12 August 2004

sad news

Bill Martin, Jr. died yesterday at the age of 88.

Mr. Martin, of course, was the author of some of the best-loved picture books to come out of the past 50 years. Chicka Chicka ABC was the first book I bought my nephew when I met him (at 7 weeks of age) and we read it so often that I can still recite the book in its entirety quite easily. Another of Jonathon's favorites (and a favorite of children all over the planet, I'm sure) is Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? One of my absolute favorite picture books is The Happy Hippopotami: "Happy Hippopotami / On the sunny beach do lie / Like a row of granite boulders / Except, of course, for sunburned shoulders."

Bill Martin, Jr. was one of the brightest stars in the firmament of children's literature. We are all richer for having had him among us and his light will doubtless shine in the smiles of children (and their adults) for generations to come.

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