In Memory: Ann Durell

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Ann Durell (McCrory) “was a distinguished editor and publisher of children’s books and a Vice President of E.P. Dutton until her retirement in 1987.”

She died in her Manhattan home on May 6 at age 87.

From The New York Times, “Ann worked with many noted authors including Maurice Sendak, Ellen Raskin,

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In Memory: Anne Rockwell

By Gayleen Rabukukk

Author and illustrator Anne Rockwell died on April 10 in Stamford, Connecticut. She was 85.

Obituary: Anne Rockwell by Shannon Maughan from Publishers Weekly. Peek:

“Christy Ottaviano… worked with Rockwell on four books….describing her as ‘…a visionary in her ability to reach young children through her thoughtful, clever, and wide-reaching books. She had such a keen understanding of the picture book form and how it could open up a child’s world.’”

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In Memory: Jean Marzollo

By Robin Galbraith

Author, illustrator, and educator Jean Marzollo died April 10, 2018.

SCBWI Remembers Jean Marzollo 1942- 2018 from their website. Peek:

“…Marzollo served for 20 years as editor of Scholastic’s magazine for kindergartners, Let’s Find Out. …she wrote nearly 150 books, and became best known for her I Spy series (Scholastic, 1992)…translated into twelve languages and…sold more than 42 million copies worldwide.”  

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In Memory: Ursula K. Le Guin

Authors William Alexander and Ursula K. Le Guin

By Robin Galbraith

Author Ursula K. Le Guin died while Cynsations was on winter hiatus.

Ursula K. Le Guin (1929 – 2018) from The Horn Book. Peek:

“Author Ursula K. Le Guin, who challenged the male-dominated fantasy and science fiction fields starting in the 1960s, died January 22,

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In Memory: Julius Lester

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Author Julius Lester died Jan. 18 while Cynsations was on winter hiatus.

Julius Lester, whose literature explored African American life, dies at 78 by Emily Langer from The Washington Post. Peek:

“He once wrote that ‘the need to know more about my individual past led me to begin studying slavery.’ …To Be a Slave (illustrated by Tom Feelings,

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In Memory: Sheila Barry

Photo courtesy of Heather Camlot; used with permission.

By Melanie Fishbane

On the 21st of November, the Canadian Children’s Book Centre held its annual Canadian Children’s Book Awards, an evening devoted to awarding the best in children’s literature. Among the always decadent dishes and clinking glasses, there was feeling that something was missing—or someone.

A little less than a week before, on the 15th of November,

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In Memory: Dianne de Las Casas

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Author Dianne de Las Casas died Aug. 21 while Cynsations was on summer hiatus.

A ‘Magnetic Personality’: Author, Storyteller Killed in Harvey House Fire by Jonathan Bullington from The Times-Picayune. Peek: “An award-winning author, Casas published more than two dozen books. She founded Picture Book Month, celebrated in November and recognized by the American Association of School Librarians.”

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In Memory: Jan Andrews

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Author and storyteller Jan Andrews died Sept. 2, while Cynsations was on summer hiatus.

Obituary Note: Jan Andrews from Shelf Awareness. Peek: “British-born storyteller and children’s author Jan Andrews, who immigrated to Canada in her 20s and ‘wrote books for children of all ages, often inspired by the people and landscape of her adopted home,’ died September 2, Quillblog reported.

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In Memory: Robin Smith

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Teacher and picture book expert Robin Smith died in June while Cynsations was on summer hiatus.

Robin Smith (1959-2017) from The Horn Book. Peek: “A second-grade teacher at Ensworth School in Nashville for the last twenty-four years, she was a longtime Horn Book contributor and reviewer and a founding co-author of the Calling Caldecott blog. She also reviewed for BookPage and Kirkus.”

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In Memory: Geoffrey Hayes

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Author and illustrator Geoffrey Hayes died in June while Cynsations was on summer hiatus.

Obituary: Geoffrey Hayes by Shannon Maughan from Publishers Weekly. Peek: “…Hayes, best known for the comics-style artwork and expressive animal characters in his many titles for emerging readers, died suddenly on June 2, of apparent natural causes, in Asheville, N.C. He was 69.”

His first book,

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