Obituaries for Eric Hill and Frances Foster, Calif. Commonwealth Club Awards

HillAuthor/Illustrator Eric Hill Dies:  Eric Hill, the creator of the “Spot” the dog picture books with the flaps, has died at his home in California at the age of 86. He is considered the pioneer of the “lift the flap” type of book for children, and “Spot” was so successful it was turned into a television series.  Debuting in 1980, the books have been translated into more than 60 languages, and sold more than 60 million copies. Born in London in 1927, Hill received the Order of the British Empire in 2008. For more information, see: .

Publisher Frances Foster Dies: Renowned children’s publisher Frances Foster, 83, Fosterpassed away on Sunday after a long illness. She was publisher of Frances Foster Books at Farrar, Straus, and Giroux Children’s from 1995 to 2013, when she retired due to her illness. Foster worked in children’s publishing for over 55 years. Foster worked on the Newbery Medal book Holes by Louis Sachar, and Peter Sis’s Caldecott Honor books. Macmillan reports that, in lieu “of a funeral, a memorial service will be planned for late fall or early summer.”  For more information, see:

Barbed Wire BaseballThe Commonwealth Club of California’s 83rd Annual California Book Awards winners are: Gold Medals Awarded to:
FICTION: Karen Fowler: We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, Putnam/Marian Wood
FIRST FICTION: Anthony Marra: A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, Hogarth
NONFICTION: Eric Schlosser: Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety, Penguin Press
POETRY: Brenda Hillman: Seasonal Works With Letters On Fire, Wesleyan University Press
JUVENILE: Marissa Moss: Barbed Wire Baseball, Harry N. Abrams Books for Young Readers
YOUNG ADULT: Tom McNeal: Far Far Away, Alfred A. Knopf Books for Far Far AwayYoung Readers, Random House
CONTRIBUTION TO PUBLISHING: Heyday Books for Deborah Valoma: Scrape the Willow Until It Sings: The Words and Work of Basket Maker Julia Parker Photographs by Lee Fatherree
CALIFORNIANA: Ronald M. George, Retired California Supreme Court Chief Justice: Chief: The Quest for Justice in California, University of California, Berkeley: Public Policy Press.  See more at:

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