In Memory: Michael Bond

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Author Michael Bond died in June while Cynsations was on summer hiatus.

Obituary: Michael Bond by Shannon Maughan from Publishers Weekly. Peek: “Bond, widely known for his books starring the duffle-coat-donning Paddington bear, died at his home in London following a brief illness. He was 91.”

Veronica Horwell wrote in The Guardian of Paddington’s beginnings.

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In Memory: Jill McElmurry

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

 Author-illustrator Jill McElmurry died in August while Cynsations was on summer hiatus.

Obituary: Jill McElmurry by Jill Kantor from Publishers Weekly. Peek: “Acclaimed children’s book author and illustrator Jill McElmurry…died of breast cancer on August 3, at her home in Taos, N.M. She was 62 years old.

“…McElmurry illustrated more than 20 picture books, of which she also wrote four.

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In Memory: Josanne La Valley

Compiled by Gayleen Rabakukk

Josanne La Valley obituary from The New York Times.

Peek: “Josanne received degrees from St. Lawrence University, Smith College and Vermont College of Fine Arts. She worked in arts management and as a professional musician before she turned to writing.”

A few members of the children’s literature community shared their thoughts about Josanne.

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In Memory: Tom Shefelman

By Gayleen Rabakukk

Austin architect contributed modernist buildings to city’s landscape by Michael Barnes from The Austin American Statesman. Peek:

Thomas ‘Tom’ Shefelman, who helped design several of Austin’s outstanding modernist buildings…. Seattle-born Shefelman, a graduate of the University of Texas School of Architecture and the Harvard Graduate School of Design, also illustrated children’s books and painted watercolor scenes from his travels,

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In Memory: Paul Goble

Compiled by Gayleen Rabakukk

Author Paul Goble, Dead at 83
(Rapid City Journal, Jan. 5, 2017). 

Paul Goble’s work – writing, illustrating, or both – were included in more than 40 books.

In 1979, he won the Caldecott Medal for The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses (Simon & Schuster, 1978).

Peek: “’The
world of children’s literature is poorer for his loss, and the world in

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In Memory: Yumi Heo

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Obituary: Yumi Heo by Shannon Maughan from Publishers Weekly. Peek: “[Henry] Holt’s Laura Godwin shared this remembrance:

Yumi was extremely gracious, enthusiastic, and inquisitive,’ she said. ‘I loved the way she incorporated ‘mistakes’ into her art rather than erasing or deleting them.

“If she drew a squiggle where she hadn’t intended, it would show up in the final art as a tree or a rabbit or whatever struck her fancy.

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In Memory: Natalie Babbitt

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

“Don’t be afraid of death; be afraid of an unlived life. You don’t have to live forever, you just have to live.”

Tuck Everlasting

‘Tuck Everlasting’ Author Natalie Babbitt, Of Hamden, Dies At Age 84 by the Associated Press from The Hartford Courant. Peek: “Babbitt’s literary career started in 1966, when she illustrated a children’s book written by her husband and was encouraged by its editor to continue writing and illustrating children’s books herself.”

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Guest Post: Carol Lynch Williams in Memory of Rick Walton

By Carol Lynch Williams

In the early part of last year, Rick Walton, one of my best friends and a prolific picture book writer, was diagnosed with a terminal and aggressive brain tumor.

For many years before this diagnosis, Rick battled early-onset Parkinson’s disease.

Recently, the tumors returned (after a surgery that left Rick partially paralyzed) and as I write this, my friend, my hilarious,

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In Memory: Barbara Seuling

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

From Barbara Seuling’s Author Website: “…children’s book editor, author, illustrator and teacher. For several years Barbara worked as an editor for Delacorte Press and Yearling Books at Dell Publishing Company. Later, she moved to J. B. Lippincott & Co.

“As author and/or illustrator of her own books, Barbara became a featured speaker at many educational and writers’ conferences and served for many years on the Society of Children’s Book Writers &

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In Memory: Lois Duncan

By Cynthia Leitich Smith

Author Lois Duncan died in June while Cynsations was on summer hiatus.

Lois Duncan Obituary: Bestselling author of fiction for young adults, including the thriller I Know What You Did Last Summer by Julia Eccleshare from The Guardian. Peek: “She was born Lois Duncan Steinmetz in Philadelphia, and grew up in Sarasota, Florida. Lois wanted to be a writer from childhood,

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