprint, Charlotte Zolotow Books. The New York Times has details of her life and work.
Bestselling author, Barbara Park has died at age 66 from a long battle with ovarian cancer. She is the author of the beloved Junie B. Jones series that has sold over 55 million copies. She has published more than fifty books over the years.
Ann Jonas, creator of some amazing picture books, has died at age 81 according to Publisher’s Weekly. She is the creator of the very innovating Round Trip, a black and white picture book that flipped over and you read it backwards to finish the story.
Jonas was married to Donald Crews, also an author and illustrator of children’s picture books. She is also the mother of Nina Crews who too creates children’s books. That’s one talented family!
Barbara J. Robinson, author of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, has died at age 85 according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. Author of 12 books for children, she had a wonderful ear for comedic timing, basing her books on the antics of the Herdman family.
While continuing to write, Mrs. Robinson spent the latter part of her career visiting schools across the country, speaking to children and teachers about writing, and attending writers’ conferences.
"That was the favorite part, speaking with the children who were her readers," her daughter said. "She was delighted with their questions and comments, some of which were hilarious."
Illustrator Marc Simont has died at age 97.
Simont won the Caldecott Medal in 1957 for A Tree Is Nice written by Janice May Udry. Over his career, he illustrated nearly 100 books, according to an article in the New York Times covering his death.
Perhaps his best known title is The Philharmonic Gets Dressed written by Karla Kuskin, one of my all-time favorite picture books.
The St. Louis Post Dispatch carries the news of the death of Fredrick McKissack. Mr. McKissack co-authored many books with his wife, Patricia McKissack. According to the article, he also helped with research on books that did not bear his name as well.
Fredrick McKissack died on Sunday at the age of 73. Together with his wife, they wrote more than 100 books for children and adults many of which focused on African-Americans and civil rights.
E.L. Konigsburg, the author of From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, died on Friday at the age of 83. Konigsburg is one of only five authors to have won the Newbery Medal twice, once for From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler and once for The View from Saturday.
Additionally, she received a Newbery Honor for Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley and Me, Elizabeth, in the same year she won her first Newbery Medal. That made her the only person to have received a Newbery Medal and Honor in the same year. She also holds the record for the longest span between two Newbery Awards with her first medal in 1968 and her second in 1997, 29 years later.
Jan Ormerod died of cancer at age 66 on January 23, 2013. Born in Australia, she later made her home in Cambridge, England. She is the author and illustrator of many picture books. For a very personal obituary, head over to The Guardian where Morag Styles has captured the life of her friend.
Nina Bawden has died at age 87. She was the author of book for both adults and children. The one I know best is Carrie’s War which is tells the story of children evacuated to Wales during World War II. As I’m thinking about it now, I think I saw it on Masterpiece Theater rather than having read it. I loved the program.
And I love the description in the Chicago Tribune article of Bawden:
Lennie Goodings, Bawden’s publisher at Virago, called the author "gently fierce" and a "wickedly funny woman.
Sounds like someone I would have loved to meet.