Ellen Levine and Leo Dillon

It has been a tough few weeks. In addition to the loss of so many bright lights of the children’s literature world, a colleague who came to my school the same year I did, passed away yesterday after a very brief illness.

I was fortunate enough to have met Ellen Levine several times as we both lived in New York City and our paths would occasionally cross at children’s literature events. But I knew her work long before that as so many books of hers are staples in my 4th grade classroom. Favorites that I use yearly include If Your Name was Changed at Ellis Island, I Hate English, and Henry’s Freedom Box. What a loss of a remarkable woman. Here are some obituaries and remembrances I’ve come across:

And then there is the loss of Leo Dillon. I remember first encountering the work of Leo and Diane Dillon with their second book, Ashanti to Zulu: African Traditions and then was always delighted when I came across another of their works either as a fully illustrated book for children or as a book cover. Their style was unique, gorgeous, and remarkable.  And so it was quite wonderful when I met them in person at the A is for Anansi conference at couple of years ago and was able to express my admiration directly. Here are some of the many obituaries and tributes I’ve come across:

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