Goodbye Llama Llama

9780451474575_e2c57Children’s author and illustrator Anna Dewdney died at 50 of  brain cancer on Sept. 3. She is known for her Llama Llama picture books, starting with Llama Llama Red Pajama. The series runs to nearly 20 titles and has sold more than 10 million copies, reports PW.

Librarians may also know Dewdney as a frequent speaker in schools and libraries and as an ardent supporter of children’s literacy. In 2013 she wrote in The Wall Street Journal:

“When we read with a child, we are doing so much more than teaching him to read or instilling in her a love of language … We are doing something that I believe is just as powerful, and it is something that we are losing as a culture: by reading with a child, we are teaching that child to be human. When we open a book, and share our voice and imagination with a child, that child learns to see the world through someone else’s eyes.”

She was so committed to reading that she requested that, in lieu of a funeral,  people read to a child.

Two posthumous projects are in the works. PW reports that Dewdney had completed a picture book for Penguin titled, Little Excavator. It is scheduled for release in early June 2017 from Viking.

Netflix is also planning an animated Llama Llama series to air in 2017. Deadline Hollywood reports that Jennifer Garner is on board to voice Mama Llama. Netflix says that “The series is led by an all-star team of creators including Oscar-winning director Rob Minkoff (The Lion King), director Saul Blinkoff (Doc McStuffins) [and] … legendary art director Ruben Aquino (Frozen, The Lion King, Aladdin, Mulan).”

Below is video of Dewdney at one of the places she loved, a book festival.

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