Bernard Waber, beloved children’s author and illustrator, has died at the age of 91 after a long illness.
Waber is probably best known for his books The House on East 88th Street and Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile (including his many subsequent Lyle books).
Waber describes how he got into drawing in a biographical essay:
My own early efforts at drawing were mostly confined to the laborious copying of photographs of film stars and other celebrities of the day. I received respectable grades in art classes during my school years, but doubt I thought it seriously indicated a career direction. Perhaps art seemed too frivolous for one raised during the Depression. Besides, I grew up a rather earnest young man and chose instead to major in finance at the University of Pennsylvania. After just one year of schooling, World War II interrupted those rather high-minded plans. Perhaps it was moving about, meeting people of various backgrounds and experience – I don’t recall a precise moment – but somehow during those army days my interest shifted to drawing and painting.
“Waber’s warmth, energy, artfulness, elegance, and abiding respect for children were epitomized in his books,” said publisher Betsy Groban, SVP of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
“In one way or another, I seem to find myself thinking of children’s books most of the time. I even enjoy the period when I am between books, for it is then that I am (I hope) susceptible to all manner of adventurous thought,” said Waber.[Image via Amazon]