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Anna Dewdney, author of the 'Llama Llama' children's books, dies at 50

By
Karen Butler

NEW YORK, Sept. 7 (UPI) -- New York Times bestselling author and illustrator Anna Dewdney has died after a 15-month battle with brain cancer. She was 50.

Publishers Weekly reported the New York-born scribe died at her home in Vermont on Saturday. Her final wish was that instead of attending a funeral service for her, mourners read to children.

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Dewdney worked as a waitress, rural mail carrier, daycare provider and middle-school teacher before finding tremendous success about a decade ago as the creator of popular pre-schooler books, such as Llama Llama Red Pajama, Llama Lama and the Bully Goat, Llama Lama Time to Share, Llama Llama Misses Mama, Llama Llama Holiday Drama and Llama Llama Mad at Mama.

An animated series based on the picture books is to premiere on Netflix next year.

Dewdney's other endeavors include Nobunny's Perfect, Roly Poly Pangolin and Grumpy Gloria.

"The entire Penguin Young Readers family is heartbroken. And as we grieve, we also celebrate Anna's life, in dedicating ourselves to carrying forward her mission of putting books into as many little hands as possible. We will miss her so, but consider ourselves so lucky to be her publishing family and her partner in her legacy," Jen Loja, president of Penguin Young Readers, said in a statement.

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The author's biography on the official Llama Llama website described her as "an outspoken advocate of literacy" and "mom to two away-from-home daughters and three stay-at-home dogs."

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