Popular Children's Author Leaves Dying Wish

Anna Dewdney, creator of the 'Llama Llama' series, died Saturday
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 7, 2016 5:41 PM CDT
Anna Dewdney, popular children's book author, died Saturday after a battle with brain cancer.   (Jeffrey Beall/Wikimedia Commons)

(Newser) – A popular children's author had one final wish when she died Saturday after a battle with brain cancer: Instead of holding a funeral, read to a child. Today reports that 50-year-old Anna Dewdney became a household name with parents when she published her first Llama Llama book—Llama Llama Red Pajama—in 2005. The Llama Llama series—about a baby llama who's usually upset with his mama—has gone on to sell more than 10 million copies, according to Publishers Weekly. And Netflix is producing a cartoon based on the books.

Dewdney, a former daycare provider and teacher, believed reading to children was the best way to teach to empathy, People reports. “When we read with a child, we are doing so much more than teaching him to read," Publishers Weekly quotes Dewdney as saying. "We are teaching that child to be human." Dewdney's publisher notes she had a "mission of putting books into as many little hands as possible." Dewdney's final book, Little Excavator, is scheduled to be published next year. (A publisher is looking for the heirs of this crime writer.)

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