May Memorials

Halloo there blog readers,

I posted earlier in the month about Maurice Sendak, but between stitches and life keeping me busy, I didn't have a chance to write about a couple of other May memorials. May was a sad month for the children's book community.

In addition to the loss of Maurice Sendak, on the 15th, Jean Craighead George passed away and on May 26th, Leo Dillon. 

Jean Craighead George (picture courtesy of Books of Wonder)

Not sure how many of you read Julie of the Wolves or My Side of the Mountain, but George was responsible for both of those titles and over 100 others. I remember reading My Side of the Mountain outside in my backyard. I was enchanted, pulled into Sam's world, where you could escape suburban and city problems. It was the kind of book I just couldn't put down. Imagine it! Living in a tree! In the woods! On your own!

I also remember reading Julie of the Wolves; Julie was required reading in school, but I also read it with my mom. When I was little, my sister and I would burrow up against my mom on her bed at night, and we would read together. Sometimes we would take turns reading from the book-of-the-week, others, my mom would read to us. (She also did voices!) Nights spent reading with my mother are some of my favorite childhood memories. There were a handful of special nighttime moments when we would come to the end of the chapter, and I would look at my mom, knowing it was already waaaay past bedtime. She would look back at the book and flip ahead counting the pages. "Well, just one more," she said before plunging back into the story. Pure magic.

Leo & Diane Dillon
Leo & Diane Dillon (picture courtesy of Books of Wonder)

I actually had the pleasure of meeting Leo Dillon last year at an event at Books of Wonder. He was an inspiration. I'll never forget how encouraging he was when I told him that this - illustration, writing, work for children - is my life's passion. With his wife, he illustrated over 100 titles, including my dog-eared version of A Wrinkle in Time. 

Maurice Sendak
Maurice Sendak (picture courtesy of Books of Wonder)

Though so unbelievably sad, it comforts me to know that I will always be able to find all three of these children's book greats, pulling Where the Wild Things Are or Why Mosquitos Buzz in People's Ears from my bookshelf or curling up with My Side of the Mountain.

1 comment:

Spaceman Spiff said...

Touching Lisa, thanks for their photos and a glimpse into who they are, and how each life inspired you to help shape who you are; so their lives have passed on into their books to inspire countless generations as well.

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