This year has seen the death of some of my favorite people -- people important in the world of books for children and young adults:
John Langstaff died on Tuesday, December 13, 2005. John was 84 and living in Switzerland. In addition to his music genius, he wrote Frog Went a-Courtin' which won a Caldecott in l956 for Feodor Rojankovsky's illustrations.
AND on this same day, December 13, 2005, Margaret Hodges author of Saint George and the Dragon died. She was 94. Saint George and the Dragon was the book illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman and which earned Hyman the 1985 Caldecott Award.
Author Stan Berenstain, who with his wife created the Berenstain Bears and the popular children's book series died in Pennsylvania on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2005. He was 82. Stan and his co-creator and wife, Jan Berenstain lived in Solebury, Pennsylvania.
James (Jim) Haskins, an African-American who wrote many biographies and histories exploring the African-American exprience. He died on July 6, 2005. He was a professor of children's literature at the University of Florida at Gainesville, he was 63.
James Houston died at the age of eighty-three, on April 17, 2005. He was a writer, artist, and three-time winner of the Canadian Library Association Book of the Year for Children Award.
Charlotte Huck, a professor who transformed the study of children’s literature with her courses at Ohio State University and her popular textbook, Children’s Literature in the Classroom, died at her home in Redlands, California, on April 7, 2005. She was eighty-two. A member of the Reading Hall of Fame, past president of the National Council of Teachers of English, and winner of several teaching awards, she retired from academia in 1986 and began to write children’s books. They include Princess Furball and The Black Bull of Norroway (both Greenwillow).
Andre (Alice Mary) Norton, best known for her Witch World series, fantasy and science-fiction died at the age of ninety-three on March 17, 2005, in Tennessee.
One of my very favorite books is/was Princess Furball. The author, Charlotte Huck, was both a professor well-known for her courses in children's literature at Ohio State University and a respected and renowned author of a popular textbook, Children’s Literature in the Classroom. Huck died at her home in Redlands, California, on April 7, 2005 at the age of eighty-two. She was a member of the Reading Hall of Fame, past president of the National Council of Teachers of English, and winner of several teaching awards. It was after her retirement in 1986 that she began to write children's books.
Ted Rand entered the world of children's books as an artist and rather late in life. His last book may have been A Pen Pal for Max (Holt) which was co-authored with his wife Gloria. He also worked frequently with Jack Prelutsky. Ted died at his home on Mercer Island, Washington, on March 12, 2005. He was eighty-nine.