Anna Dewdney, Creator of "Llama Llama" Series, Dies

The 50-year-old author and illustrator requested, instead of a funeral service, that people read to a child.
  anna-for-penguin-1 The author and illustrator of the beloved multi-million-copy bestselling "Llama Llama" children’s book series, Anna Dewdney, died in her Vermont home on September 3, 2016, after a 15-month battle with brain cancer. She was 50. Dewdney’s soothing tales are synonymous with the calming of early childhood anxieties. She was praised by the Chicago Tribune as a “geographer extraordinaire of the emotional terrain of preschoolers and their mothers.” Books in her series, which have almost 10 million copies in print, include Llama Llama Red Pajama, Llama Llama Holiday Drama, Llama Llama Misses Mama, and Llama Llama Time to Share. Llama Llama Red Pajama was chosen as Jumpstart’s Read for the Record book in 2011, setting the world benchmark for the most readings of a single book in one day. Dewdney was also the author/illustrator of Nobunny's Perfect and Nelly Gnu and Daddy Too. She had just completed work on a new picture book, Little Excavator, scheduled for publication in June 2017 by Viking Children’s Books, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers. Netflix is in production with an animated Llama Llama series, scheduled for release in 2017. Jen Loja, president, Penguin Young Readers, said in a statement, “The entire Penguin Young Readers family is heartbroken.  And as we grieve, we also celebrate Anna's life, in dedicating ourselves to carrying forward her mission of putting books into as many little hands as possible. We will miss her so, but consider ourselves so lucky to be her publishing family and her partner in her legacy." Ken Wright, vice president and publisher, Viking Children’s Books, further commented, “Anna was an extraordinary talent. But much more than that, she was a dear, dear friend to so many of us at Viking and Penguin, and she will be deeply and personally missed by her entire Penguin family.” Anna Dewdney was born in New York City on December 25, 1965. Before becoming a full-time author and illustrator, she worked as a rural mail carrier and taught at a boys' boarding school for many years. She lived with her family and three dogs in a restored 1820 home on the site of an old stone mill, where she actively worked on the gardens. She was an outspoken advocate of literacy, and believed that the act of reading to a child fostered empathy and kindness in that child. In a 2013 article for the Wall Street Journal, she wrote, “When we read books with children, we share other worlds, and even more importantly, we share ourselves. Reading with children makes an intimate, human connection that teaches that child what it means to be alive as one of many beings on the planet.” In lieu of a funeral service, she asked that people read to a child. Dewdney is survived by her partner, Reed Duncan, and two grown daughters, Berol and Cordelia Dewdney.
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Lori

Llama Llama Red Pajama was a favorite of my son when he was younger. Her books brought fun and joy to our time reading together. What a beautiful wish to request, to read to a child.

Posted : Sep 09, 2016 04:35


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