Final wish from children’s author upon her death at the age of 50: Read to a kid

Anna Dewdney

Anna Dewdney

Parents and children who loved reading the “Llama Llama” book series are remembering the author and illustrator, Anna Dewdney, who passed away at her home in Vermont on Saturday.

Dewdney had battled brain cancer for 15 months, according to a press release from Penguin Young Readers. She was 50 years old.

“Llama Llama Red Pajama” was first published in 2005 and went on to become a New York Times bestseller and a bedtime favorite with simple rhymes like “Llama, Llama red pajama/Waiting, waiting for his mama.”

Dewdney had always been an outspoken advocate of children’s literacy. Her publisher said that in lieu of a funeral service, she had asked that people read a book to a child.

“Anna’s fun-loving spirit is reflected in her infectious read-aloud rhymes and she taught us how to reach kids on their level and how to reassure and encourage them… As we grieve, we also celebrate Anna’s life and lasting legacy,” said Penguin Young Readers in a statement.

Almost 10 million books in the “Llama Llama” series are in print and “Llama Llama Red Pajama,” was chosen as Jumpstart’s Read for the Record book in 2011, setting the world record for most readings of a particular book on one day. Netflix is in production with an animated “Llama Llama” series, scheduled for release in 2017.

Many took to social media to honor her memory after news of her passing.

Dewdney had recently completed work on a new picture book, “Little Excavator,” scheduled for publication in June 2017. She is survived by her partner, Reed Duncan, and two daughters, Berol and Cordelia Dewdney.